Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Daring to bake can make you shake!

Flying by the seat of my pants - I finished the tart!

When I made the case/shell, it was right at the start of the month. I did this as I knew we were going away for (probably) most of August. I had every intention of finishing it and serving it as a grown up dessert at Small's birthday party... However as I was still buying food in the supermarket when the party should have started I didn't think there was much chance that it would be served that day. Unless of course I wanted our guests to stay until midnight - not a good idea for a toddler's party. The shell remained empty!

Okay so first the shell... (I posted the following on the DB website on 03 August).


'I halved the mixture and it's in the oven to bake blind but when I just took a look it had all risen and puffed up. (I did prick the base before putting in the oven). I've squashed it all back down and put back in the oven - ANY IDEAS where I've GONE WRONG? I think I know where I've possibly messed up - Is CAKE FLOUR, self raising flour ?'

Dharm and Helen very kindly responded to my cry for help. By then it was too late and even though I had thoughts of making another dough I think it would have sent me under ground!


So you see I didn't start brilliantly. The empty shell sat in the fridge while I packed for our mammoth road trip. I did think that I'd get it done before we went away, but I didn't, so it was carefully wrapped and placed in the bottom of the freezer for our return. We got back a couple of days ago and I realised I had to finish the tart by today.... I left it to the very last minute, making it TODAY. Actually it was great, my best friend arrived after I'd started and we chatted while our children played. My upper arms have had a terrific work out. The tart making is a fat buster, even if the tart eating negates any of the upper arm workout you've done!! It was put back in the fridge to set while D and I played with molten sugar. We now have burnt fingers as we were trying to be all James Martin about it (he's BIG and GOOD with spun sugar in the UK) and when ours wasn't working out we decided to just start pulling at it with our fingers.

The tart was a HIT, it was partially devoured by 4 hungry boys and 2 greedy (sorry D) ladies. There is a quarter of it left in the fridge which Hubby can sample this evening.

My conclusions. Great tart but possibly too sweet for me (never thought I'd say that!). I don't think I'd make it again but only because there are so many other things I'd like to try making too. I'd have no problems eating it again, even though it is very sweet!
Also my caramel layer looks a lot darker than most of the others I've seen so far.

A very big thank you to Veronica and Patricia for hosting this month. It was fun and delicious!

EDIT: I just had a piece with coffee this morning and I love it today as do the little foodies! The caramel decorations had started to melt (why this happened in the fridge I have no clue??!) so left a squigly caramel goo on the top with hard cruncy bits - DELICIOUS! Also I used Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate for the mousse which has quite a strong cocoa flavour. I think it would definitely have been way tooooo sweet with anything less cocoa like! ANYWAY it's ALL GONE!

Check out all the other Daring Bakers following the links here.

53 comments:

Deborah said...

Your sugar decoration looks so fun! I'm glad you found the time to make the tart - it looks wonderful!

Margaret said...

Looks fabulous - have never tried to make spun sugar, it scares me!

Kelly-Jane said...

Well done Amanda!

Did you weight down the pastry before baking blind?

I'd say you did really well to do this on Deadline day!

I agree with you about it being sweet, just a little slice it perfect :)

Meeta said...

Awesome awesome! You are one power lady Amanda! Good job on finishing the tart!

Kelly Mahoney said...

Too sweet? Say it isn't so! It looks really cute, though, too bad it didn't materialize for the party. I'm sure your guests would have loved it.

Asha said...

LOL @ the title!
Looks yum.It is hard to keep up with the deadlines.Well done!:)
See you next week, getting Lasik tomorrow!

veron said...

Oh wow, I guess you did some marathon tart making today...but you made it and what a lovely tart you have!

Brilynn said...

I think I let my caramel layer get a little too dark too.

Anita said...

Very lovely tart! It is a really recipe, isn't it - I'd probably use a darker chocolate if I made it again!

Anh said...

Lovely oh lovely! You know I nearly burnt down my kitchen when making spun sugar. I am glad you have been succesful!

Jann said...

Your poor fingers-I have done that, too~this was really a challenge for eveyone! Yours looks wonderful!Where did you find the time?

Ivonne said...

Yayyy! Great job and I love the caramel decorations!

Mary said...

I'm glad you were able to do the challenge even with your vacation. I'm glad it was a hit with your guests!

Barbara said...

I love your sugar decoration. I think I might make this again but with a few changes.

Sara said...

So glad to see you back! Your tart looks great - excellent sugar decorations on top!

Elle said...

Awesome tart and impressive that the tart shell froze and looked perfect when thawed. I think the darker caramel gives more flavor, don't you? Pretty decorations, too.

Tartelette said...

Great job Amanda! Looks incredible! Too sweet for us too, hard to believe I would say that too!

The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

I tried to do that with sugar with no success. I'm hiding behind the excuse it was humid. You're tart looks fabulous!

KJ said...

