All what I want now is to have the ingredients to make this pie again, the beautifully rustic and tasty Pastiera. I made the pie for Easter after getting all the needed ingredients from our trip to Italy. Sadly that’s the only time I was able to make it up to now.
The main ingredients: Grano cotto (cooked wheat grains) and millefiori (flower essence). The Paneangelli is a type of baking powder, I bought it just because I’ve seen it in some of Laura’s recipes. Regular baking powder can be used instead
There were so many recipes for Pastiera out there. The one I used was from Laura Vitale, my very favorite Youtube chef. I found a quicker recipe by Gennaro Contaldo (another awesome Italian Youtube chef), but I didn’t have any ingredients to try it out. It took nearly 3 days to make the pie but it was so worth it. I literally saw a friend licked the plate after finishing his serving, at I’d never felt so happy and flattered.
The smell of millefiori essence, in combination of the orange zest, penetrated throughout the filling, creating a distinctive taste that this pie is known for.
I miss my student days, I truly do.
I was inspired to make these cupcakes after watching Cupcake Jemma’s “Earl Grey cupcakes”. I didn’t have any Earl Grey tea on hand, but there’s always a pack of Twinings Lady Grey sitting on the shelf, so I used it. This is also my most favorite tea ever, with that lovely citrus scent that is unparalleled by any other teas (to me).
I haven’t made any cupcakes for months so I was kinda excited. I didn’t have much butter left so I went for a cupcake recipe using oil, and saved the butter for the buttercream. I’ve used this recipe by Glorious treats for years, and so far it’s the best oil-based cupcake recipe I’ve tried.
To make a tea flavored cupcake, I put 3 tea bags into 1/6 cup of plus 4 tablespoons of milk, and gently heated it on the stove until the milk slightly simmered. I pressed the tea bags with the back of my spoon to get the most tea out of them. Take 1/6 cup of milk out to use in the cupcake base, the remaining 4 tablespoons will be used for the buttercream.
Cupcake base (adapted from Glorious treats) (I reduced the original recipe in half):
|1/2 and 1/8 cup cake flour (I use 1/2 cup flour and 1/8 cup corn flour)
1/4 and 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
Pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/6 cup tea-infused milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I recommend straining the yogurt through a sieve hours before use to reduce liquid)
|* Preheat oven to 350*F/ 175*C.
* In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
* In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil, beat.
* Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add the milk, then the rest of the flour and the yogurt. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
* The batter will be thin. Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
* Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes.
* Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
(adapted from Glorious Treats)
I only had around 160g butter left from previous baking, so I used this amount. I honestly never follow any recipe when it comes to buttercream, because they all make buttercream too sweet to my liking. So I tend to eyeball the amount of sugar every time I make buttercream. For this amount, I started from 1/4 cup powder sugar and then adjust when needed.
|160g butter, room temperature (I used a salted one)
Powder sugar, starting with 1/4 cup and go from there.
4 tablespoon tea-infused milk
|* Beat butter with a hand mixer in medium speed for a minute. Then reduce the speed and add the powder sugar. Beat for 30 seconds to incorporate the sugar and the butter, then turn to high speed and beat until creamy smooth. Scrape down the bowl if needed, using a spatula. Adjust the amount of sugar to taste.
* Add the milk, one by one and taste as you go. You may not need all of the milk. But don’t worry, if the buttercream becomes runny, place it in the fridge and it’ll thicken easily.
- Cupcakes, cooled
- Orange peel jam (optional, but recommended)
- Tea syrup (very strong tea boiled with sugar until liquid evaporates, optional)
- Roasted nuts (again, optional)
Poke a hole in the middle of the cupcake horizontally (I always use the spoon handle for this task. Since the cake is so soft, it’s very easy to poke holes.) Fill the holes with jam. Pipe buttercream swirls to cover the holes. Drizzle tea syrup on the cream, sprinkle roasted nuts on top and enjoy.
