Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet Nothings ... SHF #61

Is there a way, one can remove the brain from its cranium, give it a good massage, and pop it right back? Coz if there is, I would seriously consider it. The last few weeks have gone by in an absolute flurry. And it's going to get only worse. (Bangs head on table). Nope it isn't three-morsel-eater (THM) and her ways with food. Not even the cold. I am in the middle (well, not really, considering I started only two weeks ago) of my graduate core classes, and it's not a pretty sight.

Don't get me wrong, I love every minute of it. No matter my complaining. That's just me. I love whining; if nothing else, the weather it is. In this case, it's these response papers we have to turn in. The first week's readings were challenging, but stellar, so writing what I thought of it, wasn't a big deal. Being my luck, it had run its course by week two. Since the Tuesday of last week, I feel like a headless chicken that was first drugged and then injected with caffeine. (Shudders thinking about taste).

Now, this week's reading was interesting, but I am beginning to think the guy who wrote it, had unscrewed his head, and then put it on backwards. I mean, nothing else, can explain how someone could make intuitive processes of how we communicate into mumbo-jumbo-meets-abracadabra-and-falls-into-toilet. That doesn't make sense, does it? Exactly, my point.

Thankfully, the last few weeks weren't all about me-wanting-to-scratch-my-corneas-out. Eats got an award for being "kreative" (Thanks Swathi! That's awfully sweet of you!) AM made the most delicious, little egg tartlets following my dearest friend May's recipe, to cheer me up; I suspect he feared for his corneas too. And THM learnt to say Sawwwy (Sorry), Fla-wee (flower), Taw-wee (towel) and Kyawee (she likes to call herself kyari, short for Kyara). Weeee! It wasn't such a lousy week after all.

The award needs me to list seven things people don't know about me. In random order, here they are:

1. Coffee makes me bounce off walls. If you are one of those silent types, who likes to talk in monosyllables, don't let me near you when I have had a cup. Seriously.
2. I never say no to a good shoe. Even though I go on and on about Louboutins and Blahniks.
3. I (sometimes) skip brushing my teeth at night. (Sorry, mom!)
4. I like Valentine's Day, even though I pffft at it every, single year. (Hint, hint AM).
5. I love surprises. If they come packaged in little turquoise boxes, even better. (Art of giving hints 101)
6. I think I want to skydive, someday.
7. I can eat seven (big) cups of chocolate mousse -- in one sitting.

I am passing on the award to seven of my favorite bloggers ...

Manasi of kisss-the-cook
Ann of splitpearsonality
Priya of priyaeasyntastyrecipes
SE of denufood
Vinaya of foodtravelbooksandmore
Kate/Kajal of aapplemint
Sonia of 7spice

Here are the rules for the award peeps!

1. Thank the person giving the award.
2. Copy the award to your blog.
3. Place a link to their blog.
4. Name 7 things people don't know about you.
5. Nominate 7 bloggers
6. Place a link to those bloggers
7. Leave a comment letting those bloggers know about the award.

♣ A tartlet a Day ...

We tasted these over New Year's at our friend's May and Carl. Apparently these sweet nothings are quite a favorite among Chinese, and feature regularly on Dim-sum restaurant menus. May learnt this wonderfully, simple recipe from her Taiwanese friend, and usually reserves it for special or festive days. On the day she made these, and by the time we reached for dinner, Carl had polished off 20, and their son Wesley about seven. Yep, they are that good! These are going to a merrier world for SHF # 61 as my comforting dessert.

May's Egg Tarts

For the crust you need:
14 tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 C sugar
1 large egg (at room temperature)
3 C All purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp milk

For the custard you need:
14 fl oz milk
1 C sugar
6 eggs(at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)


Pre-heat the oven to 375F. (You have an oven thermometer, don't you? Shouldn't be baking without it. Trust me).

Start creaming the softened butter in a mixer. After a minute or so add the sugar. Beat until the sugar is fully incorporated. Then, add the egg and keep beating. Once incorporated, add the flour and keep beating. When the flour is lumpy, pour in the milk. After a little beating, the dough should come together. Wrap it in parchment paper and set aside for about 20 minutes.

For making the custard, combine all the ingredients and mix well with a whisk. I would whisk the eggs first, just so there are no lumps. I think using a vanilla bean instead of extract might give an interesting texture.

After the dough is rested, make small balls and roll them to cover the tartlet pan/shell you have. Carefully drape the dough so it hugs the inside of the pan/shell. Break off any excess.

Use a aluminum baking sheet to arrange the shells and then pour in the custard filling leaving some room at the top for the custard to expand. 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the top is about right. Remember, air bubbles are bad for custard integrity. Pour slowly and in a steady stream to avoid trapping air. You may tap the shells to release any air, but do it at your own risk. I say, a collapsed custard tastes the same as a perfect one!

Bake 25-30 minutes in the oven at 375F. Keep an eye on them from the 20 minute mark. If the custard is puffing up too much, open the oven door a little to stop the cooking. When you see small pin holes on the custard top and the crust looks done it is time to take them out. Sorry, you will have to wait for them to cool down completely before they are ready to come out of the pan/shell.

This recipe will make about 48 two inch tartlets. Trust me, you will need that many if you like eating good stuff! I would recommend using shallow shells/pan, but they can be hard to find.


Rujuta said...

Hi... Congratulations on your award... u really deserve it...
And those tarts are amazing and so deliciously yummy to look at..
All the best for your course though :))

Vinaya said...

oh myy sheetal!!!thats the sweetest thing ever :):) This is my first ever blog award so as the 'awardee', you get a special place in the blog's heart..hehe!!!Love the tarts and the are one heck of a talented girl..keep it up!Thanks again!!

