with strawberry and pistachio
This tart was made for a tart competition. The top layer is a vanilla-mascarpone mousse (a classic!). This layer sits on top of a homemade pistachio Bavarian cream. In the middle is a refreshing strawberry compote floater with lemon and vanilla. Underneath this compote I put a so called: ‘biscuit cuillere’ or ‘ladyfinger biscuit’ drenched with homemade rum-vanilla syrup, surrounded by a smooth and silky white chocolate vanilla ganache. The bottom is made of a thin and buttery shortbread crust.
On one picture you can see the jury for this competition. On the left is a Sous-Chef from a Michelin star restaurant. In the middle a talented baker and on the right the winner of the Dutch equivalent of ‘The great British bake off’. I tried to pamper the judges with a strawberry wine ;-), made from 100% strawberries. I became 5th in this competition with 22 competitors. Not bad for a first attempt!
The best mix possible with fresh roasted hazelnuts and raspberries is for sure the Linzer Torte. It is named after the city of Linz, Austria. It is a delicious rich hazelnut cake with refreshing raspberries. It is said to be the oldest known cake in the world.
Here is quick and easy recipe for a Linzer Torte. Maybe not the original one but for sure very tasty! This recipe is good for 2 large cakes.
Butter 550 grams
Sugar 275 grams
Cream 50 grams
A.P. flour 500 grams
Roasted hazelnuts 200 grams
Raw hazelnuts 50 grams
Baking powder 5 grams
Cinnamon 3 gram
Raspberry jam 50 grams
Ground the roasted hazelnuts and set aside. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add one egg at the time, add the cream and mix. Add the ground hazelnuts, sift the flour with the baking powder and cinnamon. Mix it with the butter, sugar and hazelnut mixture just until combined. Pipe 2/3 of the batter in a fluted tart ring and spread the mixture evenly. Spread a layer of raspberry jam on top and make sure to leave a 2 cm border all the way around the edge. Pipe the remaining batter in a lattice pattern on top. Crush the raw hazelnuts and put them on the batter. Littly press them to make them stick. Cool the cake 20 minutes in the fridge before baking. Bake for about 50 minutes at 180 °C.
Cool down the cake and dust the edges with ‘non melting’ icing sugar.
Here`s a new version of my Tropical Dutch. The original on the top left, made in Vancouver, consists of a white chocolate mousse with a crunchy coconut bottom. In the middle a pineapple rum compote, topped with a passionfruit coconut gelée.
My new version consists of a coconut-almond cream filling, baked in a coconut sablee crust. After baking it was brushed with a rum vanilla syrup to add some extra flavour and to moisten the tart. On top I added a vanilla mascarpone mousse with a roasted pineapple compote. The pineapple was roasted one hour at 180°C with vanilla, star anise and cinnamon. After roasting the pineapple it was sliced and grilled. I finished the tart with a refreshing tropical fruitsalad with pomegranate, pineapple and mango, mixed with a rum vanilla syrup. Below a recipe for the sweet and rich coconut-almond cream filling.
Coconut almond cream
ground almonds 75 gram
dessicated coconut 75 gram
sugar 120 gram
butter 60 gram
Mix all the ingredients with a blender until you receive a smooth paste. Pipe the filling in the fluted tart ring lined with the coconut sablee. Bake for approx. 40 minutes at 180°C.
For my colleagues I made 4 tarts, 2 chocolate hazelnut mousse tarts and 2 vanilla mascarpone tarts. My inspiration for this last tart comes from Pierre Herme, as you can see in my previous post. The recipe for this delicious tart can be found here.
The chocolate hazelnut tart consists of a dark chocolate mousse with creamy vanilla caramel on a shortbread bottom with praline. In the middle we have a chocolate genoise layer, moistened with a coffee Frangelico syrup.
With homemade Gianduja (so easy to make and so good) I made a silky Gianduja cremeux. This gives the tart a delicious silky touch. It was quite a challenge to make 4 tarts with just one tiny little freezing compartment. But what is baking without a challenge?
Milk chocolate 100 gram
Hazelnuts (fresh roasted) 100 gram
Put the milk chocolate with the hazelnuts in the blender until you receive a smooth mixture. Because of the friction the chocolate will melt and blend perfectly with the hazelnuts.
The recipe for the gianduja cremeux can be found here. Try this recipe, you won’t regret it!
If there is one city you need to go if you want some really good pastries than Paris it is!
I went there for 4 days and of course I want to visit as much pastry shops as possible. My special thanks goes out to Adam from www.parispatisseries.com who made this journey a lot easier. On his website you can see a lot of reviews from pastry shops in Paris.
I bought a Saint Honoré and a Tarte Citron from la Pâtisserie des Rêves. This shop is one of a kind. Just look at the pictures and you see what I mean. Owner Philippe Conticini understands that the design of the shop is very important. And of course the pastries were delicious.
