What a beautiful day it is today. It is nice and warm with a bit of clouds. I decided to switch gears today and create something savory again. Potstickers….an family favorite all these years!!!!
Potstickers are quite versatile as literally one could use different ingredient combinations to make them but the key to a good potsticker is the wrapping and filling.
My family tends to use lean ground pork as the filling and mix it with either dried scallops, mushrooms, corn or shrimp. This time I choose to make it with dried shitake mushrooms.
Marinating: To marinate the pork, I added soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, cornstarch, rice wine, and some oil. I mixed it until it became a smooth paste and that all the ingredients had become incorporated. While marinating, I soaked up some dried shitake mushrooms. Then I diced them up and added to the marinating ground pork mixture. Next I separated an egg and reserved the egg white. It was meant to act as an adhesive to the wrapper and the mixture inside.
Assembling: I first placed some egg white to the edge of the wrapper and then spoon in some meat mixture. Next I folded in the edges of the potstickers in an angle and press together the edges. Reprat until you have a meal.
Cooking: I tend to pan fry them in oil, but the key to them not getting burned is keeping the stove at medium heat and now and then add a bit of water to the pan. This allowed steam to develop and in turn helped in cooking the potstickers. Repeat adding water on medium heat until the potstickers are done. A side of red vinegar goes along way with the potstickers.
1 lb ground pork
8 dried shitake mushrooms disced
Success, nothing is as yummy than a crispy skinned potsticker. Bon Appetit.
The weather sure is clouding over as I type this post. I can see the rain drops coming and with that an excuse to stay indoors and take some time to bake up a storm. Vancouver certainly needs the rain though as there are dry patches everywhere. The once greenery has turned brown and crispy due to the lack of rain in the forecast. But now back to the baking. I had some pistachio frangipane sitting in the fridge thus I am making pistachio tarts with white chocolate mousse. To start of the tart I did a pate sucre again. Next I did the pistachio frangipane. I first toasted the pistachios, grounded them and set them aside. Then I melted the butter and combined it with the egg sugar and whipped cream. The ground nuts were then added to make a frangipane mixture. The mixture was then piped into the shells and baked for 20 minutes at 350F. Set aside to cool. To make the chocolate mousse domes, I melted some white chocolate and whipped up some whipped cream. Once the chocolate has cooled a bit, the whipped cream was folded into the chocolate mixture and spooned into the silicone mold. Freeze until set. Assembling: I placed the mousse dome in the centre of the tart and arranged some raspberries around it and voila. Chocolate Mousse
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup gound pistachios
1/4 cup whipped cream
Baking till I drop, Bon Appetit!!!
I decided to do another project again from Bouchon Bakery. This time it is their coffee cake.
Bouchon Bakery Coffee Cake
205 g flour
5.5 g baking powder
1.7 g baking soda
1.7 g salt
75 g unsalted butter
210 g granulated sugar (I used 130 only)
75 g eggs ( I used 2 eggs)
20 g vanilla paste ( Used vanilla extract)
225 g sour cream
Good Cake. It definitely is a cake served along with coffee. It is not a light cake and has a density similar to a pound cake.
What a wonderful weekend. The skies are crystal blue and clear and everywhere is blooming….ahhhh this is how life is in the summer. Been so busy at work and with no time for baking, my appetite for baking was sky rocketing again. My little fingers agree with me as they wildly flip and tear through pages looking for inspiration. Heart beating with anticipation, it sings as I look through the delicious photos. I finally rested ton the tropical mango mousse cheesecake dessert again. Complimented by the succulent aroma of coconut, it truly reminded me of the tropics. This time I decided to add in strawberry to the mix as I found strawberries and mangoes go well together. I first made the coconut dacquoise. Then I made the mango mousse. To make the mango mousse, I first softened the gelatin with cold water. Next I pureed some fresh mangoes. Once the mangoes were pureed, cream cheese and sugar were beaten together till softened and then the mango puree was mixed in. Beat until homogenous and set aside. By now the gelatin has softened. Squeeze out the water and heat to dissolve the gelatin. When the gelatin has dissolved, add it to the mango/cream cheese mixture and set aside. Whip up the cream and fold into the mango/cream cheese mixture. Place a disc of dacquoise at the bottom of the cake pan and pipe in the mango/cheese mousse. Place the next disc of dacquoise on top. The Strawberry cheesecake mousse came next. The process is the same for the strawberry mousse cheesecake as the mango mousse. Steps are as follows: puree the fruit, soft and melt the gelatin, whip the cream cheese and sugar to soften, add in the fruit, combine the gelatin to the mixture and whip and fold the cream in to the strawberry cream cheese mixture. Once the mixture is complete, pipe on top of the second dacquoise and place in fridge to set. To decorate, I sliced up some mangoes and arranged them into a rose shape. Voila.
