Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Okay, so this dish isn't exactly a baked dish or a dessert. However, the fiance loves this dish and I made it several times and I never even photographed it. So I just had to, and decided to share the recipe with everyone.

If you ever ordered salt and pepper pork chops, or salt and pepper shrimp at an asian restaurant, this tastes just like it. Coated in a light dry batter and deep fried. It's actually delicious, despite the deep-fried factor. I hope you enjoy it too. It's a very simple recipe.


1 lb Shrimp, peeled and deviened

1/2 tsp White Pepper, ground
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 cup of Cornstarch + pinch of flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp of MSG (optional)

Stir Fry Mixture:
2 Green Onions, chopped
1 Jalapeno Peppers, sliced
3 Glove of Garlic
Salt and Pepper

Place shrimp in coating mixture, toss to combine and coat.

Heat oil in a pot until 350F. Cook about 5 to 6 shrimps at a time until pink in color. Cook remaining shrimp in batches. Drain off in paper towels.

Place some oil in a wok, and heat until hot. Throw in stir-fry mixture (no salt or pepper yet), and stir fry until pungent. Put the shrimp into the work and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Cake Pops Tips and Tricks

My fiance invited me to his co-workers house the other night to play tons of boardgames. I volunteered to make cake pops for everyone. I learned a few tricks and tips to making cake pops more easy, since I made tons.

1. Use a styrofoam block to hold the pops after dipping. Attempting to hold it in a cup will make it dry and tilt sideways. Not very pretty.
2. Unless your making cake pops in the hundreds, I recommend melting the chocolate in a cup. A cup wide enough to fit the cake balls easily, and deep enough to cover the entire ball. A double boiler could be used, but I would probably be making hundreds for that method.
3. Dip the stick in some chocolate before pushing it into the ball. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes. This will make dipping so much more easy!
4. While the cake pop is still wet after dipping, sprinkle on some confetti or sprinkles. If you're slow, the chocolate will dry and the sprinkles won't stick.
5. Leave some dipped cake pops blank. You can change chocolate colors afterwards and drizzle pretty lines all around.
6. Put melted chocolate in a piping bag or parchment paper bag and pipe beautiful designs. This gives you more control on how your cake pops will look if you hate drizzles.
7. I like using high cocoa chocolate. It melts better and dips wayyyy better. White chocolate is hard to work with, in my opinion. I would recommend using candy melts for colors pops not in brown and white.
8. Always shake off excess chocolate after dipping. It will dry better. Otherwise the extra chocolate will drip down the stick while drying.
9. If you have a helper, use her/him. After you dip the pop, hand the stick immediately to them. They can do sprinkles or poke it in the styrofoam for you, allowing you more time to dip more pops before the chocolate dries out.
10. If you don't have a cake pop holder to present your cake pops. Consider using the styrofoam block to carry your pops around. You can wrap the block in gift wrapping paper first. OR use mini cupcake liners and put each pop on a liner in a tray.

I hope these tips and tricks help you make beautiful cake pops!
If you don't know how to make cake pops, here is my previous blog on how to:


I've been playing with yeast more. I'm trying to avoid baking sweet goods because I'm on a diet. So what else do you bake that's not sweet? Bagels of course! These bagels were delicious! I made plain bagels, to poppy seed, to garlic!

2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
Optional Toppings:
1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped onions (2 teaspoons each)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (about 1/4 teaspoon each)

Combine the water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 4 cups of the flour and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together.

Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional flour 1/2 cup at a time to make a stiff dough, either stirring with the wooden spoon or working with your hands. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed. (Dough should be heavier and stiffer than regular yeast bread dough.)

Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
Remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces, about 2 to 3 ounces each, measuring about 4 inches across. Form each piece of dough into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4 to 6-inch log. Join the ends and place fingers through the hole and roll the ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen but not doubled in a draft-free spot, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet with the remaining teaspoon of oil.

In a large, heavy pot, bring 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil. In batches, add the bagels to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Dip the bagel tops in desired toppings. Flip bagels onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Red Velvet Heart Shaped Cake and Cupcakes

Sorry for not posting for over a month. I have a good reason. My 2 year anniversary with the boyfriend was last month. He proposed to me...and now we are engaged. So now...he is actually my fiance! =]

For our 2 year anniversary, I made him a heart shaped cake. It is red velvet. I took forever to pipe the roses on the cake. I had hours of practice, and they still don't look too good. I didn't even have time to take pretty food photos!

So the reason I took a while to start posting again is because I was busy. Busy planning our WEDDING!!! =] I've been looking up photographers, and wedding venues, to dresses. You name it. In addition to all this, I went on a diet...I started to avoid baking. Forgive me!

