April 02, 2008

the big tarty post.

so many tarts. so many, MANY tarts. let's start at the top, shall we?

lemon cream tart

lemon cream meringue tart.

simple and sweet.


this is made with puff pastry and almond cream. it's a royal pain in the ass to make, but looks impressive.

i don't think it's worth the effort.

chocolate tart
this chocolate tart has a decadent little secret... there's a flourless chocolate cake inside it.

it's topped with a chocolate nougat crisp kinda like a chocolate almond tuile.

apricot almond tart
this is a classic french fruit tart.

this one just happens to have apricots.

st. honore
this one is a hoot.

it's called a st. honore.

it starts with a base of puff pastry which has chiboust filled cream puffs 'glued' to it with caramel.

next, you take the rest of your chiboust and fill in the rest of the tart.

is it wrong that i could eat half of this in one sitting?

paris brest
you've seen me make paris brest before.

oh yes you have... don't you remember?

yeah, but not one this HUGE.

vanilla apple tart
here's a take on an apple tart. normandy style.

this one starts with a thick 'cakier' dough called a pate breton, then there's a layer of caramel in there that sticks that vanilla cremeux to the dough.

next, you ring that with some caramelized apples.

personally, i prefer a classic apple tart, kinda like that apricot one up there, only with apples. see how that works?

strawberry rhubarb pistachio tart
here's the apotheosis of the tarts we made.

this is a strawberry-rhubarb-pistachio tart.

let me break it down for you. there's a tart shell filled with pistachio cream. next you put a layer of strawberry gelee on that and a layer of rhubarb compote on that. then you cover that all up with pistachio creme legere and spray it a springy shade of green.

now, ring it with cut strawberries, cut, and serve.

a very nice pastry chef plated this up for us. she made it look as awesome as it tastes.

Posted by donna at 09:10 AM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2008

cake. well, entremet, really.

raspberry silk cake
banana pearl cake
chocolate hazelnut cake
so, i'm making cakes now. well, that's not entirely accurate. i'm making some cakes and a hell of a lot of mousses and gelees, with a jam or a cremeux thrown in for good measure.

also, i keep forgetting to take photos of these, because i just keep eating them so damned fast.

up top there's the raspberry silk cake. it has a almond dacquoise bottom, topped with a chocolate royaltine crunch layer, then another almond dacquoise and a raspberry gelee followed by a whole lot of white chocolate mousse. this one is awesome.

next, you have the framboise cake. this one has a layer of almond cookie, topped with raspberry jam, then a layer of raspberry mousse, pain de genes - an almond cake that made the kitchen smell absolutely heavenly, followed by a layer of vanilla cremeux with candied raspberries floating in it and finally topped off with more of that raspberry mousse. it has shortbread type cookies called diamants all around the sides. this one is also awesome.

next is the banana pearl cake. this one starts with a layer of chocolate rice crispy treats, then some ganache and a chocolate cake layer, next there's caramelized bananas with rum and it's covered with a vanilla bavarian. it's glazed with a chocolate mirror glaze which is just basically poured all over the cake and then carefully, yet deliberately leveled off. this one is awesome, though in my opinion, not quite as awesome as the first two.

finally there's the chocolate hazelnut cake. it is a layer of hazelnut dacquoise, caramelized hazelnuts, hazelnut mousse, chocolate cake, and chocolate mousse. this one is also covered with that chocolate mirror glaze and is so rich i could only eat a tiny little slice. so, not surprisingly, this one is also awesome.

Posted by donna at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2008

chocolate came and went so fast.

casting ganache
cut ganache
raspberry bonbons

well, i spent two weeks making ganaches, and casting, cutting and dipping them, as well as molding chocolate shells, then filling them with ganaches, and closing the shells and finally packing all that stuff up to be given away to charity events and whatnot.

in the midst of it, i didn't think i liked it very much, but now, with the benefit of hindsight, i realize that those were a couple very calm, relaxed weeks in the kitchen, and i learned a ton about chocolate and how to deal with its persnickety tendencies.

oh, yeah, i'm talking to you, cocoa butter.

Posted by donna at 01:20 AM | Comments (0)