Saturday, May 18, 2019

Portuguese Tarts 2

I am searching for a perfect recipe for Portuguese tarts. I think I'm closer to my goal. This is homemade puff pastry and it's so crispy! I love it!!!

After watching numerous videos on Portuguese tarts, I find the real tart uses egg yolks and flour cooked to paste with milk. Also baking in high temperature of 250C 482F or higher for a shorter baking time. The inside custard is creamy and outside super crispy even after cooling. So good! Now I will try for a silky custard similar to egg tarts.πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

Fill with custard solution all the way up for 11 tarts or 3/4 for 12 tarts.
Divide pastry dough into 11 pieces to shape in tart molds.  (Grease molds with melted butter first.)
Third time apply butter to pastry dough and roll it into a log. Then cut into 11 pieces.
First roll dough flat into a rectangle shape.  Apply 1/3 soft butter to 2/3 of dough. Then fold side without butter in first then fold the other side on top like pic. Repeat.

Ingredients: makes 11-12 tarts standard tart molds


200 ml whole milk
50 ml heavy cream
115 ml water
90-100 g sugar
30 g all purpose flour
4 large or xl yolks
20 g condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla or use lemon peel


1. In one pot, mix flour with some milk, stir and slowly add in all milk and heavy cream until smooth. Turn on heat and continuously stir into a thick paste about 3-5 minutes.

2. In a separate pot, mix sugar and water together.  Boil it 6-7 minutes or until temperature reach 105C.

3. Slowly add the sugar syrup to dough mixture. Mix until smooth. Strain with a fine mesh strain. Cool 10 minutes.

4. Mix condensed milk with yolks. Now add dough mixture into yolks.  Mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Puff Pastry:

165 g all purpose flour
140 g unsalted butter room temperature
85-90 g cold water
1/8 tsp salt


1. Mix flour, salt and water and knead into stick dough. Let rest 10 minutes to relax dough.

2. Sprinkle flour on counter. Place dough and roll into flat thin rectangle shape.

3. Spread 1/3 butter on 2/3 of dough. Fold the end without butter in then fold the other end over like folding letter.

4. Repeat. Sprinkle flour and roll dough out into thin rectangle shape if possible.  Spread butter to 2/3 of dough and fold again.

5. If dough too soft to handle then cover and freeze 10 minutes.  Then roll out again. This time spread butter all over surface of dough.

6. Starting from one end and roll dough into a log. Now cut and divide into 11 pieces. (Melt some butter and brush into mold first for easy remove tarts.) Then place dough into molds and start spread to mold shape. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.


1. Preheat oven 250C 485F.

2. Take tarts molds out of refrigerator and fill with custard solution.

3. Bake on middle rack for 10 minutes.  Then place on top rack for 5 minutes or until see brown burnt spots.

4. Turn off oven. Leave door slightly open for 3-5 minutes before taking out of oven. Or take out right away if already too dark.

5. Leave in mold to cool for few minutes before consuming.  Custard extremely hot.

6. Enjoy!

* Can reheat in oven at 350F for 5-7 minutes next day.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Portuguese Tarts

Today trying Portuguese tarts. I used store bought puff pastry and it is so easy and yummy too. First time making these so still need to revise recipe since they sink in too much after baking. But the taste is still yummy! I ate 4 or 5...🀦‍♀️πŸ˜‹

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Lemon Old School Buttercream Cakes

Baked vanilla and lemon old school buttercream cakes for teacher appreciation week. Teachers and staffs were happy eating them and love the lemon cakes the most!

Since I couldn't tell what flowers I piped on my first bake, I went on Google and YouTube to study some piping. Went and bought some smaller tips too since I need to pipe them really small. Very challenging when they are so small.😣

Learning as I piped directly onto cakes so couldn't make mistakes. At least now we can tell what some of the flowers are?πŸ˜†

Since I gave away all the cakes, I came home and baked 2 more lemon and coffee cakes for us to enjoy! I think I am liking smbc now! Used all butter and reduced sugar a bit. Frosted and decorated with minimum smbc so I'm not too guilty eating. This is also the best way for me to practice piping flowers.πŸ€ͺπŸ™ƒ

Lemon sponge with lemon SMBC

Coffee sponge and coffee SMBC

Cake from 9x13 inch pan is thicker. Thinner if use 10x13.5 inch pan. Anything larger will be too thin.
 Cooling cake

Look closely at the peak inside  bowl. Firm peak with a curve.

