The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

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Churros with Chocolate dipping sauce

Hello!

Recently I was making some churros, trying out some recipes. The first one I made a couple of years ago was hard to pipe. This is much easier to pipe. It’s thick but pliable. The churros was also quite fluffy!

churros

Churros are traditional Spanish desserts developed centuries ago by Spanish shepherds. Up high in the mountains, fresh baked goods were impossible to come by, so the ingenious, nomadic folk of the hills came up with a delicious cake-like, cylindrical, daily staple which they could easily cook in a pan over an open fire. This was the birth of Churros.

Originally churros were about the size of a breadstick, and they were eaten plain or rolled in cinnamon sugar. In Spain, churros are still a very popular breakfast, snack or dessert. It is good to dip in a chocolate sauce, or just by itself coated with cinnamon sugar. A spiced hot chocolate would be really yummy as well!!

churros 2

 

It’s relatively easy to whip up, without any expensive gadgets. You would need a pot, to cook the batter and another pan or fryer, to fry up the churros. If you don’t have a star nozzle, just cut a small hole at the corner of a bag and pipe it cylinder shapes.

They can also be filled after frying. Oh my, can you imagine if it was filled with salted caramel and then the churros was dipped in a chocolate sauce ? lip smacking good!!

churros chocolate sauce

Churros with Chocolate dipping sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • Vegetable Oil – enough for 2 inches high in fryer
  • 250ml water
  • 2 tbp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 125g all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
Cinnamon Sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ½ to 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Chocolate Sauce
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 150g whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Combine water, brown sugar, salt and butter in a pan. Bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove from heat and stir in the flour.
  2. Once the flour has stirred in, stir the mixture over low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  4. Add in eggs, 1 at a time and mix well. The churros dough should be thick but soft.
  5. Let the dough rest till it’s warm. Fit a pastry bag with a star nozzle (Wilton 1M). Fill in the dough into the pastry bag.
  6. Heat up oil. Once heated, pipe 4-5 inches long churro into the oil, using a knife or spatula to ‘cut’ the dough from the tip. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side to get a nice golden brown colour.
  7. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove churros from the oil and place them onto a paper-towelled plate to soak up some of the oil.
  8. Mix caster sugar and cinnamon in a shallow plate. Lightly coat churros in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  9. Melt dark chocolate and whipping cream in the microwave at an interval of 30 seconds, stirring in between till it has completely melted.
  10. Serve churros and dark chocolate sauce warm.

 

 

Dark Chocolate Tart

Well I wanted to put “best” on the title, but I haven’t eaten the world’s amount worth of chocolate tart to say so. So for now, it is the best for me. If I added a thin layer of the glossiest chocolate ganache on top, it would have been picture perfect.  I haven’t made it for many years, the first was in 2006 when I was in LCB. Whatever chocolate stuffs that came out from there tasted damn good (some abit too sweet) because we use valrhona chocolate.

best dark chocolate tart

No hanky panky stuffs like fake chocolate, or cooking chocolate..

This tart is so dark, intense and creamy, that if you use anything other than a good quality dark couverture chocolate, you are not showing enough respect for it.

dark chocolate tart

le cordon bleu dark chocolate tartAnd with the addition of rasperries on top, it makes it even lovelier. the sourness of the raspberry, immediately cuts through the richness of the tart. I must be lucky (or probably there are just in season from wherever they came from) cause usually when I buy raspberries, they are very sour. This time, it was just nice. even the raspberries were so beautiful to eat.

dark chocolate tart with raspberry top

 

I have this sudden sweep of emotion a couple of days ago. I looked back at my LCB blogging days entries (which I’ve privatize, sorry I won’t be opening that blog, don’t ask) I miss blogging like this. Just me, and the tart. No press releases, no reference, no contest, no checking on the blogstats, no calorie counter (uh, kidding on the last one). Just something very enticing, so delicious it fills you up with this warm, fuzzy feeling of contentment and satisfaction.

