30 March 2016

Waffle Cookies

I've just came back from a one-week holiday in Hong Kong and the post-trip depression is setting in. Doesn't help that the weather is super hot and humid, as compared to the cool 15-20C I was enjoying :(

To cheer myself up, I decided to make some saccharine sweet-looking waffle cookies!

Spent quite some time trying to compose the photo because I wasn't in the mood (in fact more time than making these cookies). But in the end, I love how the photos turned out, exactly what I wanted, saccharine sweet!

 Couldn't decide whether I like the top view shot or 30 degree view shot. Maybe both :p

Making these waffle cookies was very quick and easy, didn't even require mixer or oven.

Basically whisk softened unsalted butter together with sugar till well-mixed, add egg and vanilla extract and once again whisked till well-mixed. Next, add sifted cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix till dough forms. Divide into 4 portions, and add flavours of choice. I added cocoa powder, matcha powder, some pink icing and strawberry essence and left one portion as original vanilla flavour.

Roll the flavoured dough into small balls of 10g each.

I got a total of 64 balls. Don't they look like Japanese dango (sweet dumpling) =D

Place the dough of balls onto the waffle maker, close and bake/cook for 2.5 - 3 mins, slightly golden brown. Cool the waffle cookies on a wire-rack and store in air-tight container.

Waffle Cookies
(Makes 64 cookies)

  • 300g cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2g matcha powder
  • 4 g cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry essence, tinge of pink icing colour
  1. Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl, set aside.
  2. Whisk unsalted butter and caster sugar till smooth.
  3. Add egg and vanilla extract and whisk till smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture and fold till well-mixed.
  5. Divide dough into 4 portions (about 158g each portion).
  6. Add matcha powder, cocoa powder and strawberry essence/icing colour to 3 of the portions respectively. Mix well.
  7. Roll the dough into balls of 10g each.
  8. Place the dough balls onto waffle maker.
  9. Bake/cook for 2.5 to 3 mins, until slightly browned.
  10. Cool on wire rack, then store in airtight container.

The vanilla one tasted like plain waffle, but harder form.
The strawberry one tasted like strawberry milk :p
The matcha and cocoa tastes were quite distinct.

While these cookies looked so lovely and sweet, I didn't quite like the overall taste. I mean, it's not really like cookies, it's crunchy but a bit floury. They were not too sweet, so I guess suitable for young children?

The kiddo tasted it, and also didn't like the texture. Gosh. So this is one of those cookies that look better than they taste. Thinking whether to discard them?

Luckily, some really nice and helpful readers of Singapore Home Cooks FB Group suggested to eat them with ice-cream,  drizzle with chocolate sauce or eat with nutella. Yes, I guess I could try making parfait with them as well.

Probably can try other recipe, like the German cookies that was very popular a while ago? Well, see how my mood goes...

28 March 2016

Cafe-style Gourmet Burgers - Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger and Fish Fillet Burger

Some time ago, I dined at this gourmet burger joint, Omakase Burger and went away slightly dissatisfied. I mean, the burger itself was great, very yummy, just that the fries was totally off and overall I thought the meal was overpriced. While I could accept that the burger was about $15, the fries which was worse off than McDonalds cost almost $4 and the iced lemon tea was close to $5! Although $2 was taken off the bill since it was a set, I still thought the meal to be expensive.

That inspired me to come up with my own gourmet burgers at home :D

First up, Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger, with homemade burger bun, teriyaki sauce and iced lemon tea.

I remember McDonald's used to have this periodically, and I loved it then! Now, there's also similar version like Samurai burger but I found the quality lacking and worse, the whole burger seemed to be drenched in sauce!

Next, Fish Fillet Burger, with homemade burger bun, tartar sauce and Yuzu Mint Soda.

Both burger and drink are inspired by Grub the Bistro at Bishan Park. Once in a blue moon, my family would travel all the way there to dine, I really enjoy the ambience there. Usually I would order the Portobello Mushroom Burger (have tried making it before, recipe here) as I liked it a lot. I'm also very tempted to try their signature fish fillet burger that's very popular, saw many people ordering it.

