Posted on February 14th, 2013
I was going through my bookshelf and found this old hard bound book on kitchen humor, which I bought from a little town in South Africa. It dated back to 1939 and had some brilliant jokes, toasts and stories. I thought, as the photos for this post speak for themselves, I could share some humor with you guys today?
So, Customer: “What’s wrong with these eggs?” Waitress: “Don’t ask me; I only laid the table.”
“We have everything on the menu today, sir” the waitress said. “So I see”, said the customer. “How about a clean one?”
Customer: “Why do they call this course ‘piece de resistance’?” Waiter: “Wait till you try it!”
With this little laugh, I leave you with this lovely recipe which makes me go back to the fridge every time I think about it. It is seriously one of the yummiest things I have had for quite sometime and will surely go into my cooking repertoire.
This recipe is inspired by Life is Great’s Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tartlets
Makes 10-12 Tartlets
For Pâte sucrée
200 gm plain flour
60 gm pure icing sugar
pinch of salt
120 grams cold butter, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp iced water
1 egg yolk
egg wash for brushing
For Macerated Raspberries
300 gm fresh raspberries
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp castor sugar (or just enough to coat the berries)
For Raspberry Jam
300 gm fresh/frozen raspberries
150 gm castor sugar
juice and zest of 1 lemon
330 ml pouring cream
60 ml corn/golden syrup
250 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
100 gm fresh pistachios
1. Prepare the macerated raspberries: In a glass bowl, coat the raspberries with the sugar. Cover with cling wrap and let stand at room temperature up to 6 hours. Drain off excess syrup before using.
2. Make the pâte sucrée: Process flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter and iced water, process until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add yolk, process to combine, turn onto a work surface and bring together with the heel of your hand. It is a good idea here to wash your hands with cold water if your hands tend to be warm. Divide the dough into 2 balls and form each dough into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate, for about 2 hours.
3. Prepare the jam and nut filling: In a medium saucepan, place all the ingredients and cook over medium heat till jam thickens slightly, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes. Remove to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate till needed. For the pistachios, spread them on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes in at 180°C or 5 minutes over the stove. Cool to room temperature. Process in a grinder or pound in pestle and mortar, leaving some coarse pieces for garnish.
4. Bake the tart shells: Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 (if using convection, turn the fan on). Working with one dough disc at a time, divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick and line 4 10-inch-diameter fluted tart shells. Trim edges and refrigerate to rest, for about 30 minutes. Reroll remaining pastry into a ball and return it to the fridge. Repeat with the second dough disc. Combine the leftover dough and repeat to line remaining tart shells till all the dough is used up. Blind bake tart shells (pierce, line and weight) until light golden, for about 15-20 minutes. Remove paper liners and weights, brush shells with egg wash. Bake again until crisp and golden, about 4-5 minutes (if using convection, turn the fan off). Remove pastry shells from tart tins and cool on a wire rack.
5. Prepare the ganache filling: Bring cream and corn syrup to the simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, add in the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove into a bowl and let cool slightly. Refrigerate until slightly thick, about 25-30 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes.
6. Assemble the tarts: Arrange the tart shells on a baking sheet. Fill each shell with about 1 tablespoon of ground pistachios. With a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop and fill each tart with the raspberry jam. Then, fill the tarts with cooled ganache, smooth the tops if necessary. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to set. Once ganache is set, sprinkle with some pistachios. Arrange 3 to 4 of the macerated raspberries on top and serve.
7. Plan ahead: Assemble the tarts as close to serving time as possible. However, all the components of the tart can be prepared ahead, except for the ganache. Baked tart shells keep well in an air-tight container, with layers of parchment in between, at room temperature, up to 3 days. The jam keeps up to 1 week, longer if canned. Keep the maceration of the berries under 8 hours though, else they’d be too soft to use as the garnish.