Thursday, July 26, 2007

Last night's dinner #3: Almond Amaretto Tarts

Wednesday, July 25 - Karen, here's proof that no one eats like that every night! Jonathan is having dinner at Carne Vale (Sao Paulo-style churrascaria - good stuff) with people from work tonight. So instead of cooking, I decided to be good and had some leftovers. Besides, we need to clear out the fridge since we won't be around next week. The cremini pasta was actually better today than it was two days ago, the flavors were much more intense (note to self).

Not to disappoint... I did attempt to make something today.
Almond Amaretto Tarts
(photo & recipe courtesy of Matt Lewis from BAKED via Martha Stewart)
Difficulty: hard

Baking is not one of my strong points and I definitely saw proof of that today! It's like one disaster after another. I may have to stay away from the kitchen or I'll just be sharing "what not to do*s".

The recipe called for both Amaretti cookies and finely ground blanched almonds.

There was something therapeutic about peeling blanched (pour boiling water over almonds and let soak for exactly 1 minute, drain, soak in ice-cold water for about 10 mins, peel and dry) almonds.

Let's just say that there was a reason Mike and Martha said to use a Paddle attachment and not a standard hand-mixer.

What was I supposed to do? I don't own a fancy Kitchen Aid!
I guess this would count as "over-working" the dough? Matt Lewis repeatedly advised against this - This dough doesn't like to be handled. Matt, I think I may have slightly manhandled the tart dough.

Thursday, July 26 - I did it! I was able to save the tart pastry. I was afraid that the manhandled dough would not work, but after chilling in the fridge for about 3 hrs, I was able to successfully roll it out as instructed. I feel like one of those kids that would always say Oh god I think I may have failed that test - only to get like a 97 (oh wait, I think I was one of those annoying kids).

So this is what came out at 11pm last night. The meringue didn't crisp up, but I'm not sure if it was suppose to be crunchy. I'm not a fan of lemon or lime pies so I'm not sure what the standard texture is supposed to be. All in all this was a success. Someone came home after ravaging 10lbs of red meat and I got the this taste just like my mum's response - success!

Would I voluntarily make this again? No. There are some things you make and there are some things you buy. Although there was something very satisfying about seeing the three recipes come together, pleasing the crowd of one and best of all - not having the urge to finish all four tarts (I hate lemon and lime desserts); for now, I think I will save my efforts and only choose hard-to-execute CHOCOLATE-based desserts.


Tom said...

Dear editor,

This is torture. Everything looks yummy but how about us "LI" folks? Do you know Lactose intolerance is especially prevalent among certain ethnic groups, affecting over 53% of Hispanics, 80% of African Americans and 90% of Asian Americans? Give us some love Lifeflix!

Yours Truly,

Jet LI

Karen said...

was just looking at all those lemons you had to should invest in one of these: . i have one...and it's the best when making gin & tonic :-)

Marichelle said...

great idea! I've been using my caipirinha muddle.

Marichelle said...

Tom, no cows were harmed during this cooking session.