Tag Archives: Vanilla Extract

Tarte Fromage

cheese cake

I had been having a great time over the weekend although I have been struggling for time. I have been baking macarons with a great group of students of mine, some budding up coming young chefs from UITM, some were excited baby bakers and some got too interested yet excited with macarons. All of them did very well and all the macarons baked was a success, non cracks, all just perfect! You gals were awesome, now I am waiting with less stress for their home results, gosh! I am already excited, definitely my mobile and email will be flooded this coming weeks, and I hope not! :)

I was also had been busy sculpturing a two tier 50th birthday cake which came out to be gorgeous it was finished with black and red in colour. The feedback was truly positive, they like it! Then I had an australian cafe food excursion near my place and it was awesomely gorgeous. I truly love the burgers and salad yet it was so affordable. I can’t give you much details of it as Sidny will be reviewing it on his food blog soon.

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Lemon Meringue Tarlets


Lemon Meringue Tarlets

For the Crust:

¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
? cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:

2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup (60 mL) butter
¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

5 egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.To bake the dough, position rack in oven to the centre of oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.

To finish tartlets, first place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 425ºF.

Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.
Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartlet, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks. Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.








I am now very hungry waiting for my next challenge, as fears had been overcome!

Big Boys Oven

Toasted Almond and Strawberry Jam Cookies Sandwiches

The shape of these jam-filled almond cookie sandwiches is limited only by your choice of cookie cutters, circles, rectangles, heart and stars are all good choice. If no cookies cutters, just cut the dough into neat rectangules or squares. The top cookie has a hole cut of its centre and is sprinkled with powdered sugar, so the bright jam shines though a white sugar-dusted top. Seedless rasberry, blueberry or blackberry jam make other good filling choices.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (monin syrup)
3/4 teasppon almond extract (monin syrup)
1 cup (about 4 ounces) whole blanched almonds toasted and finely ground
6 tablespoons strawberry jam

Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and 3/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth and slightly lightened in color, about 1 minue. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On slow speed, mix in the vanilla, almond extract, and ground almonds. Mix in the flour mixture just until the flour is incorporated and the dough holds together.

Divide the dough in half and form into two 6-inch disks. Warp each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough until it is cold and firm enough to roll, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator. Put the dough between 2 large sheets of wax paper and roll it into a rectangle about 12 by 8 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top piece of wax paper and discard it. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 3 1/2 inch circles (or any shape you like) from the dough, leaving the cookies on the wax paper. Turn the wax paper over, peel off the paper and use a metal spatula to help palce the circles 1 inch apart on one of the preparedbaking sheets. (The cookies do not spread much.) Set aside the dough scraps. Using 2 clean pieces of wax paper, roll and cut the second piece of dough. Gather together all of the dough scraps, forming a smooth disk, and repeat the rolling and cutting process. You should have 20 cookies.

Cut a 1 inch circle (or other shape) from the centre of half of the cookies and remove these circles from the cookies (the wide end of a pastry tube works well for cutting the circles). The dough “holes” can be baked along with the cookies for snacks.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the edges are light brown and the tops firm, about 18 minutes. Cool the cookies for 15 minutes on the baking sheets, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Turn the cookies without the holes botttom side up. Leaving a 1/4 inch edge, spread a rounded teaspoon of jam over each one. Sift powdered sugar over the cookies with the hole and place them on top of the jam-covered cookies.

The cookie sandwiches can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

I love and adore this cookies as the scent of almond will bring the freshness in you and sweetness of jam makes you feel so divine. I hope you will give it a go soon as festive season is just so near.

Big Boys Oven

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