Saturday, September 05, 2009

Baking Man

Q: What's better than 40,000 filthy hippies in the Nevada desert?

A: A raspberry mocha custard tart with a red wine glaze.

Don't believe me? Check this out:

Now, if you haven't yet, please go here, find "Cookblog," (currently at #3) and bestow upon me some hats. Allow me to suggest five as a nice round number. Your appreciation will make a difference, and I thank you for it.

As I said, the family went berry-picking yesterday, and returned with a big bucket of raspberries (including some yellow ones). Raspberries pretty much need to be put on a tart after baking, since they turn right into jam if cooked even for a second, so I thought about what to put under them that might show them off to good advantage. We had some chocolate milk in the fridge, so that was the jumping-off point for a custard. I beat 6 egg yolks with some vanilla sugar, then added a glug of the sticky fortified Australian muscadelle that's been sitting in the door of the fridge for an age now. In a saucepan, I heated the chocolate milk, a shot of espresso, a bit more vanilla sugar, some raw cocoa powder, and some 5-spice, then tempered it into the yolks. This mixture got a good whisking in a double boiler until thick, then I put it in the freezer to cool and thicken further. I blind-baked a crust, then cooled it as well.

I used to have a bag of chick peas in a cupboard that I used as pie weights for this kind of operation, but Milo found it and took them for one of his nefarious experiments, so they were gone. I ended up looting his jar of change which he had carelessly left out and spreading a bunch of the coins on a sheet of parchment to hold the crust flat while it cooked. Mess with my garbanzos and I'll steal your allowance. You have all been warned. Custard onto crust, then berries arranged on top, and finally a glaze of the last drops of of sweet wine, red wine from its fridge door neighbor, strawberry jam, black pepper, a little more vanilla sugar, and ume vinegar all simmered together and then strained. I put the finished tart back into the fridge to let it set up until it was time to go to dinner. For the story of that perfect meal, you will have to wait until tomorrow.


Jana Martin said...

the water, she mouths. you are hereby five hatted.

ABowlOfMush said...

What a fantastic dessert!

cookiecrumb said...

I wasn't there. Filthy hippies.
(I could tell you a little something about when BM was invented, on a beach in SF. It was free. A long time ago.)