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"Chocolate Desserts" by Pierre Herme (Part 1)


SethG
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I made the nutella tart and the chocolate hazelnut sables this weekend. The sables were okay-not sure if I would make them again since the kids do not eat nuts and dh didn't look overly impressed(and he's mr sweet tooth LOL). Into the Christmas baskets they go-the do look amazing. I will definitely make the tart again. I did half with nuts and half without so the kids would eat a bit.

I tried to upload a picture but will have to have dh walk me through it someday. Here is the picture I did manage to get loaded in image gullet

picture link hopefully

In Canada, we have no name products and one of them is a nutella knockoff. I noticed when I was buying the nutella they also have a no name dark chocolate spread. That sounds like it would be nice in this tart too.

Not sure what I'll try next. I'm busy this week preparing for dd's 5th birthday party this weekend and trying to get some christmas baking done, etc, etc

happy baking

Sandra

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Lannie, the tart looks delicious. Excellent photo too. I also think the tart would be better if you just used the whole 13oz container of Nutella.

Sandra, your tart looks delicious too. I also left out the hazelnuts on top.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Love those tarts! I like the decoration around the border, lannie. I went the opposite route-- I omitted the optional decorations, and went for the austere non-fluted, non-piped look:

gallery_6941_401_1102300272.jpg

This tart is super. I'll definitely make it again.

The sweet tart dough is so tasty. I was rolling it out, thinking how easy it was to work with, when I suddenly ripped it into several pieces. I piled it all back into a disk and stuck it in the freezer for half an hour, then started rolling again, more carefully this time.

This was my first time using a tart ring. (Why do I feel dirty when I say "tart ring?") It worked out really well. The ring came right off, at which point I slid the tart and parchment paper onto a rack. Then after it cooled I moved it to a cake round, slid out the paper, and felt like a pro.

Edited for two reasons:

1) I looked back at the book, and clearly the person who made the tart for the picture in the book used many fewer hazelnuts than specified in the recipe. If you want your tart to look like that, cut back on the hazelnuts by half or prehaps even more. I didn't even use all the hazelnuts I toasted and mine was chock full of 'em (which I like, so it suits me fine).

2) What chocolate did you guys use? I used Scharffen Berger Semi-Sweet (62%), which I happened to have on hand, and I thought the balance with the Nutella was great. I wouldn't change it.

Edited by SethG (log)

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Man, I have to get going on this! Life keeps getting in the way. Nice looking stuff everyone.

I did manage to get my sweet tart dough into the fridge tonight (love licking the bowl on that one). I have just enough hazelnuts on hand to do the sables so that'll be tomorrow. If I can find some decent ones locally (vs. trekking out to Trader Joe's) then I'll whip up the nutella tart soon too.

You just HAVE to try the Tarte Grenobloise!!

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1)  I looked back at the book, and clearly the person who made the tart for the picture in the book used many fewer hazelnuts than specified in the recipe.  If you want your tart to look like that, cut back on the hazelnuts by half or prehaps even more.  I didn't even use all the hazelnuts I toasted and mine was chock full of 'em (which I like, so it suits me fine). 

Seth, this has to be my biggest pet peeve with the Desserts book. The pictures all look so beautiful, but when you make the desserts and compare to the photos, most...if not all...of the photos must be doctored. I don't mean they are digitally retouched (aside from standard art direction), but they look like they're all mini versions rather than the full size that the recipe makes. So the layers are thicker or the whole thing just looks tighter than a full sized dessert. Or worse, they show a wedge when it would be helpful to see the whole thing (specifically the Riviera...still no clue how to decorate that one).

From the Chocolate book, I had only made the Grenobloise, which seemed to match the picture well and all the photos on this thread prior to the nutella tart seemed to be in keeping with the book. So I guess they've done better at least by what's been tested here.

Man that irks me. Not enough to stop worshipping Herme, but I've definitely learned to look more closely at the photos for clues on scale.

Sorry for the rant.

Edited by kthull (log)
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I too found there were too many hazelnuts for the nutella tart. I toasted less than half the amount and that would have been enough for the whole tart. I still had some left since I only put it on half the tart.

