Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
Sweet tart dough (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking)
- 1.5 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 110g very cold unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in food processor and pulse a couple of time to combine. I don't have a food processor, my mixer worked just fine.
- Scatter pieces of butter and pulse to combine
- Stir the yolk to break it up a little and pour into mixture
- The dough will barely hold together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped.
- Butter the tart pan and press the dough into the pan. Do this fairly quickly as the dough will start feeling oily in this heat of ours. Pop it into the freezer for at least half hour.
- Heat up the oven to 190C. Prick dough all over with a fork. Butter a piece of foil (shiny side) that is large enough to cover the pan. Place it firmly over the dough shiny side down and bake for 20-30 mins depending on your oven. Mine was a little too brown on one side.
- 2 cups milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup corn flour
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 60g unsalted butter, cut into smallish cubes
- Bring the milk to boil in a small saucepan
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of milk to temper the yolk mixture.
- Whisk in the rest of the milk and place pan over medium heat, whisking all the while. It will thicken quite suddenly. Don't worry if it looks very thick and "dry".
- Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for a few minutes before adding in chopped up cubes of butter. The mixture will become smooth and silky.
- Pour into container and place piece of cling wrap over to prevent a film forming. Refrigerate once cooled.
- Melt 125g of plain, dark or cooking chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of cream and whisk together. Don't worry if it seizes up, just keep whisking and it will become smooth and glossy again.
- Pour in ganache and spread evenly around the bottom and sides. Place in fridge to firm up quickly.
- The creme patisserie will be quite stiff from the fridge but a good whisk will restore it to its creamy glory. Pour into tart and level the top before placing strawberries on top.
- Dilute 1/3 cup of jam with 1 tsp water and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon or brush over the top of the strawberries. Voila!
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Saturday, May 01, 2010
There has been much hype about Bangsar Shopping Complex’s revamp. The blogosphere is alight with posts on new eats and of course the much talked about gourmet village. I’ve visited Kuriya and House & Co but I was most keen to try The Pressroom. I've heard mixed reviews and was keen to finally dine there. Initially I thought it was press as in news. After studying the logo, I realised it was the other press. Ah. See what preconceptions do to you? The décor is tastefully done and definitely draws in the more cash-rich crowd of suburbs nearby. The menu is a mixture of French and Italian dishes ranging from escargots to pizzas. It was lunch time and I wanted something simple. There is a separate lunch menu which didn't grab me so I lunged for the nicoise salad instead. A simple salad that can be super delicious if done well. ZY and Sis ordered the red snapper, seabass with ratatouille and squid ink risotto with scallops to share.
My side dish of seared butterfish pretending to be nicoise salad
I was pretty surprised when my salad arrived because it looked more like a side dish and where the hell was the nicoise in my salad? I did not order seared butterfish on a bed of boiled potatoes, quails egg and tomatoes with three stems of fine beans. WTF! If you’re going to jazz it up, at least point it out in the menu to avoid confusion. I don’t know about you but I get very put off when something does not satisfy my craving. Anyway, the snapper came wrapped in an envelope of foil. Very promising as the maitre d came by to slice it open releasing the perfume aroma of curry leaves. Very appetizing! However, the taste was a tad on the bland side. Sis thought it didn’t taste very fresh but ZY thought it was okay. The seabass on a bed of ratatouille was met with much disdain. I don’t know why they ordered it in the first place. I hate food like that because it reminds me of airplane food. It was okay. The fish was nicely cooked and the ratatouille was as exciting as ratatouille gets. The best dish of the day was definitely the risotto. Surprisingly, despite the inky black colour, there wasn’t much seafood taste. Oh it was definitely tasty but more like a cheesy, salty taste rather than a seafood one. The scallops were nicely seared but a tad stingy with only one each between the three of us. Nice ambience but food is lackluster in my humble opinion. I’m still stinging from my RM22++ side dish “nicoise” salad experience. RM220 is a lot of money to spend on lunch that ain’t great (price included two soft drinks and one tea).
The Pressroom is located on the ground floor of BSC, next to LaBodega. Tel: 03 2095 8098
I also ventured to One Bangsar last week to meet my bff from school, Jellybean. I’ve known her since Standard One! We always laugh about how she is a principal now when she was such a lazy bum in school! Ironic. Anyway, we met up for lunch at House Of Tang. One thing good about One Bangsar is that there is always parking. It’s a smallish dim sum menu which was fine by us as we didn’t stray from the classics anyway. Woo kok, cheong fun, har gow, siew mai and char siew soh. There was a bit of communication with the waitress as she spoke only mandarin and a smattering of English. I asked her for lime soda with no sugar. At first she said it was indeed fresh juice but when I asked for no sugar, she said there was already sugar added. Fresh huh? Anyway, what eventually came was honey calamansi with water. Oh well. It was close enough, ish. The dim sum was a bit hit and miss. The woo kok was lovely and crisp with gorgeous wispy deep fried threads of batter but the filling was a tad on the sweet side. The har gow passed the test but the siew mai was kind of tough and meaty. The red rice cheong fun which was a complimentary dish was surprisingly good. Nice crisp texture on the inside surrounded by a delicate red rice skin. We both agreed the char siew soh wasn’t nice. The pastry had a very strong lardy taste to it which was pretty off putting. We both managed a bite and that was it. We shared a tofu fah and that was quite lovely. Very smooth and delicate. Lunch came up to RM50 which was okay I guess. I don’t think I would rush back to have dim sum here but it is a nice and serene place for lunch. It was full but it wasn’t hectic and noisy like more Chinese restaurants