Meg's Pastry Studio - 2016 3rd Q orders

I looked at the calendar today and realised that it's nearly mid October already! Three quarters of the year has gone by in a flash and we are now in the fourth quarter which typically pass by even quicker than we want to.

For the upcoming two months, will be busy on the family front as well, with some travelling in November and December and many other events, so if keen to place orders for cakes or pastries, please contact me early to check availability.

Here were the orders I managed to take up in the past quarter, thank you to everyone of you!

The most popular tart in SG this year, the Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart!
Ordered by dear friend WH who has been my most faithful supporter all this while :)

So far I've posted 4 blog entries and shared several varied recipes of the tarts. I think I must have made at least 200 tarts by now?! Wow, talk about obsession with this irresistible pastry!

Rainbow cake ordered by a mummy for her daughter's birthday and she's kindly referred by a friend :)
It's always fun to bake rainbow cake because of the sweet colours :) 

I love baking this gula melaka banana walnut cake because every time I bake it, the whole house will be filled with such a wonderful aroma! Ordered by customer who has ordered ombre lychee cake from me before and wanted to try this cake with her family :)

Ordered by a mummy who have ordered a buttercream rosette cake for her baby's cake smash photo shoot before. This time she requested an actual cake for her daughter's actual birthday celebration, something light and not too sweet so that the baby girl can enjoy as well.

She had requested for Korean buttercream roses but back then I haven't learnt how to pipe the Korean type of roses yet and could only pipe flatter rosettes like this. Actually this type of roses look pretty and sweet as well, with less amount of buttercream used :)

Customer is recommended by dear friend WH, and she ordered the cake to celebrate her mother's birthday. This cake is suitable for elderly as it is very light, with tender texture and not too sweet. The chantilly cream is sugarless. The only sweeter portion is the buttercream rosettes which can be left uneaten (personally I also eat a little bit of buttercream only).

Dear friend WH ordered another cake from me, my newly introduced Watermelon and Rose-scented Cake! This cake is very refreshing as watermelon is used in between the sponge cakes. Surprisingly, sponge cake goes very well with watermelon, along with very light chantilly cream and bits of almond crumble. Glad that he enjoyed it with his colleagues; even though they had a heavy dinner, they could still finish the cake, it's like a fruit cum dessert :p

Looking forward to the last few months of 2016 and more bakes hopefully!

Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart IV

Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart Part I 
Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart Part II
Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart Part III

Haha. It seems I can't get enough of Bake Cheese Tarts eh?

Made 4 dozens of these irresistible treats for a friend today; this must be the largest batch I've baked so far. As I have to deliver them by noon time, I decided to prepare the tart pastry and cheese filling yesterday. So that leaves blind-baking the tart pastry this morning, filling with the cheese custard, then assemble and a final bake, all completed within 3 hrs. I've explained all the steps clearly in the previous three posts listed above before, so no step-by-step pictures this time.

Anyways, the purpose of this post is to update yet another refinement/modification to the previous recipes, catering to specific number of tarts, as well as variation in ingredients used. I'm also very forgetful lah, so all these recipes posted are like instant references for me to remember what ingredients to buy each time (instead of having to write a shopping list every time) :p

For the tart dough, instead of using icing sugar, I used caster sugar instead because I ran out of icing sugar (which I thought I had, silly me). But the result turned out to be great, the tart pastry is more crunchy like biscuit and closer to the original =D

For the cheese custard, since I used caster sugar, it was added together with the cheeses instead of later part with the corn starch (previous recipes). Cheese-wise, I added a bit of slice processed cheese and mixed shredded cheese, no problem at all.
So, like I always mention, feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit personal preference.

For the tart pastry and cheese filling preparation, I made them in 2 batches, i.e. 27 tarts per batch (24 + 3 extras). I always make a few extras to cater for taste-test and rejects (yep, I broke one tart case accidentally and a few of the tarts got browned and didn't match with the rest :p). Why didn't I make all 48 (or rather 54) of them at one go? I think it's easier to handle and QC, although slightly more work.

