Saturday, February 6, 2016

Melt-in-Mouth Matcha Pineapple Tarts

Yay, the Lunar New Year is around the corner! And CNY for me = pineapple tarts season! :D

Pineapple tarts are my absolute favourite CNY cookie. But I'm not a fan of the open-faced pineapple tarts nor the nastar pineapple rolls, I only like the enclosed ones.

My mum bought heaps of pineapple tarts, enclosed ones included but I was still itching to make some more myself because I am one very picky pineapple tart lover and it's really hard to find good ones out there that suits my preferences.

Plus I love soft melt-in-mouth pastry with pineapple jam that isn't too sweet and I often find the ones that we buy a little too sweet for my liking. As my mum would often say, "So picky, how to find?" Lol true, so no choice, have to make my own lor!

My mum bought two pineapples known in Hokkien as the "Gien-kee" pineapple variety, however I am not too sure what it's called in English. All I know is that "gien-kee" pineapple is really sweet even when enjoyed on its own. So using this variety of pineapple resulted in an amazing jam!

Hehe and as you know, to live up to my nickname - The Matchanista - I am on a mission to matcha-fy everything so there's no exception for my pineapple tarts! Actually the main reason why I wanted to make pineapple tarts was because I could not get the idea of matcha pineapple tarts out of my head. So I knew I had to make my own!

I have to admit, the whole process was really arduous but very worth it. The kitchen smelt absolutely AMAZING and the pineapple tarts were so so good! Buttery pastry that melts in your mouth... ahhh, it's the best! I could not stop at one, they're simply too easy to eat.

I personally prefer the matcha version as I found that the addition of matcha produced a more fragrant pastry, which I absolutely LOVED! My mum who isn't too big a fan of matcha also gave me the big thumbs up, and agreed that although subtle, it was slightly more fragrant.

So here I am, to share my matcha pineapple tarts recipe so you too can enjoy some, if you're keen enough to make. :)

I tried two different recipes for the pastry dough - Wendy's (Table for 2) and Sonia's (Nasi Lemak Lover). I found Sonia's recipe a little more simple in terms of ingredients and although both weren't sticky, Sonia's recipe yielded a pastry dough that was a little easier to handle.

I've shared Wendy's recipe in my previous attempt here - so today I will share Sonia's.

Melt-in-Mouth Pineapple Tarts (Makes 65 pieces)
Recipe adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover and modified by The Bakeanista

Ingredients
  • 300g butter
  • 85g condensed milk
  • 435 plain flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tsp milk, for egg wash
  • 550g pineapple jam (see recipe below)

Method

  1. Cream butter and condensed milk till light.
  2. Add in egg yolk one at a time, and beat until well combined.
  3. Sift in flour, mix till become a soft and not sticky dough. 
  4. To make matcha pastry, sift in 2 tsp of matcha powder and mix until just combined. Don't overmix. I did a half-half, so I separated the dough equally and mixed 1 tsp of Zen Wonders Taishiro into half of the dough.
  5. Roll pineapple filling into ball (8g each) and roll dough into ball (12g each). I like my tarts with more pastry than jam, so for some I used only 6g of filling to 12g of pastry dough. The best thing about homemade tarts is that you can adjust accordingly to suit your liking.
  6. Flatten a piece of pastry dough and place a piece of the roll pineapple filling in the middle. Bring the edges of the dough together and press lightly to seal. Roll it in between your palms to shape it into a round roll.
  7. Cut few lines on the pineapple balls to create pineapple pattern, apply egg wash with a brush.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 165C (fan forced) for 23mins or until golden brown.
  9. Cool completely before storing. I stored mine in an airtight container at room temperature.

Please note that this pineapple jam recipe below yields approximately 550g jam, just the right amount needed for the pastry recipe above.

