Time has been flying by. I’m extremely pleased to say that in the last month of being in lockdown with my family, I have only cried a handful of times — and it is all due to Korean Dramas. When we first started lockdown, I was pretty sure I would lose my mind and have multiple breakdowns, thinking I would absolutely not be able to live without seeing my fiancé and friends. However, turns out I’ve felt more connected to them now than ever because I’m constantly Skyping, texting, and having long multiple-hour phone calls. Aside from keeping in touch with my loved ones aside from my family, I’ve been baking a whole bunch. Mostly for comfort, partly because it gives me something to do, and also because it gives me a little bit of a creative outlet. After a whole month of being in lockdown, I can confidently suggest three recipes to bake during this rough period of time.
Number One: The chocolate chip cookie.Or any cookie whatsoever. The best thing about cookies is that they take minimal effort in making them, they’re super easy to store, they bake off in a matter of 10-12 minutes, you can dress them up (add whatever you want to it), or keep it classic and simple.
My recipe for chocolate chip cookies yields a crisp yet chewy cookie thats buttery, brown sugary, complex, packed full of two kinds of chocolate, sprinkled with smoked sea salt, and addictive. You are also free to omit a lot of the complex ingredients in my recipe and keep it to the basic minimum. There is so much to love about homemade cookies.
Number two: Mug Cakes. There a million mug cake recipes out there on the internet, with the chocolate/brownie-like mug cakes being the most popular. I offer you an alternative recipe: a matcha white chocolate mug cake. If you have a sweet tooth, and a hankering for dessert but not enough time or effort, you can easily whip up a mug cake and have it ready to eat after just 45 seconds in the microwave. Super easy, soooo quick, and so delicious.
Here is the recipe:
Matcha White Chocolate Mug Cake
50g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
20g (2 tbsp) coconut sugar*
3g (1-1/2 tsp) matcha powder
1g (1/4 tsp) baking powder
50g (1/4 cup) milk of your choice
10g (1 tbsp) oil, I used canola
5g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
10g (1 tbsp) white chocolate chips
*Note: can be substituted for any type of sugar such as white sugar or brown sugar. If substituting with honey, or maple syrup, mix it into the wet ingredients.
- In a medium heat proof mug, mix together the flour, sugar, matcha, and baking powder.
- Make a little well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
- Stir together until just combined and no dry ingredients are left.
- Top with white chocolate chips and gently push into batter.
- Place in the microwave for 45 seconds on full power. Let it cool for 5 min before eating,
- Dust the top with icing sugar (optional).
Number 3: Tarts. From scratch. In particular, egg tarts, if you’re not a huge sweet tooth, and love flaky type pastries. These egg tarts are also great if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands. The best part about these tarts is that you’re able to create a huge variety of desserts. I’ve used the same dough base and made matcha cheesetarts (inspired by Uncle Tetsu) making this recipe base very versatile. They don’t take a huge amount of work, but I always find creating mini tarts to be very rewarding. These egg tarts are a huge hit with my family because their simplicity and deliciousness. These are not authentic Hong Kong style egg tarts because the dough is a pie dough and not a puff pastry dough. However, it is always easily replaceable with store-bought puff pastry. Click here for the pie dough recipe, it made about 16 mini egg tarts.
Egg Tart filling
160g (2/3 cup) water
66g (1/3 cup) sugar
2 whole eggs
80g (1/3 cup) evaporated milk
5g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
2g (1/4 tsp) salt
- In a small saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil just until the sugar is fully dissolved. Take off heat and cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400F/226C.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, with the evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and salt, and add in the sugar syrup.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve, 2-3 times to ensure a smooth and bubble-free mixture.
- Carefully pour into the pie dough tarts, and bake for 12-15 min or until the dough just starts to brown, then lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake for 10-12 min or until the tarts are matte and just set when wiggled.
- Let it cool and enjoy warm or cold.
BONUS: With the left over pie dough, you can make palmiers or palmeritas, a type of sugary cookie made with pie dough.
Here is a video tutorial on all the recipes above. Hope you’re all staying home, staying safe, sane, and well during this time!