Somehow I didn’t use up all of the buttercream, I still had 95g left, so I added 80g flour + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to it and mixed well. Bake at 170*C for 12 minutes and you get some delicious Lady Grey cookies! I placed some jam and an almond on top of each cookies, but you can leave them out.
Choux (cream puffs) is a simple dessert that I absolutely adore. What makes cream puffs triumphs over other sweet treats, I think, is simplicity. The shells are so easy to make and require only few ingredients, the filling options is undoubtedly endless: from plain whipped cream to a little more complicated pastry cream (either plain or flavored). My friends tend to enjoy cream puffs with pastry cream, while I personally like the the same one with whipped cream on top. My mom loves these little treats regardless of the filling, that’s why I tend to be more excited to bake these.
|CRAQUELIN – Vỏ Craquelin
The cracked top of the shells is achieved using craquelin, this recipe I saved from a German baking book a while ago:
|Mix the butter and sugar together until smooth, no need to cream the butter too long. Add the flour and mix well. The dough will be very dense.
Roll the dough out to about 2mm thick on a flat surface lined with parchment paper. Use a round cooker cutter of ~3.5-4cm in diameter, cut the dough into round pieces, but do not take them out yet.
Freeze the whole sheet of dough with pre-cut rounds intact until firm (~15 mins).
|Trộn bơ và đường cho mịn, không cần trộn quá lâu. Thêm bột mì và trộn đều. Bột sẽ rất đặc.
Cán bột ra một mặt phẳng có lót giấy nến chống dính, cán bột dày khoảng 2mm. Dùng khuôn cắt bánh quy đường kính 3.5- 4cm để cắt bột thành các miếng tròn, tuy nhiên không gỡ miếng bột tròn ra vội.
Cho vào ngăn đá toàn bộ miếng bột có cả các miếng tròn vừa cắt, để đến khi cứng (khoảng 15’).
|CREAM PUFF SHELLS – Vỏ bánh su kem
This recipe for the shells is adapted from the recipe for Courtesan au Chocolat, from “The Grand Budapest hotel” (awesome movie!), you can find the instructions here
|Bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil. Remove from fire and quickly mix in the sifted flour.
Return to heat for a few minutes, stirring, and cook until the dough forms a single lump. Allow to cool just enough to keep the eggs from cooking and stir in very gradually with a strong wooden spoon. (*handheld electric whisk works better here)
Pipe the dough into medium dollops on the baking tray. (*the size of a pingpong ball is ok)
|Cho nước, bơ, muối và đường vào nồi đun sôi. Khi vừa sôi lập tức tắt bếp, rây bột mì vào nồi và trộn.
Đặt nồi lên bếp và bật lửa nhỏ, khuấy liên tục đến khi bột không dính đáy nồi thì tắt bếp. Nhấc nồi ra khỏi bếp và khuấy cho đến khi bột còn ấm, cho trứng vào và đánh đều cho bột mịn. (bước này có thể dùng máy đánh trứng ).
Bơm bột thành các viên tròn lên khay nướng. (*kích cỡ khoảng bằng quả bóng bàn là được)
|ASSEMBLE AND BAKE – Chuẩn bị để nướng|
|Take the craquelins which has firmed up out of the freezer.
Take each round piece out of the dough sheet, and place it on top of the piped cream puff dollops.
Bake at 180*C for 27-30 mins. Let cool completely.
|Lấy miếng bột craquelin đã để đông ra khỏi tủ lạnh.
Gỡ các miếng bột tròn ra và đặt từng miếng đó lên các viên bột bánh su.
Nướng ở nhiệt độ 180*C trong 27-30 phút. Để nguội hoàn toàn.
|COFFEE PASTRY CREAM – Kem bánh su|
|For the pastry cream, you can either use the custard powder, or make it from scratch. Some great recipes I’ve tried: joyofbaking, epicurious, foodwishes.
Start adding the instant coffee powder to the pastry cream, taste as you go until it reaches your desired taste
|Có thể sử dụng bột custard làm sẵn để làm kem bánh su, hoặc có thể sử dụng một số công thức kem bánh phổ biến như của joyofbaking, epicurious, foodwishes. Các công thức này mình đã từng thử và thấy rất ngon.
