Pear Chiboust Tart

Crème chiboust is crème patissiere lightened with meringue, in this case, italian meringue. It’s light, mousse-like and the least rich of all crèmes. But on the other hand, it’s also one of the sweetest because of the meringue. The chiboust tart is a classic French tart filled with caramelised apples, soft crème chiboust, and a crisp caramelised sugar crust.  Calvados gives the apple flavour a boost,  but I swapped both the apples and Calvados for pears and Grand Marnier because that’s what I had on hand. Overall a pretty tasty tart, although not one I’d usually choose if I had a choice, haha. I think it’s the burnt sugar and meringue combination, it tastes quite like Baked Alaska which is not my favourite thing. But it’s a fun pastry to make, all the components are easy to make and assemble, and caramelising the sugar is fun/dangerous. It’s usually done with an electric carameliser but it’s not a common piece of equipment to have at home, so I just used a cheap but solid chef’s knife with a wooden handle which I placed directly onto a gas burner to get it red hot (yes, scary!) and then used it to brulée the surface of the chiboust which I had sprinkled with caster sugar. I wouldn’t recommend this technique- it’s pretty (very) dangerous. And sugar catches on fire.. so yea. Lol. Do this at your own risk and open all your windows.

 

 

Pierre Hermé’s Carrément Chocolat

This entremét by Pierre Hermé is the ultimate chocolate dessert: dense chocolate cake, smooth chocolate cream, crunchy praline feuilletine and soft chocolate mousse enrobed in chocolate glaze and topped with a brittle chocolate sheet, which I’ve omitted and replaced with tempered chocolate deco instead.

It’s very straighforward to make, it’s mainly just making and freezing the layers one by one. There’s hardly any baking involved actually- just the “brownie” base; the rest is all done on the stovetop and freezer.

I halved the recipe and made it in a 5.5″ square cake ring instead. It didn’t reach the top of the cake ring but it turned out fine, it was just the right height for individual portions. Some points to remember when attempting this recipe is to not over-bake the base and to freeze the entire cake solid before glazing it, it’s much easier and less messy that way.

The recipe is from Best of Pierre Hermé which is French but there are lots of beautiful photographs for guidance. Or you can do a quick google search, it’s not hard to find the recipe.

Pistachio & Strawberry Tarts

Just last week in Biarritz, I had The Tart of My Life. It was simple; just a crumbly sablé crust, pistachio pastry cream and lots and lots of juicy, sweet raspberries- but it was so good!! I immediately set my mind to recreating the tart when I got home but got sidetracked by Michalak’s “Tarte Aux Fraises À La Crème De Pistache” from his book instead. Instead of pastry cream at the base of the tart, it’s filled with a fluffy “biscuit moelleux pistache”, which is basically a moist pistachio biscuit. The biscuit is then brushed with a fresh straberry confit then topped with strawberries, jelly, pistachio crème chantilly and a sprinkling of crushed pistachios. The recipe can be found here but I used his book (which I love!) which has lots of helpful and beautiful photos.

Learning

Bonjour!

I’ve been studying French since January, in anticipation of my future travels (or perhaps a short stay?) to Paris, so to stay motivated and to improve my grasp of the language, I’m going to blog a few short sentences in French, and hopefully will be able to write full paragraphs soon. So here goes! I’ll start with the famous French dessert, moelleux au chocolat. 

Bien que je n’aime pas mange les desserts au chocolat, je suis complètement obsédée par ce moelleux au chocolat avec coeur de thé matcha. Le recette est de mon école, LCB, mais j’ai fait une modification- le coeur de thé matcha. C’est juste chocolat blanc et poudre de thé matcha. 

“Although I don’t like chocolate desserts, I’m obsessed with this chocolate fondant with a matcha centre. The base recipe is from LCB, but I’ve made one modification- the matcha heart, which is just white chocolate and matcha powder.”

We made plated desserts in class this week, and one of the desserts was chocolate fondants. Because the fondants had to be baked à la minute we only made 2 each in class and took the rest of the batter home. I wasn’t quite pleased with the chocolate fondants on it’s own, so I made little matcha centres which I popped into the middle of the batter then baked.. it was DELICIOUS. Ooey, gooey, warm and sticky, and the tops crinkly and shiny like a good brownie. Oh, yes.

I suppose you could use any chocolate fondant recipe and insert a matcha heart in the middle; I made the matcha middles quite simply: I melted some white chocolate, stirred in some matcha powder then piped them in small silicone moulds and refrigerated them until they hardened. If you don’t have silicone moulds, just pour it into a small cake tin and cut them into pieces once chilled. When I was about to bake the cake, I just piped the fondant batter halfway up the moulds, pressed a matcha centre into the middle then piped more batter on top, then baked them off.

C’est tout! Miam!