The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

London Almond

chinese new year london almond cookie

Having cookies named after names of places, is very very misleading when it doesn’t mean the origin. How very confusing of it to question “oh why is there London in the London Almond cookie” or why is there “German” in “German Crunch Cookie” ? Anyhow, both cookies have proved that it doesn’t need to be from a certain country or city some few thousand miles away to be that popular and delicious. Or was it because it had names of London and German in them, that’s why it’s so popular ? Haha ok I’m confusing myself. Anyho, both cookies are a favourite and staple during festive seasons celebration here in Malaysia (and Singapore too).

cny cookie london almond 2

London Almond consist of a whole almond, baked with a sort of crunchy biscuit around it, then coated with chocolate on a mini paper cup. It is meant to be a tiny 1 bite size cookie but I made it just 3 grams too big. Don’t think that 3 grams is nothing, in a cookie, it means going from size M to size L, or even possibly 2 sizes up. So in order not to be a size up during CNY, make your cookies one size down ? Hehehe :)

This cookie come in 3 parts. 1, the almond. 2, the crunchy biscuit that encases the almond then 3rd, the melted chocolate that pours over the biscuit, then often sprinkled with toasted nibs or sprinkles. In this case, almond nibs would play well. The ingredients are fairly simply but, depending on your preference, you can add some crunch to it. I’ve seen some that uses crushed cornflakes or nestum to give that bite-y mouthfeel when munching this cookie. If you prefer it plain, then a simple sugar cookie base will make the cut. I also toasted the almond before wrapping with the cookie dough as it gives the almond a bit of crunch and toasty taste. Recipe adapted from here.

cny cookie london almond london almond steps

London Almond
 
Serves: 80pcs
Ingredients
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 200g plain flour
  • 25g rice flour
  • 25g nestum
  • 200g toasted whole almonds (toasting is optional)
  • 100g chopped almond nuts
  • 400g dark chocolate (for coating
Instructions
  1. Sift the plain flour and rice flour into a medium sized bowl. Add in nestum. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar at medium speed (I use the K beater) until it turns pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolk, and mix until just combined.
  4. Add the sifted flour mixture in two parts, mixing well after each addition. You should now have a cohesive dough.
  5. Take a small piece of dough (6g each) and flatten it slightly. Wrap the dough around the almond, then form it into a cylinder. Alternatively, you may prefer to form it into a round ball.
  6. Place the wrapped almond on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough and almonds, until all the dough is used up. You may end up with some extra almonds, you can either snack on these or chop them up to use as a topping.
  8. Bake in a 175’C preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until slightly golden. Cool the baked cookies on a wire rack. Once cooled, place each cookie in a small paper case.
  9. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave (30 seconds for 2-3 times)
  10. Using a teaspoon, spoon the melted chocolate over each cookie. Try to ensure the chocolate goes up to the edges of the paper cases, as it makes for a prettier cookie.
  11. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with chopped nuts. If the chocolate takes a long time to set, put in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

london almond recipeHappy Baking!

 

 

Chinese New Year Cookie : Salted Egg Yolk Cookies with Curry Leaves

Continuing the Chinese New Year cookie adventure, here is a recipe I made in 2014, but I never got to put it up. So here it is.

I made a small batch 2 weeks before CNY to check if it was yummy or not, or if it needed any tweaks. On my first try, I made the cookie about 1 inch round, but after the try out, my mom asked to make it even smaller, in the world of cookie, small means, more work T__T But I also wanted to add something extra in terms of taste. Since salted egg yolk was more often used in savoury dishes, more oftenly with evaporated milk, cereal and curry leaves, I decided to be a little adventurous and add curry leaves into these salted egg yolk cookies.

salted yolk cookies CNY

original flavour

 

I know, I know, everyone’s first thought was…. O.O huh ? curry leaves ?