Sau khi làm xong kem bánh, từ từ thêm bột cà phê hòa tan vào. Nếm cho đến khi vừa miệng.
|ASSEMBLE – Trình bày|
|Cut off the top of the cream puff shells (around 1cm from the top) using a serrated knife, pipe the coffee pastry cream inside until it totally fills the shell.
Pipe freshly whipped cream to cover the coffee cream, preferably using a star tip.
Place the cap we just cut off on top of the whipped cream frosting and enjoy.
|Dùng dao có răng cưa cắt phần trên của vỏ bánh su (khoảng 1cm tính từ đỉnh). Bơm kem cà phê vào đến khi đầy vỏ.
Bơm kem tươi đã đánh bông phủ kín phần kem cà phê, nên dùng đui kem hình sao sẽ đẹp hơn.
Gắn lại phần mũ bánh vừa cắt lên trên phần kem tươi và thưởng thức.
Another episode of Freeing the fridge 😀 This dish doesn’t require too many ingredients, just the essentials for any regular pasta dish:
- Spaghetti (enough for 2)
- Tomato sauce (my super simple recipe can be found here)
- A medium-sized eggplant
- Olives, chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed or sliced
- Olive oil, salt, pepper and basil
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
Boil water and some salt to cook the spaghetti. The pasta takes about 8-10 mins to cook, depends on the instruction on the pasta package.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic while the oil is still cold. That way, the garlic can release more flavor as the oil is heating up. Meanwhile, slice the eggplant into roughly 0.5 cm thick slices.
When the garlic starts to turn very lightly golden brown, add the eggplant to the pan. The spongy eggplant, just like mushroom, will absorb quite a lot of oil, so adjust the amount of oil as needed. I recommend using a non-stick pan as it helps to stir the eggplant easier. Stir the eggplant only once in a while, let it sear a little bit to develop some color. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the eggplant becomes soft, but still holds its shape.
Add the tomato sauce to barely cover the eggplant and cook for about 8-10 mins. Stir occasionally until the sauce is thick. Add the chopped olives and Parmesan cheese (if using).
Add the drained spaghetti into the eggplant sauce with the torn basil leaves and stir well. Transfer to a plate and serve.
To me, eggplant is one of the best vegetable. I think I have mentioned this once or twice. I used to despise it in my mom’s eggplant soup as it becomes mushy very quickly, and almost melts into the broth. My mom said it is the way it should be cooked. Later I found out that it is because of the type of eggplant used in Vietnam is different from the one I found here. The “foreign” eggplant is longer while ours is round, and is firmer in texture so it can keep the shape better. I used the long eggplant to cook the same soup last year, I fell in love almost instantly. Still the same taste and flavor, and even with the eggplant being cooked for a while, I can feel the texture of it. It’s funny to think that something I use to hate so much is now my best comfort food. It has become one of our favorite dishes to make on a wintery day ever since.
This dish is perfect for vegetarian, too!
Can’t believe the my last post was nearly a year ago 😀 How time flies…
I always have a special love for pasta, and to be honest I’ve lived off of this delicious Italian staple since I got back to Marburg last month. This thing is so so versatile, and there’re a million ways to cook it and it will taste good. I just want to take my little time left here in Germany to explore and try as many pasta recipes as I could, since this can be super pricey in my country to buy Italian ingredients.
The dish I made today actually came from everything I had left in the fridge. I did not eat decently these days and my boyfriend seemed to be unhappy about it. My thesis defense finally finished this morning. It ended well, and I thought I deserve some good food. I had pasta, some cubed bacon, button mushroom and whipping cream, those were enough for a good pasta dish in my opinion. I was so hungry I didn’t want to slice any onions or garlic, but if I have time I’d definitely use them. They add tons of flavor.