Here are the simple recipes, which can be adapted for personal preferences. The burger bun can be store-bought instead of homemade.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger

Burger Bun
  • Made using old-dough method, recipe here 
  • Each bun is made with 60g dough

Beef patty (makes about 3)
  • 1/4 small onion, finely chopped
  • 220g minced beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  1. Saute the finely chopped onions with 1/2 tsp of olive oil till translucent.
  2. Add the sauteed onion, salt and pepper to the minced beef, mix well to blend but don't overwork the meat.
  3. Shape the minced beef into patties, throw each patty to and fro both palms for airy texture. Create a dent into the centre of the patty (allow the patty to cook well in the middle, the patty will puff up when cooking).
  4. Add a tsp of olive oil into a grill pan, place a meat patty, halves of burger bun and a sliced ring of pineapple into the pan. 
  5. Grill till the meat patty is cooked through, burger bun and pineapple slightly browned.
Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp cooking sake
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp water
  1. Combine all the ingredients except corn starch and water, add to a pot on low heat.
  2. Stir the sauce till well mixed and almost boiling.
  3. Mix corn starch and water, and add the mixture into the pot.
  4. Stir till sauce thickens slightly. Set aside.
  • Once beef patty is cooked, dunk the patty into the pot of teriyaki sauce and coat thoroughly, or use a brush to coat both sides of the patty.
  • Bottom half of bun - few pieces of lettuce - tomato slice - meat patty - pineapple slice - top of bottom
  • Best serve hot.

 I prefer to use the "White Fish Fillet" from Cold Storage. It's not Halibut or dory or other types of fillet which look similar, it's just labelled as "White Fish Fillet". The frozen one can be found in the seafood freezer along with other types of seafood like shrimps and scallops. There's also thawed ones found at the fresh fish section. I find the texture finer and doesn't taste fishy at all, in fact, there's a slight tinge of sweetness. Besides using the whole piece of fish fillet for fish & chips, I can also cut the fillet in small pieces for fish fingers which my kiddo likes.

Fish Fillet Burger

Burger Bun
  • Made using old-dough method, recipe here 
  • Each bun is made with 60g dough

Breaded Fish Fillet
  1. Coat the whole piece of fish fillet with corn starch, dust off the excess, then coat with egg and lastly cover generously with the coating mixture.
  2. Heat some oil in a frying pan and pan-fry both sides of fillet till golden brown.
  3. Grill halves of burger buns till slightly browned.
Homemade tartar sauce
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • 2 pieces cocktail gherkins, finely chopped
  • 1/4 small onion, finely chopped and soaked in water for 10 mins
  • 1 tsp sugar
  1. Stir all ingredients together till well combined. Set aside.
  1. Bottom half of bun - few pieces of lettuce - tomato slice - fish fillet - tartar sauce - top of bottom
  2. Best served hot.

Ooooh, I must say I love my homemade Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger! I cooked the beef patty to just done, it was juicy and perfect with the sweet and salty teriyaki sauce. And the tangy pineapple slice just topped it off so nicely! The burger bun was of slightly chewy texture and I really liked too!

Not forgetting the homemade iced lemon tea. I simply dunked a teabag into a cup of hot water, let the tea infuse for a few minutes; discard the tea bag, then add lots of ice, lemon juice, lemon slices and sugar syrup to taste.

I love the fish fillet burger too!! The fish was pan-fried to a perfect crispy, yet the meat texture was succulent, complemented with the tartar sauce. Yummy!

Yuzu mint soda is simply yuzu marmalade (or the Korean Citron tea), lots of ice, mint leaves and a can of club soda. Really refreshing during hot and humid weather.

The kiddo loved this fish fillet burger and finished the whole burger by himself!

It's not difficult to make gourmet burgers at home actually, most important thing is use quality ingredients and freshly prepared :)

22 March 2016

Yuzu Curd Meringue Cupcake

After making the Yuzu Curd Tart with my homemade Yuzu Curd, I was left with 2 small bottles of curd, had to use them up quickly since shelf life of curd is short even though it was chilled.