Here is the red velvet recipe:

Red Velvet Cake
1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp red gel-paste food color
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

With an electric mixer on med-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisk well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam), add mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.

Line a heart shaped 6 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Pour the batter in the pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan.

Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 Cup of Cold Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup of Powdered Sugar, more to taste

With the whisk attached to the mixer, mix heavy cream on high for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and continue mixing under stiff peaks form. Add more sugar to taste. Frost cake.

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookies

My boyfriend loves these white chocolate chip cookies. He's been requesting I make them for a while, but I wanted to make other things. Well, I finally made him some...and he ate all of it....all 4 dozen cookies. =]

I got this recipe from the back of the Ghirardelli white chocolate chip bag. I think that's the best recipe.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate chips (11 oz)
1 1/2 cups Macadamia nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy (scrape down the sides). Add vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly (add about a cup at a time) the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix well.

Last, once batter is completely combined, fold in the white chocolate chips and the macadamia nuts. Scoop out onto heaping 1 tablespoon scoops onto a baking sheet. I used a cookie dough scoop to help keep the sizes uniform.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.

Cake Pops

My boyfriend's company has a monthly BBQ party on Fridays. I decided to make cake pops, since nobody really likes dealing with cake cutting and plating. Most of the people at the party are guys. =]

So I decided to make bite size cake pops. Easy to eat, and you don't have to deal with cutting cake!

This is an extremely easy recipe. A tad time consuming, but is very worth it!


  • 1 box cake mix (bake as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
  • 1 16 oz can of readymade frosting
  • Wax paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Paper lollipop sticks
  • Styrofoam block
  • Candy melts, or chocolate
  • Assorted color sprinkles
1. Bake the cake as directed. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into a large bowl.
2. With a large spoon, mix thoroughly with about 3/4 of the can of frosting. You won't need the rest.
3. Roll mixture into quarter-size cake balls and place on a wax paper-covered baking sheet. (I used a cookie scoop to get uniform ball sizes.)
4. Place cake balls in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up. Transfer them to the refrigerator to keep chilled and to avoid freezing.
5. Melt candy/chocolate over a double boiler, or microwave if desired. Using enough candy melts to fill a deep bowl.
6. Remove a couple of cake balls from the refrigerator at a time to work with.
7. Dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted coating and insert into the bottom of cake ball.
8. Then dip in the bowl of candy/chocolate coating and remove in one motion without stirring. Make sure the entire cake ball is covered. Using a deep bowl is helpful here. If your coating is too thick, you can add a few drops of vegetable oil or shortening to help thin it and make it easier to work with.
9. Remove and allow any excess coating to fall off the pop and back into the bowl.
10. Work quickly with one cake pop at a time and before the coating sets, sprinkle color sprinkles on cake pop.
11. Place in a styrofoam block to dry. Enjoy.

Samoa Pizookie (Caramel de-Lites)

My boyfriend loves samoa cookies from the girl scouts. The cookies are also known as caramel de-lites now. Regardless of their name, my boyfriend loves these cookies. However, he wanted to be able to 'a la mode' this cookie. Kinda like a brownie a la mode.

The first thing that comes to mind is the pizookie by BJ's Restaurant. So I decided to turn this samoa cookie into a Samoa Pizookie for my boyfriend.

He loved the results. I made it twice now, and each time he and I would eat it all up. =]

Samoa Pizookie (aka Caramel de-Lites)


For Cookie Base:
1/2 stick of butter, soft
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
up to 1/2 tbsp milk

For Coconut Topping:
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
4-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp milk
3 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Be careful not to burn the coconut! Check frequently to make sure it’s not getting too toasted. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (add the milk a bit at a time — you may not need much, or any at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.

4. Roll the dough into an 8 inch diameter circle. Spray an 8 inch cast iron skillet with pam (vegetable spray). Place it into the cast iron skillet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 

5. While the cookie is baking with 5 to 7 minutes left, unwrap the caramels and place in a saucepan. Melt the caramels with milk and salt on the stove-top over low-medium heat. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.

6. Remove the cookie from the oven, and spread the coconut caramel mixture all over the cookie.

7. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (or double boiler), and drizzle all over the top of the coconut caramel mixture.

8. Serve with 3 giant scoops of vanilla bean ice-cream. Sprinkle with some shredded coconuts if desired. Enjoy.

Pecan Pie

After we moved to our new place, the hubby and I have been trying all the local restaurants around our area. We found a place that makes super delicious pecan pies. I've been trying to figure out the recipe for a while. I've finally created a pecan pie that I am super proud of. I actually believe this pie tastes better than the local restaurant. =]

I believe you will love it to. Give it a try. =]

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups chopped toasted pecans
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Refrigerated pie crust

Preheat oven to 350F.

