Re-creating Pierre Hermé’s Tarte Infiniment Café
Friday, September 9, 2011

We started our morning with our first practical test, the apple tart. I’m happy it looks better than the one I made on Monday. My tart ranked somewhere in the middle of the class.

Apply Tart, our first graded product. Chef gave us a mark for lining the dough in the tart ring. I received 8/10; my tart didn't stick to the ring perfectly when lifted and i still need to work on crimping the edges.

Apply Tart. For assembling the applesauce/ apples/ baking/ glazing, Chef gave me 9/10.

Then, we proceeded to work on Pierre Hermé’s Tarte Infiniment Café. This consisted of making a ladyfinger biscuit, making a coffee syrup, making a coffee ganache, making the coffee-infused cream, and then the coffee glaze on top. For these recipes, we made large batches enough for 13 tarts.

Some tricks I learned from Chef. When beating egg whites (for ladyfinger biscuit), it’s important to do it at room temperature, and beat slowly until soft peaks so that you get small stable air pockets instead of large unstable air pockets when whipped really fast. For the beautiful layer of cream that sits on top, the secret to getting round edges is to put a ring in boiling water, remove and fill quickly and compactly with cream and then remove the ring immediately. Then freeze and use. You can also omit the boiling water and freeze the cream with the ring and then remove the ring after freezing. With the latter method, you won’t get nice rounded edges.

Tarte Infiniment Café, completed. You can see that my glaze was not very smooth and the top layer of coffee cream does not sit nicely on my tart.

Tarte Infiniment Café. There are 3 main components to this tart: coffee ganache, coffee soaked ladyfinger biscuit, and a coffee infused cream on top. The tart shell is crisp and crumbly, it's made of a sweet dough (pâte sablée).

Now doesn’t all this work justify the price tag of €6.90? Just remember, you’re eating a piece of artwork! It’s just too bad that it gets gobbled up in minutes, if not seconds. After we finished, we got to cut one and taste it, it was really good. I thought the cream on top was slightly over-whipped though.

At the end of class, Chef let us take home as many tarts as we possible could (3 for me).

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!