Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tart Parade

I might just be really exhausted right now, but I keep giggling at that title.

We have been piecing together a bunch of different tarts for the past several days and today we finished A MILLION THINGS.  It was pretty satisfying, actually.

Lemon Tart:


This is actually just a simple lemon curd tart with a most absurd decoration. It's meringue rolled in yellow-dyed coconut. Chef told us he wanted the top to be "organized chaos".  I took this to mean "a giant, evenly constructed pyramid". Clearly, I don't do well with chaos. I actually think this decor is pretty dumb because you need to take all of the meringue off before slicing the tart. Also, it's nearly impossible to fit this thing in the fridge. Believe me. I had to lose the top two layers of my pyramid. WAH.


Tarte Tatin:


The good news is that I seem to have gotten over my tarte tatin anxiety. Today, we made a modern take on this tart. Half of the tart is covered with almond caramel. It's a sort of unfortunate color, but it does give a different look to the tart, which in my experience has always been pretty sloppy looking. Meh. Not my favorite.


Poached Pear Tart:

I gave you a sneak peak of this one before I split for the beach last weekend. Today we finished it by adding a simple glaze and topping it with marzipan fruit.


I'm sort of obsessed with my little marzipan pear.  We used a real pear stem, which I think is hilariously large.


HELLO GIANT STEM.  I haven't made marzipan fruit in ages and it came a lot easier to me this time. Since I've made almost everything we do in class before, it's way more fun and laid-back now. I'm not constantly living in fear of messing everything up.

Pistachio and Raspberry Macaron Entremets:


Ok, so this isn't technically a tart. It's a GIGANTIC MACAROON. Seriously, I wish I had a picture of this bad boy to scale. You can sort of tell how big it is by looking at the raspberries. It doesn't really do it justice, though.

Here's the inside of the entremets:


It's a pistachio mousseline cream and a bunch of raspberries. My roommate/lab partner said that the pistachio cream tasted like dentist's toothpaste. I'm not sure what crazyass dentist she goes to that uses nut toothpaste, but it did have sort of a funky taste to it.  I haven't tasted the whole thing together, but it will probably be delicious. The macaroon was made with pistachio and almond flour (we added green food coloring).


Finally-- nougat glace:


This is a really easy frozen dessert to make if you don't have an ice cream maker. All you do is:

1. Make an Italian merginue (google it).

2. Make whipped cream.

3. Fold meringue into cream.

4. Fold in various chopped mix ins (we used candied orange, dark chocolate, and crispy thingies).

Then we piped it into mini shot glasses, covered it with more mini-crispies, and popped it in the freezer. Voila! I'm already envisioning making this with crushed up candy canes and dark chocolate for Christmas parties.

WHEW!!! This was an epically long post and I didn't even say anything remotely interesting. I hope you are still reading now and enjoyed the photos somewhat.  Tomorrow is my midterm (can you believe i've been out here for a month already???) and the topic is a surprise. Better go review my notes!

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