A Slice of Chocolate Tart… Featuring Tarte Du Jour…

Almost 10 months ago, I started this food blog with an intention of learning my grandma’s recipes, trying different recipes from my cookbook collection and venturing into the areas I had not been before. I figured, to keep things interesting and exciting, that I always needed a challenge so that a hobby like this does not fall into sideways.

But, as some of you might relate, the “life off-line” takes the front seat very often… when I have only one day, and sometimes only hours to fiddle with a recipe, cook, take pictures and post,  I go with the recipes that are within my abilities, tried-and-true and foolproof.

But what about the things I have never done before? I have started to feel very bad about not pushing myself. On top of this, I have been also feeling guilty! I visit the sites of many talented food bloggers during the week and take mental notes about which recipes I want to make, then leave a comment saying that “I will definitely try this!”. Please believe me that I am really sincere when I say that. Guess what:  I have only made one recipe in 10 months! Shame on me!

Well, the change is here, people! It is May resolution! I am going to kill two birds with one stone… I will take my weak, “improvement needed”, or “never tried before” kitchen topics, and find some experts in the blogging world. And I will try one of your recipes to learn a new skill and also try your delicious looking recipe, feature you here as my mentor :)

A little confession: In my 35-year,  I have never made a tart or a pie (not counting one  sorry soggy apple pie that nobody could eat 5 years ago), roasted a whole chicken or turkey, poached an egg, made Hollandaise sauce, cooked whole artichoke, deboned a chicken, made icecream, done any pickling or canning, or made mayonnaise from scratch ? I am sure there are a lot more that I can not think of right now!

Tart dough has always scared me because of the “you-have-work-really-quick-with-cold-butter-or else-you-are-doomed” line in the instructions. But this weekend, I decided to make a tart after I read this blog thoroughly: Please meet Lisa, from Tarte Du Jour, my tart mentor! A blog that has many delicious sweet and savory tarts! I have read almost all her posts from the beginning and I had decided that I wanted to make them all! But with her calm approach, she suggested that I should start with tarte au chocolat or tarte au citron, and see how it goes! Of course, I picked the chocolate one.

You can visit her page for the complete instructions, or some other tart that might strike your fancy. Seriously, she has a way with the tart dough. I had the first time jitters when I was rolling out the dough. Also burned myself quite a bit, not knowing how to handle a smoking hot tart pan, since the bottom is not secured. But I was very proud of my little food processor when it was able to handle a tart dough! The filling is very rich and the only difference I made was to omit the cashews in the ingredients and put hazelnuts on top. And I could have cooked the dough a tad bit longer, I think my oven takes longer to cook for some reason. Lisa, please let me know what to improve now as I am sure you can spot my mistakes from the photos. Tart crust needs little bit more baking, right?

After a long weekend, this tastes like accomplishment… Now I have to find my next weak spot! It is going to be fun! Please email me or leave a comment if you have mastered a particular niche that you think I should add to my repertoire. I would be happy to add to my list!

18 Comments:

  1. by Lisa @ Tarte du Jour
    10:46 am
    May 16, 2011

    Wow! It looks fabulous!!! I’m so impressed especially since you said that you had not made a tart before. From the appearance of the photo, I think I do cook my crusts a little more… they are usually a golden brown.
    I need to do what you are doing and get out of my comfort zone a little more too. I think we all tend to get in a rut now and then.
    This is a fabulous post and I’m honored that you picked one on my tarts to make. Thank you!! That is truly a beautiful tart!!

