My first attempt was chocolate souffle and I have to say I really surprised myself. It turned out wonderfully, and wasn't anywhere near as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, I've already made it twice since I first posted.
My second challenge was to try my hand at a tarte tartin, which is fruit tart usually made with carmelized apples, that is cooked upside down and flipped before serving.
Again, I've always put this on my list of things to try, but have never been courageous enough to actually do it.
I have to admit, before starting this I was nervous. There were so many unknowns... How long do I cook the apples in the caramel sauce? How do I successfully press down the puffed pastry to make a seal? Will it really flip out of the pan and look somewhat like all the photos I see on the Internet?
So what are my lessons from these two challenging desserts. I have two...
The first is that I've just got to try. I know it sounds trite, but it's true. I have to get out of my own way, risk the possibility of failure, and get on with it.
And second, I learned that in order to get good at a recipe, I have to do it over and over again. Sounds like life, doesn't it? As I mentioned, I've now made the chocolate souffle twice since my first attempt, and each time it's gotten easier and better. I'm already looking forward to my next tarte tartin, because I know what to expect and what I might do a little differently.
I am definitely a more confident pastry chef today than I was two weeks ago.
I still have one recipe to go for the challenge. I think I might try my hand at crème brûlée or French macarons. I'm actually excited to conquer it, what a change! I'll keep you posted...
APPLE TARTE TARTIN RECIPE
- 1 package frozen pastry dough
- 4 large apples (Granny Smith or another hard, tart variety)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Quarter apples and core them. You can see my apples are already browning. Toss them in a tablespoon of lemon juice to stop them from browning and to give them a little extra tartness.
Add the apples to the pan in a flower shape. I made a few smaller slices to place in the middle. Cook for 15 minutes until the apples are soft.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kraft via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kraft.