Dust some flour all over the pie pan before unrolling pie crust over pie pan. This is to prevent the pie crust from sticking to pie pan.

In medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the crust.

Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

Angel Food Cake

I've been gaining weight...mostly from eating too much good food (aka baked sweets). I can't help it...dessert is so good!!!

So I finally decided to bake an Angel Food Cake. No fat! Yay! Hopefully I won't be gaining anymore pounds. =]

I didn't have time to snap a photo of the cake I made....but it turned out super beautiful. Tall and so airy! I used a tube pan (angel cake pan) that was 4 inches in height...the cake was sooo tall I wish I had a 5 in or 6 in one instead! It didn't have enough height to climb, but don't worry, it did not fall over. I borrowed this photo from Pennies on a Platter, but used a different recipe!


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
In a stand mixer bowl, combine egg whites, water, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar. Using the whisk head, mix until foamy on medium. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. LET ME REPEAT! UNGREASED! It can't climb if it's greased! Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).
Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.

Chocolate Almond Log Cookies

I've been so busy in the past 2 months that I haven't baked that much. I just moved to a new place, and am still unpacking boxes at the new place. I've managed to finally bake something new this weekend!

Chocolate almond logs - yum. They are kinda like macarons (which I hate making fyi), since it uses lots of almond powder...but these won't crack on you. =] They are crunchy on the outside, and a lil chewy inside. I liked them, give it a try if you are an almond lover!


2 large egg whites
1 cup of super fine sugar
1 3/4 cups of almond powder
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 oz semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in sugar, almond powder, and almond extract.
Fill a pastry bag, fitted with 1/2 inch plain tip, and pipe out 3 inch long lines spaced 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake until golden brown, 15-20 mins.
Transfer to cooling racks.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Drizzle the chocolate in a zigzag pattern over the logs. Enjoy

Eclair Tarts

My boyfriend loves eclairs. However, I don't want to bake the same dessert over and over, it would get boring quick. So I came up with a new dessert idea...eclair tarts! It would still taste like an eclair, but I wouldn't be baking the exact same thing. Problem solved!

These eclair tarts were delicious. The tart shell is soft and crumbles apart gently when you bite into it. Just wonderful! I think you will enjoy eating this!

Tart Shell:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

1 (5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 1/2 cups cold milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tbs light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For shells: Preheat oven to 325 F.
Cream butter until soft. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Then add egg yolks and beat until creamy. Gradually stir in flour until well mixed.
Lightly spray tart molds with oil spray. Take about 1 tablespoon of dough and press into mold, spreading dough as thin as possible.
Bake in oven for about 10 minutes. Cool and remove from tart mold. I used a toothpick to help me get them out. Fill them with the whipped vanilla filling and drizzle with chocolate glaze.

For filling: Combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl according to package directions. In a separate bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in 1//4 cup powdered sugar and vanilla. Fold whipped cream into pudding. Use filling to fill tart shells.

For glaze: Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease heat to low, add the chocolate chips and whisk until melted. Turn off heat and add powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over filled tart shells.

Red Velvet Layer Cheesecake

My boyfriend has been wanting to try a red velvet cheesecake for a while now. It would have red velvet cake layers with a New York cheesecake sandwiched in between. Yum! So I thought it would be an awesome baking adventure.

The frosting was a tad sweet for us, next time I won't add as much powdered sugar in the frosting. We're not sugar crazy people. You might actually think it's the perfect sweetness. Taste and test it as you make it!

Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp red gel-paste food color
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

With an electric mixer on med-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisk well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam), add mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.

Line two 9 inch spring form pans with parchment paper. Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling with the cheesecake.

New York Cheesecake
I used the same recipe I used in my other cheesecakes, except I cut the recipe in half. So instead of 32 oz of cream cheese, I used 16 oz and so on for all the other ingredients. I did not have a graham cracker crust on the bottom, I instead lined it with a 9 in circular parchment paper. The recipe can be found HERE!

Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese (3 packages), at room temperature1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups of powdered sugar, plus more to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electronic mixer until well combined. Add more powdered sugar to taste, if a more sweet frosting is preferred. Use immediately to frost the cake.

Cinnamon Rolls

I've been wanting to make cinnamon rolls for a very long time!!! I just never found the time to make the dough, wait for it to rise, roll it out, cut it up, wait for it to rise again, and then bake it. I would need a good half a day. Luckily, today is the day!

