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tudole 发表日期 :2011-01-05 类型:烘焙
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The Tartlet Crust 

 This is probably the best tart crust I ever made. So I got to put a note here, in case I will forget this in time. 

 The baseline recipe is cited from a pastry book, but I found the measurement is far from correct . So, I altered the baseline recipe in my own way when I was working on the dough. It comes out as the following: 

 3 cup plain flour 
pinch of salt 
1 stick(113g) of butter 
1/2 stick (60g) of butter flavor shortening 
3/4 cup of caster sugar 
2 mid size eggs 
1 table spoon vanilla extract 

 This recipe will fill 2 14'x 3' rectangular tartlet mold. 

 The baking is 400 degF for 10 min with king beads in and another 5 without. But I found the temperature is too high. The result curst is too dark in the edge without golden color in the sides. Besides, with rectangular tartlet mold, it doesn't really need baking beads. I think 380 degF with 10 min with beads and another 8 without maybe appropriate. 

 The shortening play a big role here... From my previous experience, the crust always has a harsh texture. But with addition of shortening, the crust is crispy and fluffy and has an almost shortbread like texture. 

 The Filling 


Most commercial tart using starch-butter based filling. I want something more delicate, so cocktail something similar to the fillings used in a Tiramisu. The ingredients are as followings: 

 Whipped cream x 1 
ricotta cheese x 1 
cream cheese x 1 
butter x 0.3 
rum or brandy 
caster sugar 
vanilla extract 

 I use ricotta cheese to replace extensive mascarpone cheese which is in the classic Tiramisu recipe. Ricotta cheese is easier to get, I couldn't find mascarpone cheese in most grocery stores near-by. 

 I thought to use only ricotta cheese, with whipped cream only for the fillings, but the problem is that ricotta cheese has a texture like cottage cheese. The mixture is plumy and not very smooth and my guests are coming in 3 hours, so I don't have the whole afternoon to blend it.... So, I had to run to a near-by Alberson's and get a cream cheese and add it to make the cream smoother. 

 I still haven't figure out what is the best amount for brandy in this recipe. I added like 1 table spoon, but it doesn't seems like there is any flavor at all... I guess I will triple the 'dosage' in my next attempt. 

 The Assembly 

 Here comes to my favorite 'artist-and-his-creation' part! I am always a model airplane hobbyist since I was a kid. To assemble means fun time to being to me  I bought the fruits a day earlier. It is strawberry season in California now. Last weekend I bought a box of genetic mutated like giant X-strawberry from amigo... for one thought, i want to buy another box from that amigo. But, bad idea.. for this application, I should stick to regular size one... the costco size. I always use pick different fruits with as high color contrast as possible... being a photographer, my eyes are very picky in colors... this time I picked blue berry over blackberry, because it is cheaper and sweeter... I am not a big fan of black berry, only it looks better in visual presentation compare to blueberry. 

 So, now we have red and dark purple colors... now we need a lighter color to contrast red and purple. Kiwi is one of my mostly used fruit. Because it looks cute with its seed pattern on across sectional cut and it is easy to handle too. The only problem is, kiwi doesn't work with gelatin... An chemical agent in kiwi will break the molecule of gelatin and prevent it to cure. I failed this once to find out, so won't repeat the same mistake. So, kiwi is out this time. I will go for canned peach. So, I bought this safeway house brand canned peach which is on sale. Big mistake! The peach halves looks so bad in quality and shape. They looks like had a car accident or something. They are not even in the same color...wonder they mixed other peach with yellow peach... Life is a funny journey, when you made mistake, you still have to go on. So, I have to live with the cheap solution I had chosen. I just have to make a thinner slice on the peaches since I have less halves to use. I was getting tired and frustrated that afternoon, because I haven’t prepared any of other dishes and this already get me into enough trouble... Different color? big deal! bad shape? tastes the same anyway! 

 After the assembly, you need to apply a good layer of lacquer, like those expensive furniture, although you don't have to sand it. This is the advantage to be a pastry chef over a carpenter. Saw dust is not good for your lung and general health. I wonder I recently have long lasting coughing problem has something to do with that I always sanding my model airplane without wearing a mask... Anyway, this lacquer is not the one you buy in home depot in an aerosol can. I use a gelatin in hot water with lemon juice and sugar. It serves 2 purposes; it's not only make the fruit shinny, but also serve as a glue, to put everything together.