1. In a small bowl, add all ingredient A and mix. Set aside.
2. In a wok, add vegetable oil (~50ml) and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add eggplants and cook until it softens. Then transfer the eggplants onto a plate and set aside. In the same wok, fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the ground pork and cook until the meat is no longer pink.
3. Add back the eggplants and cook together with the meat. Then add leek and cook for a few more minutes.
4. Add ingredients A (mixed) and cook for a few minutes.
5. Stir katakuriko/potato starch dissolved with water thoroughly. Thicken the sauce. Bring to a rolling boil again and turn off the heat.
3 european pear (about 560g) - cut into bite sizes
1/2 to 1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
60g white bread (shokupan) - chopped
1.Make the tart crust
Add plain flour, sugar, almond powder (or hazelnut flour) and salt in your food processor. Pulse several times to mix, then add butter and pulse until the mixture comes together. Add egg yolk and pulse again for a few seconds. Do not overmix after adding the egg yolk.
2. Transfer into a bowl and finish mixing with a spatula. Pull a sheet of saran wrap on your working surface. Transfer the dough and cover it from all sides with the wrap. Chill in the fridge until firm.
3. Take the dough out from the fridge and cut it in 2 halves. Take one of them and put the other back in the fridge for now. Place the dough on a saran wrap and cover it with a second one. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to a 3~4mm thickness.
4. Cut it out with a 18cm diameter x 5cm high ring, remove any excess dough around. Remove the ring and cover with a saran wrap. Put both aside in the fridge : the circle dough and the excess dough.
5. Butter the inside of the ring and set it aside. Take out the second half of dough from the fridge and cover it with saran wrap. Roll it out to 3 to 4mm thickness, then cut it with the same 18cm diameter ring. Remove the excess dough. Let the circle dough set in the fridge as is.
6. Put together all the excess dough and roll it out into a rectangle. We will use it to cover the sides of the mold. Before you cut it, first put it in the fridge until lightly firm : if it's too hard it will break easily. Cut a strip that fits the ring's height. Repeat until you cover all sides. If it becomes too soft, put it back in the fridge/freezer for a couple of minutes.
7. Smoothen the dough junctions with a finger wrapped in film, then let the whole thing chill until firm.
8.Meanwhile let's make the filling :
In a frying-pan, add pear, lemon juice and brown sugar (no oil). Cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat. I prefer not cooking them too much :)
9. Transfer the filling into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add cinnamon powder and mix well. Set aside.
10. Now take the dough base (from #5) out of the fridge and cut off any excess over the ring top. Prick holes with a fork. Place the the bread (about 60g) on the bottom of the pie. Add the pear filling over the bread.
11. Cover with the other dough circle from #4. Bake about 50 to 55 minutes at 180℃.
12. Remove from the oven and let it cool down on the baking tray, until it cooled.
13. Once it has cooled, transfer on a wire rack. Remove the ring.
14. Ready to serve! I love adding a scoop of ice cream or simply whipped cream on each slice :-)
You can make some cookies with the leftovers of the tart dough :)
1. Cut parchment paper to fit the baking pan (18cm x 18cm x H6cm here). Scatter the sugar crystals over the base of the mold. Set aside.
2. In a small cup, combine honey, glucose syrup and boiling water until smooth. Set aside.
3. Lightly beat the eggs and sugar (white and brown) in a heat-safe bowl, then set over a water bath, beat with an electric hand mixer (at medium speed, not high) until the egg mixture reaches 30°C on a thermometer.
4. Remove from the hot water bath, and continue beating for about 2 minutes at lowest speed.
5. Pour honey mixture from #2 and continue mixing until well combined at lowest speed.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 170℃.
7. Add sifted flour in 3 times. Beat well (at lowest speed) at each addition. Pour the cake batter over the crystal sugar in the prepared mold. Run a spatula through the mixture to remove any air bubbles, and smoothen the surface of the batter with a pastry scraper.
8. Bake the castella for 2 minutes at 170℃, remove from the heat and run a spatula through the mixture to remove any air bubbles. Put it back to the oven and repeat this process 2 more time.
9. Now bake the castella for 10 minutes at 170℃. Then reduce the heat to 150℃, and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes (in doubt insert a thin skewer in the cake, it should come out clean).
10. Remove from the oven and drop down the castella cake (with the mold) over your worktop from about 15cm high. Remove from the cake mold.
11. Place saran wrap over the top of castella tightly and flip the castella cake. Cover the cake with saran wrap completely (all sides) and let it sit wrapped overnight, keeping the top side facing down. This is at room temperature.
12. Unwrap the castella, gently peel off parchment paper. Slice off the sides of the castella with a sharp bread knife and cut castella into 2 halves. Then cut in (approx) 3cm thick slices.
About the edges of the castella, leftover from the slicing at the end : don't throw them away, you can make delicious rusks with :) 1. Place the edge of castella onto a baking sheet, and bake them for 10 minutes at 160℃ (pre-heated). 2. Turn off the oven (but do not open the door yet), leave for 8 to 10 minutes. Finally remove from the oven and spread on a rack until they cool down. It will be so crispy!
2 tbsp your favorite nuts ( I used Praline here) - crushed
1. Line the bottom of a 18 cm circle cake pan (removable bottom) with parchment paper.
2. Process flour, almond powder, sugar, salt and cocoa powder in a food processor for a few seconds and then add butter. Process until mixture becomes crumbly : do not process too much as the dough should be crumbly.
3. Spread the crumbs onto the baking sheet and bake for about 25 mins at 160℃. Remove from the oven. While the crumbs is hot, press them into the bottom, using a spatula. Set the cake pan aside.
4. In a bowl, add the heavy cream and whip to soft peak, set aside.
5. In an another bowl, add mascarpone and sugar. Mix well until soft. Add nutella and mix together well.
6. Soak gelatin sheet in water for a few minutes, then remove from the water and put in a microwave-safe cup. Microwave for about 15 sec at 600W. Melt it completely and pour over the mascarpone mixture (step 5). Mix well.
7. Add whipped cream (step 4) and mix gently with a spatula.
8. Pour the cream mixture into the cake pan. Flat the top of cake and sprinkle crushed nuts over the cake. Chill it until it has set.