Friday, 17 April 2009

Home sweet home

Have been back home for the last week or so which has been great - indulging in much-needed ly-ins, being treated to some homecooking and catching up with some friends. 

As I said before, I managed to borrow Ma Chan's kitchen for the day and squeeze in a little baking practice - a first attempt at madeleines (and testing out the cute silicone mini-moulds which I bought from Mora). They're pretty easy to make but I was still very happy when they came out of the oven with the all-important "humps" and tasting nice!! I also tried to replicate that French classic, tarte aux pommes at home with mixed success. As is so often with pastry, get it wrong at the beginning and you're on a slippery slope.....thats what happened with my pâte brisée, think I didn't add enough water to it which meant a too-dry and harder dough to handle. What was by far the easiest pastry to handle back in lab turned out to be a crumbly nightmare in la cuisine de maman, aaaagh! I persevered and managed to finally shape it into a semi-respectable shape, put it into the fridge and started praying....the next obstacle was to make the apple compote for the base, note to self, use Bramley next time cos waiting for Golden Delicious to break down is worse than watching paint dry. 

After placing all the apples into the mould, I then had to bake the wretched thing - no timing guidance in my recipe book tho, our chef had helpfully written "bake until the edges of the apples have coloured slightly and the base of the tart should be well-cooked"....mmmm. Our oven at home was a little too hot which meant that the tart had to covered half-way through, checking the base of the tart was no easy task as my tart has started to leak as and in a fragile state.

The final verdict? It was OK except the shape looked awful (combo of pastry being too dry and delicate as well as me taking tart mould off too early which caused sides to collapse), lumpy glaze (know how to fix that now) and pastry being a little salty (weighing scales not sensitive enough). The main thing is that it is possible to replicate the same things here as I made in Paris which is encouraging :)  

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