Monday, July 28, 2014

Apple Rose Cheese Crumble Pie With Salted Caramel Sauce

When SCS butter announced publicly that a baking challenge would be organized in June this year, I was excited. I quickly made sure I read through the criteria and started my baking journey in the challenge. The first 2 rounds were non elimination rounds although we were given the theme to bake. First round was open category and we get to decide what we want to bake. Come second round, we were given the theme : cookies. In the third round, we were given the theme : cakes and submission with recipe was required. The judges then selected based on photo + recipe submission to decide who gets to the semi finals. The anticipation building up before I get to know if I am one of the 25 finalists selected was enough to kill me, literally. When I finally received confirmation that I am in, I was on top of the world. What? Me? No kidding? Yeah! No kidding...I am in!

I could not even contain my excitement for like the longest time.Then finally came the most difficult part - deciding what to bake.The theme given : Pies. Something over the top with lots of fanciful details or something simple yet has an impact to wow the voters? Yes, deciding factor on whether I get in to the finals depends on votes cast on Facebook. It will be uploaded on SCS Dairy Facebook Page. In the finals, there will a live bake off for the top 4 and telecast on TV. OMG!

The closing date to submit the bake for the semi finals round was 27th July, yesterday. Yes, it is over now and my fate is sealed whether the bake is appealing enough or not. I have decided to bake an apple pie ..yes..the humble apple pie. I hope and I really really hope it is enough to vote me in. If you want to see what the rest of the semi finalists' bakes look like, you can click here.

The voting will begin on 30 July and ends 8th August on Facebook. Please VOTE for me if you like what you see. Please stay tune to support me. Thank you for the support in advance.

The pie consists of a cheese layer then apple fillings and top with crumble before decorating with apple roses.

SCS Butter 4 Star Challenge Bake

Another shot of the pie

Here's the recipe :

Sweet Pastry Crust :

120g unsalted SCS butter at room temperature

2 tbsp icing sugar

2 egg yolk, lightly beaten

2 tbsp ice water

250g plain flour

½ tsp salt

Method :

1.     Sift flour, icing sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Cut in butter with a fork till it resembles breadcrumbs.

2.     Mix ice water and egg yolk together. Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork.

3.     Turn mixture out onto a work surface and combine with hands to form a dough.

4.     Flatten dough to a round disc and wrap with cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5.     Roll dough out to desired thickness and line an 8 inch pie dish or tin. Prick the base with a fork and refrigerate for another 15 minutes. Line the pie dough with parchment paper and pour in some rice.

6.     Blind bake at preheated oven of 200 degrees celcius for 10 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and rice. Brush with some beaten egg to seal in the holes. Bake again for another 5-10 minutes till lightly browed. Set the partially baked crust aside to cool.

Apple Filling :

2 large apples , peeled, cored and cut into cubes
2 tbsp brown sugar

A handful of dried cranberries
sprinkles of cinnamon powder
Enough water to cover about half of the apples
1/2 tbsp corn flour



60g SCS butter
100g self-raising flour

4 tbsp sugar

A handful of oats

Method :

1      To make the filling, cook the apples with the rest of the ingredients with some water for about 15 minutes or till apple is soft. Add in more water if it dries up too quickly. Add corn flour to thicken. Set aside.

2      To make the crumble, gently rub the butter, flour and oats to form into crumbs. Add sugar and mix well. 

Cheese Filling :

200g SCS  Cream Cheese

35g caster sugar

1 egg and 1 egg yolk

Juice from ½ lemon

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tsp Vanilla essence

1 tbsp corm flour

Method :

1.     Whisk zest and sugar together till mixture looks damp.

2.     Add in lemon juice and whisk till sugar dissolve. Set aside.

3.     Beat cream cheese till soft. Add in the sugar mixture, mix lightly.

4.     Add in eggs and vanilla essence. Mix and add in corn flour. Continue mixing till combined.

Salted Caramel Sauce : (Can be made ahead and kept in fridge for up to a month)

100 granulated sugar

45g SCS salted butter, cut up

60ml heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt


1.     Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it melts into a thick brown liquid. Do not to burn.