Light Lemon Sponge 
Fluffy thick cake using 9x13 inch or use 10x13.5 inch pan for thinner cake


5 extra large yolks (egg w/ shell 62-65g)
85g Cake flour
40g canola oil
30g lemon juice
30g water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla 

5 egg whites
100g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar


1. Heat oil in microwave for 1 minute until hot. Add to flour and stir to mix. 
2. Heat water for 30 seconds and stir into flour plus lemon juice. Stir into paste.
3. Add in one yolk at a time and stir until smooth. Add in salt and vanilla. Stir.
4. Whisk egg white until frothy. Add in cream of tarter. Continue to whisk until foamy. While whisking slowly add in sugar little at a time.
5. Whisk until firm peak where the tip of merginue bend over to the side.
6. Fold 1/3 meringue into yolk batter first. Fold in another 1/3 until all incorporated. Be gentle to not deflate merginue.
7. Pour into lined 9x13 pan. Drop pan on counter to release trapped bubbles.
8. Bake at 355F (180c) preheated oven 2nd level for 18-20 minutes until top is golden. 
9. Cool 2-3 minutes then unmold on another parchment paper. Peel off bottom paper on cake and then flip back on cooling rack with parchment paper.

Lemon Curd get recipe from ➡️lifeloveandsugar 

Swiss merginue buttercream adapted from ➡️Gretchensveganbakery

105 g egg whites (that's 3xl egg white)
130 g granulated sugar *reduced
140 g confectioner powder sugar *reduced
310 g unsalted butter room tempt. 30 min-1hr
2 tsp clear vanilla 
Dash of salt

1. Heat a small pot with water. Once boiling, should lower heat to medium. 

2. Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a steel bowl and place on top of double boiler. Water should not touch bowl. Stir continuously once placed on boiling water to prevent cooking egg white. Stir until sugar dissolves and not grainy about 2-3 minutes. Temperature around 115F.

3. Pour the mixture into your stand mixer. Use whisk attachment and whisk on high speed for about 6 minutes where white is firm. Add in confectioner powder sugar and stir at first then back on high speed. Whisk for another 4 minutes until stiff again.

4. On med high speed slowly add in cubed butter. Whisk until smooth and add in salt and vanilla. Whisk about 5 minutes. 

5. Switch to paddle attachment and whip on medium low speed until smooth and no bubbles. 

Lemon SMBC

1/2-3/4 cup lemon curd 
2-3cup SMBC
1 tsp lemon Juice (more or less)

Whisk  until light and  fluffy.  Use lemon smbc for fillings and cover top. Use the regular smbc for flowers and decorating. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Old School Buttercream Cakes

Teachers appreciation week and one of the day is give a snack or treat. Scratching my head as what to give. Then thought of these old school buttercream cakes as it's on my to do list. This is just a test baking and it turned out well. Cake is a swiss roll recipe. The cream is swiss merginue buttercream.

Actual size is 10x13.5 inch but can use 9x13 inch pan for thicker cake.

Swiss roll cake recipe adapted from➡️ Suka Amel
(10x13.5 inch or 9x13 inch pan) bought from Michael's

115 ml whole milk
80 ml canola oil
85 g cake flour
15 g milk powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
6 Xl egg yolks (375g with shell)

6 Xl egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
100 grams of castor sugar


1. Line pan with parchment.
Preheat oven 375F 190C. When bake lower to 340F 170C.

2. Heat milk and oil over boiling water for 1 minutes until hot.

3. Pour milk into flour, milk powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth paste.

4. Add in one yolk at a time until finish with all yolk. Whisk into smooth batter.

5. Whisk egg white in a separate oil water free bowl until frothy about 1 minutes. Add in cream tarter continue to whisk until fine bubbles. Add in some sugar continue to whisk until all sugar gone. Whisk to soft peak. (Do not under whip or you'll get custard cake instead.)

6. Fold merginue to yolk batter in 1/3 increments. Use balloon whisk stir in circular motion is easier and then use spatula to fold at the end.
7. Pour into pan. Gently tap to remove some large bubbles.

8. Lower temperature to 340F 170C. Bake for 10 minutes at middle level.

9. Lower temperature to 305F 150C for 25 minutes.

10. Remove baked cake out of oven. Drop 2-3 times on counter. Wait 1-2 minutes and flip on another parchment paper, remove bottom paper.  Then flip back on cooling rack to cool. Make swiss merginue buttercream while cake cooling.

