Making French Silk Pie
Almost a fortnight ago, I received an e-mail from a Sonja Schmitt and she wrote, and I quote:
“Help, help, oh lord Jesus, where has the chocolate silk pie recipe gone? i wanted to write it down for a friend of mine who’s going to get married in June. can you save her wedding by sending me the recipe? ;) would be so nice
greetings from Dresden,Germany”
Now the chocolate silk pie in question is actually this pie;
a recipe I posted a few years back and have since taken down because of the low quality images. Now I’d hate to be the cause for the possible demise of someone’s wedding, so I urgently, sensibly and responsibly replied with:
“Oh noes! Whatever will I do to avert this crisis? :D
And so come about this recipe post that might look a little rushed, but rest assured, I had the best intentions. Oh and before I forget, this recipe comes with a **WARNING: it contains raw eggs, so don’t feed it to the very young, the very old, the expecting mothers and those who are immuno-compromised. I’m going to include an alternative recipe that’s vegan friendly, should you want to give that a try instead. You can use a pre-made crust for this, or make your own if you feel like it.
PIE CRUST (recipe from Simply Recipes)
[ 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour + 1 cup cold, unsalted butter - cut into cubes + 1 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon sugar + 6-8 tablespoon cold water ]
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie plate; set aside
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. Add a little more water and pulse again if the dough doesn’t hold together.
Remove dough from machine and gently shape the dough mixture into two disks. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down to line the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
Put a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom and fill it with baking beans or rice or any dried beans you have to keep it from shrinking while it bakes.
Bake blind for 20 minutes, take out the pie crust and remove the aluminium foil with the beans or rice. Bake again for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Now make the pie filling:
FRENCH SILK PIE:
[ 4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled + 1 cup salted butter, softened + 1-1/2 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 4 eggs ] OPTIONAL: Whipped cream and chocolate shavings for topping.
Beat sugar and butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 6-7 minutes.
Add the melted (and cooled!) chocolate and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add eggs two at a time, beating 5 minutes after each addition.
Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Add filling to cooled pie crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight - all that graininess you taste will magically disappear!) and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
and here’s the vegan alternative:
VEGAN FRENCH SILK PIE (recipe from Connoisseur for the Cure)
[ 13 ounces semisweet chocolate chips + 1/3 cup coffee liqueur + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1 12.3 ounce package silken tofu, drained + 1 tablespoon agave ]
Melt the chocolate chips with the coffee liqueur and vanilla in a metal bowl over simmering water, or in a double boiler.
Stir frequently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the tofu, chocolate mixture, and agave to the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Process the mixture until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the work bowl as needed to make sure the ingredients are fully mixed. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Whoops! It looks like someone got a little too excited and spilled the whipped cream. Lots of it. On the pie. Thinking that it would make a good picture. Take note folks - be patient and whip that cream first!
Meh, it happened again. Oh well.
Enjoy! (and best wishes to your friend, Sonja!)
Cavatelli lunghi. orecchiette. cavatelli. tortellone. cappelletti. gnocchetti, all handmade by Linda Pugliese.
Here are the things that I always have in my kitchen:
Carb fest, grains and whatnots:
I always have potatoes, rice (brown and white), dried pasta, varieties of noodles (egg noodles, rice noodles), lentils and couscous in my kitchen. Flours are always on standby (glutinous rice flour, rice flour, corn flour, potato starch and the everyday normal All-purpose).
Once that’s covered, I also have an arsenal of spices - dried, powdered, fresh - the whole shebang. To name a few: garlic, ginger and onions (fresh and dried), basil, a few varieties of hot chili peppers, spring onions, lime, coriander, cumin and cinnamon.
Next up: condiments. These include soy sauce, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), hot sauce, mustards, chili oil, sesame oil, black and white vinegar, Korean black bean paste and fermented red pepper paste.
Last but not least - milks! I always have a can of condensed milk stashed somewhere, coconut milk, rice milk and the usual jug of low fat milk.
***Other must haves: Eggs, dried anchovies, dried shrimp, yeast, nori/dried seaweed sheets, dried mushrooms, bars of dark and milk chocolate, honey, nuts (almonds and cashews are my go-tos). Beansprouts, carrots and cabbages comes as a default with the fridge.
Thanks for asking!
NB: Some things are not mentioned because everyday staples; cereal, bread, a bunch of greens and vegetables (spinach, string beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cukes etc.) and a big jar of Nutella, for example, I’ll just assume everybody already have sitting in the kitchen.
Making Ginger Fried Rice
It’s Mother’s day. You have just hours to decide how to honor the most important woman in your life. Whether it slipped your mind or you’re still indecisive as to what to make, here’s a last minute recipe that will put a great start to the day. It takes a mere 30 minutes to make, less if you’ve got leftover rice from a recent Chinese takeout night. If you’re cooking the rice fresh, here are some tips to make sure it isn’t too soggy:
- When the cook time is done, leave the rice undisturbed in the pot (uncovered) for 5 minutes.
- Spread the rice on a tray (or two) to dry out. While you prep the rest of the ingredients, put it by an open window or a fan, or pop the tray in the fridge or freezer if you have room.
Happy Mother’s day, mummies! (and a big thank you to those who answered my Mother’s day cooking question - here’s wishing you a good one!)
[ 1/2 cup peanut oil + 2 tablespoons minced garlic + 2 tablespoons minced ginger + salt + 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried + 4 cups day-old cooked rice (or see note above) + 4 large eggs + 2 teaspoons sesame oil + 4 teaspoons soy sauce ]
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.
Using the same oil, reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add the leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt.
Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. Season to taste with salt.
In a nonstick skillet fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.
