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Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

February 27, 2011 39 comments

Oh lordy lord. I have just made a tart.

And boy, was it good.

Can i tell you all about this pie? Pls say yes, i feel like i will burst if i don’t.

Let’s start with the crust. The crust tastes just like peanut butter cookies. See the cookies on the side? Those are made from leftover tart dough, and they are good enough to be eaten as they are.

But cookies are not the topic for today. Today, it’s about a certain tart, a chocolate peanut butter mousse tart.

That’s the peanut butter mousse, all smooth, silky, soft and luscious. This mousse makes me go weak in my knees and my head swoon like a top.

I just love recipes that totally scale to what you just need. This recipe makes just enough tart dough to make a full tart (and a few cookies), while the mousse recipe was just enough to fill up that tart.

Frankly speaking, i was quite hoping that there will be some mousse left for me to dip my spatula into and lick off.

But let’s be disciplined adults here. Good things will come. Soon.

Chocolate ganache over peanut butter mousse. I don’t think i need to convince anyone.

Next, comes the hardest part of the steps in the recipe- Refigerating this tart (2 hours at least) to set.

I am sorry, i didn’t do that. I popped it into the fridge, and went to read some Archie Comics.

I lasted about 15 minutes, and came back with a knife in my hand.

So now, please please please do not fault this perfect pie for my impatience. This pie WILL cut cleanly if i didn’t muck around with it too soon. Trust me, i had another slice two hours later,  because i wanted to see whether it set as it was supposed to (what a lame excuse!).

For now, let’s just be contend with a half set pie.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Tart Recipe

(Taken from David of Leite’s Culinaria)

Ingredients

| metric conversion

For the peanut butter mousse
  • 7 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, softly whipped
For the milk chocolate ganache
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate
  • 2 ounces bittersweet  chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Make the peanut butter mousse

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, preferably fit with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar just until the mixture is uniform in color. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla. Beat in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream just until it is incorporated. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream, mixing until the mixture is well blended but still airy.

2. Scrape the mousse into the sweet peanut butter cookie tart crust and smooth the surface so that it is level. (If the dough is rolled to the exact thickness specified, the filling and ganache amounts will be exact. If the dough is rolled a little thicker, there will be a little leftover filling and ganache.) Refrigerate the tart while preparing the ganache.

Make the ganache topping

1. Break the milk and bittersweet chocolates into several pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor fit with the metal blade. Process until the chocolate is very finely ground.

2. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a heatproof glass measure in the microwave. With the food processor’s motor running, pour the hot cream through the feed tube into the chocolate mixture. Process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice, about 15 seconds. Add the vanilla and pulse a few times to incorporate it. Transfer the ganache to a bowl. Cool to room temperature.

Assemble the tart

1. Pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse in a circular motion, being careful so that it does not land too heavily in any one spot and cause a depression in the mousse. Using a small metal spatula, start to spread the ganache to the edges of the pastry, then spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of the tart. If desired, make a spiral pattern by lightly pressing the spatula against the surface and running it from the outside of the tart to the center. Refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours to set or up to 5 days. (You can wrap the tart well and freeze it for up to 3 months.)

2. Remove the tart from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving. Unmold the tart and cut it with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, dipping it in hot water after each slice. It is as good lightly chilled as it is at room temperature.

Sweet Peanut Butter Cookie Tart Crust Recipe

Ingredients

| metric conversion

  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) bleached all-purpose flour (dip and sweep method)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt (um, that’s a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, preferably superfine
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably Jif, at room temperature
  • 1/2 large egg (beat the egg lightly before measuring out half of it, which ought to weigh .8 ounce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. If using a food processor: In a food processor with the metal blade, process the sugars for several minutes or until very fine. With the motor running, add the butter cubes. Add the peanut butter and process until smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla and process until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse just until incorporated.

If using an electric mixer: In a mixing bowl, beat the sugars until well mixed. Add the butter (you’ll need to softened it slightly) and peanut butter and beat for several minutes on medium-high speed until very smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. Reduce sped to low and gradually beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated.

3. Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

4. Press the dough evenly into the tart pan. (It is a little more challenging, but faster and neater to roll the dough out between sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thickness and 11 1/2 inches in diameter. Remove one piece of plastic, invert the dough into the tart pan, and gently ease the edge of the dough inside the pan so that the sharp top surface does not cut it off.) Use a piece of plastic wrap to gently and evenly press the dough into the pan, pressing it against the sides. If the dough softens and sticks, refrigerate it until the plastic wrap doesn’t stick. If the dough tears, simply press it together or use the scraps to press into any empty areas. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. (You can wrap the unbaked crust well and freeze it for up to 3 months.)

5. Bake the tart shell, without weights, in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. It will puff at first and then settle down toward the end of baking. The sides will be soft but spring back when touched gently with a finger. Cool on a wire rack.

PoppyChow and CrackerJack

February 26, 2011 5 comments

I first saw poppychow at Michelle’s at Brown Eyed Baker. Looking at their images, i couldn’t really put a finger as to what they are exactly.

It was only after reading the description that i got interested.

Very interested.

These are actually Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn sprinkled and dredged in icing sugar.

I can’t find anything i didn’t like about that description.

Basically peanut butter and chocolate are melted before it is poured over the popcorn, then it gets refrigerated to set.YUMM

And of course, since i am making popcorn anyways, i cant be leaving out the classic Caramel popcorns (Also taken from Brown Eyed Baker).

Ah yess, sweet popcorn of golden hues. These popcorns are drenched in caramel brown sugar and then sent to the oven to dry out and to let the caramel set further so we have less of that sticky, gooey of a mess (not that they are not delicious of course).

So what’s the verdict on these two?

I think i am loving poppychow more than crackerjack this time. But then again, Poppychow is not as travel friendly as Cracker Jack. The chocolate and peanut butter gets melty and sticky in tropical room temperature Indonesia, but straight off the fridge, they are totally delish!


Chocolate & Peanut Butter Popcorn {Poppy Chow}

(Taken from Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: About 8 to 10 servings (possibly more if you’re not chocolate/pb obsessed like me)

Prep Time: 25 minutes

9 cups plain popcorn
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups powdered sugar

1. Put the popcorn in a very large bowl.

2. In a microwave (at 50% power) or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

3. Pour the chocolate mixture all over the popcorn. Using a large spoon, stir until all of the popcorn is evenly coated with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture.

4. Sift the powdered sugar over the chocolate-covered popcorn and stir until each piece is evenly coated. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate is set.

5. Break it up and serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Homemade Cracker Jack

(Taken from Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: About 10 cups of popcorn

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 1 hour

10 cups of freshly-popped popcorn (or 3.5-oz bag of microwave popcorn, plain)
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup lightly salted peanuts

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Pop the popcorn. Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and then transfer the popcorn to the bowl; set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and water, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the vanilla and baking soda. Immediately pour the hot mixture over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn until all of the popcorn is coated. Gently stir in the peanuts, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out.

5. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Isabella’s Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

February 24, 2011 16 comments

I never would have thought 8-12 year old kids could be left in the kitchen unsupervised. I mean, with open flames, kitchen knives, and heavy weight kitchen appliances, the kitchen is not exactly a safe playground. But watching Australia’s junior masterchef got me totally flabbergasted.

The cynic in me wondered whether they were even able to cook up something that was safe for consumption, that nothing was too raw, or overdone. But i was blown away when i saw their creations which looked not only delicious, but also were assembled in the most appealing fashion.

The baker in me naturally got drawn to the winning dish which was featured in the first mystery box challenge -Lemon meringue cupcakes.

Now now, not only was the challenge winner, 12 year old Isabella was able to make temperature sensitive egg-based curd, she was also able to score with the ever so temperamental egg white meringue.

The lemon curd was cooked till it was just thickened. It was really smooth, luscious and silky. A hole is created in the middle of each cupcake to house the lemon curd.

however, i was a tad worried as the curd was a bit on the sour side.

But my worries were unfounded as the tangy-ness from the sour curd went flawlessly well with the traditionally too sweet meringue.

So when the judges were swooning over this, they were not exaggerating. This cupcake got its deserved attention and praises. It is that good!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Ingredients

(Taken from Masterchef)

Cupcakes

1 cup pure cream
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Lemon curd

1/2 cup lemon juice
100g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Meringue

3 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180’C. Place 12 patty cake liners in a 12 hole 1/2-cup capacity muffin pan.

