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Dan Tart Cook-off I

Chinese

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119 replies to this topic

#61 Yuki

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 06:55 PM

Awwww...I'm sorry to hear that, Yuki. Which recipe did you use? You have to bake in low heat, 150C for at least 40 minutes, so that the filling doesn't explode. I don't mind trying it again, since it actually takes very little time to come up with one batch. This time I'll do 50/50 lard/butter.

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I actually tried out your recipe but due to my incompetence, the result is not even close to your wonderful looking dan tart. My sister made another batch today using her own recipe, but she cheated by using frozen puff pastry. The egg ended to be smooth but the crust is just not there.... I think the hardest part in dan tart is the crust and I will leave that to the professional.

I have a far-off relative that works in a bakery but I am not sure if it is okay to ask her if I can watch the dan tart making process...

#62 Dejah

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 07:22 PM

Let me repeat again: Frozen Puff Pastry does not work for dan tart!
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#63 Tepee

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 07:26 PM

Hello? Yetty? Where's your dan tarts?
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#64 Yuki

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 07:31 PM

Let me repeat again: Frozen Puff Pastry does not work for dan tart!

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Yeah, I told her that but when she was eating the egg tart, she just scooped up the egg and threw away the pastry. :blink:

#65 Tepee

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 12:33 AM

I actually tried out your recipe but due to my incompetence, the result is not even close to your wonderful looking dan tart.

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Believe you me! My dan tarts are definitely not wonderful looking (look at the edges :wacko: )... at least they aren't to me. It does taste very close to one of the dim sum restaurant versions. Will work at improving the pastry to be a little less flaky.

LOL, maybe it's the mould.

However, if I were to do the 2-skin pastry, I'd use a plain sides cupcake tin.

Edited by Tepee, 25 April 2005 - 12:35 AM.

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#66 sheetz

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 11:14 AM

If nobody objects, I think I'm going to toss this question over to the pros in the baking forum. There's got to be someone over there who knows how to make these. It can't be an ancient Chinese secret!! lol

#67 hzrt8w

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 06:16 PM

It can't be an ancient Chinese secret!! lol

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It can't be. It didn't exist in Chinese cooking more than a couple hundred years ago.

Since (I heard) it is imported from the Portugese via Macau to Hong Kong, the Portugese gotta be the master of these Custard Tarts.

I learned through another forum the following recipe of Pastéis de Nata (Cream Custard Tarts)

Looks about right.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#68 sheetz

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 08:53 PM

It can't be an ancient Chinese secret!! lol

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It can't be. It didn't exist in Chinese cooking more than a couple hundred years ago.

Since (I heard) it is imported from the Portugese via Macau to Hong Kong, the Portugese gotta be the master of these Custard Tarts.

I learned through another forum the following recipe of Pastéis de Nata (Cream Custard Tarts)

Looks about right.

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The Portuguese versions are similar but they don't appear to be the same. Traditionally, the Portuguese ones use a puff pastry that's been rolled and coiled into a snail before being pressed into the tart molds. So they don't have the same layered crust as the type some of us want. And actually, the recipe you linked isn't even the puff pastry version, but rather uses a basic pie crust recipe for the tart shell. Anyways, I'll ask the experts at the pastry forum and see if anyone there has answers.

Portuguese version:
Posted Image

Chinese version:
Posted Image

#69 SuzySushi

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:11 AM

Now we all know why one spelling variation is "Darn Tarts"!!!
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#70 Tepee

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:18 AM

:biggrin: :laugh:
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#71 spaghetttti

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:50 AM

So it seems like everyone has got the filling down pat, it's the darned crust that's wreaking havoc, is it?

sheetz, those tarts look fabulous, did you make them? :wub:
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#72 touaregsand

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 09:48 AM

It can't be an ancient Chinese secret!! lol

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It can't be. It didn't exist in Chinese cooking more than a couple hundred years ago.

Since (I heard) it is imported from the Portugese via Macau to Hong Kong, the Portugese gotta be the master of these Custard Tarts.

I learned through another forum the following recipe of Pastéis de Nata (Cream Custard Tarts)

Looks about right.

View Post


The Portuguese versions are similar but they don't appear to be the same. Traditionally, the Portuguese ones use a puff pastry that's been rolled and coiled into a snail before being pressed into the tart molds. So they don't have the same layered crust as the type some of us want. And actually, the recipe you linked isn't even the puff pastry version, but rather uses a basic pie crust recipe for the tart shell. Anyways, I'll ask the experts at the pastry forum and see if anyone there has answers.