Another pastry that I bought was the Tarte Infiniment Vanille from Pierre Herme. He defines an ideal vanilla to be a combination of vanilla from several different origins; Mexico, Tahiti and Madagascar, thereby creating his version of a “house vanilla”. The tart consists of a sweet tart crust with a very rich, dense filling of white chocolate vanilla ganache and a rich vanilla mascarpone cream. And a biscuit moistened with vanilla syrup. On top there is a silky vanilla glaze. Try to get one of these! It is incredibly good!
I wish everyone a joyful 2013!
It’s time for a French classic! The Tarte Bourdaloue. I am in the French mood right now because I am heading to Paris this week. It is quite simple to make this tart and so delicious.
Creamy and rich frangipane, soft poached pears and a crispy crust, what is not to love about that?
The pears are poached in a mixture of white wine, water, vanilla, cinnamon and star anise. I left the pears in this syrup for a day. This will make the pears taste even better!
The leftover poaching liquid is reduced until I got a thick syrup. The water will evaporate but the all the delicious flavours will stay and intensify. I used this syrup to brush the tarts after baking. I will serve the Tarte Bourdaloue with a sabayon made with the pear syrup.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Pistachio sour cherry tart
My inspiration for this tart comes from Thomas Haas, Vancouver. The best tart I ever ate, honestly, was the pistachio and sour cherry tart from his shop. I was lucky enough to do a stage at his patisserie a year ago. What an amazing team and such an organized kitchen.
So now it is time for my own version of this tart!
The tart is made with a shortbread crust and filled with a Morello sour cherry mousse. The mousse is made with an Italian meringue and whipped cream. In the middle is a Morello cherry insert to add a pungent flavour to the tart.
On top a profiterole filled with Morello cherry mousse. The profiteroles are baked with pistachio streusel on top.
At the end I wrapped a line of homemade pistachio marzipan around the tart.
Hazelnut bavarian mousse cake
Autumn in the Netherlands. A season with beautiful colours, but also lots of rain and freezing cold. What is better than to get inside near the fireplace and get a slice of a delicious and rich bavarian mousse cake? Made with roasted hazelnuts, vanilla, tonkabean and dark chocolate. Warm flavours and colours that represent this time of the year.
Maybe with a good glass of cognac?
Well at least I know my wife loved it!
The base is a vanilla and tonka crème anglaise. Fresh roasted hazelnuts are ground into a paste and mixed with the crème anglaise. The Bavarian is finished with whipped cream and gelatin. The bottom is a blind baked pastry dough, brushed with tempered chocolate to make a moisture barrier.
The floater in the middle is a dark chocolate ganache flavoured with vanilla and tonkabean. Perfect in combination with the hazelnut bavarian.
Speculaas, Dutch spiced biscuits or windmill cookies
This is a traditional Dutch treat. Everyone loves them! The cookie dough is made with a special spice mix. The mix consists of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamon. The smell when baking these cookies is really delicious.
Recipe for Dutch Speculaas:
500 g flour
300 g light caster sugar
250 g butter
200 g dark caster sugar
50 g milk
10 g speculaas spices
5 g baking powder
30 almonds (for decoration)
Blend the flour, sugar, spices and baking powder. Make a hole in the middle of this mixture and add the butter in cubes and add at the milk. Mix the dough with your hands into a soft dough. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 24 hours. It is really important to let the dough rest this long. The spices will develop their flavour. Trust me, this is necessary to make delicious Speculaas.
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
I used an old Dutch ‘Speculaasplank’, the wooden cookie mold on the picture, to make a traditional mill. The cookie is often baked in this shape. If you don’t have a Speculaasplank, just roll out the dough about 5mm thick and cut the dough in the desired shape. Put some almonds on top, egg wash the dough and bake the Speculaas for about 25 minutes.
For the filled ones, roll out the dough and cut out 2 cirkles. Get some almond paste (see the recipe below) and put it on the middle of the first cirkle, brush the sides with some egg wash, this will make the dough stick. Put the second cirkle on top. Brush the top of the dough with egg wash and bake the Speculaas for about 30 minutes. The long ‘Speculaasstaaf’ needs about 40 minutes to bake.
250 gr almonds
250 gr sugar
1 large egg
zest of a lemon
This is really easy to make. Mix the equal parts of almonds and sugar and grind them in a blender and add the egg and the lemon zest. Mix it really well and cover it with saran wrap and cool. After cooling it is ready to use.
Eat this Dutch treat with a cup of fresh brewed coffee and enjoy!
Bruges, the chocolate capital of the world
When you go to Bruges in Belgium you need to get some chocolate! The city has close to 50 chocolate shops. And ofcourse I was looking for the best chocolates.
So I went to ‘The chocolate line’ a shop from the famous chocolatier or should I say shock-o-latier, Dominique Persoone. I was lucky to meet him at the shop! He invented the chocolate shooter and makes bonbons with unique and innovative flavours. How about crispy fried onions and chocolate? Or saffron and curry, wasabi or even a ganache made with a distillate of Havana leaves. On the right picture you see some chocolates that I bought at his shop.
A very special ingredient and a doubtful one. Because of the high coumarin levels the bean is forbidden in several countries. It is like a mix of vanilla, almond and honey. A depth flavour and truly delicious! There was only one shop where I could find bonbons made with tonka beans. They were so good!