Monday, August 29, 2016

Pandan Creme Brulee Tart Recipe - Super Delicious

I totally hate Winter. Some people enjoy the cold, but for me, the weather is awful. Given the usual terrible weather outside, one thing that I like to do indoors is to bake. I'm constantly trying to come up with new baking items as I love experimenting. So it was a perfect match when I was challenged by CSR Sugar to create a baked good for Winter. Given it's Winter, my mind instantly went to rich indulgent things like a creme brulee, which is an absolute favourite of mine. But to give it a twist, I decided to combine it with my favourite flavour, pandan, and to give it another textural (as they always say you need to do in Masterchef) in the form of a tart. I searched online and can you believe no such recipe exists, so I developed my own using the CSR Sugar products.

And here I present to you my one of a kind Pandan Creme Brulee Tart in all it's green glory. This tart may make you think of the Hulk, Green Lantern, aliens or even the musical Wicked, but trust me, it tastes so sensational and unlike anything else you'll ever taste. The creme brulee element is so smooth and creamy, with the intoxicating fragrance of the pandan. Then the pastry gives that rich buttery flavour with some crunch, finally topped off by the burnt sugar top which cracks in your mouth and gives this caramelised smokey flavour. With the sugar brulee top, this tart just would not be as good as it is now.

Some tips and tricks for achieving the perfect pandan creme brulee tart
- Bake the shortcrust pastry until it's really golden to ensure it's leak proof for the filling
- Make sure you strain the creme brulee filling with a fine sieve so you get the smoothest consistency
- Put the baked tart shell in the oven and then pour in the filling because it's very hard to move a full tart shell with the filling sloshing about
- Don't overbake the tart as you want the filling to still wobble and be soft and not curdle
- Don't be afraid to really torch the brulee top as you want a good crisp sugar crack but also to have the burnt bits that really add flavour.

Pandan Creme Brulee Tart Recipe

I used two recipes that I adapted for my recipe. The shortcrust pastry was from Belinda Jeffery and the creme brulee filling from Epicurious.

Shortcrust Pastry
Makes enough pastry for one 26-28cm tart shell

1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
125g cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup (60ml) iced water

1. Combine the flour and salt into a food processor and mix them together.
2. Add the butter and pulse everything until the mixture resembles medium-fine breadcrumbs.
3. With the processor running, pour in the iced water and process only until the dough forms a ball.
4. Tip the dough out onto a board and shape it into a ball. Flatten it into a disc and wrap it tightly in cling film.
5. Chill the dough for about 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is firm, but soft enough to roll.

Custard Filling

2 teaspoon pandan extract
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 whole large egg
1/2 cup CSR caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Add pandan extract to saucepan with cream and milk. Heat over medium heat until hot, then let steep off heat 30 minutes.
2. Whisk together yolks, whole egg, sugar, and salt in a bowl.
3. Add cream mixture into the eggs mixture and whisk until smooth.
4. Strain custard filling through a fine-mesh sieve into measuring cup.

Bake Pandan Creme Brulee Tart
2 tablespoon CSR caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Put tart shell (in tart tin) in a 4-sided tray.
3. Put tray in oven and pour custard into shell.
4. Bake tart until just set but still slightly wobbly in center, 30 to 35 minutes (custard will continue to set as it cools).
5. Remove tart from tray and cool on a rack 30 minutes. Remove tart tin and cool to room temperature for an hour more.
6. Just before serving, sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar evenly over top of tart. Move blowtorch flame evenly back and forth just above top of tart, avoiding crust, until sugar is caramelized and slightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

John West Fiery Tuna Rigatoni with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Recipe

Canned tuna is a staple item that I have in my pantry at all times. It is super versatile and easy to prepare to eat. You can literally open the can and just dig in with a fork. Put it in between some bread, on crackers, or in a salad and there's an instant meal. You can also add it into many other dishes to make a fancier meal. Whichever way you use it, it is sure to be tasty. I normally buy the John West tuna in olive oil and mix in whatever other flavours I want. Well, recently John West have introduced their Fiery Tuna range of products and I'm so excited. I love love love spicy foods and these fiery flavours are right up my alley. I've tried all four flavours and they're all delicious. I decided to create a recipe with the Inferno as I love a super spicy kick and think it works well with pasta.

Below is my John West Fiery Tuna Rigatoni with Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe. The dish was so easy to make and definitely fell into the "anyone can make this" category. It was also really delicious and the spicy kick from the Inferno tuna added so much to this dish. This dish is a perfect quick meal for one, or a massive gathering for ten. If you want it less spicy, just use the jalapeno tuna and it works great as well.

Tuna Rigatoni with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny website.
Serves: 4 servings

190g (2 x cans) John West Fiery Inferno tuna
250g rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and chopped
1/2 chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced


1) Boil pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2) Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat; add garlic and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
3) Stir in tuna, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon juice, cooking for an additional 3 minutes until tomatoes are tender.
4) Add pasta, half of the parsley and half of the cheese to the pan, tossing gently.
5) To serve, divide pasta among plates and sprinkle each with remaining parsley and cheese.

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