Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

Tart pan lined with crust and blind baked

1/4 cup white chocolate, melted

Fresh strawberries

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean , split and scraped of seeds

2 eggs

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon butter

seedless strawberry or raspberry jam

Line the unbaked tart crust with foil or parchment and weight with dried beans or pie weights. The dried beans can be reused over and over again as pie weights. Allow to cool and store the beans in a lidded jar. Blind bake the tart crust. Allow crust to completely cool.

Brush the baked tart shell lightly with the melted white chocolate. This allows your crust to remain crisp when it’s filled.

In a saucepan , combine the half-and-half, vanilla seeds and vanilla bean and bring to a boil and remove from heat; cover allow to set 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs , sugar and flour until light and combined. Remove  the vanilla pod, rinse it and set aside to dry. Bring milk back up to a simmer. Temper the egg mixture with some of the hot milk milk mixture, whisking a small amount into the eggs mixture. Pour back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Bring to a boil stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and butter. Stir until combined. Place in a bowl and cover top of pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely.

Place cooled pastry cream in cooled tart shell and spread out evenly.

Cut the tops off the fresh strawberries and arrange decoratively over the top of the pastry cream.

Heat  some jam with a touch of water until the jam is melted. Lightly brush the tops of the berries.

Serve chilled.

*Reserved vanilla pod- once nice and dry add to a jar filled with granulated sugar, seal airtight and in a few weeks you’ll have vanilla sugar. Keep adding vanilla pods each time you have used one in a recipe.

Strawberry-Banana Tart

Strawberry-Banana Tart

2 lined rectangular Tart pans with removable bottoms, blind baked

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

1 vanilla bean,split and seeded

2 egg yolks

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup strawberry jam

1/4 cup chopped white chocolate, melted

1 pint strawberries, hulled,sliced

2 bananas, sliced and tossed with small amount of lemon juice

Brush a thin layer of melted white chocolate on the inside of each baked tart shell and allow to set up. Divide the jam equally between tarts and spread evenly; slice 1/2 a banana very thin and place evenly over the jam; set aside.

In a small saucepan, add the milk,vanilla bean and scraped vanilla seeds; heat to a boil.  While milk is heating up , beat the egg yolks, sugar and flour together until well combined. Temper the egg mixture by whisking in some hot milk ,; whisking until well combined. Pour egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the hot milk. Remove the vanilla pod. Continue to cook until thickened. Allow to cool. Once cooled, divide equally among the tarts and spread evenly. Top with sliced strawberries and banana.

Raspberry Tartlets

Raspberry Tartlets

Crust:

1 1/2 cups , plus 2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

2 eggs, beaten

Combine the flour and sugar into a food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade, pulse a couple of times to combine. Add butter chunks and pulse until a coarse meal is formed. Add eggs and process just until dough begins to form. Remove and form into a disk , wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Butter 8-10( 31/2 -4 inch ) tartlet pans. Remove dough and roll to a thickness of about 1/8 inch thick and lined each tartlet pan. Place lined pans into freezer for at least 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and prick bottoms with fork. Line each pan with buttered foil and place pie weights in each pan. Bake for about 15 minutes , remove foil and continue until golden.

Place on cooling rack , let cool and remove pans from shell.

Pastry Cream:

2 cups milk

1 vanilla bean , split

1/2 cup sugar

5 egg yolks

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon butter

Combine milk, vanilla bean and half the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil. Meanwhile in a bowl , whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until they turn pale yellow and form a ribbon when dropped from a whisk, about 5 minutes. Sift flour and cornstarch into egg mixture and mix until blended.

Remove vanilla bean from hot milk mixture and gradually whisk into the egg mixture. Whisk until blended and return to saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil , whisking for 2 minutes. Stream cream into mixing bowl. Dot surface with tablespoon butter and stir until melted. Cover top of cream with plastic wrap and allow to cool on rack, then refrigerate until needed.

3 cup fresh raspberries

Powdered sugar for dusting

Fill when ready to eat. Fill shell with pastry cream and top with berries then dust with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Raspberry Napoleons

Chocolate Raspberry Napoleons

Puff Pastry:

1 cup chilled butter

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup ice water

Set aside 2 tablespoons of butter in the refrigerator until needed. Work remaining chilled butter with a mixer just until pliable. Roll or pat butter between two sheets of waxed paper to an 8×8 inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Chill thoroughly, at least 1 hour in refrigerator or 20 minutes in the freezer. Keep utensils cold in refrigerator or freezer until needed and return after each use. Measure the flour into mixing bowl; cut in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add the ice water, tossing with a fork until a stiff dough forms and follows fork around the bowl. Shape into a ball. Turn pastry onto a lightly floured surface; knead pastry til smooth and elastic. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry out to 15×9 inch rectangle. Remove top sheet of waxed paper off the chilled butter; invert butter over one half the pastry. Remove the bottom sheet of waxed paper from the butter.