I compared a bite of each side of the tart-the one without hazelnuts was really good but with the hazelnuts it was awesome. Reminded me of a ferrare Roche(sp???) with the combination of silky chocolate and the hazelnut.

After those wonderful pictures from Patrick S I want to try the Pave but will have to wait a while on that one.

I just used a bittersweet chocolate bar made from President's choice in Canada. It says made in France but no numbers for percentage. I am only baking for us and since I only take a taste of what I cook(not on my diet :biggrin: ) and dh will eat anything, it's not worth the cost to have to mail order the better chocolate. I do have the better cocoa though.

Have a great baking day

Sandra

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1)  I looked back at the book, and clearly the person who made the tart for the picture in the book used many fewer hazelnuts than specified in the recipe.  If you want your tart to look like that, cut back on the hazelnuts by half or prehaps even more.  I didn't even use all the hazelnuts I toasted and mine was chock full of 'em (which I like, so it suits me fine). 

Seth, this has to be my biggest pet peeve with the Desserts book. The pictures all look so beautiful, but when you make the desserts and compare to the photos, most...if not all...of the photos must be doctored. I don't mean they are digitally retouched (aside from standard art direction), but they look like they're all mini versions rather than the full size that the recipe makes. So the layers are thicker or the whole thing just looks tighter than a full sized dessert.

In a similar vein, the first recipe I made from CDBPH was that for the chocolate macaroons, and I can tell you that if you make these exactly as directed by the recipe, you will not get macaroons that look like the ones in the accompanying photo. One crucial step is ommitted -- letting the cookies dry out for a while before baking them. That seems odd because this simple step makes the cookies look so much better.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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In a similar vein, the first recipe I made from CDBPH was that for the chocolate macaroons, and I can tell you that if you make these exactly as directed by the recipe, you will not get macaroons that look like the ones in the accompanying photo. One crucial step is ommitted -- letting the cookies dry out for a while before baking them. That seems odd because this simple step makes the cookies look so much better.

Patrick, since you found out the trick would you care to tell how long they should be left out to dry? In Herme's comments to the recipe there is something about letting the macroons rest in the fridge, but nothing about it is included in the recipe itself.

As I mentioned before I had a go at the hazelnut sables and the Viennese ones.

gallery_9330_174_1102371460.jpg

The Hazelnut Chocolate Sables sounded more difficult than they turned up to be. I actually made two batches from one dough recipe. I baked the first half on the same day I assembled the two doughs together and the remaining sables two days later. I actually got the impressions that those I baked later were not only easier to slice, as Seth already mentioned, but tasted more of hazelnut, as if the hazelnut aroma had had a chance to diffuse in the dough during those two days in the fridge.

gallery_9330_174_1102371349.jpg

The Viennese Sables are pretty simple to make. I only had a little initial problem piping them, I'm not exactly good at that, but after a few crooked dough wiggles I managed to get the shape of the cookies right if maybe a bit bigger than what Herme suggests. Once baked and cooled the cookies were just as one would expect, crisp, crumbly, and with a nice cocoa note. My only grudge is that the ridges from the piping seemed to flatten outmore than I expected. I used a bigger tip than that shown in the book (16 vs. 13) but I can't think of why that could be the problem. Any hints

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Patrick, since you found out the trick would you care to tell how long they should be left out to dry? In Herme's comments to the recipe there is something about letting the macroons rest in the fridge, but nothing about it is included in the recipe itself.

I waited 30 minutes after piping before I started baking. Since I usually have a few sheets worth of cookies which I bake one at a time, the first tray would rest for 30 minutes and the last tray about 50 minutes before baking. I could not tell any difference between those that rested for 30 and those that rested for 50. Next time I make them, I might set a few aside for longer lengths of time and see what effect that has. The comment about letting the macaroons rest in the fridge overnight -- I had assumed that that referred to the finished cookies rather than the piped batter, but maybe I was wrong.

The cookies look great. Flat and uniform and good toasty color on the hazelnuts.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Ok, I finally got my hazelnut sables done. I was pleasantly surprised by their lack of sweetness. I also noticed a distinct difference between relatively fresh out of the oven vs. an hour or two out. The "aged" cookie had more chocolate flavor. I also only baked off one "log" and threw the rest in the freezer to finish off later in the week as part of a cookie exchange.

