Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Lemon Tart

A friend of mine had a good harvest from the trees in her backyard and was so kind to give me a bagful of lemons recently. My own pitiful little lemon tree unfortunately wasn't fruitful at all this year after giving me a good supply last year.

Well, what do you do with so much lemons? Lemon tart, of course! This is my first attempt at making lemon tart, though I've made egg tarts many times before. I love the extra hit of zesty and tangy lemon flavour and it gives you that extra lift to your taste bud.

To make the tart look even more inviting, I've decorated it with whipped cream rosettes and lemon slices.

Hope you like it too. Bon Appetit!

Lemon Tart
(makes a 20cm round tart)
recipe adapted from Rita Ho's cookbook


Shortcrust pastry/Pate Brisee
300g cake flour
20g icing sugar
225g unsalted butter, chilled
3g salt
1 egg yolk
30ml ice water
butter, to grease the tart pan

Lemon custard
5 eggs
1 egg yolk
120g castor sugar
200ml heavy whipping cream
3 lemons

icing sugar to dust
heavy whipping cream, whipped
lemon, cut into thin slices


Lemon custard

1) Rinse and wipe water off lemon. With a grater, grate zest off lemons. Do not grate too hard to avoid getting into the bitter pith. Cut lemons in halves and squeeze out juice. Mix juice with grated lemon zest. Set aside.

2) Beat eggs and egg yolk. Blend with lemon zest, lemon juice and castor sugar. Stir until sugar melted. Seal with cling film. Chill in a fridge overnight.

Pate Brisee

1) Cut chilled unsalted butter in cubes. Chill and set aside.

2) Sieve cake flour, icing sugar and salt twice. In a blender, blend the flour mixture with butter cubes at low speed until fine.

3) Continue to blend at low speed, adding egg yolk and ice water. Blend until incorporated. 

4) On a clean working table, with your wrist, divide dough into portions and gently knead to a whole piece of dough again. Seal with cling film. Freeze in a fridge for at least 1 hour.

5) Grease the tart pan with a little butter.

6) Dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out thawed dough to 2-3mm thick. Place onto the tart pan. Cut excess dough off the edges. With a fork, poke some holes on the dough. Chill for 1/2 hour.

7) Preheat oven at 180C. Take out tart pastry from fridge. Cover pastry with baking paper and place baking beans (can be replaced by beans and rice) on top. Bake for 15 mins and remove from oven.

8) Remove baking paper and baking beans. Bake for another 5 mins. Take out and leave to cool.


1) Remove lemon filling from the fridge. Mix well with heavy whipping cream. Strain the mixture through a sieve.

2) Pour filling onto the pastry tart until 90% full. Bake at 180C for about 30 mins or until filling is just firm. (If you're using smaller tart pans, reduce the baking time. Just ensure the filling just gets set, not overdone.)

3) Let the lemon tarts cool. Remove from the pan. 

4) Dust with icing sugar. Pipe whipping cream rosettes on the tart and decorate with thin lemon slices on top.

A well-deserved slice for tea ...

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Blueberry Roll-Up Cake

I enjoy making pretty looking cakes and today I decided to take a step further by trying out this roll-up cake that will give my guests a pleasant surprise when I cut into the cake. 

Instead of seeing horizontal layers inside, they will be surprised by vertical layers of sponge and cream. A sure way to put a smile on anybody's face! 

Hope you will enjoy making this cake as much I did!

Surprise inside cake!

Blueberry Roll-up Cake


5 egg yolks (medium)
50g corn oil
50g milk
20g castor sugar
85g cake flour

5 egg whites (medium)
1/4 tsp lemon juice, optional
50g castor sugar

Blueberry sauce
100g blueberries
30g sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour
pinch of salt
30ml water
1/2 tsp lemon juice, or to taste

For decoration
450ml dairy whipping cream/heavy cream
4-5 Tbsp icing sugar, or according to taste
almond flakes, lightly toasted


1) To make the blueberry sauce, place the sugar, cornflour, salt and water in a small saucepan and stir until smooth.

