So a common theme this Halloween was dress up as your favorite political character or your least favorite. Which goes hand in hand with the political rants I see daily on Facebook. I think I’m a little Obama and Romney’ed out. So instead of hoping on the train with y’all I’m going to change it up and express my feelings trough cute cat pictures 🙂
Cat in hat.
Well now that I’ve got that out of my system, I hope you have a better understanding of my love for politics.
One of my closest friends ran off to get married in Vegas today. They bought the rings, the dress, the tux, the flowers, the chapel and the hotel room after within the last week. It amazes me how little patience people have these days. Don’t get me wrong I am very happy for these two and couldn’t see them being with anyone else. But why the rush? Really? “We just didn’t want to wait!” they said. As I’m typing this post I’m waiting for their wedding video to start. The chapel they’re getting married in records the ceremony and posts it online so friends and family could watch. The chapel looks cold and lonely and in a town full of people they don’t know. I wish I could be there to cheer them on, and I hope they have no second thoughts about where they held the ceremony.
While we’re on the topic of weddings and having the technology to plan anything with the click of a mouse. I was speaking with my mom the other day about the location of her wedding. They found a gorgeous spot a few miles from her house. This place does everything for you. They order the flowers, the cake, the photographer, the dress if you want, the DJ, down to what kind of air freshener you want in the bathrooms! We could easily plan a whole wedding trough Pinterest! I know because I have a board dedicated to it. Let me just say my wedding will be amazing, and crafty.
Well I’m done ranting about weddings for the day.
I start my baking externship in one month at Deer Valley Resort (in Park City, Utah). I’ll be working in 6 different locations inside the resort. Doing and anything and everything, from plated desserts in a couple of our restaurants, morning pastries and bread to kicking my O.C.D. up a notch on a few wedding cakes. I’ll be working there through the whole ski season. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and the more I look through the pictures on their website the more giddy I get! I’ll post a few just so you can get a sense of my excitement. Oh, and did I mention I get to ski for free?! (Happy girl)
Here’s a link to Snow Park Bakery, where I’ll be spending most of my time.
I have a week left at work and they have been letting me experiment with a few things I’ve been dying to make. Some of them haven’t turned out so well but if everything in the pastry world turned out perfect the first time then we would all be pastry chefs. Two weeks ago I made Mini Apple Pies inside an apple finished with a mini lattice crust…
We had a few pears that were about to go bad and a bunch of dark chocolate in the basement so I figured I would practice my chocolate tempering. Chocolate Dipped Pears for everyone! I tempered too much chocolate so I made a sheet of nut bark with it.
My mom and I always make Pumpkin Roll when the leaves start to change color. I made two and doubled the filling recipe. Bad idea, there was way too much filling to cake. Oops! We ate it anyways…
Yesterday I was feeling a little more confident that I could pull off a lovely tart in our kitchen that is in no way equipped for anything pastry. I found a couple of old tart shell pans in the basement and pulled up a recipe I’ve been drooling over for months. Its a fresh Raspberry Tart with White Chocolate and Mascarpone. It turned out beautifully so I thought I might share the recipe with you all. I found the recipe on pinterest which brought me to this lovely website. She has some amazing recipes on here feel free to browse the rest. Oh, and my camera on my phone wasn’t working so I don’t have any of my own, so the picture below is from her page.
For the Crust:
• 1 1/3 cups cake flour
• 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 tablespoon ice water, plus 1 teaspoon extra water if needed
For the Filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 1/2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
• 1 cup mascarpone cheese
• optional: splash of Framboises, Kirsch, or other eau de vie
• 12 ounces fresh raspberries
To Make the Crust:
1. Put the cake flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to combine.
2. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
3. Lightly beat the egg yolk and tablespoon of water together.
4. While the food processor is running, add the egg yolk/water mixture and pulse until it starts to clump. You may have to add the extra teaspoon ice water to get the dough to come together.
5. Place the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, roll into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap the plastic around it. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
6. Roll the pastry into an 11-inch round and place in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (this is a delicate dough, so handle accordingly); trim. Prick the bottom of the tart shell several times with the tines of fork. Put tart pan in a freezer for 30 minutes. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 375˚F.
7. Line the tart shell with foil and fill with dried rice or beans. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Very carefully remove the foil and rice or beans, and return the tart pan to the oven until dry, possibly another 5 minutes. You’re not going to be able to tell by the color of the crust if it’s done. Use your fingertips to feel if the crust is dry.
8. While the tart dough is in the oven, make the filling. Place the chopped white chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Scald the heavy cream and pour over the chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature, then mix the cream mixture and mascarpone cheese together. Optional: mix in a splash or two (or three) of Framboises into the mixture.
9. Spoon the mixture into the cooled tart shell and gently, spread evenly over the crust. Top the cream mixture with the fresh raspberries.
I had the opportunity a couple months ago to help Hedy Goldsmith (executive pastry chef at Michael s Famous in Miami) with her showcase in the Portland Feast event. I’ve always wondered, if you spend as many hours around sugar as us pastry chefs do, do you become sweeter yourself? Well, Hedy would prove me right. She is the sweetest lady with amazing insight. I’m very grateful to have met her. Here’s a little clip she was in for the Food Networks, The best thing I ever ate series…