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Zen – Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle

This matcha almond tart with swiss meringue and sesame brittle wonderfully plays with the popular Japanese dessert flavours – Matcha and Sesame. The earthy taste of the matcha almond filling pairs perfectly with the caramel, nutty taste of the sesame brittle that’s on top of the dreamy toasted Swiss meringue.  

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame BrittleMatcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle7

This tart came as a total surprise for me, because I originally made the matcha almond filling for Mont Blanc, a classic French dessert that’s made with chestnut puree and meringue. Unfortunately, there were lots of issues in the making and the mont blanc didn’t turn out as well as I expected so I decided to use the filling for something else. I promise you all that I will perfect my mont blanc recipe and share with you when the time comes around!

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle3

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle6

And I do want to talk a bit more about the sweet pastry here. I recently bought some new tart rings that I had been craving for so long due to its more sophisticated finish. There’re quite a few methods out there to line pastry into these circular rings. After testing out on all the methods, I do find that the method of cutting out a larger circle of pastry and directly fit that in to the ring is the easiest and the most guaranteed. If you wanna watch how to do it in a video, I’d recommend Cupcake Jemma’s tutorial video  Alternatively, you can also cut out circles of pastry that are almost the same size as the base of your tart ring, as well as strips of pastry to fit as the sides. And you are gonna push the edge of the base to stick with the strips. Personally, I do find this a bit more tricky as sometimes as the pastry is too dry, the strips won’t stick too well with the base and they’ll separate when baked.

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle4

As you’d all notice, I am recently super obsessed with meringue (the feeling of blow-torching meringue is just incomparably satisfying), so I decided to incorporate it into this tart to add another layer of texture. From top to bottom, you get the crispiness of the sesame brittle, the softness of the swiss meringue, the creaminess of the matcha almond filling, and the crunch of the sweet pastry. I chose to use Swiss meringue this time because I wanted it to be firmer and finer to top the tart with. And I adjusted the sweetness of the meringue recipe so it won’t be overwhelmingly sweet. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle2

 

Ingredients (make 6 small tart):

Sweet Tart Crust

  • 125g unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes 
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 250g all purpose flour
  • 55g whole egg, beaten

Matcha Almond Filling

  • 60 g butter
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp milk

Swiss Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 150g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt

Sesame Brittle:

  • 60g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 30g water
  • 1/4 salt  

Instructions:

Sweet Tart Crust

  1. Rub together cold butter, sugar and flour to a fine crumb.
  2. Add egg and mix to a dough.
  3. Wrap dough with plastic and rest in the refrigerator to firm up until needed.
  4. While your dough is resting, preheat your oven to 180C.
  5. Dust your work surface with flour to avoid sticking. Roll pastry to 3mm thick and line into 6 small tart rings.
  6. Poke holes on the pastry with a fork and put it back into the fridge to rest for 30 mins.
  7. Blind bake for around 10 mins until slightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack. *Don’t bake until golden brown at this stage as the tart will continue to bake when you bake the filling*

Matcha Almond Filling

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until pale and fluffy. It will take around 5 minutes.
  2. Add egg and beat until incorporated.
  3. Add almond meal and matcha powder into the sugar-butter-egg mixture. Mix with a spatula until it forms a paste.
  4. Add milk and mix until incorporated.
  5. If your tart shells are ready by now, fill them with the matcha almond filling (only to 85% full as they expand when baked) and bake for 10 mins. Let cool completely.

Swiss meringue

  1. Add  egg whites and sugar to an oil-free bowl. Using a double boiling method, gently heat the egg whites mixture up, while whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140F (60C).  The sugar should have completely dissolved at this stage.
  2. Add the hot egg white-sugar mixture to your electric mixer mixing bowl (oil-free). Whip on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels cool. This will take about 7-10 mins.

Sesame Brittle

  1. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, water, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, continue stirring until the mixture reaches 260°F (127C). Add the sesame seeds and continue cooking while stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 350°F (177C). Stop cooking if you see the mixture turns into a golden brown color.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately pour the mixture into the prepared parchment paper, spreading it with a palette knife into an even, thin layer. Set aside to cool until firm.
  4. Once the brittle is cooled, break it into pieces of your desired size.