I knew I wanted to bake a cupcake filled with yuzu curd, but for the cupcake base, what should I do? Should I go for a richer yuzu marmalade butter cake, or just a plain simple one with some zest and extract? And then what about the topping, yuzu curd, yuzu marmalade or yuzu buttercream frosting or something else? Decisions decisions.

After browsing many instagram photos, food blogs etc, finally decided on a simple yuzu cupcake filled with yuzu curd in the centre, and topped with golden meringue frosting! In fact, it's the same combination for lemon curd or orange curd meringue cupcake.

I reckon since the highlight is yuzu curd, the cake and topping should be more subtle in taste and not overwhelm the luscious curd.

Basically,  there are 3 components to the cupcake, the cupcake itself, the curd and meringue. Since my curd is already prepared, the other 2 parts were completed fairly quickly. The only problem encountered was the browning of the meringue!

As the photo shown, browning of the meringue turned out uneven :( I've not used my blowtorch for a long time, it's not easy to control the flame! Alas.

Preparing the cupcake was straightforward, cream butter and sugar, add egg, zest, extract, then add in flour mixture alternating with milk.

I've already used up all my yuzu, no more zest, so I added yuzu powder that I bought from Japan previously. Besides vanilla extract, I also added a bit of yuzu oil also bought from Japan. These can be replaced with lemon or orange. As I wanted a very tender crumb, I used buttermilk instead of fresh milk.

After the cupcakes were baked, let them cool down completely first. Then using a small paring knife, carve out the centre of the cupcake, then fill with the yuzu curd.

After yuzu curd has been filled into all the cupcakes, pipe the meringue on top of the cupcake. Lastly, use a blowtorch to brown the surface of the meringue. Done!

Yuzu Curd Meringue Cupcakes
(Makes 17-18 pcs with 4cm base cases)
* this recipe can be adapted to lemon or orange flavour

Yuzu cupcake
  • 150g cake flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp yuzu oil (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 130g buttermilk
  • 1 tsp yuzu zest/powder
  • Yuzu curd - see recipe here

  1. Preheat oven to 180C, fan-assisted mode.
  2. Line muffin pans with cupcake cases. Set aside.
  3. Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Add butter and caster sugar into mixing bowl, beat on medium high speed using k-beater until smooth and creamy, about 4 mins. Stop to scrap sides of bowl, beat for another minute.
  5. Reduce to medium low speed, add eggs gradually and beat till just mixed.
  6. Add vanilla extract and yuzu oil.
  7. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 additions. Beat till just blended, finish off by removing mixing bowl from mixer, scrap sides of bowl and fold gently.
  8. Using an ice-cream scoop or spoon, fill batter into the cupcake cases, about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  9. Bake at 180C, fan assisted mode, for 15 mins (toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean).
  10. Remove from oven and let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  • 2 egg whites (about 80g)
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Add egg whites, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl, whisk to combine.
  2. Place bowl into a pot of simmering water, and whisk till the sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot to touch.
  3. Attach mixing bowl to mixer, whip the mixture on medium high speed using whisk attachment, till it is cooled to room temperature and texture resembles fluffy whipped cream.
  1. Using small paring knife, carve and remove the centre of the cupcake.
  2. Fill the yuzu curd into a piping bag and pipe the curd into the centre of the cupcake.
  3. Fill the meringue into a piping bag fitted with tip of choice, pipe the meringue atop the cupcake covering the curd.
  4. Use a blowtorch to brown the meringue topping (optional).
  5. The cupcakes are ready to be served. Best eaten at room temperature. The cupcakes can be stored in airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days. Before eating, bring the cupcakes to room temperature.

I LOVE the cupcake! Actually the cake itself was already very yummy. Tender and moist, not too sweet, with a whiff of yuzu aroma and taste, just the way it should be in order to let the yuzu curd shine. As I bite into the cupcake, the luscious yuzu curd burst into the mouth, slightly tangy, sweet and very fragrant, making me crave for another bite, and another, and gone. The golden meringue was light as cloud, adding a different texture and lending a visual appeal to the cupcake.