Homemade Pineapple Jam
Recipe adapted from Table for 2 and modified by The Bakeanista

Ingredients
  • 900g pineapple, chopped into chunks 
  • 300g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Method
  1. Put half of the pineapple chunks into the blender and pulse. Add remaining pineapple chunks and continue to blend.
  2. Pour the blended pineapple into a pan or wok, and cook pineapple paste with cinnamon stick on medium heat until pasty, like thick oatmeal.
  3. After the cooked pineapple jam has lost 80% of its water content, approximately 30 mins later, add in sugar. It will turn watery again but don't worry, it's normal. The jam splatters quite a bit a lot, so be very prepared and careful. Use kitchen mitts to stir.
  4. Turn to lower medium heat, and cook until very pasty. Stir only occasionally, (about once every 2-3 mins) but be sure to keep an eye on it to ensure that the pineapple jam doesn't burn.
  5. When the jam is pasty enough, increase the heat to high to allow the base to take on some colour and caramelize the jam. Stop when the jam reaches your preferred colour and consistency.
  6. Set aside to cool. I let mine cool for over an hour.
  7. Roll jam into 6g balls each. I measured mine one by one to ensure that each piece has the right amount of jam. 
  8. You may opt to prepare the jam one day ahead as it is rather time consuming and by doing so, it'll allow you to focus on the tarts alone the following day. 
Happy baking! I hope if you do give this recipe a go, you will love it as much as I do. 

My PT kept saying to me "Don't binge eat!". It's going to be really tough watching what I put in my mouth but seeing as we celebrate CNY only once a year, I personally think we're all allowed to indulge in some amazing pineapple tarts. I had maybe 10 of them, in one day. *shifty eyes* I highly recommend sharing the calories with your family, like I did, so you feel less guilty hehehe! ;)

Happy Chinese New Year and may the year of the monkey bring to all of you an abundance of good luck, prosperity and most importantly, joy and happiness!

新年快乐, 心想事成!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Matcha Chocolate Cinnamon Scrolls

If there's anything at all that my Mum requests for every single time she visits us, it's my infamous cinnamon rolls. So when my parents were in town a few weeks ago, I made them some scrolls.

And as you all know, I am crazily in love with matcha at the moment and as it seems, I am matchafying everything, so of course there is no exception for my cinnamon rolls too.

This idea for a matcha chocolate cinnamon scroll creeped into my head as I was rolling out the dough. I was thinking, "Hmmm, it'd be really nice if it was all matcha-y and green!"

I did a quick google search and could not find any recipe out there that's similar to the idea that I had in mind, so I set out to come up with a recipe of my own. And VOILA - The Bakeanista's very own matcha chocolate cinnamon scrolls! ;)

The first time I baked them to test the recipe, I did not take any photos. As it was really good and we all loved it a lot (I received stamps of approval from The Brudder and The SIL who requested for moreeeee), I decided to make another batch and this time I made sure to photograph them. ;)

As this is an original recipe by yours truly, I also wanted to note that I did test the recipe twice, adjusting it ever so slightly the second time around and came up with this final version that I hope you will enjoy! :)

Matcha Chocolate Cinnamon Scrolls
Original recipe by The Bakeanista

Ingredients for dough:
  • 300g plain flour, plus more for dusting work surface
  • 100g bread flour
  • 2 tbsp matcha powder
  • 50g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 14g yeast
  • 40g unsalted butter, melted
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg for glazing

Ingredients for filling:
  • 80g butter
  • 70g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp matcha
  • 15g dark choc, chopped finely

Method:
  1. Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and set aside.

     photo DSC04829_zpsaw5oroyr.jpg
  2. Chop chocolate until fine and set aside.
  3. In another clean bowl, melt butter and milk over double boiler, then let butter mixture cool down before beating in the eggs. Alternatively you could zap the mixture in the microwave in 3 sets of 15 seconds, until the butter has melted altogether.
  4. Add butter mixture from (3) into (1) and knead with dough hook.
  5. Knead until well-combined, and check to ensure that the dough has reached windowpane stage then form into a ball and cover with a clean and slightly damp kitchen towel.
  6. Set aside in a relatively warm place for 30-40 minutes to allow the dough to rise.

     photo DSC04823_zpsov0reacg.jpg
  7. Prepare the filling 30 minutes into the proofing time. Mix the softened butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add in cinnamon powder, then sift in cocoa and matcha powder, and continue mixing until well combined and mixture resembles wet sand.
  8. Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease two 8" inch square baking tray generously with butter. I lined with a layer of aluminium foil so there's less to wash then grease the foil with butter. ;)

     photo DSC04826_zpsd1zzhayv.jpg
  9. The dough by now would have risen to the top of the bowl. Remove the kitchen towel and punch down the dough. Turn the punched dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, for about 1 minute. Divide the dough into two equal portions. My dough worked out to be 700g in total, so I had two portions of 350g.