Portuguese version:
Posted Image

Chinese version:
Posted Image

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The Portuguese ones look like a total home job and the Chinese ones look like they were made by a food stylist.

#73 Rhea_S

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 02:44 PM

Here was my attempt at egg tarts:

Posted Image

I posted about the pastry recipe I used over on the other egg tart thread in the baking section. The recipe I was following for the filling said to bake the tarts at 300F, but I found this took forever and I upped the temperature to 375F after about 30 minutes. I'm going to try this again at 375F right from the start.

The only ones that didn't come out as crispy and flaky were the ones I overfilled. The filling dripped down the sides and made the sides and bottom soggy.

Edited by Rhea_S, 27 April 2005 - 02:52 PM.


#74 Tepee

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 05:29 PM

Looks like we've got a winner!! Great job, Rhea!
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#75 Dejah

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 07:34 PM

At last! I checked out the recipe Rhea_s and I will give it a try again.
Thanks for posting the pictures. There IS hope :laugh:
Dejah
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#76 Rhea_S

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 11:48 AM

The pastry recipe is fairly easy. You don't have to worry about your ingredients being very cold or overworking the dough. It was very easy to roll out right from the start. It took longer than regular short crusts because of the chilling time in between the pats of fat, but I liked working with it better.

#77 sheetz

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 10:49 PM

I've tried the recipe mentioned by RheaS and it was good but I still had problems with it being "too puffy". I've found another technique, called blitz or rough puff pastry that yields results very close to what we're looking for, imo. The pastry doesn't puff nearly as much as regular puff pastry does and, most importantly, there isn't any distortion around the edges. It also is more tender than puff pastry. I hope you all try it and tell me if you agree.

#78 yslee

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 07:34 AM

Hello. Am I too late to join this cook-off? I normally lurk around Pastry & Baking (seldom posting) but mystery of the pastry sounded irresistible. (Also, I shot my mouth off about puff pastry in the Egg Tart threat and now feel the need to investigate my own theories!)

I thought I'd try both basic puff (either rough puff or with fewer turns) and Apicio's formula as well, which s/he has posted in the P&B thread. My question for you is, have you arrived at some consensus as to the silkiest, most delicate custard?

#79 sheetz

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 08:53 AM

yslee, it's never too late to join. We're still experimenting and have not reached any concensus. I've made so many batches I'm starting to get sick of flaky pastry, so I may take a few days off. Plus, my pants are starting to get tight. lol

I'm thinking of revisiting RheaS's recipe, but this time incorporating more fat into the dough. It appears that the more fat you blend into the flour, the less the dough will puff up when it bakes, which in this case is good.

#80 Transparent

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 08:48 PM

I'm curious. Wouldn't using a lean and oil dough produce a flaky crust for dan tart? Oil doughs are mostly used for stuff like char siu so, but wouldn't the tart shell have those multiple layers that we want? Then again, oil dough isn't exactly rich and buttery.

Melted butter perhaps?

I'm dying to experiment, but I just came home from Toronto friday night, and I've been busy with schoolwork. Rawr, and I dug out those tart tins. Turns out they weren't as big as I remember them. They're actually the ones used for dan tart, which is great, but I was kind of looking foward to jumbo dan tart.

#81 Dejah

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 09:13 PM

I'm curious. Wouldn't using a lean and oil dough produce a flaky crust for dan tart? Oil doughs are mostly used for stuff like char siu so, but wouldn't the tart shell have those multiple layers that we want? Then again, oil dough isn't exactly rich and buttery.

Melted butter perhaps?

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Your words OIL DOUGH made me sit up and think. I have been using lard, but the Wei-Chuan book called for oil(liquid form, right?). Did I assume wrongly that they meant lard? Because I have always used lard, shortening or butter in my pastry, I couldn't imagine making dough with oil.

Has anyone ever made pastry dough with oil?

This dan tart is getting curious-er and curious-er! :blink:

The recipe I used for the custard called for eggs, milk, cream and sugar. It was silky smooth...much like the ones from Chinese bakeries.
Dejah
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#82 hzrt8w

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 12:16 AM

Your words OIL DOUGH made me sit up and think. I have been using lard, but the Wei-Chuan book called for oil(liquid form, right?). Did I assume wrongly that they meant lard? Because I have always used lard, shortening or butter in my pastry, I couldn't imagine making dough with oil.

Has anyone ever made pastry dough with oil?

