Food & Cooking

Mini Egg Tarts

Years ago when I studied abroad in Japan, we took a field trip to Kobe for my Japan & Globalization class. One of the primary focuses of the trip was to observe the China Town in Kobe, and while we were there we sampled different kinds of food. One new food I tried was Egg Tarts. They were served mini-sized, two on a skewer. I loved them so much that when I moved to Kobe years later, I looked for them everywhere! Alas, my search was in vain. Luckily, (even more years later!) I came across a recipe for Egg Tarts so that I could try making them myself–just in time to fulfill another check off my summer bucket list.

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To make the egg tarts, you only need a small collection of some everyday ingredients: powdered sugar, white sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, evaporated milk and water.

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You start off mixing the powdered sugar and flour together, and then you add the butter. The recipe suggests using a fork to do this, but let’s be real; your hands or a Kitchen Aid mixer will probably be much easier. I cut my butter up into chunks to help the mixing go faster.

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Next you add a beaten egg and a bit of vanilla, mixing until you get a dough that’s not too moist or too dry. You can see how mine turned out in the picture above.

20130919-171830.jpgThe recipe says to use tart molds for the dough, but a muffin tin works just as well. I used a mini muffin tin so I could make smaller tarts like the ones I had tried back in Kobe. To form the crust, I balled small amounts of dough, placed them in the tin, pressed in the middles with my thumb, and then pushed the dough up the edges with a fork to add a decorative edge.

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Next, you preheat the oven and start on the filling. First you’re going to boil the sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves, and then wait for the mixture to return to room temperature. I was in a hurry, so I put the mixture in the refrigerator to get it to cool down faster. While you’re waiting for the temperature to drop, you can beat your eggs and put them through a strainer. Then, add them to the room-temp water/sugar mix before adding the condensed milk and vanilla. As you can see above, that mix gets strained one more time after it’s been whisked.

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From there, you just fill up your dough with the filling (my little tartlets got about a tablespoon each, but some overflowed when I brought the pan to the oven). Since my egg tarts were smaller than normal-sized tarts, I decreased the baking time to 12 minutes, and they turned out perfectly. I sprinkled a little powdered sugar on the finished ones as a garnish, and once they were cool, indulged on like 5 of them a few.

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It’s best to let these little guys cool before eating them because they taste sweeter and less eggy that way. Enjoy!

Egg Tarts

(Recipe originally posted on sassyhongkong’s blog)

Ingredients

Dough
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1 dash vanilla extract

Filling

2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups water
9 eggs, beaten
1 dash vanilla extract
1 cup evaporated milk (whole milk can be substituted for evaporated milk)

12 tart molds

Directions
1.In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar and flour. Mix in butter with a fork until it is in small crumbs. Stir in the egg and vanilla until the mixture forms a dough. The texture should be slightly moist. Add more butter if it is too dry, or more flour, if the dough seems greasy. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and press the balls into tart molds so that it covers the bottom, and goes up higher than the sides. Use 2 fingers to shape the edge into an A shape.

2.Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Combine the white sugar and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain the eggs through a sieve (strainer), and whisk into the sugar mixture. Stir in the evaporated milk and vanilla. Strain the filling through a sieve (strainer), and fill the tart shells.

3.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown, and the filling is puffed up a little bit.

Food & Cooking · Tried

Homemade Snickers Ice Cream Cake

Last week for my brother-in-law’s birthday, he requested a Snickers Ice Cream Cake. My mother-in-law set right to making one, and it turned out great! So yummy, in fact, that I thought I’d share her creation with you here.

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Snickers Ice Cream Cake

Round cake pan
Parchment paper
Peanuts
Caramel
Fudge sauce
1 Snickers bar
Ice cream

1. Line your cake pan with parchment paper.

2. Mix enough peanuts and caramel together to coat the edges of the pan. Fill the middle with ice cream, stopping halfway through to add more caramel or to add some fudge sauce before adding more ice cream, if desired.

3. Top final layer of ice cream with more caramel and peanut mixture; freeze the cake overnight.

4. Remove the cake from the freezer, carefully remove parchment paper from the edges of the cake, and cut a snickers bar into thin slices to decorate the top of the cake.

5. Cut out a piece of the cake, add a dollop of fudge sauce, and enjoy!

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*Note: I didn’t put any exact measurements in the recipe because it really depends on your preferences and the size of the pan you decide to use. Also, my mother-in-law had a fudge sauce recipe, but you could also experiment with store-bought fudge or even Nutella or the hard-coat ice cream fudge. You could also probably swap nuts & candy for other popular candy bars. Have fun trying out different combinations!

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I loved this ice cream cake, but on my birthday I usually choose chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. What’s your favorite birthday cake?

Around Town · Seen

“Trip” through Glico

Yesterday we finally took the much-awaited Pocky tour at the Glico factory in Kobe. Unfortunately it didn’t exactly blow our minds, though I must say that after viewing a few of the exhibits it seems someone else’s mind must have been blown in order to create them–if you catch my drift. The factory bits were okay, but after that you’re led into a room in which fairies demonstrate how biscuits and ice cream are made. I can chalk those displays up to the normal cuteness and randomness found in Japan, but the “Magic Show” that followed was totally unrelated to the factory and super bizarre.

This Caucasian girl appears on a television before being shrunk down Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-style into a kitchen set below. Then some fruit and vegetables turn into human friends, and they all begin dancing. Next, a demon appears, flying around on a fork. Somehow, they defeat the demon while twirling around, and the show is finished. Yeah, what?

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From there, we were taken to see a 3D showing of “The Legend of Pocky,” in which Salt, Milk, Grain and Cacao (pictured above on the plastic bag) fight against an evil demon and create pocky while bumping and crashing along the way. Who knew pocky had such mighty origins? The tour kind of ended abruptly afterwards, so we ate some matcha, or green tea, pocky while trying to make sense of what we just experienced.

On our way out we were each given a box of Pretz featuring the pocky “heroes,” as well as an English explanation of some of what we saw that would’ve been useful prior to taking the tour rather than afterwards. Overall I can say our visits to Asahi & Kirin Breweries and the Nada Sake district and Yamazaki Distillery were much more delightful!

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So long, Glico!