Of course I flip through cookbooks, I notice a dramatic difference in recipe titles.
You know what? Get up right now, find a cookbook and give the titles of the recipes a bit of love. After go and compare it to ones you find on the web. While the first web recipe may not show it, a bit more digging shows you that the annoying trend of using these “descriptive terms” If you are a really keen food blog reader you would notice the overuse of perfect, best and Ultimate in recipe titles and descriptions.
I know I have nagged about this before but I can not help it! After many years of being told my writing was lacking depth and substance throughout my Primary and high school years has actually been positive. Well no one actually told me that personally but! I could see it in the teachers comment box at the bottom of the report card!
“has potential if focuses more” – You need to study harder.
“can be distracting other students at times” – You are annoying me in class.
And the tried and trusted trick of using the compliment sandwich when telling someone they suck in school. Now I think the grading system has changed but the comment system is still there.
It must be weird to think a recipe title can be so important to a recipe but in a world where appearances count the title can be a key player in good recipe. For me I like recipe which give me the full picture in the title. I want to know what I am getting in to. Tender, chewy, soft are all fine as these do not denote position. Crackling, textural, Crisp for potato chips are great descriptive words too.
The main thing about a title is that it attracts people to try it. This is where the problem lies, people are more likely to try a recipe with the word best or perfect in it than ones being straight up. So putting two and two together. The more people testing it means that more reviews can be given thus the more adaptations can be made to really make “perfect”. No recipe ever starts out as perfect because you are the ones who make it that way! Whether you add more cream, less sugar or change the butter to oil; your spin makes it “the best”.
Perfection, best and ultimate are so subjective, so why should they be used to denote such a universally read thing like a recipe? I am pretty sure people are different levels of taste sensitivity. That’s what makes us human. Prrf.. I rather be on safe side and stick with chocolate cake Thank you.
One major problem when sizing down recipes is that you have the change it more than dividing in half or thirds.
Like all science, baking is complex which means the flour, sugar and fat ratios of things need to be kept in sync for it to work. Also some recipes DO NOT work when sized down. There is the issue of it being smaller in size which means the sugar concentration is increased , mistakes are more apparent and baking temp and time need to be changed.
One of easiest things I have tested in small size is pie. The pastry is easily frozen for another time and the use of filling can really forgiving. So in order to get ready for Valentine’s day I made a pie for two or if you are double dating, four 😉
It stays really well in the fridge so midnight snacking is no problem.
Like apples are to Americans, green tea are to Asian cultures. While in recent years it has become the new hip thing to use, I been drinking it since I was kid in yum cha or casual diners. So you can say I have developed a strong taste for green tea. While the amount of green tea I have used here is intense, I like the earthy strength it has. Also it makes sure that you do not taste egg in the custard.
This Green tea sponge pie is a variation on the Amish Sponge pie which is noted by the layers it separates into while baking. It has same texture as the magic custard cake but baked in a crisp, flaky pie crust with sweet and salty hit. The pastry is like the really buttery Ritz cracker. Really it best of all worlds of sweets.
The top is feather light sponge, a smooth custard interior and the denser base is no longer the problem. You have a like Ritz pie crust to finish it all off which is par baked, so the filling will not soak in.
While the sponge topping is not the prettiest thing, a dash of icing sugar and few tempered chocolate hearts can dress it up. Also cream makes anything beautiful right?
Ritzy Green Tea Sponge Pie
Makes two deep 15cm pie plates
Pie Crust adapted from The Cupcake Project and Pastry by Michelle Roux
Ritz like Pie Crust ( this can be made one day in advance)
1g baking powder
40g rice bran oil
100g butter, cubed and frozen
60 ml-100ml ice cold water
Green Tea sponge filling
50g caster sugar
1.5 Tbsp matcha powder
5ml vanilla extract
1 egg, separated
In a food processor, whizz flour, salt, sugar and baking powder for 30 seconds.
Add cold cubed butter and whizz until it becomes crumbly. Drizzle in oil pulsing in between.
First add 15ml of cold water then pulse. Keep on adding 15ml of water at a time until it is just rolling into a ball. It should not be wet.
Lightly flour a surface and pat out as thin as possible. Wrap in cling film and place in fridge for 1 hour. Dive in two or four for easier handling.
Once chilled, lightly flour a metal surface. .Using a rolling pin roll out the dough as thin as you can get it 2-3mm is ideal. Once rolled out, roll the pastry gently on to the rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to help transfer the pastry on to the pie tins by unrolling it slowly.
Allow the pastry to gently ease in with gentle coercion from your hands. Cut extra off with a sharp knife and fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C. Prick pastry all over with a fork and place a piece of baking paper with baking beans inside the pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove baking beans and bake for a further 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 160C
In medium bowl mix flour, matacha and sugar. Beat the egg white to foamy and stiff peaks form.
In a jug whisk milk, egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Whisk in flour mix till well combined.
Fold in egg white to just combined and pour into pie crust.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until just set, try to not let it brown by using foil to cover it if not set.