Monday, August 10, 2009

The comforts a tart can bring

Linzer torte

IP Lesson VII- Linzer Torte and Tarte Aux Fruits

When you talk about comfort foods, it usually is something rustic and homely. Rarely would you hear someone mention cavier or truffles (the mushroom variety) as their comfort foods.

While most may list out savoury items as their comfort foods, I know a few people, including myself who would seek solace in sweets. For my sister, it would be a good bar of chocolate or a nice warm chocolate cake. As for myself, a good rustic tart, savoury or sweet would really make me feel all better inside. Strange as it may seem, a simple fruit tart or spinach and feta cheese tart has the ability to release endorphins in my body and make me feel happy.

For class on Thursday, we made two rustic tart- Linzer Torte and tarte aux fruits.

The Linzer torte originated in a small town called Linz, Austria. It is in fact a tart made with ground nuts (either hazelnuts or almond) and spice with a layer of raspberry jam in the centre, finished with its characteristic lattice-patterned top.

You know what I love about studying in Le Cordon Bleu is that I get to learn and taste these new desserts. It is my first time tasting and making this torte/tart. You can say it is love at first taste. It is little wonder why it remains a favourite amongst the Austrians. Another interesting fact of this torte is that it’s one of the oldest known cakes in the world.

Rustic but comforting.

After making a few fruit tarts during basic classes, we were back to making another fruit tart. This time, it was a fruit tart not only with crème patisserie but also with frangipane filling made from ground almonds and rum. What can I say? I really love the frangipane paste filling. Almonds and alcohol: the two ‘A’s that comforts thy soul!

In my opinion, the frangipane filling works well in the tart giving it another element of texture as well as flavour. The sweet crust pastry or pate sucree is made with some ground almonds which gives the pastry a richer flavour which I think taste better as compared to just using flour alone.

The fun part with this tart lies with the arrangement of the fruits. I have always liked the tarts with fruits tumbled on the top, looking absolutely gorgeous even in its haphazard manner. The funny thing about doing this is that there is actually some order in its haphazardness. That’s the beauty of it.

I love the way that Chef K*aren does it. She makes it seem so effortless, just tumbling the berries off her hands onto the tart. As contradictory as it may sound, it took me quite a while to arrange the orderly disorder on my tart!

Feeling pretty pleased with my virgin effort, I rewarded myself by digging into a huge slice of that tart when I got home. After a long day at school, and a long bus journey home, it was pure bliss and contentment. For that moment, it took away my physical weariness and my emotional worries.

Such is the comfort a tart can bring!

Tarte aux fruits, rustic style

No comments:

Post a Comment