  10. Roll out one portion of the dough into a rectangular shape then sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar filling. Press the filling firmly into the dough and scatter half of the chopped chocolate pieces generously. (I did add more after the photo was taken btw)
  11. Using a bench scraper or spatula, loosen the dough from the work surface. Starting at a long side, roll the dough away from you, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. 

     photo DSC04847_zpsppwqk1hu.jpg
  12. Pinch the seam to seal. Roll the log seam-side down and cut it evenly into 9 pieces.

     photo 37AF55AF-D800-4E0B-BF94-F3D3EC15B1B1_zpsshm3i8or.jpg
  13. Turn the pieces over on their flat sides and arrange them on the baking tray. Using your hand, slightly flatten each piece of dough to seal the open edges and keep the filling in place.
  14. Brush with egg wash then cover the baking tray with a kitchen towel and set aside to let dough rise on the countertop for at least 15 minutes before baking. Repeat with remaining dough.
  15. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. 
  16. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove and place scrolls on a wire rack. 
Enjoy whilst still warm, for they are the BEST fresh out of the oven! ;)

The rolls smelt really matcha-y prior to baking, but as the chocolate melted during the baking process, it did end up being a little more chocolatey that it is matcha-y after baking.

Still very delicious regardless, but if you want it stronger in matcha flavour, I recommend upping it from 2 tbsp to 3 tbsp of matcha powder in the dough instead. I'm planning to do that the next time I make this recipe again, which I can foresee will be very soon!

As usual I used Zen Wonders organic culinary grade Shizen. For those keen to try, Zen Wonders is offering an exclusive 10% off the total bill across all products for The Bakeanista's friends. Just enter "BAKENSTA" at check out. ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chewy Green Tea Cookies with Matcha Chips

Remember these matcha white chocolate chips that I made a few weeks ago? I've been so busy running errands, and taking my parents around for the past two weeks that they've just been sitting in my fridge, waiting.

So this week after my parents have flown back to Malaysia, and The Boyfriend has gone back to work after his 2 weeks break, I finally had some time to myself.

And I got right down to baking that very morning! I absolutely love the tinge of green mini matcha chips amidst the cookie dough.

This simple recipe produces the chewy type of cookie. These divine beauties are crisp on the outside yet soft and chewy in the middle and with delicious matcha chocolate chips spread throughout them... Oh, they are a scrumptious treat!

And the best part about homebaking is the smell of freshly baked goodies. My kitchen smelt so SO good the entire afternoon. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did:

Chewy Matcha Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Une-deux and modified by The Bakeanista

Ingredients
  • 230g or 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp strong-brewed green tea
  • 2 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cup matcha chocolate chips

Method
  1. Make matcha chocolate chips and set aside - eecipe available here. You can make a day or even a week in advance, just ensure that the chocolate chips are kept in air tight container. As it is summer now in Australia, I had to refrigerate the chips.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  3. Brew a small amount of green tea. I used one teabag of Japanese green tea and 4 tbsp of hot water.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  5. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until very smooth and fluffy. This takes about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Beat in the egg, vanilla and green tea.
  7. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients until well combined.
  8. Fold in the matcha chips carefully.
  9. Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of dough, then place on the prepared cookie sheet, about 1½ inches apart. Use your palm to press them down slightly.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes on middle rack or until lightly browned.
  11. Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely on a rack.

The cookies were best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, still a little warm and with a cup of tea. I couldn't resist them, I had 4 pieces in one go and felt super guilty as I was meant to start clean eating again this week. But but... They really were too good to stop at one!

The green tea flavour really stands out as the cookie dough is infused with strongly brewed Japanese green tea, and paired with the matcha chips. Love! This is the perfect kind of cookie for me or anyone of you who loves green tea as much as I do.

There's a running joke that I should rename myself to The Matchanista instead of The Bakeanista, with all the green going on in my Instagram feed haha.

If you're a sweet tooth like I am, you could also put together a really quick summer dessert - ice cream cookie sandwich!! All you need is some ice cream and two pieces of cookies. ;)

And as usual, if you've got any questions or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comment box below. Happy baking! :)
Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)