2. Place cream, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add flour and zest and continue whisking until mixture is thick and smooth.

3. Divide mixture between prepared liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool in muffin pan.

4. For lemon curd, heat lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and simmer until butter has melted. Add sugar, egg and yolks and cook, whisking continuously until mixture becomes thick and glossy. Pour into a shallow oven tray to cool.

5. For meringue, beat egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form, gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar has dissolved between each addition. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag.

6. To serve, preheat grill to medium-high. Cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon curd.  Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake and place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds or until golden. Arrange on a serving plate with spoonfuls of lemon curd if desired.

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

February 22, 2011 17 comments

So the latest Tuesdays With Dorie’s challenge was these Chocolate Oatmeal Drops.

And when the blog-o-sphere started to get inundated with pretty pictures of these cookies, i just had to give it a go.

I mean whats there not to like about fudgy, moist, slightly underbaked cookies right?

Plus these cookies also boast oatmeal, which make them somewhat healthy, and legit breakfast items.

And of course, what’s a couple of cookies without some milk?

Well, actually, these cookies don’t need to be dunked in milk. They are moist and soft enough on their own. But then again, i am known to be over indulgent.

So, here goes!

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

(Taken from Bake with Us)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

Getting Ready: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl and sprinkle over the 1 tablespoon water, then add the brown sugar, followed by the chocolate. Stir occasionally until everything is just melted. Don’t let the ingredients get so hot that the butter separates from the sugar and chocolate, and don’t be concerned if the mixture looks grainy.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs on at a time; the mixture will look shiny. Whisk in the dry ingredients, stirring only until they disappear into the dough. Stir in the oats. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each spoonful.

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until the cookies are dark around the edges and just slightly soft in the middle. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature. (If the cookies are difficult to lift from the baking sheet, wait a minute and try again.)

Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Strawberry Galette

February 21, 2011 9 comments

I’ve never attempted a galette before, and i must say, the experience of making one was indeed very humbling.

While i have made acquaintance with a couple of pies before, i came to realize that all my pies were always pre-baked before i load up its fillings.  Things were a little different with this galette, in which wet sloppy filling went on top of raw dough before both got baked together.

Thats when problems arose for me.

For one, there was the rush against time in filling and pleating this galette. We all know how raw butter dough has to be handled quickly to prevent all that butter from melting and oozing out of the dough. Living in tropical Indonesia, this issue is magnified. My butter melts twice faster, which means i gotta work twice the speed.

Two, there was the problem of moving a heavy, wet, strawberry filled raw dough from your working space onto a baking sheet to be baked. That’s quite a nerve wrecking task considering my dough was starting to melt and stick to my countertop. My first galette didn’t survive that trip, and my kitchen looked like a crime scene with scarlet red strawberry fluids spattering from the broken dough.

But of course, lesson was learnt from that experience. For my second galette, i worked on my filling and pleated it ON my baking sheet to eliminate the hazardous task of shifting the unbaked galette around, and i must say, it worked like a charm!

Phew!

Ingredients

crust

(Taken from Dorie Greenspan’s Christmas Galette)

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chilled nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening; pulse until coarse meal forms. Add 2 tablespoons ice water; pulse until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Chill 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before continuing.

To Assemble:

Roll out the chilled dough in between 2 plastic sheets or parchment papers to a 11″ round. Transfer the pastry to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Layer the strawberries, overlapping each other in a circle on the dough, leaving a 1″~2″ border. Fold the edges over the strawberries. Brush the dough with egg wash. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake in preheated oven at 200degC for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden browned.Filling:

(Taken From Happy Home Baking)
1 punnet (250g) strawberries Wash the strawberries, remove the stems and cut into halves or thick slices. Toss the sliced strawberries with the sugar and cornstarch.
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 egg plus1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar

Wash the strawberries, remove the stems and cut into halves or thick slices. Toss the sliced strawberries with the sugar and cornstarch.

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

February 20, 2011 14 comments

I chose this recipe because of two reasons. One, because it combines the celebrated chocolate and peanut butter duo, and two, because this is one of the rare rice krispies recipe which doesn’t list marshmallows as one of its ingredients.