I didn’t measure exactly anything, just eyeballed the ingredients here. My intention was to use up everything I had left before the next trip to the supermarket
- Spaghetti (enough for 2)
- About 1/3 cup of cubed bacon
- 100g or more of button mushroom, sliced
- Parmesan cheese (optional) and whipping cream (I used about 1/4 cup)
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
Boil water with some salt and cook the spaghetti. This can take from 8-10 mins.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the pan with medium heat and cook the bacon. I just want to make the bacon softer, not crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a bowl and use the same pan to cook the mushroom.
Add olive oil and stir fry the mushroom. Mushroom absorbs quite a lot of oil, so adjust the oil if needed. Season with salt and LOTS of pepper (be careful to add enough salt, since the bacon is quite salty). When the mushroom is soft and turns light brown, put the bacon back into the pan, add some parmesan cheese and stir to melt.
The spaghetti should be cooked by then. Drain and add the spaghetti to the mushroom and bacon, and add cream. Immediately turn off the heat and combine them altogether. Add more pepper and parmesan if you like.
Simple, super flavorful and tasty! If you want to make the pasta creamier, just add more cream. Garnish with a sprig of basil and serve.
For some reasons, I think I have completely abandoned the habit of writing about things I cooked…
Normally, you hear people got bitten by a travel bug, but I think I just got bitten by a painting bug 🙂 I have been so captivated by painting little postcards these days, to the point that I could stick to my desk the whole day without being bothered by anything. Just the feeling of holding the pencils, the brushes is enough to wake me up instantly, and it brings joy to my face.
I love painting postcards. They come in just the perfect size for me, not too large, but not too small either. They are great gifts to be sent to your loved ones. And the best of all? You can never have the same painted postcards, each is different, which makes it a very unique thing.
(I got inspired by the beautiful cakes of Cakes by Cliff)
I get inspiration almost everywhere, from my own kitchen to the internet, esp. Instagram. There are plenty of extra, super talented bakers and artists to learn from there. My favorite bakers to follow are Cakes by Cliff and Katherine Sabbath (they are cake magicians I tell you!!). I’m also so thankful for being in Germany, where I’m literally surrounded by pastry shops and bakeries (which is true to anyone living in Europe).
Some of my postcards I have done so far:
Raspberry creme brulee
Choux creme (cream puffs) – inspired by Adirondack weddings. This postcard has been in a good hand of my cute friend in Sweden.
Vietnamese mooncakes, with my absolute favorite green tea filling
I try to practise everyday, hope I could go for more sophisticated drawings.
This post is certainly not about food. I just write it because I feel like it.
I have always a massive fan of colored pencils, may be since I was a very tiny little toddler. I could not recall the first time I got a box of colored pencils, but I could say I was overwhelmed with joy. I remember that during my childhood, Faber-Castell was sold quite popular in Vietnam, and I owned 1 box of the red Faber-Castell Classic colored pencils, and an Alligator pencils also from the same brand. The colors were brilliant, and I still think they are among the best colored pencils I’ve ever owned. I’m not sure why they were discontinued in VN. I later tried different brands like Marco, Staedler and Pentel, but I think they could not come close to Faber Castell, despite the same (or higher) price.
I abandoned that hobby for about several years and recently, to my surprise I have found a ‘massive’ interest in colored pencils again. I’m not quite sure when this interest came back in the first place, but I have been so indulged by it, to the point that I could stay the whole day in my room, bound to my desk and just draw draw draw.
I started with drawing bookmarks since the idea of drawing then coloring something huge is really intimidating, I failed to do that many times in the past, ruining loads of my childhood sketches. Bookmarks are very small, cute and can come in handy almost every time, and I’ve been enjoying painting them to bits.
I’ll move out, I’m so excited! My new room is shared with 2 other Germans, haven’t met them but I heard they’re nice (finger crossed). It’s at the top floor and is at the center of the city, so I could just walk to the uni, to the supermarket and the Oberstadt in minutes. No more chasing against the bus :)) I dropped my phone 2 times because of that. It’s actually an attic room with a big window overlooking the outside, and directly on top of my table so during summertime, I don’t think I’ll need a lamp until 9pm 😀
It’s a good change I think, the first of a lots of changes from now on.