11. Divide cake into 2. Spread filling with cream, stack the other cake on top and spread more cream on top. Cut off edges. Cut into desire sizes. Then pipe flowers, stems, and grass.

Swiss merginue buttercream adapted from ➡️Gretchensveganbakery

This recipe uses high ratio shortening (sweetex).  Why did I choose this recipe instead? If only making with butter, my lips will end up very oily feel after eating. With this shortening, it's not as oily, gives smoother whiter buttercream plus hold better with hot weather. Now where to find this shortening? You can buy 3 lbs online or visit one of the American bakery and ask them if they can sell you some. I was able to buy from a local bakery for $5/lb. You might able to get at cheaper price than me since my bakery didn't know how to sell it. I bought 3 lbs and keep in container in a cool place. Bought 6 months ago and still very good. 

Ingredients: Edit, if don't want sweet buttercream then reduce sugar to 130g. Confectioner to 140g for not so sweet smbc.

105 g egg whites (that's 3xl egg white)
150 g granulated sugar (can reduce to 130)
160 g confectioner powder sugar
85 g high ratio shortening (sweetex) (can replace with butter)
226 g unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 tsp clear vanilla 
Dash of salt

1. Heat a small pot with water. Once boiling, should lower heat to medium. 

2. Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a steel bowl and place on top of double boiler. Water should not touch bowl. Stir continuously once placed on boiling water to prevent cooking egg white. Stir until sugar dissolves and not grainy about 2-3 minutes. Temperature around 115F.

3. Pour the mixture into your stand mixer. Use whisk attachment and whisk on high speed for about 6 minutes where white is firm. Add in confectioner powder sugar and stir at first then back on high speed. Whisk for another 4 minutes until stiff again.

4. On med high speed add in shortening and slowly add in butter. Whisk until smooth and add in salt and vanilla. Whisk about 5 minutes. 

5. Switch to paddle attachment and whip on medium low speed until smooth and no bubbles. 

6. Divide about 1/4 cup for each for pink, purple, yellow,  and green. The rest leave for filling and topping.

7. Piping tips used: #352 for leaves, #2 for stems grass, #81 yellow flowers, #86 purple flowers, #102 pink flowers. Use couplers so can change tips if want other flowers for that color.

Tips: cover and refrigerate any leftover cake. Leave at room temperature 30 minutes prior eating so smbc can soften for better texture.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Egg Tarts with Puff Pastry

I'm still trying to make puff pastry for egg tarts. I'm using butter even though the recipe call for lard. I used most of my lard for wife cakes so didn't have enough for egg tarts...πŸ˜† The egg tarts turns out good but not very pretty. I think I might buy the ready made pastry next time to save some time and maybe store bought might look better. πŸ˜„ This recipe only uses 80g sugar which is on low sugar side so just barely sweet. Will need to add a little more sugar if you like sweet. I also add in one yolk to the water dough and reduced some water. Used cold butter and food processor to make both oil and water dough.

Recipe from gwenskitchencreations

Filled tarts all the way up. Recipe can make 18-20 tarts.
Baked at 4th level 25 mins at 180C
Prebaked shells too puffy so need to press the center down before filling.
Prebaked shells 200C for 10 minutes but still white. Will need to move tarts to level 2 instead of 3 for golden shells. 10 minutes

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sambal Eggplant with Shrimps

I learn a delicious dish and that is sambal eggplant with shrimps.  It is very flavorful and perfect with rice! I add in a lot of dried shrimps and some big chilies which is not very spicy. This dish is on mild spiciness and so fragrance.πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

Frezno chilies


3 medium large eggplants
10-15 large or jumbo shrimps
3 frezno chilies
2-3 red thai chilies
2-3 shallots
3 cloves garlic
About 2-3 tbsp dried shrimps soaked

about 2 tbsp oil
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
Dash fish sauce
Dash salt
1/2-1 tsp Sugar
1-2 Chopped scallions

1. Place all chilies, shallots, garlic and soaked dried shrimps into food processor to blend them finely. Or use mortar and pestle to pound them finely.

2. Wash and chop eggplants. Deep fry or pan fry in two batches with little oil. Set a side.

3. Heat wok with oil. Add in the finely blended chilies mixture. Cook until fragrance and somewhat dry. Add in shrimps and continue to cook until shrimps almost cooked. Add in some water if wok is dry and burning.