2.     Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. 

3.     Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.

4.     Very slowly, drizzle in the  heavy cream.

5.     Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.

6.     Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.

Apple Roses : ( about 4 red apples )

1.     Cut and quarter the apples.

2.     Thinly slice apples. Soak in water mix with a little vinegar to avoid browning.

3.     Microwave the slices for about 10 seconds or so till pliable.

4.     Place apple slices on kitchen towel to absorb excess water.

5.     Roll up to form roses.

To Assemble :

1.     Preheat oven to 200 degrees for 15 minutes.

2.     Spread cheese filling into crust.

3.     Slowly spoon apple filling over top of cheese mixture and top with the crumbs.

4.     Bake at lower oven rack for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 180 degrees and bake at middle rack for another 30 minutes.

5.     Remove from oven to arrange apple roses on top on crumble. Decorate as desired.

6.     Brush apple roses with some honey which has been mixed with a little water. Place it back to oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

7.     Let it cool slightly before unmolding.

8.      Serve with salted caramel sauce and ice cream or as desired.

    Vote for Apple Rose Cheese Crumble Pie. Can this be my dream come true? 

     Fingers crossed!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Pumpkin Char Siew Bao

These were not well received by my kids as they looked golden yellow instead of white, not their expected traditional ones. The pumpkin used in this recipe gave that golden hue and would be spot on if used to serve during Chinese New Year for that auspicious touch which I am pretty sure the old folks at home will nod and approve.
I ended up with quite gigantic baos as it did not cross my mind that a little goes a long way because the dough expanded and risen more during the steaming process. So, go easy on the dough. I think my skill in sealing up the buns needs more practice too. Oh well, all for the fun of making them so who cares!

Here is the recipe used (adapted from Table for 2) :

For the dough :
60gm sugar
90gm pumpkin puree
1 tsp instant yeast
150gm Hong Kong/Pau flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cooking oil 

For Char Siew Filling (adapted from Honey Bee Sweets) :

300g Char siew pork, chopped finely (market stall bought)
6 shallots*, sliced thinly and fried till golden brown
120ml water
1 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp char siew sauce (from the market stall, came with the char siew bought)

Method (for dough) :

  • Combine sugar, pumpkin puree and yeast.
  • Combine flour, baking powder and oil.
  • Add in pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and mix to form a dough. Add more oil if too dry to combine.
  • Knead dough until it is smooth and no longer sticky.
  • Let dough proof in a warm place, covered till double in size.

Assembly :

1. Punch down dough after it has doubled. Knead it for 2 minutes and divide dough into 12 pieces ( I divided them to 7 pieces instead , that's why I ended up with gigantic ones :)...)
2. Remove char siew filling from the fridge.
3. With lightly floured hands, take one piece of dough and flatten it, making it thinner at the sides.
4. Place 1 tsp of filling onto flattened dough.
5. Wrap and seal bun. Place on grease paper (cut out in small squares).
6. Let buns proof (covered) for 45 minutes and steam on high heat for 12 minutes.

Method for the char siew filling :

- Mix corn flour with water.
- Place the water and char siew sauce into the wok.
- Once bubbling, add in char siew and fried shallots.
- Season to taste if required with sugar.
- Stir till sauce thickens.
- Leave to cool or if preparing in advance, keep in the fridge.

Waiting to go into the steamer

The steamed baos looking good and yummy

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pear and Frangipane Tart

The thing about pie is it has to look mouth watering when it comes out from the oven. Not too shabby huh? I even have extra dough to do a few minis. I used canned pears and it is my first time baking with pears.

After blind baking the pie crust

 The recipe used is from Keiko's cake, a paid site so I will not share the recipe to be fair to the chef.
 However, if you google, you will be able to find a great deal of recipes that will work too.


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