Red Velvet cake with fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Red Velvet cake is such a luxurious cake that deserves to be on any party tables, I only make it as birthday cake because it’s so special. Come on, it only happens once a year right?
I got this super easy recipe from the “Everyday food by Sarah Carey” Youtube channel, and it literally blew me away. I didn’t follow her tomato sauce recipe and but used my own. The cheese was still bubbling when we took the dish out of the oven, and we couldn’t wait to give it a taste. I think if you like pasta, you’ll definitely love this dish.
INGREDIENTS – NGUYÊN LIỆU
|Pasta of your choice, preferably short pasta types||Mì Ý tuỳ thích, tốt nhất nên dùng loại nào ngắn|
|Mozzarella cheese, sliced||Pho mát mozzarella, cắt thành lát dày ~0.5cm|
|½ can of crushed tomato (=250g), or 4-5 very ripe fresh tomatoes||½ hộp cà chua xay (=250g) hoặc 4-5 quả cà chua tươi thật chín|
|3 cloves of Garlic and 1 small onion, chopped||3 tép tỏi và 1 củ hành tây nhỏ, thái nhỏ|
|Basil leaves, chopped||Lá húng quế, thái nhỏ|
|Salt and pepper, to taste||Muối, tiêu|
|Olive oil, or vegetable oil||Dầu ô-liu, hoặc dầu ăn|
|Dried oregano (optional, but recommended)||Lá oregano (tuỳ ý, nhưng rất nên có)|
|Half of a stock cube (optional)||Nửa viên súp (hoặc hoàn toàn có thể thay bằng hạt nêm, nếu dùng hạt nêm thì bỏ muối)|
METHOD – CÁCH LÀM
|Heat the olive oil in the pan over medium high heat and add the chopped onion, stir for a minute. Then add the garlic and the oregano (if using), stir altogether until very fragrant.
(*) The garlic burns faster than onion so it should be added afterwards.
|Đun nóng dầu ô-liu trong chảo, để lửa vừa. Cho hành tây thái nhỏ vào đảo đều trong khoảng 1 phút, sau đó cho tiếp tỏi băm và lá thơm oregano (nếu dùng) và đảo đến khi thơm.
(*) Tỏi băm chín rất nhanh vì vậy nên cho vào sau hành.
|Pour the crushed tomato into the pan, along with half of the stock cube (if using) and cook for several minutes until it comes to a boil. Stir in the chopped basil leaves. Taste the sauce before seasoning with salt and pepper.||Cho cà chua vào chảo, đun trong vài phút đến khi sôi. Cho lá húng quế thái nhỏ vào và đảo đều. Nêm nếm gia vị cho vừa miệng.|
|Turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta and the cubed mozzarella. Mix well.||Tắt bếp và trộn mì và pho mát cắt nhỏ (nếu dùng) vào sốt và trộn đều.|
|Immediately transfer the pasta into a casserole dish, or a small deep bottomed tray. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top, and pop into the oven, preferably on the higher rack (but not the top rack otherwise the cheese would burn).||Ngay lập tức đổ mì vào một khay nướng sâu lòng, xếp các lát pho mát phủ kín bề mặt mì và cho vào lò nướng. Nên cho vào rãnh trên (không phải trên cùng) khi nướng.|
|Bake for about 20 mins or until the cheese starts to develop a golden brown color.||Nướng trong khoảng 20 phút, hoặc đến khi thấy pho mát chín vàng là được.|
|Take it out of the oven and serve immediately||Lấy ra khỏi lò và dùng ngay.|
- 4 lá gelatin (hoặc bột agar – mình không dùng nên không rõ về khối lượng agar)
- Nước dừa tươi (mình dùng hộp 330ml)
- Đường (tuỳ ý, để nếm)
(*) Nếu thích ăn nhiều thạch hơn thì lưu ý tỷ lệ: cứ 1 lá gelatin sẽ làm đông được 100ml nước.
