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Life is Butter With You

by Theresa Shalini Stephen 5 Feb 2016
Life is Butter With You

Sometimes taking a loved one out to expensive restaurants, even with some of the top chefs you can find, just seems unimaginative and burns a hole in your pocket to boot. For a change of pace this Valentine’s Day, why not personalise it by cooking a dish of your own?

‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’, as they say, but that can apply equally to both sexes; flip through this month’s feature to find some scrumptiously seductive suggestions by some local cooking schools to win over your partner’s heart (and tastebuds).


Earl Grey Chocolate Tart
Who would think Earl Grey, pears and chocolate could go together so well? This dish effortlessly marries all these ingredients together to form a sweet and fruity dessert to spoil your loved one with. This recipe bakes 3 tarts of 6 inches wide each.

Earl Grey Creamy Sauce
1) Infuse 5g of Earl Grey tea into 500g of cream.
2) Cook the mixture until it forms a custard and strain it to remove any residue.
3) Mix 5g of gelatine into the sauce.

Sable Breton
1) Mix 80g of egg yolks and 160g of sugar together to form an emulsion, then add 160g of softened butter.
2) Add 225g of flour and 10g of baking powder into the mixture, then mix well.
3) Spread the well-mixed dough onto a sheet and freeze it for a day. Then cut it into a circle with a radius of 6 inches.
4) Finally, bake the pastry at 160 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

Earl Grey Pear
1) Bring the syrup of 1 lemon, 250g of sugar, and 500g of water to a boil with 0.1g of Earl Grey tea.
2) Dice 5 pears to 5mm x 5mm cubes, then add them to the mixture. Boil the pears until they soften. 3) Take the pot off the fire and cover the top with cling wrap.
4) Let the pears cool down by keeping them overnight in a refrigerator.

Chocolate Mousse
1) Slowly simmer 175g cream until it is warm to the touch, and then take it off the fire.
2) Melt 350g of chocolate, then scoop the cream into the chocolate.
3) Fold 175g of cream and 350g of whipped cream into the mixture.

Final Assembly
1) The Sable Breton serves as the base of the tart. Layer the Earl Grey creamy sauce over the tart.
2) Then, glaze the chocolate mousse over the Earl Grey creamy sauce.
3) Finally, add the diced pear pieces around the tart to fill in the spaces. 


Grapefruit Tart
A playful rendition of fruits in pastry form, the grapefruit tart is made of almond shortcrust and strawberry gelee with pieces of grated coconut skirting the sides of the tart. This recipe is for 4 tarts of 6 inches wide each.

Pistachio Almond Cream
1. Mix 100g of butter, 100g of icing sugar, and 100g of eggs together at room temperature.
2. Add 30g of pistachio paste into the mixture.

Almonds Shortcrust
1. Mix 100g of icing sugar and 155g of butter together.
2. Add 1 egg, 2g of salt, 35g of almond powder and 260g of flour slowly into the mixture.
3. Leave the dough to rest in a chiller.
4. Shape the dough into a ring and place a grapefruit segment in each tart case.
5. Fill the tart case with pistachio almond cream and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

Strawberry Gelee
1. Dissolve 10g of gelatin with 5 cups of cold water.
2. Dissolve 100g of sugar in 450g of strawberry puree (make sure not to boil the puree).
3. Once both mixtures have been dissolved, mix the gelatine and puree together.
4. Fill the gelee in a silicon mould (3 inches) and chill it overnight.

Grapefruit Chiboust
1) Dissolve 10g of gelatin with 5 cups of cold water.
2) Mix 300g of grapefruit juice with 30g of sugar and 25g of corn starch. Bring the mixture to a boil until it thickens, then add in the dissolved gelatine while the mixture is warm.
3) Beat 110g of egg white, 40g of water and 130g of sugar together to form an Italian meringue.
4) Let the grapefruit mixture cool down and fold the Italian meringue into the grapefruit mixture.
5) Pour the mixture into a silicon mould (6 inches) and freeze at -18 degrees Celsius overnight.

Final Assembly
1) Use the almond shortcrust as a base for the tart. Then, add the grapefruit segments over it.
2) Remove the strawberry gelee from its mould and lay it over the segment.
3) Finally, layer the grapefruit chiboust over the gelee. You may also decorate your tart with a petal or gold leaf.


Lemon Tart
The lemon tart is a sweet, citrus-filled pastry adorned with miniature macarons and marshmellows on the top. A perfect lemon tart has a good balance of sour lemon and sweet, crispy base. This recipe bakes 3-4 tarts.

Sable Breton
1) Whisk 70g of egg yolks with 160g of sugar, then add 180g of melted butter into the mix.
2) Add 240g of sifted cake flour and 10g of baking powder, then mix with a baking paddle.
3) Keep it refrigerated overnight and lay out the biscuit crust on a sheet the next day.
4) Roll out the dough to 4.5mm thickness and cut out your desired shape.
5) Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

Lemon Curd
1) Heat 100g of lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon together while bringing it to a boil.
2) Slowly add 80g of caster sugar.
3) Add 2 eggs and bring the mix to a boil.
4) Incorporate 3g of melted gelatine into the mixture.
5) When the mix reaches 45 degrees Celsius, add in 80g of butter, then let the mixture cool down.

