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Pierre Herme Mango Tart with Coconut Cream

25 Feb

I had some time this week to flip through Pierre Herme’s recipe book “La Patisserie de Pierre Herme. He is known for creative yet delicious pastries. As I flipped through the pages, I stopped at the fruit tart w/ coconut cream and instantly fell in love.

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Coconut Cream
400 g butter
500 g confectioner’s sugar
200 g powdered almonds
300 g grated coconut
50 g custard powder
50 g dark rum
300 g light cream

Result: This is a delicious tart. Delicate and light, it carries hints of coconut. Definitely a keeper.

Valentines-Raspberry Pistachio Frangipane Tart

18 Feb

It was Valentines this week. To make this week special, I decided to make something sweet for my friends and family. I recently bought 2 boxes of raspberries. Initially I was going to make a cheesecake but at the last minute I craved tart. Tart it is. I have not made frangipane for a while thus I decided to make a frangipane tart with pastry cream.

Tips:
1. For a stronger pistachio taste, toast the pistachios first
2. Pour the hot milk into the eggs not the other way around.

To make the tart, I first made the pate sucre. The frangipane came next. I wanted a roasted pistachio taste to the frangipane so I toasted some pistachios and gournd them till fine. A coffee grounder will do the trick. Butter was then measured and heated. Whipped cream, sugar and eggs where mixed in with the pistachios to form a semi paste and then the cooled butter was poured in. I baked the tart shell for approx 15 minutes first. When done, raspberry jam was spread over the bottom of the tart shell. The Pistachio frangipane was then poured into the tart shell and baked some more. ** I suppose I could blind bake the tart shell with the frangipane in it. But will leave it till next time I make it. Once the pistachio frangipane and tart shell is cooked. The pastry cream was next to come. Once the pastry cream was done. Set it to cool. Once cooled pour over the pistachio frangipane tart and garnish with raspberries. Voila!!!

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Pistachio Frangipane

1 stick butter unsalted
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup ground pistachios
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream

Creme Patiserrie
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 egg yolks
2 table cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean

Pate Sucre

1 stick butter
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 tablespoon ground almonds
1 pinch salt
1 egg
1 2/3 cup flour

Bon Appetit!!! Happy Valentines Day.

Happy Valentines Day-Chocolate Ganache Tart

14 Feb

Happy Valentines Day!!!! As everyone is celebrating this day outside with a nice dinner and roses, I decided to celebrate at home baking for my friends and family. When one thinks of Valentines, the first impression that comes to mind are chocolates and roses. Well, I will let the rose giving and dinner treating to the guys out there but I will prepare dessert.

In light of this celebration, I decided to make something chocolatey since you can’t go wrong with chocolate. This time I am making a Chocolate Ganache Tart. While the dessert may be delectable and stunning, it is rather quite easy to make. To make the tart, I first made the pate sucre shell first. Next I made the ganache which goes into the shell. I heated up some cream and poured over the chocolate. I then whisked the cream and chocolate until creamy and homogenous after which I poured it into the cooled tart shells. Allow the ganache to cool and decorate with raspberries.

Voila.

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Ganache Filling

180g Dart Chocolate
130 ml Whipping Cream

Result: The dark chocolate gave the tart a rich, and deep chocolate taste. The ganache was silky smooth a stark contrast to the delicious tart shell. The raspberry complimented the rich chocolate with a sweetness and acidity. For chocolate lovers this is a recipe worthy to try.

Happy Valentines Day to All!!!!

Strawberry Mango Tart

6 Jun

Baking time again. Lately Vancouverites have been enjoying on some beautiful tropical fruits such as litchee, mango, watermelon etc etc. The weather certainly bodes well for picking them at their peak. With the strawberries and mangoes in season, I decided to make a strawberry mango tart. I first started to make the crust. As always I chose the pate sucre crust by Felder. I find that his recipe has the right levels of lightness and crispness to the pastry.

Key to a light and flaky pastry.

  • work the cold butter in with the flour until sand like texture than add the remaining ingredients

DSC_0720 Next I made the pastry cream to fill the tarts once the tart was cooled.

TIPS:

  • do not over cook the pastry cream.  Take it off the heat once the cream thickens and boils.  Whisk constantly as the pastry cream will burn.
  • To prevent lumps of cornstarch, mix the sugar with the cornstarch first prior to adding it into the milk

DSC_0721 Once the pastry cream has cooled, I then set to decorate the tart. DSC_0725 Pastry Cream Recipe

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup castor sugar

1 tsp. vanilla essence. ( I chose to use a vanilla bean)

Result: This recipe is a keeper. Both strawberry and mango complimented each other. The pastry cream was light, smooth and creamy and added complexity to the dessert.

Have a lovely weekend all!!!!

Afternoon Tea and Victoria Long Weekend

17 May

Let all the Vancouverites rejoice as another long weekend as come again. The weather certainly held up as the mercury hit the twenties all week. To start off the the long weekend, I was invited to afternoon tea by a college friend. A tantalizing tea gathering it turned out to be as friends sipped fragrant tea and savoured delicious desserts while catching up.

