Vite, vite, vite!
Thursday, September 8, 2011

Warning: there’s an excessive amount of pastry talk and pictures in this post :)

We did so many things today that I can barely recall all the details. Chef really started to rush us while we work now, pushing us to work faster while multitasking as well (watching the oven, preparing another recipe, assembling other tarts… etc. all at the same time). On top of a packed day, we also worked nonstop until 1:45pm (from 8am)!

We finished the lemon tart from yesterday by decorating with candied lemons. Chef commented the slices were too thick so not properly candied. When I ate it, the flesh of the lemon was not very tender with still some bitterness. The also hadn’t absorbed the sweet syrup yet so it was quite sour.

Candied lemon slices; we used a special zesting tool to create grooves around the lemon before slicing.

The cream was excellent, a softer and lighter version of Pierre Hermé’s. Much healthier seeing it contains 2/3 the amount of butter for the same quantity. I like that our Chef amends the recipe to include less sugar because he diesn’t like sweet things. I wonder if I will like sweets any less after working? Also, the tart shell tastes very crumbly and light, doesn’t get soggy from the custard at all. Must be the egg wash?

Tarte au Citron. Sweet dough tart shell, lemon cream, candied lemon slices, and glaze of course.

Slice of Tarte au Citron. This was extremely refreshing and light. Not overly sweet like the typical lemon curd.

Then we lined a square tart to make the chocolate tart. You can see my deformed tart shell in the picture. I learned that for square tarts, you need to make sure the sides are a certain thickness or it will deform easily. And also, I didn’t pack my sugar inside enough. But, I managed to save it by shaving it with a peeler, I was happily surprised by the amount of ‘editing’ one can do.

My tart shell came out a little deformed even though I baked it with a bag of sugar (to weight it down). The mistake I made was not pushing the bag of sugar to all corners and against the sides.

Tart shell fixed after some shaving with an apple peeler.

Then we made the chocolate filling which was very tasty. It’s just like any other baked custard filling but with chocolate. Then we made some croquant with cocoa nibs. It’s just like any praline recipe, you can use almonds as well. Very tasty. Dressed up the chocolate tart nicely. On top of chocolate custard we coated it with a chocolate ganache glaze.

Tarte Chocolate. To decorate, we made a cocoa nib brittle which was really good. I enjoyed eating all the small unusable pieces.

Tarte Chocolate; crumbly crust filled with chocolate custard, and glazed with chocolate ganache.

Then we made a vanilla custard for the Tarte Asacienne (Apple Custard Tart). Unfortunately, we over baked this tart so the apples shrunk too much and separated from the custard. But it’s all solved with a dusting of icing sugar!

Tarte Alsacienne (Apple Custard Tart). I seem to like the appearance of rustic thick slices of apple more than the thinly sliced overlapping pieces on our first apple tart.

A cool tool for dicing the apples into thick slices evenly.

Tarte Alsacienne (Apple Custard Tart) before baking.

Tarte Alsacienne (Apple Custard Tart). Crumble tart shell, vanilla custard, apple slices, and dusted with icing sugar.

Then we made the Tarte Amandine.

Tarte Amandine. Almond cream (bakes into a nutty pound cake texture), almonds, and glaze.

Tarte Amandine. I find that almonds in France are much more fragrant. It reminds of the smell of almond milk tea which my Dad likes to drink and which I really don't like. When I baked with ground almonds in Canada, I never get this sort of fragrance from the nuts.

What a long day! As a reward, we spent the afternoon reviewing our day’s work with Chef while eating all our tarts!


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