Assemble:

  1. Spoon or pipe the swiss meringue on the tarts and create some “peaks’ with a spoon.
  2. Insert the sesame brittles into the meringue.
  3. Toast the meringue with a blowtorch.
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Earl Grey Honey Cake with Passion Fruit Curd and Toasted Italian Meringue



These mini Earl Grey Honey Cake with Passion Fruit Curd and Toasted Italian Meringue are perfect for an afternoon party to feed  your guests! They are bursting with fruity freshness with a subtle citrus tone, not to mention the cake’s melt-in-your-mouth soft texture.



Earl_Grey_Cake_with_Passionfruitcurd_and_Toasted_Meringue3Earl_Grey_Cake_with_Passionfruitcurd_and_Toasted_Meringue5

 

The background story of this creation can be traced to the madeira cake I made at school at the beginning of this term. Medeira cake is a simple citrus cake served with tea or sweet wine; it has a golden brown surface and light yellow interior, and is characterised by its close crumb structure because of its specific making method. I loved this cake when I first tried it because it got the texture that I liked and it’s so simple yet delicious. Yet, this time for my own creation, I, of course, changed things up a bit with some additional elements to make the cake interesting.

Earl_Grey_Cake_with_Passionfruitcurd_and_Toasted_Meringue

To pair with the sweet, citrus taste from the earl grey honey cake, I decided to use passion fruit curd and some toasted meringue. I have eaten passion fruit desserts before outside but It’s actually my first time to buy passion fruit in my life (I know right..). And I realised I’d been missing out such a great fruit! The moment I cut it open, the fragrance coming out from it was just heavenly and I could instantly well imagine how good it would taste with some greek yogurt and honey for breakfast.

Earl_Grey_Cake_with_Passionfruitcurd_and_Toasted_Meringue2

Also, I also grasped today’s free time to practise tempering chocolate. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but tempering chocolate gives me a headache most of the time and sometimes it gets really frustrating. Luckily, today I did manage to temper chocolate and make some simple decoration successfully. I will need to temper chocolate again the coming week and I hope today’s experience is gonna give me more confidence. Anyway, I hope that you all like this recipe and have a fruitful week ahead of you! (pun intended)


Ingredients (makes around 15 mini cakes) :

Earl Grey Honey Cake

  • 180g cake flour
  • 100g corn flour
  • 80g almond meal
  • 4 earl grey tea bags, loose leaves of
  • 5g baking powder
  • Salt, pinch of
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g honey
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice of
  • 3 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 50g sour cream
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod

Passion fruit curd 

Italian Meringue

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Earl Grey Honey Cake 

  1. Boil milk, 2 bags of earl grey loose leaves, and vanilla beans in a pot. Let it infused until ready to use.  
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest in the last minute of mixing.
  3. Add eggs SLOWLY until all incorporated (only add more eggs until they are fully incorporated or you’d risk curdling the mixture; also, mind that the eggs should be at room temperature/slightly warm to achieve the best result)
  4. While the eggs are mixing, prepare and sift your dry ingredients (i.e. cake flour, almond meal, 2 bags of earl grey loose leaves, baking powder, and salt). Gently fold in dry ingredients into the butter mix until just incorporated (don’t over mix)
  5. Slowly add earl grey-infused milk, lemon juice and sour cream. Mix until just incorporated.
  6. Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe evenly into silicon mould. Tap the mould to release air bubbles. Bake at 180C for 25-30 mins until golden brown. Let cool. 

Passion fruit curd 

  1. Dissolve gelatin in hot water and add to the passion fruit curd while it’s still warm.
  2. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until they start to set*

*They set pretty fast so please be ready to pipe when they reach the ideal consistency.