Don’t get me wrong, I love marshmallows and totally luxuriate myself in smores and other marshy treats, but marshmallows are really hard to come by here in Indonesia, and like its texture, are plushy-priced.

Of course, the absence of the all important marshmallow mean that u gotta compensate in some other ways. For this recipe, it’s to dig out your candy thermometer and cook sugar *gasp* till it reached the soft ball stage. I suppose this was done to replicate that sticky, gooey marshmallow property that holds the rice krispies together.

As if chocolate ganache over chocolate peanut butter mixture isn’t enough, i had this prodigal idea to substitute rice krispies to cocoa puffs, the chocolate version of the rice bubbles.

Yes, i can be over-indulgent sometimes, but trust me, it’s totally worth it.

So after all that, what’s the verdict of this dessert anyways?

This treat really deserves all the love it can get. The rice krispies (or cocoa puffs) managed to stay crispy after being drenched in all that peanut butter. And that contradictory crispy crunch against the smooth, silky peanut butter and chocolate ganache is such a tease to the palate.

The only thing i might add on to this is that sprinkle of sea salt over the ganache. Amen.

(Taken from Christina of Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

  • 1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate (60% to 72% percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Directions:
  1. Lightly spray a paper towel with nonstick cooking spray and use it to rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup (do not let any sugar or syrup get on the sides of the pan) and use a small wooden spoon to stir the mixture until just combined. Put a candy thermometer in the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235 degrees F.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, then pour it into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan (do not press up the sides). Let the crust cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.
  5. In a large nonreactive metal bowl, stir together the chocolate and the peanut butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
  6. In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.
  7. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled milk chocolate peanut butter layer and spread into an even layer. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour or until the topping hardens.
  8. Cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.

Of Clafoutis and Flaugnarde

February 17, 2011 14 comments

To be completely honest with you, both of these words “clafoutis” and “flaugnarde” are very alien to me. But i’ve seen them around the web, to know that they are baked custards with various fruits in them.

The more common of the two, is the cherry clafoutis. The term “clafoutis” is exclusive to this French dessert only when the fruit contained in it are cherries.

This guy here for example is a cherry clafoutis, and traditionally the cherries are submerged into the custard batter whole, with pits and all. The pits are supposed to impart a stronger cherry flavour into the batter.

Also, traditionally, this dish is served with a generous sift of icing sugar, yeah, i got no prob with that.

So what about flaugnarde?

Flaugnarde is the name used when the fruits used in this dessert are NOT cherries,

This guy here for example is a blueberry flaugnarde. They are still of the same flan batter though, just different fruits, and different names.

and, let’s not forget the signature icing sugar dusting 😛

 

So what’s the verdict on Clafoutis and Flaugnarde? or of cherries and blueberries?

Well, truthfully, i have never tasted this dessert before, and i don’t know exactly how they are supposed to taste.

But i think i might have overbaked mine, cause mine were like pancakes, the custard was too set and there was nothing soft and custardy about this dessert.

But then again, that might be how this dessert is supposed to be. That they are firm and are able to be cut through cleanly, cause after all, unlike flan, there is flour within the recipe.

Anyone?

Cherry Clafoutis

Recipe taken from Wendyinkk

65gm whipping cream
35gm milk
½ empty vanilla pod (I always keep the scraped pods for times where only a little bit of vanilla is needed), or use 1/8 of a unscraped pod
17gm or 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
1 egg
23gm or 3 Tbsp all purpose flour (sift before measure)
1 tsp Grand Marnier or Kirsch(optional)
A few fresh cherries, pitted or unpitted.
Icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 160/180C
2. Heat milk, cream and empty vanilla pod into a small saucepan and bring to boil on the lowest heat. Put in sugar to melt. Set it aside to cool down.
3. Meanwhile, beat the egg in a bowl.
4. Fish out the vanilla pods and pour the cream mixture into the egg. Whisk to combine.
5. Put in flour and whisk to combine.
6. Put in liquer and stir.
7. Pour into a shallow baking dish. (no need to grease, it comes off nicely)
8. Put in pitted cherries and bake for 30 minutes until surface of the clafoutis is golden.
9. Dust with icing sugar.