Sunday, September 6, 2009

sunday morning - the leftover tart

An attempt to clean out the fridge...

  • Line tart pan with dough from chocolate and banana cream tarts, don't trim the edges
  • Diced onions, peppers, and brown mushrooms sauteed in butter and olive oil
  • A spoonful of flour, cooked with the softened veggies until the raw taste is cooked out
  • Milk added to make a cream sauce
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Stir in the cooked orzo from last night, a small spoonful of pesto, a handful of arugula
  • Spoon into unbaked tart shell and fold the excess dough over the filling
  • Crumble goat cheese over the top
  • Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for about 20 minutes
  • Enjoy on a beautiful Sunday morning

Thursday, September 3, 2009

birthdays and tarts! part II

For M's birthday - a fat duck and this little chocolate tart. The crust is from the banana cream tarts and the chocolate ganache from the same recipe is spiked with a few teaspoons of Bailey Irish Cream. I also broke up pieces of hazelnut brittle to add to the bottom of the tart. The assembly was easy. Tart shell, brittle, chocolate ganache. Topped it off with a few small shards of caramel sugar.

Hazelnut Brittle (adapted from Bobby Flay)

1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp butter
pinch salt
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped or halved

Heat sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until it becomes a medium amber in color. Stir in butter and hazelnut. Spread onto a greased pan and allow the mixture to cool. Break into smaller pieces.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

birthdays and tarts! part I

I met Panda the first day I went to TKD practice. Within the first month, I concluded that we could never live together. She disliked cheese, nuts, and garlic in her fried rice. And me? My ideal lunch is a triple creme cheese with fig preserve on toasted baguette, my brownies and cookies come choked with walnuts, and I add garlic to everything. Whereas she lost 10 pounds during college, I...well never mind.

We have shared many good meals together, indulging in our love for good curry, nutella crepes, and tempura ice cream (yea I know 2/3 were desserts). She's obsessed with apple turnovers and always order banana cream pie when we goto Nation's. This little tart was for her.

Banana Cream Tartlettes
(adapted from the fabulous Tartlette)


1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp butter, diced and chilled
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

Sift together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in cold butter until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add in water slowly, until mixture comes together. You may not need all the water. Form into a round disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours to overnight.

Roll out chilled dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut to the size of the tart pans. Gently lay dough into the pans, trying not to stretch it. Dock the bottom with a fork, press a piece of foil over the crust and add in pie weights (I was out of beans this time so I used clean rocks ^^). Bake in a 375 degrees preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Then remove the weights and foil and bake for another 5-8 minutes until the crust is lightly golden. Let it cool to room temperature before filling.

Chocolate Ganache

4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/2 cup cream
pinch salt
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature

Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat cream and salt together, until just under a boil. Pour into the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate and cream together, until smooth and shiny. Add in butter piece by piece, stirring just enough to blend the ingredients. The less you stir it, the shinier the ganache will be. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic right over the ganache. Set aside at room temperature.

Vanilla Pastry Cream

1 cup whole milk
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 tbsp vanilla

Bring milk and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. In the meantime, sift together sugar and corn starch. Add in the beaten egg and mix well. Slowly add in half the hot milk mixture, mixing to temper the eggs. Add the egg mixture back to the pan with the remaining milk, stirring constantly until you reach a thick consistency. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then whisk in butter, a small piece at a time. The mixture should be smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, laying the plastic right over the surface of the cream. Chill until ready to use.

To Assemble:

Spread a thin layer of ganache on the bottom of the tart shells. Slice a banana thin and on a bias. Layer in overlapping concentric circles over the ganache. Cover with pastry cream. Decorate with whipped cream, more bananas, and chocolate shavings.

strawberry tarts are delicious too