Divide rice among four dishes. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil or chili oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce and top each with an egg. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and serve.
Making Gahmja-Jeon (감자전) / Korean Potato Pancakes
Some days all I wish for is to have someone to help me in the kitchen. I don’t mean to chop or to wash the dishes, but someone with nice looking hands (and forearms) who’ll be patient enough to act out the stirring and pouring actions while I take pictures.
One would say that the logical thing to do is to ask my sister for help, but since I like to get an early start on things while she chooses to snooze half the weekend away, it’ll be about noon when I can actually ask her to pretend to chop some onions without her grumbling. Her hands are not exactly of the dainty variety, but beggars can’t be choosers.
But then again, as I listened to her sing Bublé’s “Home” in what she believes is Michael Bolton’s voice while I’m trying to concentrate on getting the right photo, I say to myself that things are not so bad the way they are right now.
[ 2-3 medium sized potatoes + a small handful of chopped Chinese leeks or spring onion +1 chili pepper, thinly sliced + ¼ teaspoon salt +1 tablespoon flour ]
Peel the potatoes and grate them on a fine grater or cut into cubes and throw in a food processor.
**If you want it to be chewy and soft, thoroughly process it so it’s very soft. If you want it to have some more texture, grind a little bit coarse. But either way, it has to be a pretty creamy texture when you grind it.
Put the grated potatoes in a strainer and let the water drain out into another bowl. The less watery it is, the crunchier it will be.
Let the liquid sit for a couple of minutes. You’ll find that some potato starch has settled at the bottom of the bowl of the liquid. Throw out the water and then mix the settled potato starch back into your batter. Add the Chinese leeks or some spring onions, pepper slices, salt and flour to the pureed potato. Mix well.
In a generously oiled and heated pan,put a scoop of the potato mix in. You can adjust the size of the pancake to your liking. Use a spatula to spread it out and make a nice flat circle.
Cook the pancake until the bottom is browned and then flip and cook the other side. You want your pancakes to be golden yellow or brown so they are crispy.
Serve warm with a dipping sauce - I used a mixture of chili oil, soy sauce, vinegar and some chopped spring onions.
Making Toblerone Cheesecake
When Brigid from DIGITAS first e-mailed and told me about “Snack Hack”, a project where you create a dish using two or more Mondelēz International (formerly known as Kraft foods Inc.) products to add to the already drool-worthy spread at Snackworks, the first thing that came to mind was,”I got to make me some S’mOreos!”.
Think about it - it could have an oreo base and smooth, melted toblerones sandwiched with some ooey-gooey marshmallows.
Too bad Rob from Go Cook Yourself beat me to it. As a result, I made a more subtle approach; a chocolate cheesecake. In the past I have expressed my dislike of chocolate cheesecakes. The combination just doesn’t do it for me, but the nougat in a bar of Toblerone might just do the trick. And don’t worry about slaving away scraping off the filling from the Oreos - just put the whole darn thing in a food processor and whizz away.
NO-BAKE TOBLERONE CHEESECAKE(serves 6-8):
[14-16 Oreo biscuits + 1/4 cup butter, melted + 500 grams of cream cheese, softened at room temperature + 1/2 cup sugar + 2 bars of 200gr Toblerone chocolate, divided + 1/2 cup heavy cream ]
Crush the Oreo into crumbs (filling included, just whizz the whole thing in a food processor or put it inside a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin)and add melted butter.
Mix until it has the consistency of wet sand. Press onto bottom of a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan (or a cake tin lined with cling film, leaving extra on the rim for tags) and chill for 30 minutes.
Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer for 5 minutes. Add sugar and melted Toblerone and heavy cream. and continue beating until well combined. Roughly chop some Toblerone chocolate and fold into the batter.
Pour onto the prepared crumb base and return to the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours.
To serve, roughly chop the remainder bar of Toblerone and scatter on top. You can also drizzle some melted chocolate, if you like.
Matcha Dorayaki (recipe)
Making Matcha Dorayaki
What I know is this: the perfect pancake is a Japanese dorayaki. It is light and fluffy, not overly sweet and doesn’t become soggy or floppy when cold. The traditional dorayaki requires that it be stuffed with red bean paste, but nowadays anything goes. Chocolate, whipped cream, jam? Whatever you like.
I thought this was needed to make up for the previous post. Some have mentioned that this blog is part angst, part satire and parked right in the macabre spectrum in terms of food photography (although that to me doesn’t sound that bad). Let me just say this: some days it takes hours to formulate a post where I have to actually think of what I’m going to write. Some days, like today, the words were taking form in my head as I was putting a layer of cling film on the batter and stashing it in the fridge. I can already see the sequence of photos as I was licking the whisk clean. It comes and goes in waves.
MATCHA DORAYAKI (makes 4 dorayaki sandwich):
Sift flour, matcha and baking powder into the bowl and mix. Keep in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
Stir in ½ tablespoon of water at a time to get the right consistency. You should be able to make slowly-forming ribbons with the whisk.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium-low to medium heat. Dip a paper towel in oil and coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. The pan should be slightly oiled but shouldn’t be visible, so you’ll have a dorayaki with an evenly browned surface.
With a ladle, drop the batter from 1 foot above the pan to create 3 inch diameter “pancakes”.
When you see the surface of batter starts to bubble, flip over and cook the other side. Transfer to a plate and cover up with damp towel to prevent from drying.
Sandwich two dorayaki with whatever filling you like. I filled mine with some whipped cream and blueberry compote.Whatever filling you choose, put more of it in the center so the shape of Dorayaki will be curved (middle part should be higher).
Wrap in cling film until you are ready to serve.