Saturday, November 28, 2009

Upside-down Apple-Pear tart

I have often admired the soft, moist fruit, and the crispy upper crust in American apple pies, but I like the appearance and lightness of a french apple tart. How could I combine the two? By jumping off the Tarte Tatin.
Tart tatin is an upside-down apple tart where you first make a caramel (with a stick of butter and a cup of sugar) and spread it at the bottom of the pie plate. I wanted something lighter, less sweet, and less time-consuming. Enter: Upside-down apple-pear tart.

Upside-down Apple-Pear Tart
  • Make a flaky pie crust dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for an 45-60 minutes.
  • Cut 6-7 apples and pears into thick slices (~8th)
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F
  • Butter 1 large or 2 small pie plates. (The crust was enough for me to make 1 9in and 1 5in)
  • Place the fruit neatly on the bottom.
  • Roll out the pie crust and lay it over the fruit, tucking the edges around the fruit
  • Using a fork, make some holes in the crust to let steam out.
  • Bake at 375F until the crust is golden brown (it took me an hour, but I was at a high altitude)
  • When the tart is done, use a knife to loosen the crust from the pie plate.
  • Just before serving: Put your serving plate upside-down on top of the tart and flip the everything so that the serving dish is right side-up underneath the now upside-down pie plate. (Does that make sense?)
  • Slowly lift the pie plate, gently shaking it to free the fruit.
  • Manually take any fruit pieces that remain stuck to the pie plate and put them on top of the tart.
  • Serve hot or room-temp, with optional ice cream or whipped cream.
I made a mini cranberry tart with the leftover crust

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Ok, well, I didn't make it. My mom did! For my birthday! Isn't that nice?

This is pretty much one of my favorite cakes out there. It's like nutella, but better, and in a cake. More hazelnutty too.
I love this cake because it is quite light and airy for a nut cake, and the flavor combination is delicious. Make sure you use good hazelnuts though, rancidity is just not very tasty...

This is a french recipe from Elle magazine, so it is in grams. Just get yourself a balance and be happy I translated the instruction for you.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake
  • 200g shelled hazelnuts
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g sugar
  • 20g flour
  • 60g melted butter
  • 50g chocolate chips
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F.)
  2. Butter a 9in diameter round cake pan.
  3. Using a food processor, grind the hazelnuts to a coarse sand-like texture.
  4. Separate the whites from the yolks and beat them into stiff peaks.
  5. In a medium-large bowl combine the sugar with the egg yolks and beat until pale and mousse like. (about 3 minutes with an electric mixer)
  6. Slowly, still mixing, add in the flour.
  7. Add the melted butter, mix it in, then add the hazelnuts.
  8. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.
  9. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  10. Pour the batter in the buttered pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until golden.
  11. Let it rest 10 minutes out of the oven before un-molding
  12. Enjoy! You can decorate with a thin dusting of confectioner's sugar if you like.