Sunday, October 14, 2012

It has been five days and a lot more freedom since the last post. 

Yup, EYAs 2012 have officially ended and it's time to commence the Post EYA plans that I have been planning well, during the EYA period. Apart from going out with people, this year's post EYA plans have been really different from previous year's as I now have a lot more introverted activities. I have really grown to be a lot more introverted this year - and that's not necessarily a bad thing, really. That aside, the first thing on my to-do list (literally) is to: 

I love love love baking - I love the process of baking, from going to the supermarts to shop for baking products, to the baking process itself and right down to the eating of course! I'm really trying to reach a good level of competence in baking so I can come up with my own recipes and experiment with things. As of now,   I'm still stuck to following recipes which I really hate - namely because I hate following measurements and just following steps. To be honest, when I bake, I don't follow the measurements stated - I use my own intuition and that's really the fun part about concocting your own surprises.

Yup so I turned on my oven today and baked a Chocolate Raspberry & Blueberry tart! I call it my "Berry Chocolate Tart"! (: It's a modified version of Laura Vitale's Chocolate Raspberry Tart!

Here are the more photogenic ingredients! Hershey's semisweet chocolate chips, fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries and graham crackers. The ingredients not pictured are the butter, the sugar, the salt and heavy cream. I never knew that Singapore sold graham crackers and I used to substitute them with digestive cookies but it wasn't quite the same - digestives were definitely more delicious, to be honest but I always wanted to know how graham crackers tasted like. I chanced upon the crackers yesterday and found out that these were really legit graham crackers so I was pretty happy with my find! I found out that Singapore sold buttermilk as well - which was actually an ingredient that put me off from baking red velvet cupcakes because of the hassle of making my own buttermilk substitute. Now I know that they are so easily accessible in Singapore, you should know what my next baking experiment will be on (;

The first step was crushing my graham crackers - It was quite a horrible experience. They were so difficult to crush properly and I didn't bother to continue crushing halfway since my hands were getting a bit sore so my crust had quite a bit of huge pieces. Oh well, perhaps they added an extra crunch to my tart.

Mixed the cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar and lined the tart pan before baking it. I got really distracted by a lot of nonsense so I left my crust in the oven for a little longer than it should have and look at what happened. It was so charred and burnt. But I still used it since I didn't have enough butter to re make the crust. 

Then I moved on to mushing the blueberries and raspberries before putting them through a sieve to attain only the finest juices - I took a taste of the puree and boy was it sour. I guess it would lend a bit of a tart taste in contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate - so that'd be great. 

Next, I worked on the real "filling" of the tart - the creamy part! It's extremely fattening - the cream and all - but the product was pretty worth it, in my opinion

Had to bring the cream to a simmer - I'm always scared of cooking desserts over the stove, it always makes me feel a bit paranoid especially with custard-like dishes. I'm always afraid that the would thicken up or burn. This this happen to the heavy cream, fortunately. 

Dusted some salt over my lovely semi sweet chocolate chips before pouring the simmering cream over them. 

The little chips started melting and blending into the cream. 

Boy oh boy, look at that glorious rich chocolatey colour! 

Then poured the raspberry and blueberry puree into the chocolate mixture for a good balance between sweet and sour. I couldn't resist trying the mixture and it was really good. 

 And into the tart crust it went! The mixture was really smooth and looked heavenly to taste. 

And afterwards, I garnished the tart with the leftover raspberries and blueberries! 

End product was insanely good, to be honest. The crust was a little too crumbly than I would have liked - should have added a lot more butter to it - but it was still quite good.

Overall, I don't think I would be making this for leisure again - unless there's a special occasion because of the high price of the ingredients. The raspberries were rather costly and making the tart amounted to over twenty bucks, which is a price which could probably get you one that's already pre made. 

But it was fun making it and it's really yummy (: 

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