Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Berry Tart

I saw this a couple of year's back on the today's show on NBC.  Its a Martha Stewart recipe and it tastes really really good.  I have made this a lot of times and its always a hit at parties.
It is a nice way to finish off a meal in the summer with fresh berries.

This is the original recipe.(Apricot Blackberry Tart) By Martha Stewart.

Serves 9; Makes one 13-by-15-inch tart; Active time: 25 min, 10 min; Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes 

    • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-ounce package),
    • All-purpose flour, for surface
    • 3/4 cup tiny bits toasted walnuts, pecans, sliced almonds, hazelnuts etc.,

    • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • Salt
    • 4 cups of mixed berries(blueberries, strawberries, raspberry, blackberry)
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Baking Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out pastry to a 13-by-15-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface; trim edges with a knife. Transfer to a baking sheet; freeze for at least 30 minutes or overnight.2. Combine walnuts, brown sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Score a line around edge of pastry using a knife to create a 3/4-inch border (do not cut all the way through). Cover center with nut mixture. Arrange berries on top. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.3. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°. Bake until pastry is golden brown and fruit is soft, about 30 minutes more. Let cool.
Storage: Tart can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

Curry and Spice Tips:
  • I did not use the egg wash as suggested and the tart came out just fine.
  • Score the edges (the recipe calls for trim the edges, so dont trim them, score them so they dont rise too much towards the edge of the sheet)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fruit filled cake

The quest for a fruit filled cake began with my niece's bday parties.  The delicious fruit filled cakes from     La Bonbonniere were always a hit at parties.  Of course I never had the audacity to try to bake them at that point in time (am talking 5 yrs back).  Heck I didnt even know that we could bake them at home.

Later on, thanks to one of my friends I started baking the chocolate cake and I absolutely had to go buy the stand mixer.  Its probably one of the best investments I have made in the kitchen. (I bake this cake all the time because even if I screw up I could still pass this off as Chocolate Mousse and get away with it)

I tried to break out of my comfort zone for one of my dinner parties just last week and was itching to bake the fruit filled cake. I didn't want a recipe that was intimidating and called for a lot of work.  I looked at various recipes online and this one sounded the most easiest and the reviews were pretty good too.
Though I didn't like the fact that I had to wash my stand mixing vessel right away after I made the cake batter, only to use it again for the frosting!! Aah the joys of baking right??

Click here for the recipe to the cake

 I took a check of ingredients that I would need and there was the mysterious whipped topping mix, (have never heard of that) Not sure what it was either.  But it seemed like a powder as the recipe called for two envelopes of that mix. I hunted some stores around the area and never found it and the staff there were not aware of such a thing either.

One of employees in one of the stores told me to check Walmart and lo and behold, Walmart had a good bunch of these mixes.

That sealed the deal as it was the highlight of the cake, so never substitute it for anything.

I followed the recipe to the Tee except for one change (used 2 eggs instead of 4 egg whites as one of the reviews suggested that and I was too lazy to separate the eggs). Also used a little less of the white chocolate (these were suggestions from the user reviews of the cake)
Didnt expect that 3/4th of the cake would be finished and gobbled up by my friends at the dinner party.

I think I would like to improvise next time and add another layer of fruit and cake to this recipe to make the cake taller and of course

I need to get my frosting at a good consistency to spread. I am slowly getting there as I baked this cake twice over the weekend. The second time for a birthday party.  I have more recipes lined up just not enough pictures. I will get to them soon.

Till then enjoy this delicious cake.(the frosting mixed in with the white chocolate tastes heavenly!! Who knew that white chocolate could be so tasty)

curry-n-spice tips:

*I used my stand mixer for this
*Depending on the your oven the time to bake the cake might vary so make a note of that
* the vanilla cake does not turn brown so watch out and dont let it burn