4. Add in eggplants and give it a good stir. Add in seasonings such as oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and sugar. Stir well. Taste. Add more fish sauce if needed. Add in scallions. Remove to plate.

5. Serve hot with rice.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Instant Pot Flan 6 oz Cups

Made the smoothest flan with instant pot today! The trick is no direct water pressure on the cups. I used to just place the trivet and even placing towel on top then place flan cups on the towel. However, I still get a lot of bubbles.  So I thought maybe if I put something else higher with holes then it might solve the problem. And it did! I used a steamer basket and flipped it upside

Steamer basket flipped over on top of trivet.  In 8qt IP

Custard glass cups 6 oz

Need 8- 6oz molds: I used custard glass cups


3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup +2 tbsp water

Cook sugar and water until caramelized. Divide into 8 molds.

Custard: (can use large eggs, reduce milk to 2 1/2 cup)

3 cups whole milk
3 whole eggs jumbo (200g total)
3 egg jumbo yolks  (125g total)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla or rum

Boil milk until hot. While milk cooking, place eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Lightly whisk until mixture combined.

Now slowly add in the hot milk while whisking egg mixture. Mix until combined.

Strain mixture over a fine mesh strainer 3 times.

Prepare instant pot with trivet, flip steamer upside down on trivet. Add in 1 1/2 cup hot water.

Pour custard solution in caramel molds. Wrap with aluminum foil.

Will need to do in 2-3 batches since can't fit all in the pot.

Place molds on top of flipped steamer basket. Set manual pressure on LOW for 2 minutes. Then wait more 4 minutes L 00:04 and do quick release to remove all steam. Remove flan out of instant pot and repeat. Remove aluminum foil once out of pot. Add more water to pot each time.

Cool and refrigerate until serving.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wife Cake/Lao Po Bing 老婆ι₯Ό

I really love this pastry as this is my third time making this week! The first two times I gave most away to mom, aunts, sister in law, and friends. I feel I didn't eat enough so I made it again. I increased the filling and substituted maltose with sugar instead. The result is just so satisfying and yummy! Hope you're not bored with my wife cake. If you like more filling then you'll like these. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

Makes 16 cakes 
Recipe adapted from Chef Zhu Limi Foodvideo

Water Dough:

215g all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
60g lard
110g hot water (used boiling hot)

Use flour make a well, place lard and sugar in center. Slowly add in the hot water and stir everything together.  Hot water helps melt sugar and lard into flour. Then knead dough until elastic. Use rub and pull method to make dough elastic. Do this until dough almost cool. Throw dough on counter a couple times to help develop gluten. Cover it and rest for about 20 minutes. Divide into 16 pieces about 25g. Must cover with plastic wrap all time.

Oil Dough:

120g all purpose flour
60g lard

Use hand knead flour and lard into dough. Cover and set aside. Divide into 16 pieces about 11g. 


130g fried glutinous rice flour gaofun
35g sugar (more sugar for sweeter 45-50g)
130g hot water (add 1-2 tbsp if dry)
20g oil
40g sesame seeds (lightly roast on pan)
30g desiccated coconut
175g candied winter melon

1. In a bowl place fried glutinous rice flour with sugar and add in hot water. Stir to form a rough dough.

2. Place most candied melon in food processor leaving a few pieces out to hand chop. Blend the candied melon finely but not paste. Roughly hand chop the few pieces for crunchy texture.

3. Add in oil, sesame seeds, desiccated coconut and all the candied melon to glutinous rice mixture. Wear glove and mix all ingredients together.

4. Divide into 16 pieces each about 35g.

Assemble: 1 egg for egg wash and sesame seeds

1. Use water dough and wrap the oil dough. Flatten. Roll it thin and evenly into an oblong shape like pictures above. Then roll it up from long side to the other end. Repeat one more time. Rolling it will give layers for crust. Repeat until finished with all dough. Must keep them cover to prevent drying. 

2. Bend the two ends to center and then flatten to roll it into flat circle to wrap filling. (Flip dough over to wrap uglier side in.)Then use rolling pin to flatten roll into flat round shape about 9 cm.

3. Use sharp knife to cut 2 lines in center all the way through. Brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten).  Add some sesame seeds for decoration.

4. Bake in preheated oven at 390F or 200C for about 20 minutes until golden.

5. Let cool before serving. Extremely crispy crumbly when hot!


 Yummy filling!