Everything Has Its Time

>> Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;

A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;

A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:2-8

A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Prov 16:9


Peach tarts

>> Thursday, July 9, 2009

Peach tarts are yummy...

My first (trial) attempt in making them.

It was definitely hard to find a satisfying peach tart recipe on the net.

The closest one that I could get was from Anna Olsen's Fresh Fig and Honey Tarts. Instead of putting figs, I put peach instead.

I would say that first attempt of making this tart was pretty good.
Anna's recipe has always worked well for me.

[ Anna Olsen is a pastry chef from the tv show SUGAR, how I wish it's on normal tv.]

Kneading dough, chill it in the fridge for about an hour then take it out and roll it to tart cases and chill it again, fork holes on the cases, before baking it.

Bake it for 10-15 mins untill the edges are browned. Take it out and let it cool.

I think I put too much butter in it, in the recipe, it says one cup, which I googled, is equivalent to 225g. Being so smart myself,other words, lazy, I chucked the whole stick, 250 g of butter in.

That's probably the reason my tart turned out to be a bit crumbly, too crumbly.

And remember, ONLY take it out when the tarts are cool completely, Don't be impatient, like me.


It has to be handled with care.

Cooking custard....

At a point of time, I was addicted to custard, custard bun, tarts with custard, anything with custard!!

I never knew, custard was just cooking, milk, cream, sugar and eggs.... yummy... reminds me the resemblance of how western meets east, how my grandma's "Kaya" was made.

Not anymore...

Piping the custard into the cases.

crumbly ones, stacked up high.. GET OUT OF THE WAY.

slicing peaches and arranging them, was trying to do a swirl on the peaches but couldn't..

and then the peaches ran out, the next best thing available lying on the kitchen bench.. CHERRIES!!!

was trying to arrange them into a flower petal shape.. but obviously, don't think it went well...

it's okay.. I'll eat the cherry ones myself!!

added a layer of glaze of top on the tart for a bit of shine.

I used rose petal jelly instead of a normal gelatine as glaze because I didn't have gelatine at home and just because I wanted to use this jelly, bought from Ashcombe maze last term break.

ta da... arranged nicely on the plate (at least to me)

three in a row

ta da... a lonely one all by itself...

lonesome one

second MASS attempt : SUNDAY

Tribute to those who did not survive the whole journey in transforming into a peach tart.

Recipe for Peach Tarts

(adapted and changed from Anna Olsen's Fig and Honey tart)


  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 x large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 x vanilla bean
  • 7 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 x large egg
  • 1 x large egg yolk


  • can peaches or as desired

To Assemble

  1. For pastry, cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Add egg yolks and almond extract and blend. Stir in flour and salt and mix just until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 1 minute. Wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough again for 1 minute. Divide dough into pieces and line them on tart pans with the dough, trim rough edges and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Prick crust bottom with a fork and bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and centre of shell is dry. Allow to cool before filling. Tip: only take them out of the pan when is cooled or else they will break.
  4. For custard, heat almond milk, whipping cream and scraped seeds of vanilla bean to just below a simmer. In a bowl, whisk sugar, cornstarch, honey, egg and egg yolk to blend. Gradually add heated milk to egg mixture, whisking constantly until all milk has been added. Return milk to pot and stir with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon over medium heat until it thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and scrape immediately into a bowl. Cover surface of custard with plastic and cool completely. Once cooled, whisk custard and spoon into cooled tart shells, spreading evenly.
  5. For fruit, cut peaches ( I used can peaches) into thinner slices, to allow for easier arrangement. Then layer it with a glaze of gelatin. Chill until ready to serve.


Masterchef INSPIRED day

>> Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Inspired by the current "IT" reality tv show, MASTERCHEF, we had our very first "Masterchef Day"

Everything made from scratch, starting from buying the ingredients ourselves from no other than, Safeway to eating it.

Menu for the day, two entrees, two mains and, to end the day, with, two desserts.

People were divided into teams but as time when went by, everyone was around doing bits of pieces of everything!!!



My first attempt in wrapping dumplings, don't really know how to wrap one.

I just simply, anyhow, with the advice from R, fold the edges together.

Filling:pork and prawn and other stuff.

Cooked the dumplings in two ways. fried and boiled, served with an "intuition" made sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil and GARLIC.

For some reason, this time, for once, I prefer boiled dumplings.


Spring Rolls (aka Spring onions to some).

Filling: pork and carrot (from what I remembered)

It is so easy for some to mistake spring rolls as spring onions and being able say it so smoothly, without realising it; and influence others to say it as norm.
The spring roll was made with a twist. Instead of deep-frying it, it was baked, (those health conscious ones, they are healthy ) so the meat had to be cooked slightly beforehand. With a layer of egg-wash on top, chucked it in the oven.
It didn't however turned out crispy//


Pumpkin and Chicken Risotto.

the name sums up the main ingredients for you....

This is my personal favourite out of all the dishes. "ichiban"

Presentation maybe not be at its best, but seriously, I could finish the whole bowl ALL by MYSELF!!

I just LOVE Risotto!!


Fettuccine Carbonara.

yum, yum, This main is such a classic, all time favourite.

Only critism, the pasta is not as al dente as I expect it to be :P


The most highly respectable,looked-forward, Chocolate Fondant

However, this dessert is not that approachable.

Getting it all cooked outside AND the inside.

The look of it was superb, though it sank not long after.. sigh..

Not glooey in the middle, though there was ONE in the batch that turned out glooey.. HURRAY, but the lucky girl, didn't liked it glooey!!!!

Verdict: Worth second try.


Blueberry crumble cake.

BLUEBERRIES.... who can ever get enough of blueberries? I
f I would have to feed from one fruit in the world it would have to be bluebeerrriiieessss!!

Actually, take that back, I still love my figs and peaches!!!!

Again: don't judge a book by its cover. The taste is actually pretty good...
Verdict: Worth second try too!!!

At the end of the day, DISHES!!!! All piled up for us to wash...

wish, wish, wash, wash....finally done..

all just sat down and stared at each other.
Wait, we need to vote what the best dishes are!!!!

sounds of drum rolls..... the winner for today's masterchef kitchen.....goes to.. RISOTTO!!!!

hip hip hooray....(though I did not cook it at all, except chopping up the ingredients)

"We're going to continue this next holiday, yea? YEA!!!"

What a long and tiring day.

And hence, they say,

"You can never say a person can't cook, unless she really can't cook!"

courtesy to D.Wirjowarpiro


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