2) Gently stir in the blueberries and place the saucepan over medium heat.

3) Cook (simmer) the sauce until the liquid thickens and becomes clear, stirring gently occasionally (about 10 mins). Some of the blueberries will break down but others will remain whole. The longer you cook the sauce the thicker it will become (if sauce is still too thin, add a little cornflour diluted in a bit of water to help thicken the liquid).

4) Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and add more if needed. Set aside to cool completely.

5) Line a 10" x 13" swiss roll pan with baking paper. 

6) To make the cake, lightly whisk egg yolk with sugar (20g). 

7) Add in corn oil and stir to combine. Next, add in the milk and combine well.

8) Fold in the cake flour, mix well and set aside.

9) Add lemon juice to the egg white and beat until foamy. Gradually add in sugar (50g), and beat until stiff peak and glossy.

10) Take 1/3 portion of the egg white mixture and using a handwhisk, mix with the egg yolk mixture until light. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the rest of the egg white mixture until well incorporated.

11) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top to level evenly. 

12) Bake in the preheated oven at 160C for 25 mins or until it springs back when lightly touched. 

13) Cool the cake on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature.

14) Meanwhile, prepare the cream filling by beating the whipping cream until thick. Add in sugar and whisk until firm. 

15) For the blueberry cream, scoop about 1/3 of the whipped cream into a bowl and add in some of the blueberry sauce and mix well until you get an even blue coloured cream. (If not using immediately, place the whipped cream in the fridge until needed).

16) To assemble the cake, place it on a clean piece of baking paper (same size as the cake). 

17) Cut the cake with a serrated knife into four equal pieces.

18) Cut through the underlying baking paper with a pair of scissors in the same places that you cut the cake.

19) Spread a layer of blueberry cream on one of the strips. 

20) Using the baking paper as support, tuck the cake into a roll and continue tucking and rolling until you get a small neat roll. Place the rolled cake upright on a serving plate, so that the spiral of cake and filling is visible at the top.

You might want to apply a thinner layer of cream at the
 center of the roll as I think I applied a bit too much!
21) Apply cream filling to the next strip and lift it up using the support of the baking paper and wrap it around the roll on the serving plate, continuing from the edge where the first roll ended.

22) Continue with the next two strips, to make one big rolled up cake.

You can neatly trim off the end of the last strip to make the cake look rounder
23) Finish by frosting the sides and top of the cake with the whipped cream. Spoon the blueberries and sauce (not too much liquid) on to the middle of the cake. Pipe out dots of cream around the circle of blueberries. Stick the almond flakes onto the sides of the cake.

24) Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Vanilla Custard Slice

I'm a fan of Donna Hay and I just love her simple and delicious recipes. When I first saw her vanilla custard slices, I knew I just had to give it a try myself. Crisp on the top and bottom layers, while rich and creamy in between, it's simply a delightful dessert to enjoy!

Vanilla Custard Slice 
(adapted from Donna Hay's recipe with slight change)

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 cup (250ml) single cream
40g unsalted butter, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
80g castor sugar
35g cornflour
85ml water
4 egg yolks
icing sugar, for dusting


1) Preheat oven to 180C. 

2) Place the pastry sheets on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Top each pastry sheet with non-stick baking paper and place an additional baking tray on each pastry sheet as a weight (to prevent pastry from puffing up). Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden.

3) Cool completely on wire racks. Using a serrated knife, trim the pastry sheets to 18cm square. Set aside.

4) Place the milk, cream, butter, vanilla and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until just boiling. Remove from the heat.

5) Combine the cornflour and water and whisk into the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks. Return to the heat, whisking, and bring to the boil. Cook, whisking, for 30 seconds- 1 min or until thickened.

6) Place 1 pastry sheet in the base of a lightly greased 18cm square cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper.

7) Top with the custard and the remaining pastry sheet and press down gently. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set.

8) Dust with icing sugar and slice to serve.

Tip : Ensure you have enough baking paper hanging over the sides of the tin so you can lift the slice from the tin after it has chilled.