Top Pick Of The Week

April 28, 2009

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Chocolate Tart

The original: Chocolate Tart made with Valrhona chocolate.

WHAT IT IS: Top-quality frozen gourmet tarts.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Pastry chef-quality tarts, ready to thaw and serve.
WHY WE LOVE IT: (1) Always at the ready. (2) We create the garnish (several are suggested on the box) and that’s like creating the dish, isn’t it? As Daphne says, “We do the work, you take the credit.”
WHERE TO BUY IT: and retailers in the northeastern U.S. Other retailers: Get on board!

Queen Of Tarts: We Crown Daphne Baking Company

Page 2: Nut, Chocolate & Fruit Tart Varieties

This is Page 2 of a four-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.



Tart Varieties

The elegance of a fine restaurant can appear on your table with Good seasonal berries—any kind—or a fruit coulis enhance every tart except the pumpkin, where other enhancements do the trick (see Tart Garnishes on Page 3). If you have nothing else in the house, a dusting of confectioner’s sugar will do (we prefer to dust the plate and place the tart on top). Or, serve them plain—they’re very pretty.

Chocolate Tart. The original tart is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The Valrhona chocolate kicks it up a notch. Try it with crème fraîche instead of whipped cream—you’ll love the bit of tartness that offsets the sweet. See photo at top of page. Perfect with coffee or espresso; if you want something stronger, Cognac is the ideal pairing with plain dark chocolate. See our dessert and wine pairing recommendations.

Chocolate Raspberry Tart. Raspberry curd, atop a slim layer of chocolate ganache in a chocolate shell, creates a taste sensation akin to a raspberry bonbon (see photo at on Page 1). The shell, soft and cakey, is a lovely counterpoint to the silky curd.

Lemon Tart
Pucker up: You’ll enjoy this Lemon Tart.

You can garnish this tart simply, with a bit of crème fraîche or a few raspberries; with a raspberry coulis; or with chocolate curls (see instructions). This and the Chocolate Tart above are the universal crowd pleasers, regardless of the sophistication level of the audience. Enjoy this raspberry and chocolate combination with a glass of dessert wine, such as a Late Harvest Gewürtztraminer or a fortified Muscat.

Macadamia Nut Tart
Our idea of the perfect Big Mac: A lovely macadamia tart with brown sugar and a hint of maple syrup.

Lemon Tart. We prefer lemon to chocolate desserts these days, and this zesty Lemon Tart (see photo above) has our heart. A dab of mascarpone is a rich alternative to whipped cream, and a garnish of candied lemon peel is glorious. Here, it’s garnished with lemon peel and seasonal berries, but if there’s nothing good in the market, a fruit coulis made from frozen berries works fine—or candied lemon peel. In the photo at right, it’s served with an after dinner drink of Sambuca, dotted with whole coffee beans. To pair with a dessert wine, choose a Muscats such as a Beaumes de Venise or a California Muscat like Bonny Doon.

Macadamia Nut Tart. Nuts for macadamias? Serve this buttery treat made with brown sugar and maple syrup. It’s like pecan pie but with macadamias, and not as sweet or gooey—garnished with chopped macadamia nuts, vanilla ice cream, or if you’re really sweet-toothed, some chocolate or caramel sauce. And, check out the flavored whipped cream recipes that Daphne created for this tart.

The nutty flavors go well with a old sweet Oloroso Sherry or a Malmsey Madeira—both and nutty in aroma. Sciacchetra, a rare wine from northern Italy near Genoa, also works. Or try a nutty liqueur such as Amaretto (almond), Frangelico (hazelnut) or Nocello (walnut). We’ve never come across a bottle, but there’s a Kahana Royale Macadamia Nut Liqueur.

Continue To Page 3: More Fruit Tarts

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