I had 17 cupcakes in all, although I already ate like 2 at one go, there were still dozen left. I couldn't be eating all of them #fatdieme! So the hb brought six to his office and the remaining 6, gifted to my secondary school friend who's keen in my bakes.

Really happy with this bake and glad that the yuzu curd was put into good use. Guess I could try with the lemon or orange flavour next time, but I know they can't compare to my beloved yuzu. Gonna wait till I get hold of yuzu the next season...

18 March 2016

My Birthday Rainbow Cake

This is going to be a random post about my birthday, cake and just ramblings :p

Yesterday was my birthday!! The final year that I can still declare myself officially as 30s! Don't know why I'm becoming more afraid of aging now? I must treasure my time this year and enjoy fully, partly because somehow stepping into the big 4 scares me, and partly because the kiddo is entering Primary School, a new milestone for both of us.

Anyways, went for a long spa therapy, followed by Korean BBQ dinner with the hb and kiddo, and finally birthday cake at home. It was simple, but lovely and I felt happy and blessed. Yep, that's how I feel so far this year, somehow I'm feeling quite high with generally good moods, different from last year where I was grumpy, grouchy and moody.

I remember last birthday was quite bad, I was feeling totally lousy. Worst, after looking at my birthday photo, my self-esteem dropped to an all-time low, I was overweight and looked haggard and ugly. Therefore, I made a wish to change myself for the better, through conscious healthy diet management and regular exercise. The path towards weight-loss wasn't easy, but somehow I persevered and survived, and lost about 7-8 kg. Read about my ramblings here.

So for the upcoming year, hope to lose another 3-4kg, so that I can buffer for weight gain, given that I really love to eat and actually dislike exercise. LOL :p

Ok, enough of the ramblings. Now onto the CAKE!

Well, for the past 2 years, the hb and kiddo had been buying the "Decorate-It-Yourself" cake from The Icing Room, and honestly speaking, the cake tasted blah -_- Sorry if I sounded snobbish or rude because I know many people love the concept and buy the cakes there, but I really disliked the cake.

So I decided, I will bake my own birthday cake. All along, I thought it's pretty weird to bake your own birthday cake, I mean, a bit pathetic right? The birthday girl still has to bake her own cake, can't her family buy cake from bakery or patisserie or something? But then again, I am a homebaker, I'm quite picky when it comes to cakes and pastries. Since I've been baking and selling cakes for others' birthdays, why can't I do it for myself? I can have any flavour and design I desire!

Initially I had big ideas, to try new recipes, new flavours etc. But I just returned from a sea-fishing trip in Malaysia, and tired lah. Cake, what cake? Oh ok, how about we just stick to my rainbow cake? I baked so many for others, I also want one for myself :)

Now, my family doesn't have very sweet tooth, and so do I. I always prefer the very tender and light type of cake, not too sweet as well, like the Japanese Strawberry Shortcake. Totally disliked fondant cakes as the cake texture is usually quite dense and the fondant is cloyingly sweet! Actually I'm not a big fan of buttercream either, a little bit is fine, but not a lot. Many people love chocolate, I like it, but likewise, not a lot. Finally 2 years ago, I attended a workshop on roll cakes and liked it a lot, so adapted the recipe for layer cakes instead. Spent much time and effort trying out, and managed to come up with a formula for order customization. So sorry, can't share the exact recipe or formula table, it's my baby.

Basically, the cake layer is baked using Japanese-style genoise sponge method where only 5 ingredients are used, flour, sugar, unsalted butter, milk and whole egg. The filling and frosting is made using whipping cream and mascarpone cheese and icing sugar (optional). Usually I will decorate with fruits or marshmallow (favourite for young children) but I wanted a sweet-looking flora look and I happened to have a box of swiss meringue buttercream in the freezer. While I really like the pretty-looking cakes with big blooms of roses and flowers that's very popular now, like I mentioned I'm not a big fan of buttercream (I'm not eating so much buttercream flowers), so I just randomly piped a few rosettes and some petite flowers and petals with whatever piping tips I have.

Heehee, turned out quite pretty, I'm pleased with it. I think I can add this design or similar to Meg's Pastry Studio :)

How the cake layers looked like before filling and frosting. Each layer is prepared and baked individually, as in prepare batter and bake, repeat 4 times (and not prepare one batter, divide into 4 baking pans). Very tedious!