Congrats on getting it done and doing such a great job. That is a fun tart.

slush said...

I love your pictures and your tart looks so YUM! I had the same problem with my caramel pieces, they started to dissolve in the fridge over night, so I had to pull them all out. My little guys loved this dessert as well. What kid doesnt love super sweet? xo

Truffle said...

Simply amazing Amanda. Your decorations are stunning. Really beautiful job.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amanda, how wonderful to know the little foodies liked the tart!
I love you caramel decorations, too!

Ilva said...

My children loved it too! Lovely decorations!

Lis said...

Wow.. now that's the longest baking session I've ever heard of.. a whole month! heee!

Your tart looks beautiful! Glad everyone enjoyed it. :D

xoxo

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Nice job! Looks beautiful! I love sharing these DB challenge items with guests! So much fun!

Inne said...

Great you persevered Amanda! Yes, sugar decoration tends to disappear again - I discovered that years ago, when I started preparing a festive dinner a day in advance and woke up the next day to find that all that was left of my sugar strands were some drops of dark liquid...

Aoife said...

My caramel dissolved in the fridge too! I think the trick is to eat it all up before it's all liquid, which your family seems to have no problem doing!

Shaun said...

Amanda - I loved the post-edit - that indeed the next morning the tart was still fabulous. The only comment I can make about blind baking is that you need parchment paper to cover the tart and to hold it down one uses beans to prevent the pastry from puffing up. Great to hear that you had a friend in the kitchen to help out.

Jenny said...

Mmm... drooling at the mention of using Green and Blacks. How could you go wrong.

Peabody said...

Way to get your tart done....I squeezed mine in too. I must get better about that :)
Lovely tart.

Connie said...

wonderful tart! i love your pretty sugar decoration!

The Cooking Ninja said...

what a beautiful tart! Looks so sinfully delicious too. :)

sunita said...

The sugar decorations look great...I, on the other hand thought my caramel layer was too light:0

SimplePleasures said...

lovely cake. yeah i think it would be indeed too sweet if used on a thicker pan. I used a tart pan so each slice would only have a right amount of caramel layer to milk chocolate layer, but i would have love to used some bittersweet chocolates instead. I love the sugar decorations. I think the sugar melts because of the moisture in the fridge. correct me if i'm wrong :)

the pastry princess said...

and your tart looks fantastic, too, amanda! and great work wiht the caramel garnish...the moisture in the fridge tends to make them sticky, such as if you were to leave them out on a humid day. either way, they don't seem to last too long :(

Cynthia said...

You are indeed a dedicated DB, making the shell before your trip. You have my continued admiration.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sorry I'm so late making my rounds.
I love your caramel decorations! I wonder if you took the longest getting it done - from almost the first day to the last! Great job. Neat how we can manage to work around things and then find such success!

Nora B. said...

Your tart looks great! Love the caramel decoration, hope that your fingers have recovered from all the heat. :-)

Marie said...

Hi Amanda, a bit late leaving my comments here this week, as I've been really busy at work. It's nice to see you back and it looks as if you had a lovely time. What a deliciosu looking tart! I have tried to join the Daring Bakers, but all my e-mails have gone ignored. How did you manage it???
Marie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/mariealicejoan/MariesMuses/

Amy said...

Mmmm caramelly goo with coffee, now that's what I call breakfast! Looks great!

sher said...

I love it! Your decoration is so cute! Very, very nice!

marias23 said...

I must agree with you that the tart is perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee (or tea)!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

this looks fab, and what a labour of love!

Andrea said...

I love your sugar sculptures! Nicely done!

Leslie said...

Your sugar looks awesome! I too ended up with melting caramel.

Quellia said...

So now that you've done it, are slightly burnt fingers worth it to get such cool looking decorations?
Job well done!

Nora B. said...

wow, so many comments!

I just wanted to say that I'm handing an award to you. It's for tantalising my tastes buds with your wonderful creations. :-) Deatils on my blog.

Chris said...

Wow - fabulous!

wmpe said...

Your tart decorations look fantastic. I love the height. What an adventure in making the tart! What a great way to spend an afternoon with a friend. Wendy.

african vanielje said...

Wow, your choc caramel tart looks fab, and so does your site. I love that you're taking your kids on a culinary tour of the world. As the new school year starts we have already decided on a religious tour of the world this year. We'll be doing a little time travelling as well. I think it's so important to teach the future generations tolerance and understanding, and what better way to do it than thru food. Wow, that's next year sorted. ps. thanks for visiting. It's so great to keep meeting so many wonderful new friends. See you at the DB

TBC said...

My first time here. You have a beautiful blog with some great recipes. Beautiful tart with great decorations!

Dolores said...

Welcome back. Beautiful tart... I LOVE the spun sugar decoration. Worth the burnt fingers?

breadchick said...

How fun is that top piece? Sounds like from a few people enjoyed the tart the next day ;-)

Great job on this month's challenge

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