Saturday, June 11, 2011

Portuguese Tarts Recipe (Pastels de nata)

I Love Custard, and I love the Portuguese Tarts. Making the custard for these tarts are really easy.  This would be my best custard to date.

So I looked at Jamie Olivers Portuguese Tarts, and I looked at "Not quite Nigellas" Bill Grangers recipe.
Im still trying to per-fect the pastry base but Im sure Im very close to getting it Cafe style.
The kids loved it. The guys at worked also loved them.

So there are two different methods of making your custard prior to pouring it into your tarts. The Jamie Oliver way is to mix the custard ingredients together and pour it (uncooked) into the pre-cooked pastry shells.

Or the Bill Granger way, cook your custard on the cook top first, let it cool, then pour it into the pre cooked pastry shells. I prefer the latter,  but both work fine.
Most French and Portuguese pastry chefs Ive seen pour it in uncooked.

Now I would prepare my custard first (especially if you are cooking the custard). This will allow it to cool whilst your are preparing the pastry.

  • 3 egg yolks 
  • 115g caster sugar (maybe a but less depending how sweet you like your custard)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 230ml Cream 
  • 170ml Milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or  Vanilla Bean Paste
Mix the cornflour and half the cream together (until all lumps are out), then pour the balance of the cream and stir it but dont over stir it too much.

Whisk your eggs into the caster sugar and whisk until combined. Add the milk. 
Then mix it into your corn flour mix. and whisk it all together until all lumps are out and mixed well. 

Stir on low heat on your cook top and stir slowly until nice and thick. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 

Then Let it cool. Once cool pour into your pre cooked pastry shells. Then bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until golden (and if your lucky some little burn marks on your custard) 

Use one sheet of pre rolled Puff Pastry (from the shop). 
Sprinkle over with Cinnamon and spread by hand. 

Then roll the pastry like a pencil and cut into 6 equal pieces. 

Stand the little cuts upright then squash down flat with your palm. (i squashed them downflat and then rolled them a little large enough to fit in the cakle tin).

Insert your flat rolls into your baking tray and spread them up the sides with your fingers. 

Bake for 200 deg C for 15 minutes. (I inserted some cup cake paper on top of the pastry and filled with rice, so the pastry doesn't grow out of the pan).

Remove from oven. Remove the rice and paper and they are ready to pour in your custard. 

Pour in the custard (almost to the top, but not all the way).

Bake for a further 8 - 10 minutes until golden brown. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Baking Dad: My Pizza Journal

Ive listed below links to take you to my pizza makeing journey.

Pizza Dough

My Pizza Menu

Prosciutto and Ricotta

All my pizza bases are simply covered with home made sauce and mozzarella cheese (sliced and spread ontop of the sauce).
Once the pizza is cooked -remove from oven then place on the prosciutto and ricotta.
Both the prosciutto and ricotta will cook and melt from the heat of the pizza.
Dont cook the prosciuto in the oven, as it will burn and taste like fried ham and lose its authentic taste.
If so you can add opions olives and mushrooms as a variety when cooking the pizza.

Garlic Pizza

My wife crushes one or two cloves of garlic (useing the hand held garlic crusher), and mixes it in with a 1/3 cup of olive or vegetable oil.
Sprinkle some herbs if you wish.
mix it together.

Then with a spoon spread over the pizza. Dont over do it. And be sure to spread the garlic from the oil.
I always keep the edge of the pizza free from any sauces or oil. I added my famous mozzarella on top of the pizza. Again only slices of mozzarella spread evenly.

Paesanella  Mozzarella

The best cheese to use on your pizza base is buffalo Mozzarella. This is "White" cheese, not your "yellow" fake cheese bought in bags from your local grocery store. Any good Deli will sell great Mozzarella. The best Mozz is from "Paesanella". These guys have been around (factory in Marrickville, and reseller in Haberfiled) for centuries.  Just cut into thin slices and place over your pizza and let it melt on top of your sauce.

By the way if you are ever in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, you need to stop by Vitos Deli for fresh Muzz sandwhiches.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Red Velvet Mini Whoopie Pies

My third attempt at Whoopie Pies were the miniture version of the famous Hummingbirds Red Velvet with Cream Cheese butter cream.

These are easier to eat and dont make you feel so guilty.

I added dark choc chips to the mix just to to be a little different.

Verdict - YUM

Dusted with Icing sugar and chocolate swirl.

The mix is a llittle more dougier than the traditional red velvet cup cake mix. I used cocoa and brown sugar. I used the same dough to make these little cup cakes in  the poka muffin cases I found in a tiny shop in Picton.