I had mentioned in 16-24: French Chocolate Cake that it was one of two desserts that I made for a recent baby shower I attended: 16-39: Apricot Tart was the second dessert. I’ve been meaning to make this thing since near the start of this project, and it only took me a few years to finally get around to it. There’s something about this recipe and procrastination, though–this entry’s been sitting in my writing queue half-finished for over a month.
For the length of time that it took me to make it (and to write about it), I never even got to try it–I ended up leaving this and 16-24: French Chocolate Cake still wrapped up on the table at the party. We’ll just assume that both of them were delicious and everyone ate every last crumb of them.
I recently attended a baby shower for a former co-worker and took it as an opportunity to knock out two more Simply Delicious desserts: 16-39: Apricot Tart and this one, 16-24: French Chocolate Cake. I wanted to bring something fruit/nut and something just plain chocolate, since some people there had nut allergies and others might just want something simple and chocolate.
This was a combination birthday party/baby shower (same person being honored for both), which will hopefully explain the odd decorations on my version of the cake. I’ve spared you pictures of the worst of my decoration choices, but let’s just say I made liberal use of all 4 colors of a grocery store icing kit. I kept meaning to hit a craft store for better cake decorations (or even Amazon), but time got away from me. ⏳
No, this isn’t a repeat of 16-47: Orange-Almond Pie–at least, not exactly. 16-14: Orange-Almond Cake uses almond paste while the pie version used almond meal (flour). This one also includes dark chocolate, which ALWAYS goes well with almond and orange flavors. 🍫
In the interest of not eating the whole cake at once (which is possible with something like this), I’m going to bake 12 individual cakes instead with a mini-Bundt pan that I have. That way, I can make them all, wrap and freeze them so that we can pull out a portioned piece for dessert without the temptation of eating the whole thing.
Here’s a simple dessert that’s easy for a dinner, gift, or even just a snack. 16-9: Raspberry Tart is exactly what it sounds like–pie crust in a tart pan filled with raspberry preserves and topped with bits of dough. Simply Delicious uses a simple drop method for the dough topping, but I think we can do better than that. 🌟
Why did anyone think that amorphous blobs of dough were an acceptable tart topping? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Whenever I think of lemons, I can’t help but think of Lemongrab from Adventure Time, my favorite, lemon-insipred, animated character. From my research, there are two other major characters who are lemon-themed, Lemon Meringue from “doll commercial hidden in a cartoon” Strawberry Short Cake and Honey Lemon, one of the main characters from Big Hero 6, a 3D animated feature film released by Disney in 2014 . I haven’t had a chance to check this movie out yet, but if it ever pops up on Netflix, I’d watch it. Now that my rant about cartoon characters is complete, enjoy this entry about 16-54: Lemony Cottage Cheese Pie, a really weird lemony pie. 🍋
Serving this pie on top of a tapestry featuring a creepy little girl must somehow enhance the flavor of this otherwise weird lemony pie. The background tapestry is probably the most interesting and tasteful part of the entire photograph.
One of the two desserts I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte (the other was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe). I wanted something “of the season”, and this seemed like a cross between apple pie and fruitcake.
This was the second dish I made, starting off the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since this cake holds well at room temperature, I planned to just slightly underbake it, and then finish it off for 5-10 minutes in a preheated oven to warm it up for dessert on the day of the holiday.
If I hadn’t made this for Thanksgiving, I think it’d make a great gift (mailed or delivered in person) or potluck dish, especially for an office or somewhere where it would sit for a while. Even though Thanksgiving is over for the year, it’s totally still the season for a cake like this one.
Other dishes I made on this night (Wed. 11/23): the dressing for 1-10: Seafood Louisiana Cocktail, cranberry sauce, 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe, and a roasted garlic & herb butter to serve with 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls.
I’m not going to write a long dissertation on the origins of the well-known French dessert, Tarte Tatin–I’ll let Wikipedia handle the background of it. Instead, I’m going to focus on my history with 16-15: Tarte Tatin, evidenced by my mom’s handwriting all over the front & back of the recipe card.
Since she and I already had plans to go to a local farmers’ market for this year’s Labor Day BBQ supplies and apples were plentiful, I decided to bring back an old classic for us to cook together. 🍏
Most versions of Tarte Tatin are somewhat similar–it’s a pretty basic recipe. My mom’s notes claim it’s “easy”, and she stands by it to this day. Her other notes turned out to be helpful as well–the importance of good note-taking.
The photo of the pie for this recipe, 16-4: Blueberry Pie is epic. The peasant blueberry picker doll in the background is a great departure from most of the photos in Simply Delicious. 👍 We bought a case of blueberries during a trip to the market because they looked super fresh. I was going to make blueberry muffins, but after flipping through the recipes, this seemed like the best choice.
The whipped cream in the receptacle looks great. Check out how they used the pie in the background as well as in the center of the photo. The blueberries scattered on the table and the baby’s breath everywhere makes this photo extra fancy. 🎩
Here’s one I’ve wanted to make for a LONG time, but never got to. I had even intended to do a version of 16-18: Lemon Basil Tart when I worked at the restaurant and was doing tarts every week moonlighting as the pastry chef, but the day I intended to make it, we were short on lemons and basil. Now I finally have a chance, and I even have the big tart pan in which to properly make it.
I didn’t even see until now that they mention that basil is related to mint–it makes sense. In this tart, the basil functions a lot like mint, and gives the tart a “fresh” flavor that just lemon wouldn’t provide. It took me a while to get to it, but it was worth it. 🍋🌿
I had mentioned in 1-8: Delicious Cocktail Snacks that I had attended a birthday party recently–I used 16-37: Double Decadent Brownie Torte as part of the birthday cake that I made for it. This is one I’ve made before, and this time I kept some of the changes I made the first time.
I noted that I made this with Kahlua whipped cream the first time. I did that this time too, along with a Kahlua pastry cream to layer between 2 layers of torte.