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In the Chinese Dan Tart recipes, what's called "oil skin" (oil dough) is really made from butter. Butter in Cantonese Chinese translation is Ngau Yau (Cow oil, a misnamer), which is where the "oil" dough picks up the "oil" from.

The butter should be cold (hard) when making the dough. You just cut the butter into small cubes to mix with flour. I don't think melted butter would make good results.

Also, placing the dough in the frige to chill it before baking is also essential.

To archieve the "flaky" result, many fold the dough, roll it down, fold the dough again, and roll it down many times (a lamination effect, I think). Some recipes call for rolling the "oil" dough with "water" dough (one that does not use butter) in an interleaved fashion.

The recipe I used for the custard called for eggs, milk, cream and sugar. It was silky smooth...much like the ones from Chinese bakeries.

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Probably use just egg-york, right? If you didn't, try so.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#83 Dejah

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 09:23 AM

[quote name='hzrt8w' date='May 1 2005, 12:16 AM']
[quote name='Dejah' date='Apr 30 2005, 09:13 PM']
[quote name='Dejah' date='Apr 30 2005, 09:13 PM']The recipe I used for the custard called for eggs, milk, cream and sugar. It was silky smooth...much like the ones from Chinese bakeries.

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[/quote]
Probably use just egg-york, right? If you didn't, try so.

View Post

[/quote]

Rhoda's recipe called for 2 extra large eggs plus 3 extra large egg yolks, 1 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup half and half. I was happy with the results.

Thanks for the info' on the oil dough. I was on the right track then...and rolled and folded and rolled and folded. Will try again with various pastry recipes posted in the trhead.
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#84 Tepee

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 09:27 AM

Sue-On, how many tarts (and what size) did you make with Rhoda's filling?
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Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#85 Transparent

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 01:40 PM

I just checked Florence Lin's Complete Book of Breads. The oil dough is indeed made from lard. Wei Chuan does seem to have messed up a translation. I guess because yau can be interchanged between liquid and solid fat?

#86 Dejah

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 02:09 PM

Sue-On, how many tarts (and what size) did you make with Rhoda's filling?

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I used regular size muffin tins. There was enough from Rhoda's rcipe to make the 24 tarts.

I am going to Wpg next weekend, and I want to shop for actual tarts tins. I saw one in a Gourmet Chef shop in Minot, North Dakota last weekend, but it was $23.00 US. I think I have seen them cheaper in Canada, Canadian funds. We were only gone for 24 hours, so it would have taken me over the $50.00 Canadian I am allowed to bring back before duty. So much for free trade! :angry:

As for interchange between oil and solid lard, I don't think you can do that with baking. :unsure:
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#87 Tepee

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 05:18 AM

Finally did the 2 dough pastry. I wished I had lard ( :blink: don't wish too hard, TP!), because I used shortening and although the pastry was light and flaky, it lacked flavor. I discovered that to prevent the puffiness, you mustn't be afraid to flatten/thin the dough as much as possible. See the tart on the right...it's not as puffy as the one on the left. Then I used Rhoda's filling; I think I must have overbaked the tarts. The texture is not quite as smooth as the simple milk, eggs, sugar filling for my first tarts. Taken with bak kor foo chook yi mai tong sui with quail eggs.

Posted Image

Edited by Tepee, 03 May 2005 - 05:31 AM.

TPcal!
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Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#88 Dejah

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 05:55 AM

Those look good enough to eat, Tepee! :laugh: That pastry looks a lot better than mine did with the 2 dough pastry.

Did you have a lot of bubbles in your egg mixture before you poured it into the tart shells? The texture on top makes me think that it is excessive mixing, thus the rougher appearance on the surface.

That's quite a combination in your tong. Did you use the foo chook sheets?
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#89 Tepee

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 06:23 AM

Thanks, Sue-On. I already had 2....for testing purposes :rolleyes: .

You think I could have over-mixed? Hmmm...I did use a hand-whisk. Aside from the lack of flavor in the skin and the slightly rough texture of the filling, I think I prefer today's effort. I usually don't have bubbles in the egg mixture because I sieve it as I pour into the tart dough.

Yes, quite a mouthful of ingredients in the tong sui...gingko nuts, foo chook sheets (both dried and fresh), pearl barley, rock sugar, quail eggs and the unused egg white 'flower' from the dan tart filling. Very yeon.
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Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#90 sheetz

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 04:36 PM

Great pics, Tepee! Which 2 layer pastry recipe did you use?





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