Here they are:

gallery_7930_450_1102392990.jpg

I was also worried that the sweet tart dough layer was too thin, but was happy to see that it baked out to look just like the picture.

On to the nutella tart!

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Here's the Nutella Tart. I definitely used less hazelnuts than called for, about half. If you like this one, you'll like the raspberry tart in the Chocolate book too, same with the chocolate banana tart in the Desserts book.

gallery_7930_450_1102522568.jpg

Kinda bummed my hazelnuts didn't brown more.

Edited to add: I used half Schokinag 64% and half Scharffen Berger 62%

Edited by kthull (log)
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And here are two pics I took a while back of the Tarte Grenobloise. I went through about 10 of these for various parties over the summer months. People went nuts over them (no pun intended).

gallery_7930_450_1102534579.jpg

For parties, I'll slice the tart into 24 thin wedges BEFORE topping with the pecan-caramel mixture. Then I'll line 'em up and go into production mode with the topping.

gallery_7930_450_1102534604.jpg

I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the finished platters. It looks cool with them all in a circle, spread out with a big dollop of the caramel topping in the center (you definitely have left overs if you slice before you top...great to snack on!).

Okay, okay...I'll stop talking about this one (for awhile anyway).

Edited by kthull (log)
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:blink:

I'm definitely the beginner in this crowd. Kevin, your stuff looks amazing.

If I may say so myself, I purposely toasted the hazelnuts a few extra minutes before I used them in the Nutella tart, and I thought they came out beautifully browned. I toasted for 14-15 mins instead of 10-12. Gotta keep watch, though. Burnt nuts suck.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Just wanted to say I am loving this thread, it reminds me of the Baking with Julia thread. I wish I had more time to bake, maybe over the holidays. KTHull- those tarts are gorgeous! And Seth, it's great to have bakers of all skill levels participating, it inspires amateurs like myself. Keep up the good work all!

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Gee, thanks everyone. I just want to point out that I'm a home baker too. I think I mentioned on another thread that the Desserts book is what pushed me to the next level. Herme is my idol and working through his stuff, you can't help but learn more and care more and try harder to achieve results. And the payoff is usually huge and it really blows people away, even when you screw up (they don't know what it's supposed to look like). And the whole component approach was a real eye-opener.

And everyone's stuff looks great on this thread!

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The great stuff just keeps coming!

I have another picture of some Nutella tartlets I made a few months ago. I hadn't posted them before because, frankly, they were really plain-jane and not done with any devotion or attention to detail. But I'll just post them anyway, just for the hell of it. I used the normal recipe, but made three 4.5" tarts instead of one 9" tart.

gallery_23736_355_1102303309.jpg

Earlier tonight I made the chocolate-lemon caramels (I've been working with caramel a lot lately). Its cooling right now. I was skeptical of using lemon, but I tried a little bit of the caramel cooled on a spoon and the taste was very good. The lemon taste is quite subtle, and works well. So this may be another example of me going into a recipe skeptical and being converted to a true believer in the end. I'll post pics of the caramels tomorrow, or as soon as I can.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Patrick, I'll be very interested to see your photo of the caramels. It's one of my favorite photos in the book, and I'm obviously not much of a photographer, but it looks like a challenging subject to me.

Should a bunch of us make those caramels this weekend? I'm very tempted by that Tart Grenobloise, but it'd be nice to jump around the book and not do two tarts or cakes in a row. So I'd propose that one for next week, or in a couple weeks (given the approaching holidays).

What do you think? Anyone is welcome to propose anything, by the way. I'll just be jumping in to propose something if no one does. And of course, people keep making whatever they want from the book and posting pictures, which I think is great too.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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I had planned on making some caramels for the holiday, so I'll semi-commit. Funny you mention the pic Seth...I think that's one of the coolest too. That and the caramelized chocolate napoleon!

On a separate note: OMG!!! If any of you still have some nutella tart lying around, you have to, have to, have to eat it with some vanilla ice cream. It'll BLOW YOUR MIND!

Ok, can you see I'm on a sugar high right now?

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Patrick, great point about making mini versions of the desserts. Since they're all component based, that approach works really well and others might not have considered it. I went through a stint where I made mini chocolate domes from the desserts book for people on their birthdays. Way cool.

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