Tag Archives: Tarts

Strawberries- part deux

And the quest to make every possible strawberry dish continues.  At this stage it’s jam time. And strawberry jam goes with just about everything.  And bears no resemblance to the shop bought variety, even if the first batches can lack consistency, no pun intended!

The finished product

The finished product

Shop bought strawberries are often grown hydroponically, and for some reason they have less pectin, resulting in a runnier jam.  So use sure-set if you need to, half and half is probably best.

In it's natural environment!

In it’s natural environment!

My next favourite recipe, which requires a little planning is mini strawberry tarts.  Perfectly proportioned, these little beauties are best fresh and cold, and unlike most desserts, go equally well with both a cup of tea and a glass of champagne.

A strawberry tea party

A strawberry tea party

Credit at this stage must go to my willing team of helpers (and tasters) who rescued me as I frantically tried to get the shoot set up outside before the sun went in behind a cloud.They get paid well in food- don’t worry!

the food photography helpers

the food photography helpers

And for my nephews third birthday- a chocolate fudge cake filled with cream- and strawberries.  He even managed to sneak a few off the cake before anyone else got to it.

A birthday cake fit for a three year old

A birthday cake fit for a three year old

 

A room full of tarts..

As Dame Edna put it so beautifully on the Great British Bake off for Comic Relief last week, today we had a room full of tarts. And then some.  I did a little sneaky practice yesterday and made the Normandy Pear Tart.

Normandy Pear Tart

Normandy Pear Tart

Today, however it was the turn of the Apricot and Frangipane tart.  I am a fan of these tarts (quelle surprise you might say), and really enjoyed putting it together.

Apricot and Frangipane Tart

Apricot and Frangipane Tart

And I think I might even put a tart on my final exam menu.  Of course it would be foolish to take such a bold step without practicing them all again.

We also showcased smoked fish today as a starter, and I was particularly happy with my presentation of one of my plates.

The plating begins.

The plating begins.

 

The finished product: A plate of smoked fish.

The finished product: A plate of smoked fish.

I particularly liked the smoked trout.  The intense flavour married very well with the more subtle smoked tuna.

Prep for plate no 2

Prep for plate no 2

And the finished article

Starter of Smoked Fish (no. 2)

Starter of Smoked Fish (no. 2)

We had sirloin for our main course, and the teachers emphasized how expensive good cuts of beef are, and also what to look out for when buying steak.  I remember when in Kevin Thornton’s restaurant in Dublin, while filming Heat! how he showed us how to trim the fillets so carefully, and to really take your time trimming the meat.

Sirloin Steak, with french fired onions and wild garlic leaves.

Sirloin Steak, with french fired onions and wild garlic leaves.

So we ate quite well today, considering it was a Monday.  I even managed to squeeze in a taste of Gran Marnier Souffle, which was completely devine.  And I mean that, even after tasting all the tarts.

Gran Marnier Souffle

Gran Marnier Souffle