Fold pastry over butter, sealing edges by pressing down with the heel of hand. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill for at least 1 hour in refrigerator or 20 minutes in the freezer. Unwrap. On lightly floured surface, roll pastry to 15×9 inch rectangle, starting from center and rolling just to the edges. Do not flatten edges by rolling over them. Pastry should be an even thickness. Brush any excess flour from the pastry. Fold dough in thirds; turn and fold into thirds again. Seal edges. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill thoroughly. Repeat rolling and folding two more times. Chill between each turn. Roll to 14×8 inch rectangle. With floured sharp knife, cut off all edges. Prick dough thoroughly with fork. Cut 16-3 1/2×2 inch rectangles. Place on baking sheets covered with 3-4 thicknesses of paper towels and chill. Remove toweling. Combine 1 slightly beaten egg white and 1 tsp. ice water; brush over dough. Place a piece of parchment paper over the top and top with another baking sheet on top of pastry .Bake in 450 degree oven 6 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees; bake about 25 -30 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp. Cool on rack.
Pastry Cream:
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups whole milk

4 egg yolks, beaten

2 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the milk. Cook stirring constantly, till mixture thickens and bubbles. Stir in a little of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks to temper; return to the hot mixture whisking constantly. Bring to just boiling, stirring constantly. Cool, stir in the vanilla. Push mixture through a sieve and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill. Beat until smooth just before filling Napoleons.

Ganache:
8 oz, dark chocolate, chopped
8 oz. heavy cream
Heat the cream just until hot not boiling. Pour over chocolate and allow to sit for a couple of minutes. Stir until mixture is smooth and glossy.
Fresh Raspberries
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Mix some mashed raspberries and strained of seeds into whipped cream and pipe as decoration on top with fresh berry.
Assemble the napoleons with first layer pastry, whipped cream topped with fresh raspberries. Next layer pastry,pastry cream, berries. Top with third pastry and spread ganache on top layer. Pipe raspberry whipped cream rosette and top with berry.

Crepe Gateaux

Crepe Gateaux

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Crepe batter

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

1 tsp salt

6 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups milk

2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons melted butter

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Cook crepes and set aside.

Pastry Cream

2 1/4 cups milk

1 vanilla bean split

5 egg yolks

6 tablespoons superfine sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/8 cup cornstarch

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a small saucepan place milk and split vanilla bean. Place over medium low heat and heat until it just comes to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly and remove vanilla bean. In a bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until pale and thick. Stir int the cornstarch and the flour.

Whisk the egg mixture into the milk mixture until combined well. Place on medium low heat and cook until it begins to boil and cook one more minute. Remove from heat and place in a shallow container. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff fold into the cooled pastry cream. Set aside.

To assemble the crepe gateaux layer the crepes with a small amount of filling and continue until all crepes are used. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Prior to serving sprinkle the top of the cake with sugar and caramelize the sugar with a torch.

Apricot Tart

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makes 6- 4 inch tarts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Sweet pastry

1 3/4 cup flour

8 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small bits

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons almond flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 egg , beaten

Add the flour, sugar, almond flour, salt and butter to a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade pulse until a crumb is formed. Add eggs and pulse until just before dough begins to form. Remove dough from bowl and shape into disk. If dough seems too sticky add a small bit a flour to cut down on the sticky and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Pastry Cream

1 1/2 cups milk

1 vanilla bean, split

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon flour

In a heavy bottomed saucepan , place milk and split vanilla bean. Bring milk to a boil remove from heat and cover. Meanwhile beat egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale yellow. Add the cornstarch and flour to egg yolk mixture and whisk well until combined. Remove vanilla bean from the milk making sure to squeeze out any seeds left in the vanilla pod into the milk. Add a small amount of hot milk to the egg mixture whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Add the egg mixture to the hot milk mixture whisking as you add the egg mixture. Place saucepan over med heat bring to a simmer whisking until mixture is thick, smooth and yellow. Pour mixture into a bowl and allow to cool, cover the top of the pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

12 fresh apricots, pitted and quartered

1/2 cup powdered sugar

With the sweet pastry dough, roll out and line each tart pan .

Place about 1/4 cup pastry cream in each tart pan. Arrange the apricot slices over the pastry cream skin side down, using about 2 whole apricots per tart.Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar over the tarts.

Place the filled tarts on a baking sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes until the edges of the fruit begin to brown and fill is set. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Unmold from pans and dust with remaining powdered sugar.

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Boston Cream Cupcakes

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Cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

8 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

2 1/3 tsp. vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean scraped of seeds

1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

1 vanilla bean , split and scraped of seeds

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons flour

Whipped Ganache:

1 lb. semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

2 tsp. instant espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with 22 liners.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder; set aside. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and butter. Beat the butter mixture until light and fluffy , about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time; beating in well between each addition. In a liquid measuring cup, add the vanilla bean seeds to the milk along with the vanilla extract. Add one third of the flour to the butter mixture followed by one third of the milk mixture. Continue to add in thirds the flour and milk mixtures, mixing until just combined with last addition. Scoop evenly into 22 lined muffin cups. Bake for about 16-22 minutes until toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from tins. Allow to cool completely . Once cooled, using an apple corer, core out center of each cupcake. Set aside.

Pastry Cream:

In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, flour and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the milk and split vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a boil and remove the vanilla bean. Whisk in some of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Whisk the tempered eggs into the milk mixture and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thickened. Whisk for 10 more seconds , then remove from heat and strain through sieve. Place in bowl and cover top with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cooled. Once pastry cream is cooled , place in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe the pastry cream into each cupcake. Store in refrigerator until ganache is ready to spread on cupcakes.

Whipped Ganache:

In a heat proof bowl add the heavy cream, espresso and chopped chocolate and place over simmering pan of water, place the bowl over the pan without water touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted and the cream and chocolate are well combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in refrigerator and thicken slightly. Place the ganache in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Whip until it begin to show tracks . Do not over whip. If the ganache is over whipped and turns grainy, reheat and restart the process. Spread on each cupcake.