Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend Herb Blogging #243 - Round-Up

Here is a round-up for our little summer party on Eat Read Live - Recipes!
Cardoons with Bechamel - Cook Almost Anything

Haalo from Australia shares with us this not very commonly used member of the artichoke family - the cardoons! What a great name, especially useful to con encourage your kids to have their vegetables. A great alternative to the useful mashed/baked potatoes to go with your Sunday pork/chicken roast.

Herbed Cheese Sticks - Everything Herbed

Ela from the Phillipines shares with us the very unique (and tasty) version of cheese sticks.... with herbs! Coupled with a lemongrass drink, this is sure to be a knock-out for a snack or pre-dinner bite.

Mediterranean cous cous stuffed heirloom tomatoes - Mele Cotte

Chris from Atlanta (USA) shares with us a variety of the super tomatoes! Heirloom tomatoes. It is not available in this part of Asia for us and definitely a "wow" for me when I first saw the photos. Great stuff!

Lemon Balm Tea - Kits Chow

Christine from Vancouver, Canada shares with us the soothing properties (and her gardening experience) of the Lemon Balm. Fantastic member of the family, Christine also included tips on how to use them to aroma-tise the house! Do you know that lemon is one of the most expensive herb to squeeze essential oils out of? I say, why use the oil when you can plant it yourself and use it like Christine!

Ethiopian Lentil Stew & Ethiopian Green Beans and Potatoes - Eats Well with Others

Joanne from NYC shares with us her close-shave experience of her day and the continued inspiration to have natural foods. Her Ethiopian dishes here looks packed to the brim with tastes and flavours while staying au naturel!

Strawberry Custard Tart - Eat.Read.Live

My very own entry after a couple of months break. Strawberries, don't you just love them?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Strawberry Custard Tart

It's WHB #243 and we are super honoured to be hosting this edition of Weekend Herb BloggingHere's a quick summary of the rules, if you are always cooking, why not share the knowledge with the rest of the community? It's a rewarding experience. :)


Inspired by the challenge to bake a wedding cake for a close friend's wedding, wifey and I were on a strawberry rampage for a while. We came upon this delightful recipe from a friend's website and decided to give it a shot! And oh man, do we love it, that we repeated the recipe (which we seldom do, we like varieties in our food.) again the following weekend!

We love our strawberries. Japanese ones are the best quality, shape, colour but pricey. And the American ones, especially those with long stems are good and sweet, especially in June. But they don't make good presentation material as they come in all shapes and sizes.
Thus, we prefer the Korean versions as they are mainly of the same size and with very nice rounded crowns which make them easy to process and set.

We used a 9-inch pie dish for this recipe.

Shortcrust Pastry

  • 150g plain flour
  • 60g salted cold butter, cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water
  • 100g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 200ml milk
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 tbsp honey (I used manuka honey, very distinctive taste)
  • 30g sugar
  • 1tbsp corn starch
Use as many strawberries as you can fit as topping.

  1. Using your fingertips, rub the cubes of butter into the flour. You should get yellow pellets, taking care not the melt the butter. Add the cold water a little at a time and mix by hand to form a ball. Wrap in clingfilm (to keep the moisture in) and chill in the fridge for at least 20mins.
  2. Preheat oven to 190C
  3. Roll out pastry to fit into pie dish. Pierce pastry base with fork. Bake for 20mins until the pastry is dry and golden brown, making sure it's cooked through. Let cool.
  4. Melt dark chocolate and spread evenly over the base of cooked pastry.
  5. Whisk egg, cornflour and egg yolks together and make a smooth mixture with no lumps.
  6. Heat milk, cream, honey and sugar in a pan until boiling point. (Add vanilla essence if desired. We used Madagascar vanilla bourbon in ours) 
  7. Remove from heat, and add a little of the milk mixture to the egg mixture, a little at a time, while whisking the combined mixtures continuously.
  8. After combining both mixtures, return to pan and gently heat until mixture thickens, be careful not to burn the mixture.
  9. Transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and let cool. Whisk in a little milk or cream if the custard becomes too stiff.
  10. Spread custard over the tart base and top with strawberries. Brush over some jam to glaze. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set. 
Note: Do not keep assembled pie with custard for more than 6 hours as the crust tend to become soggy. Finish the tart within 3 days. Trust me, it won't survive that long.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Herb Blogging #243

Had taken a hiatus from posting (but definitely not cooking) for a good three months now due to other commitments. So I am extremely honoured to be given the opportunity to kick-start the posting again by hosting the upcoming Weekend Herb Blogging (19-25 July) and a big thank you to Haalo for letting us to have the chance to be the potluck blog this week showcasing the dishes from around the globe. The rules are simple, check out the details here
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