Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Gosh! It's been almost a whole month since I've posted anything. Sorry I've been gone so long but I have a great excuse . . . I moved! You see my husband is in the Navy and six months ago we agreed to take a billet in Bahrain. How exciting and exotic it all sounded until, BAM, political turmoil and violence made us wonder what we'd gotten ourselves into. Sooooo, not to go into all details, my husband gets to go to Bahrain and we get to stay back here in plain old Maryland. But, we moved out of our big humongous rental house that required lots of mowing, maintenance, and manhandling into an apartment on base where people are on call 24 hours to change light bulbs and unplug toilets. Yay!
Enough about me, though. Let's get on to the chocolate!
The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.
This was an amazing dessert with lots of components. Impressive but not as hard as it looks when it's all put together. The first part was to make the marquise, which is like a cross between an ice cream and a mousse. The egg, chocolate, sugar, cream mixture gets frozen in a pan. Then cut into squares and rolled in cocoa powder. When the marquise defrosts it doesn't melt like ice cream. It stays in it's nice neat square as long as you don't try to pick it up. It's really cool!
at 5:18 PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Spring is here! Rhubarb is for sale in the marketplace! Strawberry plants are in blossom! Herby plants are waking up and turning green again. And now our taste buds are hankering for all that yummy goodness coming out of the newly warmed earth. These Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts announce that spring is here!
My husband and I have a fondness in our hearts for rhubarb. We were married 12 years ago on a hot June day in South Carolina. That same day we found ourselves taking flight to our honeymoon destination - cool, springy Prince Edward Island - where rhubarb was making its debut. Our bed and breakfast served it every day with pancakes, waffles, biscuits. And so, every time rhubarb appears in the market, we snatch it up and try to hearken back to those days full of love, simplicity, possibility . . .
These tarts utilize a strawberry rhubarb compote which is really good spooned over pancakes or ice cream so don't feel you need to turn on the oven and bake to get all that pink and red goodness. Both of these recipes are adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce.
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
4 cups of thinly sliced rhubarb
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups sliced strawberries
In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb and brown sugar. Set pan, covered, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Remove cover. Turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, for another 15 minutes. Rhubarb will completely break down and get quite thick. Remove pan from heat. Stir in strawberry slices. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, at room temperature for an hour. Store compote in an airtight container for up to a week.
Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts
1 cup corn flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 batch Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
1. Make the dough. In a bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the corn flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. With the paddle attachment, turn the mixer onto low and add the cold butter. Mix to break up the butter. Increase speed to medium until the butter is coarsely combined. Add the cream and the egg yolks. Mix until dough forms into a ball. Shape dough right away without chilling.
2. To shape dough, divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. On a floured work surface, flatten a piece out with your hand and then, using a rolling pin, roll it into a circle of 5 or 6 inches in diameter. Spoon 1/4 cup of compote into the center of the dough circle. Spread the compote around a bit but leave a good enough lip of dough so that you can fold the edges in towards the compote. Fold all the edges in so it make a rustic, ruffled tart. Gently transfer tarts to a parchment lined baking sheet (that will fit into your freezer) and freeze for at least an hour. You can freeze them up to two weeks if you wrap them in plastic.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake tarts on parchment lined baking sheet for 35 minutes or until the edges of the tarts are brown and the rhubarb is thick and bubbly. Makes 10 tarts.
at 12:45 PM