Baking & Pastry

Tonka, coffee, caramel and hazelnut tart

Tonka is one of my favourite pastry ingredients. It combines very well with the rich flavours of coffee, caramel and hazelnut. Inspired by Joost Arijs I created this tart. The tart is made with a shortbread crust filled with a creamy milk chocolate ganache and crushed hazelnuts for a crunch. On top of this I added a light genoise moistened with my homemade vanilla-rum syrup. And here’s the best part: a rich tonka, coffee (fresh brewed espresso) and caramel mascarpone mousse is added and finished with a caramel glaze.

The individual desserts were made for a summer barbecue. They consist of the same components and flavours but in a different shape.
Everybody enjoyed these delicious pastries!

Joost Arijs Pastry & Chocolates at Gent, Belgium

Joost Arijs is a young pastry chef and owner of a beatiful pastry shop in the centre of Gent. He’s known for his creativity and he makes absolutely delicious tarts. According to Gault-Millau, Joost Arijs is the best Patissier in Belgium. 
I tried the pastries on the pictures above and they were absolutely stunning!

Especially the Tonka entremet is a real winner (top picture on the left and the picture in the middle). It consists of a rich chocolate mousse, a tonka and vanilla cremeux, chocolate cake and an orange coulis. And also a delicious pecan crumble.

Whenever you plan a trip to Gent, make sure to visit his shop and buy some delicious pastries, chocolates, cookies or whatever they have!

Make sure to get his book with lots of recipes and nice pictures!

'Speculaas' profiteroles with a cinnamon crumble

Profiteroles with a twist!
The batter is mixed with
'Speculaaskruiden'. This way we get delicious speculaas profiteroles. In the Netherlands, speculaas is a very popular flavor. It is a blend of various spices. I made them extra delicious with a cinnamon topping. This topping has 2 benefits (actually 3!).

First, it will give the profiterole a crunchy topping. Standard profiteroles are delicious on their own but they lack some type of crunch.

The second advantage is that the topping will keep the steam inside the profiterole during baking and therefore they will expand more!

Third, don’t they look irresistible?

The profiteroles are filled with a Creme Chantilly. But how about a cinnamon bavarian cream? Or a delicious speculaas creme chiboust?

Vanilla Temptation
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.

Judging
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!

Linzer Torte

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. 

Ingredients:
Butter 550 grams
Sugar 275 grams 
Eggs 5               
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.

Enjoy!

Tropical Dutch!

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
egg                        1,5

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.

Birthday tarts!
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?  
GiandujaMilk 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!

Birthday tarts!

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?  

Gianduja

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!

Paris

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!

Tarte Bourdaloue
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!

Tarte Bourdaloue

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. 

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.
S
o 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.