The hols started off wonderful with a much needed climb with the bbf who just returned from the States! We haven’t seen each other for a year but since we talk to each other daily on whatsapp (time differences aren’t an issue when you are a student…) there wasn’t much to update each other on haha. This time we visited a rock climbing gym called climber’s laboratory @ Toh Guan and we had the whole place to ourselves! It’s within an industrial estate with two separate ramps that were each two lanes wide. If you ever need to practice going up and down ramps this is the place to go. We realised that we were a mere 5 min drive from the other bff’s house so off we went after our climb. Played with her two dogs while the poor girl was still stuck with work hehe.
Today was slightly different. The friends from school popped over for some baking. We haven’t done this in awhile and it was great to see and catch-up with everyone! Anyway, we baked quite a number of things, one of them being Heston’s Lemon Tart.
Before the exams I was hooked on every show by Heston Blumenthal, owner of the Fat Duck. I watched every episode of Heston’s Fantastical Food, Heston’s Fantastical Feasts, and How to Cook Like Heston. Please go watch it’s mad, crazy, and inspirational!
How to Cook like Heston is a great show where Heston introduces basic ingredients like Chocolate or Potatoes and teaches you a couple of recipes along the way. In his episode on Eggs, Heston baked a lemon tart and the custard looked so wobbly and delicious that we had to try it!!
The tart turned out to be… awesome. For the recipe click here. The custard was so soft, silky, and smooth. Loved the bright flavour from the lemons. I think the most important part of this recipe is the step that requires you to cook the mixture of eggs, cream, sugar and zest in a bain-maire to the temperature of 60 degrees Celsius. The custard thickens and the oils from the zest infuse into the custard. Oh and don’t forget to sieve out the zest, it’ll interfere with the silky smooth filling.
I’m not so much a fan of the tart crust. Well if you look at the picture in the link you’ll see that it’s soggy- ours turned out that way too. The sides which weren’t soggy actually tasted very good so I guess the next thing to do is to find some techniques that will prevent the shell from getting soggy.
By the way the recipe by Channel 4 makes a huge portion. We made two tarts of the size in the photo below and still had lots of custard ( but no dough) left over.
Fresh out of the oven. The custard flattens beautifully once you let it cool (:
Another huge success today was our pizza made from scratch. IeatIshootIpost has a good post on pizza dough making complete with instructions and videos to teach you how to shape the dough. I make it a point to search for recipes that are replete with photos and written by Singaporean bloggers. The former ensures that it’s a result that I’ll be pleased with and the latter because Singaporean bloggers tend to give tips on how to deal with our humidity (if it does affect the recipe).
I was a little nervous at first because my dough seemed a little tough. But after the second proofing it turned out fine, just like how a normal pizza would be. His recipe yields the italian thin crust kind of pizza. Really easy to eat and you can go all creative with the toppings. We were making chicken pie too so we decided to layer our second pizza with a tomato base (I bought Hunt’s tomato paste), mozzarella (ESSENTIAL), chicken pie filling, and parmigiano reggiano. It was delicious! The dough didn’t get soggy either.
I have two tips to add to his post.
1. if you have difficulties stretching out your dough, just leave it to proof awhile longer. Leave it in the warmest part of your kitchen. Your dough should not spring back while you are shaping it into a pizza.
2. I don’t have a pizza stone so I left my metal baking tray in the oven and when the oven was hot enough, we dropped the parchment paper with the pizza onto the metal baking tray. Pre-heat the oven at least half-an -hour before baking the pizza. It should take about 10-12 mins.
Both recipes are kind of tedious but it’s so fun to make things from scratch. Try them!