These cinnamon rolls were super delicious! Soft and all that cinnamon sugar were divine! I covered them in a cream cheese icing, oh my yum! You must try them!!! 
1/4-ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons

2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons milk
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Mocha Nut Cookies

I love the combination of chocolate and coffee and these mocha nut cookies contain both chocolate and coffee! It's the perfect pick-me-up, besides tiramisu! =] They also have pecans and hazelnuts in them, which gives them that needed crunchy texture I look for in a nutty cookie!

I've been pretty busy last week, so I couldn't bake as much as I wanted too. But now I'm back, and I chose the perfect pick-me-up cookie to get me started again! You will enjoy these!

2/3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tps baking powder
1/8 tps salt
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup butter, cut up
3 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tbs instant coffee granules
1 tps vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water.
Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and thick.
Beat in the chocolate mixture, coffee granules, and vanilla.
Mix in the dry flour mixture, pecans, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoons of the dough 3 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
Bake until lightly cracked on top, 20 to 25 mins.
Transfer to racks to cool.

Egg Custard Tart

I've been looking for the perfect egg custard tart recipe for over a month now. I haven't found one...yet...but I know I will. However, I did run into one I deemed as close as possible to the egg custard tarts I have in hong kong bakeries. The crust is crumbly-flaky, but not puff pastry flaky. It is almost perfect!

Recipe from A Tale of Crumbs

"Water" dough

200g All purpose flour
  50g Cake flour
1-1.5tsp double action baking powder (i could only get single action baking powder)

30g sugar (tweak according to your sweet tooth)

  80g Lard
125ml Ice Cold water

Oil dough
100g Cake flour (sift this!)
0.5 tsp double action baking powder
125g Lard

Egg custard filling
80g white sugar
280ml Cold water
4 large eggs
40ml full cream milk
40ml cream

For the Water dough,
1. Mix the flours, baking powder and fine sugar.
2. Sift this resulting mixture into a clean bowl and cut in the lard.
3. Mix in iced water (or pulse using a food processor) until the resulting dough forms into a ball. 
4. Wrap in plastic film and let the dough relax in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

For the Oil dough
5. Add the baking powder into the cake flour and mix throughly.
6. Sift the flour into a cold clean bowl.
7. Cut in the lard into the flour and mix till it forms into a clean ball of uniform paste. (you can use a food processor for this.)
8. The paste should be close to spreading consistency but not fluid-like.
9. Place the oil dough ball in the center of the water dough circle and gently wrap up from the sides till its sealed without air pockets.
10. Lightly flour your kitchen tabletop and roll out the dough into a rectangle.
11. Now you can proceed with rolling and folding it like classic french puff pastry. (at least 6 turns with resting / chilling periods)
12. Make 1 extra turn at the end.
13. Measure the longest diameter of your tart mold and cut with a round cookie cutter larger than the mold by a couple of millimeters.
14. Gently and carefully line your tart mold with the cut out dough without over pressing the laminated layers. 
15. The dough pastry may look as if it was too much for the tart mold, but when it bakes, the sides will creep down, so make allowance for that.
16. Poke some holes with a fork in the base of the dough.
17. Preheat your over to 200 degrees C.

For the Egg custard filling,
18. Boil water with sugar, till all melted and keep aside till cool.
19. Crack the eggs, add in milk and cream and gently stir with a whisk until well mixed. (Try not to introduce too much bubbles)
20. Add in the cooled sugar water and gently mix well.
21. Sift the entire mixture through the finest sieve you can get your hands on and into a bowl/coffee pitcher.

22. Lower the temperature of your oven to 160 degrees C and place the tart shells onto a baking sheet in the middle layer of the oven.
23. Prebake these shells for about 10minutes or till almost ready. (constantly check through the glass window of your oven to make sure they are NOT already browned!!!)
24. Carefully remove from the oven and let the shells cool down for about 10-15minutes.
25. Lower the oven temperature to 120 degrees C.
25. Using the coffee pitcher, carefully pour in the egg custard mixture till about 2-3mm from the brim of each tart. 
26. Carefully return these filled tarts to the middle layer of the oven and bake till the custard starts setting.  (Typically, after an initial 5-10 minutes of baking, i will open the door of the oven every 5 minutes to tap/gently shake the baking sheet and observe if the egg custard remains wobbly.)
27. The texture point to stop is to first look out for the egg custard to be that between creme brulee and pudding like.
28. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a cooling rack. (you should observe a nice sheen/gloss on the custard surface)
29. Start munching already!!!

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