  2. by All That I'm Eating
    3:08 pm
    May 16, 2011

    I know exactly what you mean about not challenging myself. Also, I have made very few tarts and I wish it was something I was better at. On top of this, my boyfriend just looked over my shoulder and said how nice this looks so I now have no choice but to make a chocolate tart!
    We shall see how it goes…

  3. by Lell Trogdon
    5:40 pm
    May 16, 2011

    Thanks for your lovely blog and your beautiful pictures. I don’t know how you ever make time in your busy life so pat yourself on the back! When I get bogged down with the pressure of professional cooking I go to your blog to remind me why I love to be in my own kitchen making simple meals for the people I adore. I have 10 beautiful whole Baucom’s Best chickens in my freezer and it is time you learned to roast a whole bird! It is one of my favorite cooking lessons and gives you a whole range of great dinners and lunches for the week. When I get moved to RH I want to share that project with you!
    Let’s hope we get kitchen time together on my day off soon!

  4. by Ilke
    6:17 pm
    May 16, 2011

    @ Lisa… Yes, needs more baking… And I do not think I will stop with this chocolate tart, you have so many beautiful tarts to try!
    @ Caroline, Let me know how it goes :) Just have fun with it!

    @ Lell… I would love that! I am anxiously waiting for you to move here to hang out on your days off , because I miss all the fun (AKA cranberry scones and soup of the day) during the day due to work!

  5. by Leigh
    9:07 pm
    May 16, 2011

    Wow, for a first attempt you did an exceptional job – well done. Looks delicious!

  6. by Xiaolu
    3:13 pm
    May 17, 2011

    Mmm this looks delicious! What a lovely tart =D

  7. by Tanvi@SinfullySpicy
    5:00 pm
    May 17, 2011

    I have never made a tart or pie either.And there are endless things which I could count.This tart looks awesome. I end up eating the tart crust first and leaving the filling all the time :) But chocolate filling fab!

  8. by Peggy
    5:14 pm
    May 17, 2011

    For your first tart, you look like a pro! I’d definitely be interested in a slice of this =)

  9. by Geni
    8:50 pm
    May 17, 2011

    Your tarts looks like perfection! Oh, so creamy and chocolatey and DIVINE! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Wish we could have a Retriever play date. Mine loves to play with other dogs!

  10. by Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking
    9:41 pm
    May 17, 2011

    What an incredible looking chocolate torte, Ilke! It looks so chocolatey and tasty, and delicious! Thanks for sharing and also, thank you for stopping by my blog. :) Have a great evening.

  11. by Drick
    9:50 pm
    May 17, 2011

    shame on you, for not venturing into tarts before, or boudin balls or whatever else you desire… actually, there are far more foods I have not delved into either and it’s all okay, right… the best thing is that you did make a fantastic tart and you did the boudin balls as you said, now I have never done the conch, that’s not in from my repertoire … that’s the beauty of learning and visiting sites like Lisa’s…

  12. by Christy
    2:30 am
    May 18, 2011

    Wow, you’re definitely better than me, at least you have baked something and it looks fantastic!:) I have never baked at all :p

  13. by rebecca
    5:25 am
    May 18, 2011

    wow way to go looks amazing and professional and I love Turkey went to Istanbul a few years ago your right seafood is amazing there, liked you on facebook too your blog rocks
    Rebecca

  14. by Ilke
    6:14 am
    May 18, 2011

    Thank you so much Rebecca!

  15. by Angie@Angiesrecipes
    6:28 am
    May 18, 2011

    I am in need of one large slice now! It looks stunning!

  16. by Mary
    9:12 pm
    May 18, 2011

    What a wonderful first effort. You’ll be teaching the rest of us in a few weeks. Have a great evening. Blessings…Mary

  17. by Shelley
    2:39 pm
    May 20, 2011

    Your tart looks fantastic! Welcome to a whole new world. I love anything you can put in a tart shell- both sweet and savory. P.S. I haven’t made quite a few things on that list either. Don’t feel bad!

  18. by Kristi Rimkus
    12:55 am
    May 21, 2011

    I can relate to what you say about not challenging yourself, it’s easy to stay in my comfort zone. Your tart looks amazing. I’m so impressed with your food pictures too! I’m inspired to take on a few challenges myself.

    Kristi

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