Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rainy Sunday~~~

Warning: This is a long post as I missed out on 4 days worth of posts so I felt it best to add a page break, so do click to read more after the jump and leave me messages or any questions you may have!

It has been a dreary wet week here in NYC to say the least~ But neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor hail shall keep me from baking!!! So umbrella up and rain boots on as I braved the elements to produce the following~~~

First up, Tuesday saw the making of this beautiful apricot tart.
Carrying this home on the subway saw 3 kids at a traffic light turn around and tell each other how good it looked and I could see it in their eyes that they wanted a slice... Their mother was beside them on the phone, so I thought it best not to be that creepy lady who offers young kids food by the sidewalk...

A sweet and tender sucree shell filled with vanilla infused pastry cream lightened with whipped cream and topped with an array of fresh apricots...
We did plenty on Tuesday, including this flambe apple tart
We sliced up each golden delicious into 10 and sauteed them in some butter and a little bit of sugar till brown. Then came the brandy and flambe! Woo hoo! Our flames shot up to over 2 metres I swear! It was awesome. We then filled the shell with an egg custard and baked it in the oven to the above result. I had the large 9" tart ring, which is why the apples looks kinda sparsely dispersed but it tasted good anyway!

We also made hazelnut crescent cookies which were dipped in vanilla sugar at the end
Shaping these were fun :) Rolling things in vanilla sugar is also lotsa fun.
Also taught, was how to make these velvety baked chocolate custard cups
Omg. These were so good. Imagine the most decadent chocolate mouse and smoothest creme brulee had a baby. This would be it.

On Wednesday, we made more fresh fruit tartlets!
Once again we were told to replicate 2 that Chef Jeanne made, and the other 2 we could freestyle~ I came up with a strawberry flower tartlet for one of them :)

These tartlets were different from the previous ones made, as the shells were made out of savoury flaky brisee dough and blind baked then filled with pure pastry cream
Thursday was the day we made our first savoury tart- The French Onion, Walnut, Tomato and Blue Cheese Tart
First off, we gently brown large onions in a little butter
We then cooled the filling down over an ice bath, which was very effective!
Next, we rolled and trimmed some savoury brisee pastry
You can use a tart ring, or any other round shape as a template, or if you prefer to go reaaally rustic, don't trim and just go free form by folding the edges up around the filling
For us, we trimmed and then crimped using our fingers to create a cute little edge to keep all our delicious filling in place
See how cute? It only gets better... I promise.
We then sprinkled some chopped walnuts over the onions, sliced tomatoes and a generous helping of blue cheese... topped off with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper to season and off it went into the oven :)
The onions were so sweet, which contrasted well with the salty and creamy strong flavours of the blue cheese. The walnuts can't really be tasted but added a fantastic crunch to the otherwise soft filling. Heaven.
Ok, now who likes fig newtons, lets see a show of hands~ Now out of all of you, who has seen one like this? Yup. Thought so.
This once again surpassed my wildest expectations of how a fig newton could ever be and taste like. We reconstituted some dried figs in the tiniest amount of sugar and the juice of a lemon until it made this sticky wondrous filling. So simple, yet so perfect.
We then rolled the little babies up and brushed on a light coating of egg wash all over
This was what emerged from the oven not long later...
Slice them when its hot to prevent them from crumbling as the dough is so tender it crumbles and then melts in your mouth... mMMm...
Once cooled, enjoy~ Or if you were like me, burn the roof of your mouth out of greed...
Next up, chocolate sablee cookies. An extra recipe as we finished class early!
Roll out the dough, and push into a nice roll using a metal ruler or the edge of a sheet pan
Mini tip: Always remember to label anything going into your fridge or freezer so you know what it is and the date it was made
Cut into even rounds and place on a sheet pan. Brush on a little egg wash and sprinkle some raw demerara sugar on the top to garnish and to add sweetness as these are not very sweet
Fresh out of the oven
They have a shortbread texture and the sugar on the top adds a nice little crunch too besides from looking all pretty :)
What is this? Can you guess?
This is an egg custard tart with sour cherries~
I didn't have time to snap any other pictures of the makings of this tart as I was one of the assigned bakers on Friday when we made these. My first burn happened that day actually, due to all the running about and blind baking of everyone's tart shells. But nonetheless, this tart came out pretty delicious!
Moving on, we also found the time between the above tart and our sanitation exam, to make these little raspberry filled gems
The dough consists of almond paste which is a thick paste made from 50% almond and 50% sugar. We used a piping bag and star tip to pipe out these little shapes and made a little finger tip well in each of the centres
Raspberry baker's jam was then piped into the middle and chilled as we paused for our exam. After which they were baked for a couple minutes till golden around the edges.
Ok! That is all we made for last week! Finally up to date once again! I have to make it a point to update everyday. I will have more time nowadays to do so and will be so stay tuned!

Tip Of The Day Time! 
Today's tips will be on the art of Flambe
  1. Pour the liquor down the side of the pan close to you carefully, away from the flame.
  2. To flambe, tilt the outer lip of the pan downwards and into the open flame.
  3. Lean as far back from the pan as possible when doing so if you want to retain your eyebrows. 
Oh yes, one more observation that I think is invaluable- Custard tarts taste eggy fresh out of the oven and left to cool at room temperature. Very much like how an egg tart tastes like. The flavours really integrate and change however, once left to chill for an hour or 2 in the fridge! I find that the vanilla comes through, and truly reaches a whole new level of epicurean delight once its had some time to itself to chill ;)

With that, I bid you all tasty delights adieu till tomorrow when I WILL update again~ Toodles~


No comments:

Post a Comment