The cake must be chilled, and best eaten cold, or just thaw for about 10-15 mins.

Love the cake texture, very tender and moist, pairs with the chantilly cream very well. The buttercream part was not bad; had reduced sugar so not too sweet, ate just a bit.

Looking forward to a great year of baking, cooking, travelling, dining and having fun!

10 March 2016

Crispy Chicken Fries

Recently I bought a packet of Nestum cereal because I wanted to cook Cereal Prawns. The thing is, it's sold only in 500g pack and only a small amount is used to cook the Cereal Prawns. Our family doesn't eat cereal, so I've been thinking of ways to use them up.

My picky rascal doesn't like chicken breast (tried making nuggets with minced chicken breast meat but he didn't like it); he loves fries and fried food, so I thought making chicken strips to look like fries might appeal to him. 

I bought a whole piece of deboned fresh chicken breast from the wet market (wanted the chicken fillet but not available). To make the meat more tender, I marinated the chicken strips in buttermilk overnight.

For the coating mixture, I used Japanese panko (for the crispiness), Nestum cereal (for the fragrance) and parmesan cheese powder (for the taste).

As the chicken strips were cut thinly, they cooked very quickly (not necessary to use a lot of oil to deep-fry, just pan-fry will do), so this is quite an easy and quick dish to cook and serve. It's great as snacks or for bento as well.

Crispy Chicken Fries

  • 450g chicken breast/fillet
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (alternatively mix 1/2 cup fresh milk with 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 5 tbsp Japanese panko
  • 5 tbsp Nestum cereal
  • 5 tbsp parmesan cheese powder
  1. Cut the chicken breast into thin strips and place them into a ziplock bag or airtight box.
  2. Mix buttermilk, salt and sugar together.
  3. Pour the buttermilk marinate into the ziplock bag or airtight box, shake to mix well. 
  4. Marinate for at least 4hrs or overnight.
  5. Mix panko, cereal and parmesan cheese powder together.
  6. Coat each strip of chicken with the mixture.
  7. Add some cooking oil in a shallow pan over medium heat, fry the chicken strips until golden brown on both sides.
  8. Best serve hot.
The texture of the chicken was really tender due to the overnight marinate in buttermilk, and the outside was crispy and fragrant, with a tad of cheesy taste. Good to eat on it's own or with dips like chilli sauce or ketchup. I'm glad my rascal enjoyed it; he ate one piece after another with mayonnaise dip.

I think this panko-cereal-parmesan coating would be nice for fish fingers, prawns and squid as well, will try them next time!

08 March 2016

Yuzu Curd Tart

After making yuzu curd from the precious yuzu brought back from Kyoto, I proceeded to make yuzu tarts the next day, because the yuzu curd should preferably be used up within a week.

In my mind, I kept thinking about a French-style tart, the French tarte au citron aka lemon tart because I thought it looks so tantalizing. LOL! Frankly, I've not eaten a lemon tart before because I'm not a big fan of lemon curd and there are always other more appealing pastry choices available.

But yuzu curd is different, personally I feel that it doesn't have that sharp tangy taste of lemon curd; instead, it's mild with a unique fragrance that makes me want to go for seconds.

Initially I thought it would be manageable, since I've had different tart making experiences like Hong Kong Flaky Egg Tart, Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart, Mini Egg Tarts etc etc...

But instead of my usual tart pastry recipe, I went for another recipe which has a higher butter content. And so, tart pastry nightmare, all over again.

In addition, since I wanted a French-style tart, I had to use a tart ring instead of the usual tart tins/cases (which is easier to manage). New learning curve. Took some practice and my tarts didn't end up classy looking at all, they looked, uh, rustic?

Oh, let me rant about the tart ring! Went to Phoon Huat but couldn't find (what?! why?!), had to make a trip to TOTT Store :( Ok, I digressed.

There are only 4 ingredients to the sweet tart pastry, unsalted butter, icing sugar, egg and cake flour. Beat butter and sugar using k-beater till creamy, add the egg, blend till mixed and finally the cake flour. Beat till just blended. Place the dough onto a sheet of clingwrap and cover. Let the dough rest in fridge for 45-60mins.

