Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pastry School Week 4: Last Week of Tarts & Cookies

This past week was our last week of tarts & cookies. Our big exam is Tuesday and I have a lot of studying to do (and Grammys to watch), so I'm going to keep this brief. Or at least try I'm sure you have already noticed I have problems with brevity.

Tuesday was chocolate day in class. We made a chocolate Bavarian tart, a ganache tart and sablee cookies, which are not chocolate.

Chocolate Bavarian Tart

We had real issues with the heavy cream (well, at least I did). It seemed much thicker than usual, and it was warm. Now that it's been several days since I ate it and no food borne illness, I can say that I'm sure it was fine, but it was definitely sketchy. The chocolate Bavarian tart was amazing though. We made a chocolate custard and lightened it with whipped cream--soooo good.

Ganache Tart

The ganache tart was very rich. We also got to practice our piping skills, adding the white chocolate as a finishing touch.

Sablee cookies

Ok, so these cookies are one of my favorite things we've made so far in class, if not my absolute favorite. Pate Sablee could be used as a tart dough, but we rolled it out into cookies. We added a bit of candied orange & lemon peel into the dough and finished them with a lemon glaze. And then I ate all of them for breakfast the next morning.

Thursday's theme was caramel- we made it both for the tartelettes tatin and caramel nut tart. I've had issues with caramel in the past, but this one went pretty easily. However, at one point we were watching our instructor demo something and the room filled with a lot of smoke. Someone had left a pot of caramel on the stove and it had turned to char.

Tartelettes Tatin

These apple tartelettes were something else I ate for breakfast this week. Tarte tatin is a classic French dessert with the caramel is poured into the tart pan first, followed by apples and then covered with dough. When they come out of the oven, you quickly flip them over, out of the tart pans.

Bourbon Pecan Cookies

Caramel nut tart

Inside the caramel nut tart

The caramel nut tart got really great reviews from my coworkers. Even though I can't eat it (nut allergy), I think I'll definitely be making it again.

Saturday was the last class before our exam. We did some review and finished up the last tarts.

Raspberry compote

We made a raspberry apple compote for our linzer tortes. Those are two of my favorite fruits, so I thought it was great.

Linzer Torte

I also couldn't eat the linzer torte because it had hazelnuts in the dough. Stupidly, after rolling out the dough, I must have touched my lip and it was sooo itchy after that. The lattice top of the torte was a real challenge, but I'm happy I know how to do that now.

Quiche Lorraine

If I could eat one food for the next three months without gaining 100 pounds, it would be quiche Lorraine. I was iffy on it when I saw it on the syllabus. For some reason I didn't think I liked quiche, but this one was really amazing. It was a flaky crust and a really creamy custard with bacon and gruyere baked into it.

Now it's time to study for my test! That was definitely not brief!!!


Cooking Foodie said...

Hi Tara, I recently found your blog and have been following it since. I have loved your cupcakes and admire that you have gone back to school to pursue your passion :)

Now for the selfish part... can u post the recipe for the bavarian tart? :)

Good luck with the classes!

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