Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Are Danish pastries difficult to make at home?

Homemade Danish pastries require time and skill to make, but they are especially rich and luscious. The yeast pastry is made in a similar way to puff pastry, by rolling butter in between layers of dough. Roll out the pastry so that butter does not break through the paste. If the butter escapes, the pastry will hold less fat and taste heavy.

Roll the pastry with short, light strokes, moving first forwards and up (lifting the rolling pin slightly), and then backwards and up. If your pastry seems too sticky, put it on a plate, dust it with flour then cover it with plastic wrap. Rest the pastry in the refrigerator until firm.

If you prefer, make the dough in advance, then place it in a plastic bag and leave it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

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16:20:00 on 10/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why do baked egg custards sometimes leak around the edges?

This is caused by too much heat and suggests the custard has been overcooked or cooked without the use of a bain-marie, or the oven temperature was too high. Any of these could result in pitting, so producing some moisture around the edges, and it cannot be rectified. Check your oven temperature, and use a bain-marie. The simmering water around the dish lowers the temperature, ensuring a lower, even temperature during cooking.

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15:30:00 on 10/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Can a curdled custard be saved?

There is no miracle remedy, but it will help to remove it from the heat immediately. You could try straining it into a cold dish sitting in a bowl of ice cubes and beating it vigorously, or you could try to rescue it by blending or processing it. This might restore some of the smoothness, and if it is not too overcooked it can still be used, but the flavor will be affected. Another way of partially recovering curdled custard is to whiz it in the blender with a small amount of cooled custard made quickly with about 1 tablespoon of custard powder.

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14:54:26 on 10/28/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Baked egg custard is the perfect dish to give to a convalescent, but it takes so long to make. Could it be made in the microwave?

Yes, it is very quick and easy to do, and because you cook the custard at a very low temperature, you do not need to use a bain-marie. To make four individual custards, put 300 ml of milk in a microwave-safe jug and heat it on Medium for 1.5 to 2 minutes. Whisk two medium eggs, 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence together, then pour on the warm milk, whisking continuously. Strain into four ramekins and sprinkle with nutmeg. Microwave the ramekins on Low for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the custard is just set, then leave it to stand for 1 minute.

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12:43:49 on 10/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to move on from custard powder to the real thing. Is it difficult to make?

Custard is not really all that tricky but it does need to be cooked carefully. It is worthwhile mastering the technique because not only is the flavor of homemade custard much richer than that made with powder, but rich, smooth custard is the base on which many other desserts are built. For instance, it is essential for a superior trifle; when set with gelatin it turns into a bavarois; and frozen, it is the foundation of the very finest ice cream.

The most important thing when making custard is to cook it very gently and slowly. Trying to cook it in a rush is a mistake as it will almost invariably curdle. It must take its time and must never boil, so the choice of pan is important. For best results, dessert chefs cook custard in a bain-marie, or water bath, which is a pan of simmering water large enough to hold smaller pans. This makes it easier to control the temperature of delicate mixtures such as custard. A bain-marie is easy to improvise. Alternatively, make the custard in the top of a double boiler, or in a heavy-based pan on a very gentle heat. In addition, the custard must be stirred continuously while it is being cooked so that hot patches do not form against the side of the pan.

Custard is traditionally flavored with vanilla. You can either infuse the milk with a split vanilla pod or add a few drops of vanilla essence. It does not have to be vanilla, however; try other flavorings, such as almond, nutmeg or mixed spice.

Once the custard has thickened, (it will never thicken as much as packet custard) take it off the heat and transfer it to a cold jug or bowl, so it does not continue cooking. Serve it immediately if you want it hot. To serve it cold, cover the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming on the top, leave to cool completely, then refrigerate.

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11:18:14 on 10/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -