Monday, December 14, 2009

adorable stocking stuffers

Ta Da!  I found these on Fred Flare the other day.  Russian doll measuring cups, aren't they the cutest?!?  They'd make an awesome stocking stuffer for your favorite pastry chef this Christmas... now, if anyone would like to let my hubby know i'd be forever greatful *wink* *wink*.  I know, It's the little things that me me happy :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

chocolate and pear tart

I thought I would start out by making something from "caffe italia" by Liz Franklin.  The book is pretty small and only has about thirty recipes, but its so darn cute!  The photographs are amazing and there isn't a single recipe I wouldn't try.

images property of Mayra Gonzalez

After hours of trying to decide on a recipe (ok, maybe not hours... more like a couple of minutes) I finally decided on the chocolate and pear tart recipe.  I'm not a big fan of pears but i absolutely loved this tart!   The recipe calls for a 9-inch tart dish. I used an 11-inch tart dish and had more than enough pears and filling.  I think i made a wonderful choice, if I do say so myself.  This recipe was amazing... amazing.  Totally delish and amazing. 

chocolate and pear tart
"Caffe Italia" by Liz Franklin
1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour

chocolate and pear filling
14 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups ground almonds
2 tablespoons flour
3-1/2 oz. dark chocolate, melted
4 ripe but firm pears (i used asian pears)
+sugar, for sprinkling

directions: preheat the oven to 350F.
first make the pastry.  beat the butter and sugar together until smooth.  add the egg yolk and beat again until thoroughly mixed.  stir in the flour and work the mixture lightly until it forms a smooth but not sticky dough. divide the dough in half and freeze one portion to use later. 
roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface and use to line the tart tin.  chill for 30 minutes or so if time allows.

to make the filling, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  add the eggs, ground almonds, and flour and beat until smooth.  stir in the chocolate.  spoon into the pastry case and smooth gently using a palette knife.

peel the pears, cut them in half horizontally into 1/4 inch slices and lay them evenly on the filling. start in the center and fan them towards the crust to open out the slices a little.  bake the tart for about 45 minutes, or until the almond mixture is firm and the pastry is golden.  let cool, sprinkle with sugar (and sliced almonds) and serve.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

baked & bitten

a food blog in progress....... stay tuned.