Lemon Gelee
1) Mix 25g of caster sugar and 4g of agar-agar together, then add it in 100g of warm lemon puree.
2) Bring the mix to a boil for 1 minute, then leave it to cool down and chill it overnight.
3) Finally, cut the gelee into cubes of 5mm x 5mm.

Lemon Mousseline
1) Bring 125g of lemon puree to a boil before adding 125g of milk into a pot.
2) In a bowl, mix 80g of sugar with 20g of custard powder and 55g of egg yolks together, then temper it with the previous milk mixture.
3) Pour everything into a pot and bring it to a full boil while stirring constantly (cook it much like you would a custard).
4) In a mixing bowl, homogenise this custard cream with 125g of diced butter.
5) Reserve to cool in a refrigerator with a clean film on top.

1) Combine 250g of sugar, 17g of trimoline, 25g of glucose and 75g of water together and cook it until it reaches 130 degrees Celsius.
2) Pour into 75g of egg whites and 2g of egg white powder.
3) Add 25g of trimoline and 1g of cream of tartar into the mix.
4) Add 13g of gelatine and 2g of citric acid or lemon juice.

1) Cook 150g of granulated sugar to 118 degrees Celsius and pour it onto 60g of egg whites to make an Italian meringue.
2. Blend 150g of icing sugar and 150g of almond powder together.
3. Add 60g of raw egg whites to the sugar and powder, then knead everything into a dough. You may also add colouring at this stage.
4. Fold the dough into the Italian meringue.
5. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 12 minutes.

Final Assembly
1) Pipe out three strips of lemon mousseline over the Sable Breton.
2) Then assemble the macaroon, cubes of lemon gelee and marshmallows as well as dollops of lemon curd over the mousseline according to your own creativity.


Fruit Tartlet
Forget diamonds. Strawberries are another way to a girls’ heart! Though fruit tarts are gorgeous, they can also be time-consuming to make – unless you have these simple instructions, of course. This recipe makes 8 servings of tarts.

Pastry Cream
1) Mix 150g of sugar, 90g of corn flour and 16 egg yolks together.
2) Boil 1 litre of milk in a pot.
3) Pour 250ml of the milk into the mix, then pour everything back into the pot and bring it to a boil as its stirred.
4) When the mix is smooth, pour the mix into a flat metal tray.
5) Cover it with cling film and let it cool down.
6) Once cooled, mix and fold 400ml of whipped cream into the mixture.

1) Whip 112.5g of egg whites and 37.5g of sugar together until the meringue becomes white, shiny and firm.
2) Gently add 112.5g of icing sugar and 100g each of hazelnut, almond, or pistachio powder.
3) Using a piping bag or palette knife, spread the mix 1cm thick on a baking tray and sprinkle with chopped dry nuts.
4) Sieve a light layer of icing sugar on it.
5) Bake in a deck oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 12 to 16 minutes (6cm diameter).
6) Pass a knife around the edges of the dacquoise to form a circular shape.

Final Assembly
Pour the pastry cream into the dacquoise pastry and arrange strawberries on the cream according to your own preference.


French Cod Fish With Tendoori Influences
How about adding a little spice into your relationship this Valentine’s? For something a little savoury to wow your date with, have a candlelit dinner and make this fish dish the star of the night.

Combine 400g of plain yogurt, 20g of sieved ginger, 20g of sieved garlic paste, 20g of blanched garlic, 20g of blanched ginger, 20g of olive oil, 8g of paprika, 20g of mango chutney, 4g of garam masala, 4g of coriander powder, 1g of fenugreek powder, 1g of five spice powder, 35g of lemon juice, salt and pepper together to form the marinade.

1) Simmer 10 peeled Momotaro tomatoes, 50g of peeled ginger, one chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli), 2 big pinches of cardamom powder and a little olive oil together in a pan. Allow to reduce until it is almost dried up.
2) Add a teaspoon of blended coriander powder and garam masala.
3) Combine 55g of cold butter and 200g of whipping cream, then add them into the frying pan with the sauce.

Carrot Puree
1) Dice 1kg of peeled carrots and 10g of peeled ginger.
2) Place them in a saucepan, cover with 500ml of fish stock and add 50g of butter with salt and pepper to taste.
3) Let it simmer until soft. Then cover it with a baking paper.
4) Once the carrots and ginger are soft, strain and place them in a thermomix without any juice and blend while adding 100g of cold butter.
5) Taste and season again if necessary.

1) Prepare some carrot tubes, cucumber and roasted tomatoes.
2) Put a big green chilli with olive oil, fresh thyme and salt in a vacuum pack and cook in the roner for 45 minutes at 85 degrees Celsius. Spinach Royale Butter your mould before baking 50g of cooked drained spinach, 1 full egg, 1 yolk, 30g of whipping cream, 20g of melted butter and salt and pepper for 15 minutes at 140 degrees Celsius in a bain marie.

Final Assembly
1) Cover the fish in marinade and oven bake it for 10 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. The fish must be at 50 degrees Celsius to be perfectly cooked.
2) Heat the carrot puree, sauce, spinach royale and vegetables.
3) Deep fry a few curry leaves to serve as garnish.
4) Plate the fish as shown in the picture.

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