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Your Daily Sweets (2005-2012)


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Patrick - those are gorgeous! Which ones were your favorites? How did they taste?

They all turned out pretty good, but if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the chocolate-caramel tart. I love the combination of fudgy ganache, chewy caramel, and crispy sweet tart dough.

"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 - those are gorgeous! Which ones were your favorites? How did they taste?

They all turned out pretty good, but if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the chocolate-caramel tart. I love the combination of fudgy ganache, chewy caramel, and crispy sweet tart dough.

Yeah, these really caught my eye as well. I jotted down the idea and need to try it sometime soon. Did you use your favorite caramel from Sherry Yard by any chance? (They all look really beautiful; I just was particularly intrigued by the flavors in the chocolate tart.)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I've been doing a bunch of bite-sized desserts using my little tart pans. Actually I don't know if they are supposed to be tart pans or petite brioche pans, but they work fine as tart pans regardless.

Absolutely stunning.

I'd love to hear about your technique for lining the tins with your pastry dough. I did a bunch of tartlets from Sweet Miniatures a few weeks ago and was quickly reminded of how tedious and time-consuming it is to press the dough into each little tin. How did you get such consistent results, and did it take hours?

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Patrick - those are gorgeous! Which ones were your favorites? How did they taste?

They all turned out pretty good, but if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the chocolate-caramel tart. I love the combination of fudgy ganache, chewy caramel, and crispy sweet tart dough.

Yeah, these really caught my eye as well. I jotted down the idea and need to try it sometime soon. Did you use your favorite caramel from Sherry Yard by any chance? (They all look really beautiful; I just was particularly intrigued by the flavors in the chocolate tart.)

That probably would work well, but instead I used a very simple caramel recipe a bit firmer than a sauce:

4T water

2T corn syrup

1C sugar

1T butter

4T cream

Combine water, sugar and corn syrup. Caramelize. Remove from heat. Add butter. Stir in cream, being very careful to avoid steam burns.

"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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[i'd love to hear about your technique for lining the tins with your pastry dough.  I did a bunch of tartlets from Sweet Miniatures a few weeks ago and was quickly reminded of how tedious and time-consuming it is to press the dough into each little tin.  How did you get such consistent results, and did it take hours?

Definitely tedious and time-consuming, at least compared to just making one big tart or pie, but its not so bad once you get

For some of them I cut out circles of dough, pressed them into the tins, pressed out the sides and bottoms to as consistent a thickness as I could, and then trim the excess dough from the top using a knife. If the cut surface looked course, I would just tap it with my finger to smooth it out. For others I just took a lump of cool dough and pressed it into the tins. Of course, the more I did, the more I could kind of feel for the right dough thickness with my fingertips, and the more consistent they came out.

For blind-baking weights, I used two pennies stacked on top of a quarter, wrapped in foil to look like big Hershey's kisses (that makes them easier to add and remove from the tart tin). So, I would press the dough into the tins, refrigerate for a little bit, bake for several minutes, then add the weights (I found that if I added the weights at the beginning, they tend to get stuck in the dough), then finished baking.

"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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Beautiful tarts! Patrick, what is the diameter of your mini pans? Are they tinned steel or did you splurge on the heavier ones?

I'm just composing a menu of mini's for a group of ladies for next week. I was going to do lemon tarts anyways, but I think I may use your ganache/caramel idea. They sound divine. Did you like them with the white pastry shell or would it have been even better with a chocolate shell?

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Beautiful tarts! Patrick, what is the diameter of your mini pans? Are they tinned steel or did you splurge on the heavier ones?

I'm just composing a menu of mini's for a group of ladies for next week. I was going to do lemon tarts anyways, but I think I may use your ganache/caramel idea. They sound divine. Did you like them with the white pastry shell or would it have been even better with a chocolate shell?

I haven't measured them, but I think they are about 2" at the bottom and about 3" at the top. They are very thin and light. As for myself, I prefer regular sweet tart shells to all the chocolate doughs I've tried, so that's what I would use again next time.

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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Thanks for the caramel recipe and the mini-tutorial on your mini-tarts... :smile:

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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This is from a few days ago - Three Nut Praline Buttercream Torte. The name says it all: three thin layers of almond, hazelnut and walnut cake with a simple praline buttercream. Very good.

gallery_8322_465_24521.jpg

The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge
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I don't normally bake during term time since the oven in my residence kitchen is pretty dodgy, but I made some apple tartlets this morning because this afternoon my team competes in qualifying race heats, and I thought we'd probably want a little something for afterwards. :smile:

gallery_22182_2693_168795.jpg

For those like me who don't have the Pie and Pastry Bible, here's Martha's puff pastry version as adapted by Nupur. This has been on my to-do list for so long.

Edited by rajsuman (log)
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This is from a few days ago - Three Nut Praline Buttercream Torte. The name says it all: three thin layers of almond, hazelnut and walnut cake with a simple praline buttercream. Very good.

gallery_8322_465_24521.jpg

I was wondering if the recipe for your wonderfully looking Torte was posted somewhere?

Thanks

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Oli, it was published in a magazine (I cut out the recipes but I think it was a MS Living issue) years ago along with my absolutely favorite chocolate torte. I'll be more than happy to p.m. you *and anyone else who wants* the recipe later in the day as I'm not sure if I can post it here.

The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge
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My first Hummingbird Cake - big flop, the cake came out too dense (didn't rise as I expected). I actually cut each cake in two and layered the frosting to mellow it down. It tastes good (maybe a bit too much banana and too little pecans), the frosting definitely saved it.

gallery_8322_465_25954.jpg

The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge
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I kind of hate to show such homely baking, after Patrick and Mistinguette's beautiful treats, but these were so unusual and delicious I have to share.

gallery_16307_2558_69146.jpg

A friend was making a Greek dinner last night, and I wanted to bring a non-phyllo dessert. Amazing how little I knew about Greek sweets before a long trek through Google to find these. On top you see Amygdalopita, a Greek nut cake made with 14 eggs! And no flour, just ground nuts and bread crumbs. On the bottom, Cake with Sesame Seed Paste and Orange, a vegan (!) cake made with tahini and orange juice.

Both were super-dense and rich, and unlike any other cakes I've made. In fact, while the nut cake was baking I couldn't imagine what sort of dessert it would turn out to be - it has to have the weirdest directions of anything I've ever baked. I recommend both of these to you all - I baked them just as written, except that I used ground hazelnuts instead of almonds in the nut cake, because I had that in the freezer. I don't think it made any difference in the outcome. The recipes are here Tahini Cake and Nut Cake.

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Oh Abra, those look scrumptious! the tahini cake especially, got to try that.

The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge
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