But after their taste of both original and with curry leaves (I made both versions), all of them preferred the ones with curry leaves as it adds a depth of flavour to it. Note, it’s just a little amount to enchance the fragrant from the leaves and the salted yolk experience, you don’t want them to feel like they are eating curry :p

salted egg yolk cookie for cny

with curry leaves bits in it

 

I may consider adding some salted egg yolk to my pineapple tarts next. HAHA!! potent it seems

So what’s a salted egg!

It’s actually made using duck egg, preserved by soaking them in a brine or preserving them in salted charcoal paste for about a month or so. That black layer, needs to be removed before using the egg at all.

how to clean salted duck egg

Preserving them results in a briney and translucent egg white and a bright orange yolk. Most people steam the egg whole, then add it into congee / porridge, rice, some separate the yolk and whites and use the whites for steaming tofu, yolks for cooking dishes like Salted Egg Prawns, Mooncakes and Rice dumplings.

It is essential to buy them fresh and use it quick. When the egg is not so fresh, the yolk is more dull in colour, thus not so aromatic.

salted egg yolk cookies for chinese new yearFor this cookie, once the egg is cleaned, the yolk and whites are separated. The yolks need to be steamed and crushed before adding into the batter. If using curry leaves, finely chop them and add into the dough. Once it is added to the batter, make it like a regular cut out cookie by rolling flat and cut out with a cookie cutter. Brush with a layer of egg wash and sprinkle some black sesame seeds if you wish, bake till it is golden brown. Recipe adapted from Messy Witchen with some changes.

Salted Egg Yolk Cookies with Curry Leaves
 
Serves: 150
Ingredients
  • 250g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 salted egg yolks
  • 170g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 10g curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 egg yolk, beaten lightly, for egg wash
  • 5g each of black and white sesame seeds for topping
Instructions
  1. Sift flour, cornflour, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda. Add in chopped curry leaves, set aside.
  2. Crack egg and separate egg yolk and whites. Place yolk in a steel plate or bowl. Steam salted egg yolks for about 5 minutes. Cool, mash with a fork and set aside.
  3. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until sugar is dissolved and it is creamy.
  4. Add mashed salted egg yolks and sifted flours. Mix to for a soft and pliable dough. If dough is too soft, wrap with cling film and rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. (Try not to start with very soft butter to mix, it will be more pliable to use)
  5. Line baking paper on the baking pans. Preheat oven to 175 C.
  6. Roll out dough to 5mm thickness and cut into desired shapes using dough cutters. Place on baking pans and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to decorate.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool completely before storing in airtight containers.

 

salted egg yolk cookiessalted egg yolk cookies with curry leaves

It is really yummy! I love it! But it would not last more than 1 month as the salted egg yolk smell would be VERY strong so try to make as close to CNY as possible and try not to overdo it ;)

Packing for your next Summer holidays!

travel essentialsHi!

I wanted to share about some packing essentials when it comes to beach vacation (or even any vacation during Summer) and how you can save some space on your vanity bags and pack some products that you can use for your skin and your hair! Some of these products are from the Butterfly Project Beauty Box which I received during Christmas. The first post about Shizens lip tattoo and the second was more about using some simple products to create a night look from your day look.

Now according to the liquids for hand luggage rule, each passenger can carry only 3.4-ounce (100 milliliter) bottles or less by volume of liquid in 1-quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag onto a domestic or international flight. All liquid items must be stored inside a plastic bag, which must be placed in a screening bin at check-in. Each passenger is limited to only one transparent resealable plastic bag with a volume no greater than one litre. Bags such as freezer bags (20 cm x 20 cm or 25 cm x 15 cm) sold in most supermarkets are ideal for this purpose.

So for big items such as shampoo, it’s best to pour them out into a smaller container (usually recycled from other hotel shampoo bottles or trial size bottles) and just bring what you need to use instead of a whole bottle for a 4d3n trip. You can also use the shampoo provided by the hotel but usually I will pack my own shampoo because my hair is frizzy and dry, hotel shampoo just cannot make it.

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