Saturday, July 3, 2010

Quick Bakes: Egg Tarts + Biscotti



Saturdays are usually hectic for me. Guitar lessons in the morning, lunch, then about 2 hours of free time before I head for the gym. To bake something within the 2 hours will need careful planning. Bread is out of the question. Cookies will have to be made in small batches as baking time is too long. Looking through my recipes, I decided to try out a biscotti and egg tart recipe as they seem less time consuming.


Some biscotti do not contain butter, thus it's sort of a low fat biscuit, which is ideal for me as a snack, after all the cookie binge. This vanilla almond biscotti dough is very easy to make. Just mix egg and vanilla with the dry ingredients. The challenging part is to shape it into a log and slicing the biscotti after the first bake. I think I have underbaked it as the biscuits are chewy instead of rock hard and crispy. It's still pretty good nonetheless. I will definitely make another batch again.

Ingredients:
85g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g sugar
1/4 cup whole almonds
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degC.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and almonds in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla. With a spatula, mix and fold to form a soft sticky dough.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using the spatula, scoop the dough onto the baking sheet. Spread and shape with spatula to form a log.
  5. Bake for 35mins and remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Slice the logs into 1 cm thick slices.
  7. Place the slices on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 mins or until the biscotti are crisp. (Supposed to bake 10 mins on each side to get crispy biscotti.)
  8. Let cool and store in air-tight container.
Adapted from HHB's Vanilla Almond Biscotti.



While waiting for the biscotti to bake, I started with the egg tarts. To save me the agony of having to devour all of my products, I made a small batch, which is supposed to yield me 3 tarts. However, I realised my tart tins are taller than normal egg tart tins. And trying to line the tins with the dough was frustrating as the dough crumbled easily. So in the end, I just made 2, and I would expect the tart pastry to be rather thick. For the pastry, I used the creaming method instead of the rubbing in method.



It's my first time working will egg custard and I have no idea what to expect. When I saw the custard puffed up, I thought I have overbaked it. But it turns out that it will deflate upon cooling. There are bubbles on the surface though. The large holes are due to my poking to see if the custard had been cooked.


The tarts actually look pretty decent but I'm not putting up high hopes for its taste.

I made some modifications to the custard recipe as I did not have evaporated milk, so I used more of he normal milk inplace of water. Here's what I did:

Ingredients (makes 2 tall tarts):
Pastry:
55g plain flour
30g butter, softened at room temperature
1 tbsp icing sugar
Small dash of vanilla extract
1/2 egg yolk

Filling:
The rest of the leftover egg (1/2 yolk + 1 white)
1 1/2 tbsp castor sugar
45 ml boiling hot water
40 ml milk ( I would decrease the amount of water and milk slightly the next time I make this as the custard was too soft)

Method:
Pastry:
  1. Cream the butter and sugar with a spoon (since the amount of ingredients is so little) until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add in whisked egg, half at a time and mix well. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. Sift in flour in two batches and mix well after each batch. Make sure all ingredients combine well. Knead into dough.
  4. Divide dough into 2 (or 3 if tart pan is smaller) and flatten into a disc. Line tart pan with dough.
Filling:
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and cool it until just warm to touch.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk lightly, thoroughly combined but not foamy.
  3. Strain it twice into a spouted jug.
To assemble:
  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Position rack in lower third of oven. Bake tarts for 10 to 15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.
  2. Lower the heat to 180C. Once you see the custard puffing up , pull the oven door open about 2 to 3 inches. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the custard is cooked through. Just insert a toothpick into the custard. If it stands on its own, it’s done.
Adapted from Quinn's Baking Diary's and Christine's Cantonese Egg Tarts.

3 comments:

  1. The tarts are buttery and the custard too soft. If you like crumbly and buttery tarts then this is for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i guess i quite okie with food as long as it dun stinks! haha..i prefer portugese egg tarts!!!

    ReplyDelete