I mentioned in my last post that although I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, I'm still baking. What's really suffered from all the craziness of late is my blog. I've been making stuff. I've even taken pictures of a lot of it. But I've been having trouble writing--I just don't know where to start. I don't want to just put down a quick review of a recipe (though the occasional one-sentence post can be nice), so I haven't been writing anything at all. One thing that's really taken a hit is my Tuesdays with Dorie participation. Okay, I haven't really been keeping up with any of my baking groups, but TWD is the one I really feel bad about. So I'm trying to get back on track this month, actually writing some blog posts about the stuff I've made.
This week's recipe is Coffee Ice Cream Tart, chosen by Jessica of Domestic Deep Thought. Ice cream tart sounded yummy, but I had some problems. Number one, I don't like coffee ice cream. But Dorie gives options for other flavors, so that was okay. I recently made a batch of Vanilla Bourbon ice cream to test out my new Madagascar vanilla beans that I got from Beanilla. (I purchased them myself due to positive reviews from others; I have no connection to them.) The original recipe is for Double-Vanilla Bourbon ice cream, but I left out the vanilla extract so that the flavor of the vanilla bean would come through more. Next time I'll try with both bean and extract. I only used 2 tablespoons of bourbon, and was happy with that--I enjoyed the flavor, but it wasn't overpowering.
Issue number two, I wasn't excited about the crust. I don't like almonds all that much. I also heard from a number of people that they weren't that happy with the crust--that they found it hard to cut when frozen. So I decided to improvise. I only wanted a mini tart, and I had just enough dough left over from last week's cookies to make a 4 1/2" mini tart. Tia of Buttercream Barbie picked the Pecan Powder Puffs for last week. I made some of the cookies but didn't get a chance to post them, and I only baked one sheet, so I had leftover dough. I pressed the dough into my mini tart pan, and followed the recipe instructions for baking the tart shell.
Once the tart shell was cooled, I filled it with some of my vanilla ice cream. I covered the tart with plastic wrap, and stuck in in the freezer overnight. The next day, I mixed up a little ganache with some chocolate and cream, and drizzled it on top. I stuck the tart back in the freezer long enough to let the topping firm up. I tried to unmold the tart before cutting it, but couldn't get the tart ring to release. Once I cut a small piece, though, it came out with no problem.
The verdict? I'm happy with the tart, but it really isn't the tart in the recipe. =) I realized as I was looking back over the recipe that I was supposed to have a layer of chocolate under the ice cream. Oops. I'm actually not sorry that I skipped it, since I'm happy with the flavors of my tart. The bourbon and vanilla were good with the pecans and hint of cinnamon in the crust. The chocolate on top was far enough from the bit of cinnamon in the crust that it didn't bother me. (I'm not a fan of the chocolate/cinnamon combo.) I liked the texture of the crust--it held together in the pan, but wasn't too hard to cut with a fork.
If you'd like to try the real recipe for yourself, head over to Jessica's blog. And to see how everyone else interpreted this week's recipe, check out the Links.