Have you taken a cooking class or watched cooking demonstrations in the past? As a lover of everything food related, I have seen and attended my share of them. I love being able to watch a professional at work, and if I can pick up a few tricks of the trade along the way, I’m thrilled. Being able to apply new knowledge and gain confidence in the kitchen is a wonderful thing.
On Friday I had the pleasure of attending a class at William Dean Chocolates. It was a French Tarts class, led by Chef Tim Brown. My fellow attendees and I were treated to Chef Tim’s humor, his expertise, and (of course) his tart recipe repertoire! By the time the 4 hour class was complete, I was armed with the knowledge to create 5 different tarts from start to finish.
I love being able to learn new tricks to apply in my home kitchen! Do you know how to extract the most vanilla out of a bean? How about the various ways to zest a lemon?
One of the tarts created in the class was a poached pear tart with Frangipane (almond based filling) and a Almond Sable crust. After smelling the intoxicating aroma of the pears as they poached in the mixture of sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon, white wine, and water, I instantly knew I had to add this to my to-do list for an at-home dessert.
And how insanely pretty do those pears look perched on top of the tart? They are rustic, glistening perfection, in my opinion.
How about a tangy lemon curd tart? Topped with toasted meringue, perhaps? I was mistakenly under the impression that lemon curd got its yellow coloring from the lemons; it’s actually the egg yolks in the curd that create the bright hue! See? I’m always learning something new. This curd in particular was the perfect blend of tart and sweet.
I watched in awe as Chef Tim assembled the various tarts in front of our class. He made it look so easy, and after observing him, I think I may just be brave enough to make an attempt at home.
I’m not sure that the beautiful white chocolate piping on the salted chocolate tarts with chocolate ganache would look as pretty coming from me, but I am quite confident I could create some bright and beautiful fruit tarts with pastry cream. Aren’t they stunning? Almost too pretty to eat. Almost…
What I really enjoyed about the tarts class was realizing these tiny treasures look intimidating and make an impressive presentation at the table, but they can actually be very simple to construct.
My favorite tart of the class happened to be the rustic fruit tarts. They were crafted with puff pastry, filled with brown butter and cherries macerated in Amaretto, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and baked until golden brown. I absolutely, 100%, without a doubt will be making these soon!
All in all, I would highly recommend checking out the calendar of classes William Dean Chocolates offers if you live in the Tampa area. They are fun, informative, and you are sure to learn something new! And if a class isn’t up your alley, I definitely suggest you stop in to their shop and purchase an assortment of their chocolates, macarons, pate de fruit, and other confections (plus you can get a glimpse of the gorgeous chandelier in their lobby area). You won’t be sorry.
So tell me: which tart would YOU like to try?
Thanks again to William Dean Chocolates for hosting such an amazing class last week!