Monthly Archives: May 2008

Whole Lemon Tart


The pastry i made last time was to be used for a Whole Lemon Tart but i made way too much so i also froze two balls and used the last of it for a traditional English Custard Tart which ill post soon.

I wanted something summery as the weather was meant to be nice again and so i didn’t want anything too heavy. Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse but the tart was still great.

1 Partially baked 9 inch tart shell (from the last post)
1 Lemon (around 130g)
300g sugar
1 Large egg
1 Egg yolk
1 1/2 tbsp conflour
115g unsalted butter (melted and cooled)

1. Preheat oven to 165c and place your tart shell on a parchment lined baking sheet.

2. slice lemon into small pieces and remove the seeds. place lemon and sugar into food processor and blend until thoroughly pureed.

3. Using a whisk gently stir in the egg cornflour and butter.

4. Pour filling into the crust.

5. place in oven and bake for 20 mins then increase temperature to 180c for a further 15-20 mins until the filling is bubbling and slightly coloured. leave in the pan for 20 mins and serve when at room temp.

I served this the same day but the little that was left was still good the next. I served it with creme fraiche which worked really well but a raspberry sauce would have gone great i think.

Pierre Herme’s Pate Sucree


My birthdays tomorrow and i wanted to try out a whole lemon tart so i made the pastry today and will refrigerate overnight and then finish off tomorrow.

This was almost an absolute disaster. I was supposed to half the base recipe but only halved the flour so ended up as a bowl of slop. I realised in time hopefully to rescue it.

500g Plain White Flour
4 pinches of salt
300g butter at room temperature
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
190g Icing Sugar
60g Ground Almonds
2 Eggs

1. Sift Flour onto work surface and sprinkle with the salt. Add the butter and rub together until it is the texture of fine crumbs.

2. Mix the vanilla and sugar together and add this and the ground almonds to the flour mixture.

3. Make a well and break the eggs into it.

4. Using fingertips mix together to form a soft dough but dont overwork. shape into ball and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Double Chocolate Brownies


Via Bakeorbreak.com via martha stewarts cookies

These were very very nice. I really liked the simplicity of just plain chocolate brownies yet the salt adds depth to the flavour. they also kept quite well lasting a good few days without drying out too much

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon bakingpowder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. preheat oven to 350 f and butter and line with parchment a 8″ square pan

2. melt the chocolate butter and cocoa powder on a double boiler and set aside to cool slightly

3. mix together with a whisk yje flour salt and sugar

4. in an electric mixer with whisk attached mix the sugar eggs and vanilla until pale, around 4 minutes on medium speed. add the chocolate mixture until well combined then reduce speed and add the flour mixture and mix again till well combined

5. put mixture in pan and bake for around 35 mins or until tester comes out with crumbs but not wet. let it cool in pan for 15 minutes before taking out and cutting up.

Fillings

Today i was at a bit of a loose end so i thought i would try some fillings for macarons id been meaning to try. A mint italian buttercream and a caramel fleur de sel buttercream. Both came out pretty well really

Basic Italian Buttercream (base for both of the above)

– 2 egg whites
– 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
– ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into slices

1. Whisk together the sugar and egg whites just to combine.

2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk for around 3-4 minutes or until the sugar is all dissolved and the mixture is warm.

3. Take the bowl off the pan and continue to whisk on higher speed until stiff and shiny around 4 minutes.

4. On a low speed add the butter one piece at a time

At this stage for the mint I just added peppermint extract to taste. For the caramel I added caramel from the recipe below this was also done to taste but for half of the above recipe I added 3 large teaspoons of caramel.

Caramel Fluer De Sel

– 200g Sugar
– 1/4 cup of water
– 200g single cream
– 5g fleur de sel
– 140g unsalted butter

1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil until it turns a beautiful amber colour. You should also notice the smell suddenly turns to a wonderful caramel.

2. Take of the heat and add the warm cream a little at a time until all combined.

3. Let cool until around 105f and then with an immersion blender add the butter piece by piece until you get a glossy mixture. cover with cling film until use.

Macaron Virgin

Pierre Herme Macarons
I had my first Macaron at laduree in Harrods, London. They were good but maybe a little to sweet although this was my impression after never having had them before. Next was Pierre Herme in Paris and they were excellent. After the Paris trip i was inspired to make some for myself. I wanted to try rose flavoured ones and they were pretty good for a first attempt.

My Macarons

The recipe i use is from Tartlette a great blog.

3 egg whites or 100g weighed
50g granulated sugar
200g powdered sugar
110g Ground Almonds

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue.

2. Sieve the almonds and powdered sugar together to break the powdered sugar lumps and combine your almonds with it evenly. use a whisk to mix the two together.

3. Add them to the meringue. I do this in two or three additions i mix fairly rapidly as you want to break down the meringue a bit.

4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.

5. let sit out for an hour so air dry creating a thin crust. preheat oven to 150 degrees c

6. bake for 10-12 mins. let cool before filling.

as for advice i would only say to try them and to get a feel for your oven. Mine is a fan assited oven and so i reduce the temperature and cooking time and monitor closely. the filling in these was just cream whipped with some icing sugar and some rose water to taste for flavour. In the future i want to try ganache and butter cream fillings.