Archive for June, 2009

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Bakewell Tart – June Daring Baker’s Challenge

June 27, 2009

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.whole tart in pan

I’m not feeling fantastic today, so it’s gonna be a short post… easy to put together, smells great, just came out of the oven.

I coated the short crust with bittersweet chocolate and used black raspberry jam.  The frangipane was difficult to spread over the jam but it was just enough to cover.

I’ll add pic’s of a piece once it’s cooled off a bit.

bakewell tart cut Bakewell tart piece

Edit: Now… I must say, this tart was SO tasty.  The chocolate added a touch of richness that just made the whole thing sing.  The frangipane was crisp and added some crunch to the tart.  Ugh. So good.

And having said that, I must admit… I went looking at other DBer’s tarts… Mine did not look like theirs… And I got to thinking about the ingredients I’d used.  And the more I thought, the more I began to realize I had forgotten three (apparently) very important ingredients…

eggsYup, that’s it.  Eggs. I completely forgot to add the 3 eggs.  So what was supposed to be a poofy, cake-ish top, turned out a crispy, flaky (and damn tasty) crust.  I encourage everyone to try it this way.  It was super!

I will definitely make this again to see how it was really supposed to turn out.  I’ll let ya know!

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatized for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Frangipane

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow color.

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Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

June 25, 2009

Well I finally managed to participate in a Cookie Carnival!  I’ve been getting recipes for almost a year but I never seem Strawberry Shortcake Cookieto get around to participating in time!

Not this time though!  I was determined!  Plus, it’s strawberry season and any excuse to eat a super-sweet-in-season strawberry I’ll go for it…

I got my strawberries at a local farm, Huber’s.  It’s become more of an attraction over the years, but it’s a great place to go pick your own fruit.  I picked strawberries this month and I want to go back in July for raspberries, blueberries and blackberries!

The recipe is super easy to put together and I highly recommend using a cookie scooper.  The dough is very loose (like strawberry shortcake should be) and the mess that would ensue were you to use your hands, I think, would be epic. Now, of course, being able to EAT the mess once you were finished would be a bonus… I may have to rethink my position 😉

The cookies don’t spread very much so you can put a large number on one cookie sheet. They are best still warm from the oven when they have a lovely crisp outside and a warm soft, slightly chewy inside.  I don’t recommend storing these covered as they lose all their crispness and they taste best the same day, so make them when you’re really hungry or have somewhere to take them.

Recipe!

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE COOKIES

MARTHA STEWART

These tender cookies are made with cream and studded with sweet strawberries for a portable version of a classic dessert.

INGREDIENTS:

Makes about 3 dozen.

* 12 oz strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼-inch dice (2 cups)

* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

* 2 cups all-purpose flour

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

* 3 oz (6 tbs) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

* 2/3 cup heavy cream

* Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining

7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.

2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.