Ground almond 57g
Dessicated coconut 55g
Icing Sugar 112g
Egg White 150g
Mango Cheese Mousse
Fresh Mango Puree 100 g
Granulated Sugar 50 g
Cream Cheese 150 g
Whipping Cream 150 g
Gelatin Leaf 6g
Strawberry Cheese Mouse
Fresh Strawberry Puree 100 g
Granulated Sugar 50 g
Cream Cheese 150 g
Whipping Cream 150 g
Gelatin Leaf 6g
Result: OMG, this recipe was a keeper as everyone loved the combination of strawberry and mango. The coconut suited both flavours quite well. Next time one could try the combination of strawberry and litchee as summer was here.
In light of recent events, I am making another dessert. This time I am making something from Pierre Herme again. A couple of years ago I bought his book on Pastries and have not regretted it since. The book was filled with stunningly beautiful photos of desserts and enough to make one salivate. Amongst the post it notes tagging recipes that I wanted to try was the Montebello. In his words it is the modern rendition of the Fraisier. The recipe was a combination of two of my favorite ingredients to use, pistachios and strawberries. It was composed of a dacquoise, pistachio mousseline and strawberries. Because my family is partial to all that buttery goodness, I am making a partial montebello. I am making the dacquoise and filling it with a creme patissiere.
To make the pistachio dacquoise, I toasted some almonds and pistachios after which I grounded them with a coffee grinder. Next I measured the dry ingredients and separated the eggs. I then measured the pistachio paste and left it to warm up. The icing sugar was sifted and combined with the almonds and pistachios. *Note: in the recipe, the ratio of almonds to pistachios 2:1 but because I preferred pistachios I changed the ratio to 1:1. Next I whipped up the egg whites and added in the sugar; whipping it till stiff peaks formed. Part of the egg white mixture, not alot, was used to soften the pistachio paste. Finally I folded in the icing sugar/nut mixture. Note: Fold until it is homogenous and you do not see the dry ingredients. Pipe into a 9 inch 3/4 inch deep ring and bake at 340F for 30 minutes.
Once the dacquoise was baked and cooled, I poured the finish pastry onto it and decorated it with strawberries and pistachios.
Montbello Pastchio Dacquoise (Adapted from Pierre Herme)
1/4 cup (25g) pistachios ( I toasted and grounded mine and altered the ratio to 1:1 Pistachios and Almonds)
1 1/8 cups (135g) Icing sugar (I used only 130 icing sugar)
1 1/4 cups (115 g) ground almonds
5 egg whites
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
4 tsp (20g) pistachio paste
Extra Icing Sugar for sprinkling
500 ml milk
100 g sugar
40 g Corn Starch
2 egg yolks
.5 piece vanilla bean
Result: It was delicious. The dacquoise was perfect, soft and crispy. It had a strong pistachio flavour and complimented the strawberries well. While it was a bit sweet, next time readers can adjust the icing sugar to 100 g instead to reduce the sweetness. I believe one the sweetness is reduce, the nuts would be more pronounced and work even better with strawberries. Pierre Herme definitely knows his flavours well!!!!
Baking time again. Lately Vancouverites have been enjoying on some beautiful tropical fruits such as litchee, mango, watermelon etc etc. The weather certainly bodes well for picking them at their peak. With the strawberries and mangoes in season, I decided to make a strawberry mango tart. I first started to make the crust. As always I chose the pate sucre crust by Felder. I find that his recipe has the right levels of lightness and crispness to the pastry.
Key to a light and flaky pastry.
- work the cold butter in with the flour until sand like texture than add the remaining ingredients
Next I made the pastry cream to fill the tarts once the tart was cooled.
- do not over cook the pastry cream. Take it off the heat once the cream thickens and boils. Whisk constantly as the pastry cream will burn.
- To prevent lumps of cornstarch, mix the sugar with the cornstarch first prior to adding it into the milk
Once the pastry cream has cooled, I then set to decorate the tart. Pastry Cream Recipe
1 1/4 cups milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup castor sugar
1 tsp. vanilla essence. ( I chose to use a vanilla bean)
Result: This recipe is a keeper. Both strawberry and mango complimented each other. The pastry cream was light, smooth and creamy and added complexity to the dessert.
Have a lovely weekend all!!!!
The mercury is definitely rising these days but no complaints there. As the days get longer and nights shorter, summer is just around the corner. Yippee!!!! Soon I be able to stay out late and watch the sunset. With the mercury rising one can see lineups for ice cream and iced treats. While the lovely thought of gorging on iced treats outside the idea of having my wallet sucked dry stopped me he he he. Yearning for the refreshing iced cold treat to waken me up from the heat I decided to make some.
This time it is pineapple and raspberry sorbet. Yummmm….To make the sorbet I first pureed the fresh fruit. Next I prepared the sugar syrup to combine the fruit with. Yeah as mystifying as it is sorbet is just sugar syrup and fresh fruit. Mystique gone, I know disappointing isn’t it. But on the bright side you know is lots of fresh fruit. Once the sugary syrup boils, let it cool and combine with the fruit. Refrigerate the mixture until cold and pour into ice cream making machine.
500 ml Stock Syrup (1:1 ratio, sugar and water)
500 ml Fruit Puree (Pineapple, Raspberry)
5 ml Lemon Juice
Happy Ice Cream Making!!!