How should you garnish your tarts? Choose among the groups below. You can combine several groups—cream/fruit/herb, sauce/fruit/herb, etc. Just don’t overdo it. If you like garnishing your foods, see our article on Garnish Glamour.
Confection Garnish: Candied lemon peel or orange peel (plain or chocolate-covered), chocolate curls, crystallized ginger and other confections can add excitement to the plate. Look for candied flower petals, even bonbons from your favorite chocolatier that complement the tart—for example, a lemon cream chocolate with the lemon tart.
Grab a vegetable peeler and shave a block of chocolate.
To Make Chocolate Curls
It’s easy to make fancy chocolate curls to garnish your plates—and unlike the mint leaves, guests will enjoy eating this garnish.
- Start with an 8-ounce block of semisweet chocolate (you’ll need to get this from a specialty store, or your local bakery may be able to sell you one). You can shave smaller chocolate bars for hot chocolate or cupcake decor, but for large curls you need a larger, flat surface, without any score marks.
- Place the block on a plate in a warm place for an hour, so it will slightly soften (try a sunny window sill, the stove top (but not on a burner) or other warm appliance.
- To create curls, drag a vegetable peeler from top to bottom in one strong motion.
- Keep curls on a sheet of foil in the refrigerator until ready to plate; or if for use on another day, freeze for up to one month.
Cream Garnish: Crème fraîche, mascarpone, ice cream, whipped cream (unsweetened [best for very sweet desserts], lightly sweetened, flavored). See Daphne’s flavored whipped cream recipes. Pick just one from this group. A scoop of ice cream plus whipped cream on top of another dessert is overkill.
Fruit Garnish: Berries, star fruit and any compatible fruit can be used as garnish. Also look at berries—blueberries, strawberries—which can be scattered on the plate, or soaked in brandy or liqueur. See also Sauce, below. Fruit can be used in tandem with any other item on this list.
Herb Garnish: Mint, basil, rosemary sprigs. Its purpose is not to be eaten, but to add green color and design to the plate. Can be used in tandem with any other item on this list.
Nut Garnish: Sprinkle chopped nuts on the plate. Can be used in tandem with other items on this list, except sauces.
Sauce Garnish: For chocolate or nut flavors, chocolate or caramel sauce; for chocolate and fruit flavors, fruit coulis (puréed and strained fruit sauce). For Pumpkin Tart, a hard sauce.
Spice Garnish: Cinnamon sticks (see photo above), cloves or grate nutmeg for the Pumpkin Tart. The first two are for visual appeal, not to be eaten. Spices can be used with other flavors, of course, but are more appropriate to Pumpkin Tart, where fruit doesn’t pair particularly well.
You can heat the tarts in a 250°F oven for 20 minutes or microwave for about 20 seconds; we liked ours at room temperature. Try it both ways to see which you prefer.
Now it’s easy to indulge yourself and your guests. Go ahead!
DAPHNE BAKING COMPANY TARTS
Chocolate, Lemon, Macadamia Nut, Passionfruit, Pumpkin, Unfilled, Raspberry
- 12 Three-Inch Tarts
(Six Boxes, One Flavor)
Purchase online* at DaphneBaking.com
*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them. Purchase information is provided as a reader convenience.
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