Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate Strawberry Tart and CSN Product Review

I'm excited to tell you about the products I ordered from CSN stores. I don't have a lot of kitchen gadgets so it's fun when I get something new even if I don't neccessarily "need" it. The first thing I ordered is this Magic Dough Non-slip Pastry Mat. So far i've used it to make biscuits and it made kneading and rolling so easy! Clean up was also super easy. Much better than trying to scrub dough off my counter or cutting board that I would have used. If you make breads or pastries often, this is a "must have." I mean, obviously you can still accomplish your goal whether you have the item or not, but having this makes the experience quicker and easier. I also like the handy measurment conversions on the sides as well as the ruler along the top and bottom for easy measuring.

The next thing on my list was a tart pan! So I got this one by Frieling. I'm in love with fruit tarts. For reals. Everytime we go to the grocery store I walk by them and usually end up getting a small (single serving size) one. They're one of the few non-chocolate desserts that I crave for (and often!) So naturally I wanted a tart pan to make my own at home. The pan is very lightweight and easy to clean. I've only used it once so far but I know i'll get good use out of it.

The first thing I made in my tart pan is this chocolate strawberry tart. I made some chocolate chocolate chip waffles for breakfast Valentine's Day. They were so good and Rylee of course devoured them, it was almost like chocolate cake..for breakfast! We decided to eat out for dinner. But we were smart and went early before it was crowded. Then I made this for dessert. As you probably know I abosolutely love chocolate and strawberries. In fact, our wedding cake was a big chocolate cake with chocolate covered strawberries on it. We both thought this dessert was good. The crust tasted like that of the chocolate banana cream pie I posted recently. I gotta say, as much as I like chocolate, I prefer regular crust to the chocolate. But sometimes a chocolate crust is more fitting. When I first put the dough into the pan it looked like there was no way it would be enough. It was though. It managed to stretch to fit the pan, but it seemed a little thin. When I removed the foil from the top after baking there was a small spot that was thin and the crust peeled up. Oops. Good thing there's toppings to go over it :) I didn't make the ganache topping because I didn't realize I was out of cream. Instead I just melted some semi sweet chocolate and graciously drizzled on top.

Chocolate Strawberry Tart
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, via: Taste and Tell

Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 stick plus 1 T. (9 T) very cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, cocoa powder powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. Press the dough into the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 min. before baking. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 min. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon.

Vanilla Pastry Cream
2 c. whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 T. unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk to temper. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder or the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly, bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold, or if you want to cool it quickly, put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze
4 oz chocolate, chopped finely
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 T. sugar
2 T. water

Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream, sugar and water to a full boil, then pour the liquid over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Working with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together.

Pour cooled pastry cream into cooled tart shell then top with strawberries. Drizzle glaze over top.

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  1. Now I'm thinking I need that pastry mat. Your tart sound amazing!

  2. This is incredible looking! I love the indulgent look.

  3. This looks soo good! Chocolate and strawberries= happiness!

  4. Your strawberry tart looks deeeeelicious! :)

  5. i happened upon your blog from the linky on sweet as sugar cookies! looks delicious- i would love to try this!

    love that pan as well!