Yay, the perk about baking for others, I can taste-test legitimately without having to bake a fresh batch for myself, too sinful lah. Extras also go to my kiddo (poor kiddo, can only eat rejects, LOL!).

I love these 12-hole cupcake boxes from Phoon Huat which pack the cheese tarts perfectly.

Bake Cheese Tart
* makes 27 tarts using 7cm fluted cutter/4cm base tart case
* The recipe can be halved

(A) Tart Dough

  • 300g all purpose flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 150g salted butter, cut into cubes, cold
  • 3 egg yolks (regular size egg)
  • 1.5 tsp fresh milk
(B) Cheese Custard
  • 190g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 3 pieces Kiri cream cheese
  • 2 slices Kraft singles processed cheese
  • 30g mixed shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan)
  • 100g mascarpone cheese
  • 60g salted butter
  • 200g Hokkaido milk
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 24g corn starch
  • 2 eggs (regular size egg)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk + milk (mixture for brushing on top of custard)
  1. Start with tart pastry. Add all purpose flour and caster sugar into a mixing bowl, mix well. Add cold salted butter cubes.
  2. Using finger tips, break the butter and rub the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles bread crumbs.
  3. Add egg yolk to the mixture, use a scrapper to mix the egg yolk into flour mixture.
  4. The mixture will come together and thereafter, use hands to form the mixture into a dough.
  5. Add fresh milk, the dough will become slightly pliable.
  6. Form the dough into a rectangle flat parcel. Place on a piece of clingwrap.
  7. Wrap the dough and place in fridge to rest for about 1 hour.
  8. While waiting, prepare the cheese custard. Add all the cheeses, salted butter, milk and caster sugar into a small pot. Place the pot into a larger pan/pot/wok with barely simmering water. This is the bain marie method, to create a gentle and uniform heat for cooking custard. Keep stirring the mixture till everything is melted.
  9. Once the mixture has melted, add sifted corn starch. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will thicken slowly.
  10. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will further thicken into custard. Taste the custard and if desired, add some sea salt to increase intensity of cheese taste.
  11. Let the custard cool slightly and sift into another bowl. There may be some fine lumps and grainy bits in the custard, sifting will yield a more velvety smooth custard. Let the custard cool down completely and transfer to a piping bag. *If preparing in advance, transfer the custard to a piping bag and store the bag in the fridge till ready to use. Before using, let the custard return to room temperature.
  12. Back to the tart pastry. Remove the dough from fridge. Dust a baking mat (and rolling pin) with flour, roll the dough thinly, about 3mm thickness. Use a 7cm fluted cutter to stamp the dough. 
  13. Use a metal scrapper (dust with flour) to lift up the cut dough. Place the cut dough over a tart case (5.5cm top/3cm base) and gently press it downwards.
  14. Using finger tips, gently press and mold the dough into the tart case. Use a fork to poke holes at the base of the tart cases. *If preparing in advance, store the molded tart dough in plastic container, or each piece of cut dough not molded into case yet - separating with baking paper or plastic sheet in between, then store container in the fridge. Before using, let the dough soften at room temperature slightly.
  15. For assembly. Preheat and bake the tarts at 180 degree celsius, fan mode for 10mins. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool After the tart pastry is cooled slightly, remove from the case and let cool completely before use.
  16. Preheat oven to 235 degree celsius top and bottom heat.
  17. Pipe the custard into the cooled tart pastry, shape slightly domed. Brush custard evenly with egg yolk-milk mixture.
  18. Bake the tarts at 235 degree celsius top and bottom heat, for 8-10 mins. Watch closely towards last 2 minutes to prevent over-browning.
  19. Once baked, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Best eaten warm, freshly baked.