Once the dough is rested and firm, divide into 6 portions and work on 1 portion (keep the rest in the fridge) each time. As the dough has high butter content, it gets soft super quickly in our hot and humid weather. The only advice I give, DUST! Yes, dust the work surface, rolling pin, even the dough with plain flour, else the dough will just stick everywhere and cannot even lift it up.

Flatten the dough to about 5mm thickness, use a cutter to stamp the dough (I use a fluted cutter here because my circle cutter is too small and I forgot to buy one to match the tart ring!). Lift the dough and place it over a tart ring, push it down using fingers and shape around the tart ring. By this time, the dough is quite soft, so back to the fridge for about 15 mins to firm up.

After the tart dough is firmed, use a sharp knife to trim the top part (this step is optional if the fluted look is preferred). Place a sheet of clingwrap over the tart dough, then place pie weights or just beans into the tart. Wrap up the weights and bake in preheated oven at 180C for 13-15 mins. After 15 mins, remove the tart shells from the oven and remove the pie weights. The bottom of the tart shell seems to be under-baked (probably coz it's quite thick) so into oven to bake for another 8-10 mins.

My tart shells looked so ugly :( I did them in 3 batches, started from the top 2 (which I forgot to poke holes at the bottom of the dough and it puffed up a little), the 2nd batch was slightly better but over-baked and the final batch looked better overall but still far from what I expected!

Sweet Tart Pastry

  • 180g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 250g cake flour
  1. Beat butter and sugar using k-beater till creamy.
  2. Add the egg, blend till mixed.
  3. Add the cake flour and beat till just blended.
  4. Place the dough onto a sheet of clingwrap and cover. Let the dough rest in fridge for 45-60mins.
  5. Once the dough is rested and firm, divide into 6 portions and work on 1 portion (keep the rest in the fridge) each time.
  6. Dust the work surface, rolling pin and dough with plain flour.
  7. Roll the dough to about 5mm thickness, use a cutter to stamp the dough.
  8. Lift the dough and place it over a tart ring, push it down using fingers and shape around the tart ring.
  9. Place the tart dough into the fridge for about 15 mins to firm up.
  10. After the tart dough is firmed, use a sharp knife to trim the top part.
  11. Place a sheet of clingwrap over the tart dough, then place pie weights or beans into the tart. Wrap up the weights and bake in preheated oven at 180C for 13-15 mins.
  12. After 15 mins, remove the tart shells from the oven and remove the pie weights. If the bottom of the tart shell is under-baked, bake for another 8-10 mins.
  13. Let the tart shells cool completely before topping with cream/curd/fruits of choice.

As the tart shells are quite big (couldn't find petite ones), I decided to fill only 2 of them with yuzu curd (store the rest in air-tight container and chill for other fillings another day).

Since the tart shells already looked so rustic, kept the decor simple as well. I brushed the surface of the curd with some yuzu marmalade, added a few shreds of the yuzu peels and topped off with a small sprig of mint leaves.

For the other tart, I just added a sprinkle of lime zest and topped with a strawberry.

The tart tasted not bad at all!

Well, the tart pastry was a little too crunchy and not short at all (think I over-worked the dough and baked too long - the double-baking) but the crunchy texture actually matched the rich and luscious yuzu curd quite well. Haha. The mint leaves surprisingly complemented the overall taste, such that the curd wasn't too overwhelming.

Strawberries tasted good with yuzu curd too!

I think overall the tarts turned out not too bad lah, although not atas-looking, they were kind of homey and rustic? Haha, buay paiseh!

I still have some yuzu curd left and supposed to use them by this week. I think I'm going to settle for something simpler, yuzu curd meringue cupcake maybe? Stay tuned!

03 March 2016

Homemade Yuzu Curd

Brought back 6 yuzu from my vacation to Kyoto last month (gotta blog about the trip soon!), and I've been deliberating on how to utilise it fully because this fruit is so precious, well at least to me.