For the gathering I made some mango tarts. Mangoes were in season and I thought what better way than to bake with seasonal fruits. I first made the pate sucre. It has been a staple recipe for all my tarts. Next came the pastry cream. HK Pasty Chef Tony Wong had an amazing tip. He suggested that in order minimize lumpy pastry cream, caused by the corn starch cooking first without dissolving, combine it with the sugar first. Works every time!!!

Once the tarts were baked, a think layer of chocolate was spread onto the crust. When the pastry cream had cooled, I poured it into the crust. Sliced mangoes were added next and the final step was sprinkling of the toasted coconut. Voila!!!

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Pastry Cream
1 1/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 egg yolk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp flour
1/4 sugar

Result: I found that the custard complimented the Mangoes quite nicely. Simplicity wins again with the Mangoes being the star of this dessert. I certainly hope the tart was well received at the afternoon tea gathering!!!

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Happy Victoria Day Everyone!!!!

Pecan Tart An Old Fashioned Favorite

30 Mar

I had a pecan tart at Giovani Cafe at the Pacific Rim Hotel the other day. Loving the sweet and crunchy combination of the tart and crust, I decided to see if I could recreate it.

The key to making the Pecan tart was actually the filling. I have seen recipes using corn syrup, cream, sugar and maple syrup. Favoring a chewier consistency, I opted for a recipe which called for maple syrup.

Keys in making a Pecan Tart:

1. Do not dock the pie/tart crust as the filling will seep out when cooking. You would get a mess of cooked eggs/sugar syrup and the end

Method:
a) To make the tart, I first made the crust first. Having repeated success with Felder’s Pate Sucre recipe, I choose to make it again this time using a Tahitian Vanilla Bean. The vanilla bean gave a floral after taste which complimented the light tart crust when baked. Instead of removal bottom tart pans, I chose to use ring molds. Once the pate sucre was finished, I placed the dough into the fridge before rolling it out into the tart rings.

b) While the pate sucre was chilling, I made the filling. The filling consisted of maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter and lemon juice. Unlike conventional recipes, this recipe called for a dry caramel from the brown sugar. The caramel was done, de-glaze it by adding the maple syrup and brought back to a boil again and then cooled. Once cooled pour the mixture over the beaten eggs and butter, vanilla and lemon juice.

c) To assemble, place the pecans on the bottom of the uncooked tart crust and pour in the filling. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes until golden brown and done.

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Pecan Tart(recipe found here)

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup (I used maple syrup)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 cups pecan halves

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Enjoy!!!

Valentines Weekend Celebrations

16 Feb

Valentines certainly came and gone nonetheless the gentlemen delivered. I was shopping at Thomas Haas the other day; it was like a zoo in there. The beloved pastry and chocolate store attracted hundreds of loyal fans all eagerly waiting for mouth watering pastries and beautifully hand made chocolates. Chocolate lovers, husbands, boyfriends etc had already formed a s-like line in the store by the time I arrived. Everyone’s hand had boxes delicately shaped heart chocolates; momentos of love for each other while staff hurried around to fulfill their special day. Smiles were all around and the store smelled like rich chocolate. One whiff and I was drunk this to elixir. pastry

In downtown Vancouver, cold tin empty flower buckets that once housed dozens of gorgeously scently long stemmed roses lined the shelves red-roses-from-randy Someone’s heart was melted that evening when smelling fragrant sweet scent of the deep coloured vibrant red roses. What a special day this was.

To celebrate this special day, I made some tarts. I first started off with the pate sucre recipe. I made the crusts and fill them with 3 different toppings. In comparison to other crusts, pate sucre was quite versatile. The crust had a nice crunch and made a lovely addition to the fillings. The first tart was the lemon meringue tart. I decided to be adventurous and did a yuzu/meyer lemon filling. Yuzu added a zing to the filling and as for the meringue, I chose to make an italian meringue.

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The second tart contained a milk and white chocolate ganache while the third tart had a topping of fresh raspberries and pistachios.

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Felder was my go to chef when making a pate sucre recipe. I found his recipe was quite crispy and light sweet. The key to his recipe was the icing sugar. Felder substituted granulated sugar with icing sugar which in turn results in a lighter pastry.

Lemond Curd Filling (adapted from Anna Olson)

1 cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 cup water

6 large egg yolks ( I used 4 large egg yolks)

½ cup fresh lemon juice ( I substituted yuzo and meyer lemon juice)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I opted out)

I also added 2 teaspoons of lemon zest.

In the end I was quite delighted how the tarts turned out. They were very beautiful and definitely head turners. I think I could just sit there admire them and drool away; but as with anything fresh baked tarts go fast so here comes my fork and tea.

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Bon Appetit everyone. Hope everyone enjoyed their special day!!!

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