Italian Meringue

  1. Put sugar and water in a small saucepan and do NOT stir. Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C. When the syrup reaches 115C, simultaneously start whisking the egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.
  2. When the sugar reaches 118C, pour it over the egg whites (pour the hot syrup on the side of the mixing bowl to avoid cooking the egg whites). Turn the mixer to high speed and continue beating for about 5-7 mins, until the meringue is cooled down to 50C and glossy stiff peaks have formed.

P.S When you assemble the cakes, you should first pipe the meringue AND toast them, before you pipe the passion fruit curd to avoid melting the curd.

 Yum




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Four Lemon Curd Limoncello Meringue Éclairs
This post is my salute to the éclair  – the stunning, wicked treats found in most French pastry shops which by their very nature capture everyone’s steal hearts. By definition, an éclair is a finger-shaped pastry made with choux dough, filled with cream or custard and topped with icing. It’s no exaggeration to say that they look like art and taste like heaven – something achieved with patience, precision and care.Four Lemon Curd Limoncello Meringue Éclairs

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Meringue on Lemon Curd Meringue Mousse Cake
Lemon Curd Meringue Mousse Cake with Macadamia Crust flat layAs promised, the hero of this post is lemon curd (that hopefully you’ve successfully made at home :p). You won’t believe it, but this beautiful lemon curd mousse cake is downright my proudest creation throughout my 1 ½ -year-baking-life – so it’s already happily sitting on my still-imaginary-cafe’s menu waiting to be ordered and devoured!Lemon Curd Meringue Mousse Cake with Macadamia Crust top view

In my baking philosophy, balance is as important as flavour. The best desserts are those that deliver multiple complementary tastes and textures. In this balancing act, there is meringue and whipped cream, gently folded in, contributing to the lightness of the mousse. Then, I specifically chose macadamia as the cake base as it is crunchy and light. With the help of butter, it keeps the lemon from completely dominating the taste. 

Slice of Lemon Curd Meringue Mousse Cake with Macadamia Crust

So, from top to bottom, you get the marshmallowy softness of meringue, the creaminess of lemon curd, the airy feel of mousse, and the crunch of macadamia. They all come together to create the perfect mousse cake eating experience.

Freshly sliced Lemon Curd Meringue Mousse Cake with Macadamia Crust

All of that aside, don’t get intimidated by the numerous components of the cake. All you need is time and patience – something I didn’t have at all. Even I of all people am still learning to appreciate the beauty of it every time I’m in the kitchen. Good luck, and have lots of fun with this recipe!

Ingredients:

For the mousse:

  • 180g homemade lemon curd *for its instructions, please refer to the previous post
  • 13g gelatin
  • 150g/ml water
  • 5 egg white
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tar tar
  • 200ml heavy cream

For the base:

  • 320g macadamia
  • 50g butter, melted  

For the toppings:

  • 50g homemade lemon curd

Instructions:

For the base:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Line an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. Ground the nuts in a food processor or blender into a semi-fine texture with some crunch left. Add the melted butter. Mix well.
  4. Evenly distribute the mixture on the bottom of the pan and press with a spoon until the base is even and firm.
  5. Bake for 10 mins until golden brown. Set aside and let cool.

For the mousse:

  1. Mix the gelatin powder with water in a small bowl. Slowly melt the gelatin by placing the bowl in a hot water bath; alternatively, you can microwave the gelatin-water mixture for 15-20 seconds.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add lemon curd and gelatin mixture; mix well.
  3. In another bowl, add egg whites, cream of tar tar, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the caster sugar using a tablespoon, and beat until thick and glossy. This will take about 5-7 mins. Gently fold the egg whites into lemon curd mixture in 3 additions.
  4. Using the same bowl and electric mixer, beat cream until soft peaks form (do NOT over mix). Gently fold whipped cream into the mixture in 3 additions.
  5. Pour the mousse mixture into the cooled cake pan. Refrigerate at least for 3.5 hours for the cake to set.

For the lemon curd topping:

  1. Sift 50g of your homemade lemon curd to remove any lumps or zest.
  2. Evenly spread the curd over the top of the cake. Enjoy!! 

*Feel free to put meringue decoration just like I dd

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