Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Category Archives: Recipes: Dessert

Dark Chocolate & Banana Tart

Dark Chocolate & Banana Tart

I take my tarts very seriously. It ain’t a tart if the crust ain’t the least bit crunchy. What is that anyway?!

My memories and impressions of tarts date all the way back to when I was a little tyke, throwing tantrums when I didn’t get my strawberry and custard tart from Delifrance (that and a ham and cheese quiche – which I also take very seriously, but that’s another story for another day). There was something in that tart crust, a particular taste, besides being crunchy and hard. I still don’t know what that is, but I’ll find out eventually. The flaky, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth sorts are good too, oh definitely, but it’s one that has crunch that really leaves a deep impression on me.

And yes, I’ve found the answer to that.  Read more of this post

Nutella Banana and Fleur de Sel Pizza

Nutella Banana and Fleur de Sel Pizza.

There are few things that irk me more when I’m rummaging through kitchen cabinets and the pantry than to find out that I am completely out of salt.

But not just any salt.

I’m talking sea salt, all kinds of sea salt in fact.

Flaky, coarse-grained, grey, fine, kosher….

There is, however, never a shortage of table salt in the kitchen. But I don’t care for that.

So you think salt’s just salt and what’s with all the fancy schmancy names? I mean, it’s no big deal right? Sure, salt’s important because without it, food’s going to taste like ribbons from the paper shredder, and oh, what with all the low-sodium products bursting forth in grocery stores, perhaps it’s best not to discuss potentially health damaging substances hm?

I apologise, but as you can see, I’m not really giving a damn.

I treat all my salt at home (and when I say ‘all’, I mean the total of 4 kinds of salt that I now have handy when I need them) more precious than any other gourmet ingredient – with the exception of my lone bottle of white truffle oil – because sodium chloride is king.

Have you ever forgotten to include that teaspoon of salt into your batch of cookies? Or perhaps intentionally left it out of your brownies for whatever demented reason? How’d that turn out?

Betcha didn’t really know why no one was helping themselves to seconds. Read more of this post

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pizza

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pizza

Hi.

No, this isn’t me doing wacky stuff in the kitchen as a result of horrible jet lag.

In fact, you know what? I haven’t even been in the kitchen at all ever since I came back from tripping all over Europe. Why? Because I’ve been running myself against the wall, pulling the split-ends in my hair out and threatening my computer with a jack hammer because it refuses to detect over a hundred pictures that I took during my trip. No, they turn up perfectly fine on my camera but vanish in Windows. If you don’t pull your act together you stupid computer, I’m buying a Mac!

So, till I figure out where them pictures are hiding in my CPU or when my computer finally succumbs to my desperate wailing and sobbing, here’s a dessert pizza from a while back – before I went off and got myself deathly afraid of bread from eating it every single day.

This is but the first to come of a slew of dessert pizzas that I’ll churn out once I overcome my temporary aversion to flour and sweet things. That’s weird, you say? The Italians will strangle me with to death with spaghetti for butchering a pizza? Well I’m sure they’ll be welcoming me with open arms once I throw together Nutella and banana. Or baked apples, cinnamon and custard. Or dark chocolate and candied oranges.

Everyone else makes blueberry cheesecakes.

I make pizza.

How about that eh?

So go on, give your favourite dessert a twist. Anything on a crisp, thin crust is fantastic.

Although I should give due warning that not everyone cozies up to the notion of sweet pizza. Like how some people hate tamagoyaki (japanese sweet omelette). Shrugs. Weirdos.

Well less for them and more for you.

Read more of this post

Crunchy-Bottomed Lemon Tart

Crunchy-Bottomed Lemon Tart

 

  

Enough of those sorry excuses for lemon tarts. 

Stale, dismally soggy, not citrus-y enough… 

Forget it. I’m done getting disappointed with expanding empty calories on sub-standard pastries. 

I’m making my own, damn it. 

This has been a long time coming, you have to agree with me, and what’s surprising is that I didn’t turn my frustration into an entire Rant Post about the slow, drawn-out death of my glimmer of hope for one good tart. Just what is so difficult in making a decent lemon tart?! 

HA! 

This’ll show you, you…you phony pastry parlors! 

Read more of this post

Double-chocolate pecan cookies

Double-chocolate pecan cookies

Tomorrow’s the first day of Chinese New Year, and instead of baking festive goodies like pineapple tarts, I produced cookies. Cookies as in chocolate cookies, as in double-chocolate pecan cookies, as in cookies made 56% of chocolate.

If you don’t  understand the gravity of it all, I’ll put it simply – more so for myself actually, because I am still reeling from disbelief – that is a hell lotta chocolate.

Read more of this post

Pear and Hazelnut Torta

Pear and Hazelnut Torta

 Most of the time, recipes tend to be painfully simple. Most of the time, recipes give an estimation of the total time needed to putter around the kitchen. Most of the time, one ends up spending half a day tripping over kitchen stools and knocking over bowls. I’ve come to accept that whatever I spill, it is always sticky, and it is always liquid.

 
As they say: All inanimate objects will move just enough to get in your way. Read more of this post

Pah-vah-looo-vah

Cracking up.

I still remember the first thing I’d ever baked on my own. I’d baked Betty Crocker’s Blueberry Muffins. Yes, it’s a premix, yet I somehow managed to royally screw it up to the point where friends dubbed the finished product Mushfins, because I’d maimed the blueberries till they bled the whole batter grey. Maybe then I hadn’t had much common sense (what’s new really?), or maybe the instructions were too daunting because there were so few of them that I was convinced it couldn’t be that simple. It was only years later that I realised that baking really is that simple, and no I’m not dwelling on pre-mixes anymore. No, seriously. Read more of this post

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