Hilton Pattaya Sep 2016

Goodness, I haven't been updating my travel logs for so long! Still procrastinating on my Kansai trip in Feb and Sydney-Gold Coast trip in Jun; there are tons of photos and I simply couldn't find the mojo to edit them. Shucks! I figured I should write about something more recent and simple to kickstart my engine :p But oops, there are like 50 photos alone in this post!

Anyways, the HB had a short work trip to Pattaya two weeks ago and I shamelessly tagged along since I haven't been Pattaya before. Well, the thing is, I stayed in the hotel and mall most of the time because I was busy shopping, catching Pokemon (yes there's a PokeGym and several Pokestops at the mall itself!) and basically just lazing around. Ha. So, this is not really a travel post but more of my stay experience at Hilton Pattaya :p

The Hilton Pattaya is located right in front of the Pattaya Beach and perched above the Central Festival Mall, which is the largest and newest mall in Pattaya. The beach front looks all swanky and modern but the streets behind the mall/hotel is actually quite similar to Patong area in Phuket. And of course the notorious Pattaya Walking Street, the red-light district with "adult" entertainment. Well, we didn't venture there. I wanted to go take a look but the HB said no. Okie.

Love the architectural design of the resort hotel, with emphasis on greenery and wood, creating an earthy and soothing feel.

Step into the lobby located on level 16, I was once again wowed by the elegant and soothing furnishing. Once again, earthy and neutral tones are used at the spacious and airy lobby lounge, making guests feel totally relaxed and at ease.

Our deluxe room was on level 27, bright and spacious and elegantly furnished with mostly earth tones with tinge of pale blue/green.

I always love and appreciate a comfy couch to lounge about.

The open-concept bathroom with over-sized bathtub. Not to worry, there are sliding doors for privacy as well.

Day and night view from the room. One thing though, it could get a little noisy, as the bars blasted super loud music late into the night every other night. The room's sound proofing works quite ok here or probably because we were on higher level.

Did a brief tour of the hotel premises to check out the facilities :)

Drift next to lobby lounge, serving light refreshment like snacks and cakes and even afternoon tea sets.

Totally love the alfresco area with lots of over-sized lounge sofas and overlooking Pattaya Bay.

Overlooking the hotel's infinity pool.

The hotel pool is another area I love, and the pool can get quite busy especially during evenings.

The view at the infinity pool is certainly stunning, which explains why many guests visit here not only to swim or chill-out but to take photos.

 I love to hide inside one of these enclave pods, blissful way to relax before and after swimming.

Checked out the gym too, which is well-equipped and maintained with adequate exercise equipment for exercise buffs. For me, the treadmill is good enough.

Also checked out the spa, which has spa suites that overlook the Pattaya Bay as well. Unfortunately, didn't have time to have any treatment.

The Edge Restaurant, located at level 14 and overlooking Pattaya Bay. Had buffet breakfast here for 3 days.

Keeping to the overall earthy theme of the hotel, with some touch of subtle cheery colours, it's definitely a great place to start the day.

 Indoor dining area.

 Or choose to dine alfresco and enjoy the lovely view of the bay.

Breakfast spread was so sumptuous, I couldn't decide what to eat every day. Luckily I had three breakfasts here and could sample the different types of food offered.

Salad, cheese and cold cut bar.

 Korean and Japanese bar.

 The usual cereal and milk.

 I love the mixed fruits yogurt here, served in individual mason jars.

Bread corner with abundant selection of bread and pastries.

Many different types of hot food selection from Chinese, to Indian, to Western and of course Thai.

Colourful bottled juice. Guests can also request for freshly-squeezed juice.

 Live station serving thai noodle soup.

Everyone's favourite egg station. Got too hungry and gave up taking photos, there are in fact more selection.

My breakfast selection :)

First breakfast.

 Second breakfast.

Breakfast before heading home.

Don't say I never go to the beach, I did, briefly. But it was just too hot :p

Probably next time I would visit some attractions.

Most importantly, it was a relaxing getaway and at least I get to have an overview of Pattaya.