baked dark chocolate tart

5.0 from 1 reviews

Dark Chocolate Tart
 
Ingredients
Chocolate Short Pastry
  • 140g All purpose Flour
  • 100g butter
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 60g pure icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
Chocolate Tart Filling
  • 80ml Milk
  • 200ml cream
  • 200g Dark Couverture
  • 1 Egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. For the tart. Sieve dry ingredients, rub in butter till crumbly. Add egg yolks. Roll out dough. Pin out to about 3mm thick, line on a 10″ tart dish. Chill before baking. Blind bake partly. Well, in the sense that it’s just half cooked. Bake at 180 for about 15-20 minutes
  2. For the filling. Boil milk and cream. Pour over chocolate and stir to melt. Add egg and stir till well combined. Pour into tart mould and bake at 150 C till set (8-10 minutes). When it sets, it wouldn’t be wobbly if you shake it. Like, creme brulee. Put in fridge to cool. Demould and serve with fresh raspberries. Or, just plainly dust it with icing sugarr

dark chocolate tart with raspberry

Cheers.

CNY Baking : Pineapple Tarts (Nastar Rolls)

I made this last year, and again this year. Since I injured my thumb after I cooked the pineapple jam, I asked my brother to help me ‘squeeze’ the nastar roll out because I couldn’t actually put on any pressure on my left thumb for the first 5 days. I know, it’s that bad.

So still managed to do everything. Everyone asked me, why I still want to make the pineapple tarts after I have injured my thumb. My only answer was… “Then how? What am i going to do with the rolled pineapple jam ? Give spoon and bread to everyone and ask them to spread it? HAHAHA” In  a funny way of course.

Pineapple Nastar - Chinese new Year

(photos taken at night, not that great)

I do find this easier to make as it requires lesser steps (measuring the individual dough) and well, really it needed only 4 ingredients; butter, condensed milk, egg yolk, flour. But I added a little bit more; vanilla, salt, cream. The original recipe was adapted from Sonia. and since I needed to use up the real (not laden with palm oil kernel) condensed milk which I bought from HK, you can say these pineapple tarts were made with real stuffs.

So for this year, I made jam out from 6 Morris Pineapple, which yielded about 2kg of jam only. This recipe uses 1 kg of jam, which yields about 150-170 pcs pineapple tarts. Feel free to ratio it.

nastar pineapple tart

 

Also, to make these nastar rolls, you would need this tool. And you just put in some dough, press it out with your thumb. Each push yields a roll enough for 1 pineapple roll. These were my brother’s hands. And also because his pressure was stronger, These rolls were thicker compared to last year! Here’s a photo to show you the difference. Here’s the link to the video on how to roll and shape the Nastar http://instagram.com/p/jtC6ZCOohr/

pineapple tart - comparisionLast year, I pressed it, hence my pressure was lighter and I pulled the dough faster, hence it looks a tad thinner. This year, my bro pressed with a stronger pressure and pulled the dough very slowly, hence the roll is thicker. I also think that for Nastar rolls, it’s better not to overcook the jam as it is exposed (at the sides when baking) and it will dry the jam out.

So note to self:

If making enclosed version; make sure the jam is cooked well

If making nastar or any exposed version; make sure the jam is slightly under so it doesn’t over bake.

nastar pineapple rolls - chinese new year cookie

CNY Baking : Pineapple Tarts (Nastar Rolls)
 
Serves: 150 pieces
Ingredients
  • 570g unsalted butter
  • 150g condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 855g all purpose flour
  • 50ml cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 kg pineapple jam, rolled in small rounds, about 6g
  • 2 yolks for egg wash
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and condensed milk to creamy. Add in egg yolks, one at a time and mix.
  2. Add in flour and salt in batches to the butter mixture. It should just come together, then remove from mixer and lightly knead with hands.
  3. If the dough is feels dry (splits when u press the nastar roll out), add some cream and mix with hands again.
  4. Press dough out and roll in the pineapple jam. Cut any excess dough.
  5. Brush with egg yolk.
  6. Bake at 170 for 18 minutes or till golden brown.

 

Pineapple Tart - Nastar shape

 

Best eaten fresh out from the oven, OR let it cure for 24 hours, so the taste of butter and pineapple blends in well.

 

 

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