fat bottom

fat bottom

Sunday, January 10, 2010

new years cheers

well i know its a bit late... but happy new years everybody!!
i hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is as excited for this new year as i am!
so... lets get down to business shall we...
this new years was a quiet yet very enjoyable one... it was just me, the hubs, my two little men and my brother and sister in law... it was very cozy...
we decided to dine on a smorgasbord of yummies... from delicious savory galettes, chunky and spicy fresh guacamole, sweet and spicy buffalo wings, spinach and goat cheese puff pastries, and amazing brushetta (you know the kind that julie makes up in the movie julie and julia...) simply mouthwatering...
well after sitting and enjoying those pickings along with bottle after bottle of champagne i broke out the big guns... dessert!
i wanted to do something a little french-i-fied... so i knew that macarons were in order, but i still needed one more dessert to top the night... so after some thought as to what it would be i opted for a dessert that caught my eye months ago when i first opened my copy of dorie greenspans "baking from my home to yours"... it was pierre hermes' lemon cream tart, or as titled by dorie "the most extraordinary french lemon cream tart"... and you know what... it was simply that... extraordinary!!
now a bit of a warning to anyone who might want to make this delectable dessert...
your eyes might pop out of your head like mine did when you read how much butter is in this sinful recipe... but hey it was new years, so i figured why not live it up a little!
for the tart crust i again went with dorie's sweet tart dough, and i actually overcooked it a bit... why you ask... i wanted a nice contrast in texture to the smooth velvety lemon cream... the tart shell was wonderfully sugar cookie-like and complimented the lemon cream perfectly...
and now for the lemon cream... smooth, lemony and oh so finger lickingly buttery... it was in one word... rich...

1 cup sugar
grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons butter (10 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, at room temperature. * i know... thats alot of the good stuff!*
1 9-inch tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough fully baked and cooled
getting ready: have an instant read thermometer, a strainer and a blender at hand and bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan
1. put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. off the heat, rub the sugar and zest between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic
2. whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice
3. set the bowl over the pan and whisk until the cream reaches 180 degrees F. as it gets closer to reaching 180 it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. be patient, because getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.
4. remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the blender; discard the zest
5. let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
6. turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. keep the machine going for another 3 minutes.
7. pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
8. to assemble the tart, whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell.

now as for the macarons... i of course used a recipe by the fabulous "Tartelette"

this time i went with her coffee chicory macaron recipe but i altered it a bit, i know... how daring of me! but i've become a bit comfortable with these babies... so why not test the waters abit... and i have to say, they came out really nice... they baked up just right with cute little feet, and round tops...

for the shells:
90 gr egg whites (about 3)
30 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
55 gr almonds and 55 gr hazelnuts
1 teaspoon espresso powder

1.in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue, do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry
2. place the powdered sugar, ground almonds and hazelnuts and espresso powder in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground
3.add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10
4.give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns
5. fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets
6. preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size and let cool

i opted to fill them with a delcious vanilla bean marscapone frosting... i love marscapone... its so light and takes on flavors nicely...

happy baking everyone and again, a very happy new year to all!

1 comment:

  1. Yum, where to start? Both of those looks amazing and what a fantastic job on the macarons! You go girl!


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