Ngâm gelatin vào bát nước lạnh khoảng 10’ cho mềm. Dùng tay bóp hết nước khỏi gelatin
Cho nước dừa vào bát, múc một ít nước dừa vào xoong cùng với đường và đun cho ấm, cho gelatin đã vắt hết nước vào khuấy tan, sau đó cho toàn bộ nước dừa gelatin đó lại vào bát nước dừa. Khuấy đều.
Đổ khoảng 1 muôi nước dừa ở trên vào khuôn (mình dùng bát to) rồi cho vào tủ lạnh để đông (mình cho vào ngăn đá cho nhanh), chỉ cần nước dừa se mặt là được để còn đặt kem caramel lên.
KEM CARAMEL (CHO 2 KHUÔN RAMEKIN CỠ TRUNG)
Đường thắng caramel:
- 2 tablespoon (24g) đường
- 1 tablespoon nước
Cho đường & nước vào xoong con và đun nóng. Tuyệt đối không khuấy mà chỉ nghiêng xoong để đường tan hết. Khi đường ngả màu hổ phách thì lập tức bắc ra khỏi bếp. Đổ đường vào khuôn, nghiêng khuôn để đường dàn đều dưới đáy.
- 1 trứng
- ¾ cup sữa tươi (180ml)
- 2 tablespoon đường
Đun nóng lò trước 150*C.
Đập trứng vào bát và đánh thật nhẹ tay để hạn chế trứng nổi bọt
Cho đường & sữa vào xoong và đun lửa nhỏ, chỉ đun đến khi thấy hơi sôi liu riu thì tắt bếp. Cho từng chút sữa một vào trứng đã đánh và khuấy liên tục cho đến khi hết sữa. Không đổ thẳng sữa nóng vào trứng vì có thể làm chín trứng.
Lọc hỗn hợp trứng & sữa qua một cái rây để tránh lợn cợn, dùng muôi múc vào khuôn đã tráng đường, nhẹ tay để tránh tạo bọt. Lấy giấy bạc bọc miệng khuôn để tránh hơi nước.
Cho 2 khuôn caramel vào một khuôn lớn hơn. Đổ nước sôi vào khuôn lớn sao cho ngâp khoảng ½ chiều cao khuôn caramel. Cho vào lò nướng 28’-30’ là chín. (*) Nếu hấp cách thuỷ thì hấp lửa nhỏ khoảng 17′-20′ là chín. Để lạnh hoàn toàn.
Khi kem caramel nguội và lớp thạch trong bát đã đông, dùng dao nhỏ lách thành khuôn để lấy kem ra. Đặt kem lên mặt thạch. Bước này hơi khó vì kem rất mềm, dễ vỡ nên cố gắng nhẹ tay. Nhớ úp đầu nhỏ hơn (có đường thắng) của caramel xuống dưới để khi lật ngược khuôn thì mặt đó ở bên trên.
Đổ dung dịch thạch dừa còn lại phủ ngập kem caramel rồi cho vào ngăn mát tủ lạnh. Để đông ít nhất 6 tiếng (với gelatin) hoặc tốt nhất là qua đêm. Nếu dùng agar thì thời gian đông sẽ rất nhanh kể cả ở nhiệt độ phòng, lỡ dung dịch hơi đông thì chỉ cần làm ấm là nó sẽ lỏng trở lại.
Ngày hôm sau chỉ cần ngâm bát thạch caramel vào nồi nước nóng khoảng 1-2′ là thạch sẽ róc khỏi khuôn. Úp đĩa lên mặt bát và lật ngược lại là lấy được thạch ra ngoài.
Món này rất dễ làm vì nguyên liệu dễ kiếm và không hề đắt, chỉ tốn thời gian đợi thạch đông mà thôi. Thạch dùng công thức này rất mềm, đưa vào miệng là tan ngay lập tức. Nếu thêm sữa dừa lên trên thì hương vị giống như thạch dừa Malaysia mình thường ăn hồi ở VN. Lưu ý nên ước lượng độ lớn của bát đựng thạch sao cho khi đổ thạch vào sẽ phủ kín được kem caramel bên trong.