This time, I only bought 6, partly because it was early part of the journey, and partly because I was distracted by the white strawberry (equally precious). After Kyoto, I proceeded to Osaka but couldn't find nice looking yuzu and at reasonable prices anymore. Really wanted to kick myself for not getting at least a dozen back in Kyoto. Oh well...

In order to preserve the yuzu as long as possible, I decided to use 4 of them to make marmalade using my previous recipe. I guess with marmalade, I could have more choices subsequently, like eating it as jam with bread, drinking it as yujacha, and making cakes with it (I thinking about Yuzu Butter Cake!).

And then, the remaining 2. Both sat in the box they came with for sometime; every other day I would open the box, take them out and sniff them (sounds like I'm high on drugs or something?), put them back and procrastinate some more.

When black spots started to appear, I knew I couldn't delay anymore. Should I just bake a chiffon cake? No, no, I should do something different! Finally, decided on Yuzu Curd, and from there, many possibilities once again, like Yuzu Curd Meringue Cupcake, Yuzu Tart etc etc.

Here were the precious 6. They were the best of the lot among the shops I saw in Kyoto and Osaka. At 250 yen per piece, not exactly the cheapest (I've bought 3 for 200 yen before) but for the size and plumpness, I think totally worth it.

As I zest these 2 babies and squeeze them for juice, I literally shed a tear! My precious! It's over. Gone. *sigh* never mind me, I'm just be emo, over 2 yuzu.

2 yuzu fruit only yielded a heap tbsp of zest, but it's ok because the aroma was so intense. And juice was merely 3.5 tbsp.

Actually making curd is quite simple, only required juice, zest, caster sugar, full eggs and additional egg yolks and unsalted butter. This recipe can be used for lemon curd as well.

I rubbed the yuzu zest into the caster sugar to let the zest infused into the sugar.

Instead of cooking over direct heat, I prefer to cook the curd using bain marie method i.e. set a heat-proof bowl over a pot with simmering water. Add the eggs, egg yolks and yuzu zest sugar into the bowl, whisk to combine. Once sugar is dissolved, stir in the yuzu juice. Keep stirring using a spatula, the curd will start to thicken, will take 8-10 mins. Once consistency is like greek yogurt, remove from heat. Strain the curd through a sieve to ensure smooth consistency. Finally, once the curd is cooled to lukewarm, beat with k-beater on medium low heat, and add softened unsalted butter gradually. The yuzu curd is ready once all the butter is combined. Curd will be smooth and velvety. Let the curd cool to room temperature, store in airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Homemade Yuzu Curd
(Yield 300ml)

  • Zest from 2 yuzu (about 1 heap tbsp)
  • Juice from 2 yuzu (about 3.5 tbsp)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 75g unsalted butter
  1. Zest the yuzu using a microplane, add the zest into a heat-proof bowl, set aside.
  2. Add caster sugar into the bowl, rub the zest into the sugar with fingers, until sugar is tinted pale yellow and well-mixed with the zest.  Set aside for infusion.
  3. Prepare a pot with water and bring to boil. Once water boils, turn heat down to a simmer.
  4. Add eggs and egg yolks into the yuzu zest sugar, place the bowl over the simmering pot of water.
  5. Whisk the mixture continuously until sugar is dissolved.
  6. Pour yuzu juice into the bowl gradually, whisking continuously to blend.
  7. Switch to a spatula, keep stirring until mixture starts to thicken. Once curd thickens to consistency of greek yogurt (about 8-10 mins), remove from heat.
  8. Strain the curd through a sieve into a mixing bowl. This is to ensure smooth consistency.
  9. Once the the curd is cooled to lukewarm, beat using k-beater on medium low heat, and add softened unsalted butter gradually. 
  10. The yuzu curd is ready once all the butter is combined. Curd will be smooth and velvety. Let the curd cool to room temperature, store in airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

So in replacement of 6 yuzu, I have Yuzu Marmalade and Yuzu Curd. Come to think of it, I'm prolonging their life right? But they are not the same.....

Anyways, hope to bake some yummy cakes/pastries with them in the near future. Or if I'm lazy I'll just eat them as they are. Stay tuned!