Priya said...

Hi Sheetal, thanks for sharing ur award with me dear, am really honoured, tartlets looks incredible and i love it..

Rachana Kothari said...

Thanks for dropping by Sheetal and for your sweet comment :) It's nice knowing a little more about you... These Tartlets look iresistible and I love it:)

notyet100 said...

this is wht i need to make me feel good,..hppy republic day...:-)

sayantani said...

Congrats on the award. as usual nice read and nice recipe. tarts look so cute and yummy.

Sonia said...

Awww...congrates on award and many thanks for passing me by! :) Now you've forced me to come back on my blog and write something.:D

Nice to know about you gal! And OMG! your tart looks soooooo good. You're just amazing. :)
Thanks again!

SE said...

hey...reading your post i am afraid of whats in store for me...when i start my classes this week !!! should be better i guess !!! Thanks for sharing the award, I am honored !! Cute little tartlets though !

Btw...shepu/dill is a flavorful way of having calcium, so your mom and mil had a reason to feed you with it !!!

kitchen queen said...

congrats on ur award and the tarts look lovely and yum.Thank u Sheetal for visiting my blog and dropping a comment.You r welcome any time to visit my blog.You too have a wonderful blog.

Jagruti said...

Congrats on your award..tarts looks mouthwatering and yummy..:))liked all your post..first time here..


Joy Of Cooking

Nostalgia said...

Congratulations on your award and thanks for sharing the recipe..Nice blog.

indosungod said...

Whining is good to relieve stress. Interspersing graduate studies with sugary goodies is how you survive it.

ruchikacooks said...

Congrats on the award. Tarts look yum, good for the stress you know ;)

Girl, dont work too hard.

Kate said...

Good luck for your course. These tarts look delicious!
Thanks for entering Sugar High Friday :-)

Preety said...


tartlet looks amzing

Deepa G Joshi said...

wow,such cute tartlets..they look awesome..hahaha loved reading things about you..too good...congrats on your award.

Radhika said...

Congrats on your award, the tartlet looks delicious!

Swathi said...

Congratulations and delicious yummy tartlets,

s said...

congrats on ur award!..and my those egg tartlets looks like a must-try...

Kate/Kajal said...

Hey Sheetal , congrats to you and thanks so much for the sweet honour :))

A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Hey there...visiting here for the first time..from the comments I felt youmade some couldnt see the page clearly..pic is not available..shall check back later..

Spice said...

Congrats for the award......all the best for your study(I spent so much time thinking about going back to study that I gave up...ha...) tart look amazing, I'm sure must be very tasted...

Koki said...

gal you stole my heart with the tartlets

Malar Gandhi said...

Tarts look absolutely delicious to me...

ruchikacooks said...

Hello hello, sorry for not showing up for sometime, was stuck with stuff..Hows life and school and kiddo?

We make something similar with the plantain flower like you said, dry subzi like a stir fry..and still I like to eat it with rasam :D

Rujuta said...

Dear Sheetal,

I have an award to share with you......Do collect it from my blog...... Heartiest Congratulations dear and Happy Blogging........

vivari said...

thanks for visiting my blog
you write very well

Lavanya said...

Lol at three morsel eater- my mom and grandmom had similar names for me as a kid..:)

And that tart looks amaazing. I need. some. now.

Sonia said...

Sheetal, where are you gal?

Ramya Manja said...

Bumped in here for the first time,must admit u have an awesome space here,cool,interesting and unique recipes with a nice a intro...

I found this post particularly unique n delicious..

Great clicks..

Keep rocking...

shahana said...

LOoks really yumm!!! nice click too!!!

Gulmohar said...

That looks wonderful..Great recipe..Congrats on your award !!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your award!I am sorry about the hard time with your response papers.My dad had a brain tumor surgery years back.All is well now.But, he brags(kids) now that he got a brain massage and at least he knows he has a brain for sure.I was reminded of that:)
Same pinch on the hints that I leave about valentine's day.I pretend I don't care about it and I do.

Preety said...

Happy valentines Day

Padhu said...

Tarts look gorgeous ! New to your space .You have a wonderful space.
Do drop by

Anonymous said...

I have two awards for you,Sheetal.

Arti said...

Congrats and the tartlets look really delicious! ymmm!!.

ruchikacooks said...

Sheets, Hope you have finished your project/paper/report, the eyes are back in place and you have had the needful 8 hours done..

I know you are busy so just wanted to update you..I am hosting an event in my blog called home remedies..Simple ones you know and turn to..Would you like to share some tips?

BDSN said...

Nice presentation!!!
First time stopping here
Do drop by my blog..

ruchikacooks said...

Yeah..people have to change a lot..

s said...

as usual ur post has me in splits..
loved ur guest post too..

Kalai said...

Hey there,

I came from Deepa's blog reading your guest post! I fell in love with your blog, as I browsed through your older posts! I loved your write-up and your recipes! I felt the posts were, fun, interesting and filled with warm memories and thoughts!

And I see that you haven't posted anything for quite sometime! I would love to read..and waiting for your next post!

Jay said...

Hy Sheetal,

congrats on your well deserved awards..wishing you many more success in blogging.
First time here. wonderful collection of fab recipes you have. Will be visiting here often. do drop in at my blog sometime.

Usha said...

Hi Sheetal, haven't been here in a long time. Congrats on your award !

Lovely post and very inviting tarts! said...

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Tarts looks amazing...looks yummy too! said...

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Rene Lynch said...

I love these. I never thought about trying to make them myself. I will try this and report back! Thanks for posting.

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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