Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Daring Bakers-Pecan Tarlets with Maple Mousse

It is that time of the month again, the 27th, and I am ready! This month's challenge was to create edible receptacles for the maple mousse we were given to try. I especially liked the recipes of this challenge because there is no gluten involved. Evelyne provided us with the recipe to make nut cups for the mousse, and I also tried a mini tart recipe I have had in my "to try" folder, which is also gluten free.

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at!

Evelyne, a Quebec native, gave us few suggestions for the "containers", one included bacon. I have to say, despite liking savory desserts I am also very traditional, and bacon is not something I have tried in desserts, I can't quite go there (can I also confess without offending anyone that I am not really fond of bacon?). She also gave us a recipe for nut cups which were super easy to make and tasted great....did I mention gluten free?

I decided to use two flavor combinations, maple/pecan/banana, and maple/coconut/lemon/blueberry. For the first combination I used pecans for the nut cups, sautéed some bananas with sugar, a little butter, and rum, and then topped the mousse with chocolate pecan dragées. For the coconut combination I made a Meyer lemon curd and used blueberries to balance the sweetness and add color.

I wish I remember where I found the recipe for the coconut tartlets, I normally write the source next to the title, not this time. I apologize to the author for not giving the credit. Both mixtures for the cups came together in no time, the only drawback is that the edges are not perfect, but I like rustic anyway.

For the recipes and to see other wonderful creations check out the daring bakers site here.

Coconut tartlets
3 egg whites
3 cups unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup sugar

Mix all the ingredients together. Press 1 inch balls into mini muffin pans sprayed with no-stick spray. You can use your fingers wet with water, or a mortar pestle if it fits the cups. I only made a third of this recipe and I got about 16 mini tartlets on a mini muffin mold.

Meyer Lemon Curd
adapted from Passion for Dessert

3 whole eggs
3 yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
Zest of two lemons
1.5 oz unsalted butter

Mix the eggs and the yolks with the sugar, add the juice and the zest, mix well. Cook on a double boiler until thickened. Add the butter, stir to melt, and refrigerate, covered. I only make a third of this recipe and it was enough for the 16 tartlets.

Chocolate Pecan Dragée

1/2 cup sugar
2 pounds pecans
2 tablespoons butter

Heat the nuts in a warm oven. Caramelize the sugar to a deep amber color, add the warm nuts, coat well, turn the flame off, and add the butter. Mix until all the butter is melted and the nuts are well coated. Spread on a silpat-lined pan and divide the nuts from one another, until they don't stick together any longer (wearing latex gloves helps with the heat). Cool completely and store in an air tight container. Warning, these are addictive!

Melt some 60% chocolate over a double boiler and pour just few tablespoons on the cooled pecans. With a spatula mix the nuts until well coated, and chill. Repeat this coating 8-10 times, mixing well after every chocolate addition to avoid the nuts to stick together. Once the nuts look uniformly coated dust with cocoa powder. The secret is only to add just a spoon full to two of chocolate every time to allow a very thin coat. By stirring the nuts while the chocolate cools you create a nice dull thin coat.

My notes:
* I sprayed the mini muffin pans with no stick spray and that worked well.
* To help press the nut and coconut mixture into the pan I used a marble pestle that was the right size, and kept dipping it in water to avoid sticking. If you don't have anything of the right side you could press them with your hand and wet finger tips.
* I baked the tartlets like the recipe suggested but ended up lowering the temperature quite a bit to allow the bottom to cook without burning the edges.
* Reading few posts of the other bakers in the DB forum I realized that the mousse was too sweet. I decided to cut down on the amount of maple syrup in the recipe to just a cup and withholding some of the gelatin. The amount of mousse was really large, and I had leftovers after filling the 16 mini tartlets.
* The nut bowl recipe made 16 or so mini tartlets.

This was a fun challenge and I loved to see all the amazing creations of other daring bakers. Thank you Evelyne for choosing this month's theme and thanks to Lis and Ivonne, the wonderful creators of this group that keeps us pushing deadlines and gives us the spark to try something new every month.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What gorgeous tartlets! You did a great job. I really love those pecan cups.



Simona said...

Your tartlets look very elegant, Laura.

Bobbie said...

Very nice

E.K.R said...

Sounds spectacular! I particularly love the carmelized banana on top of the maple mousse. Great job on the challenge. :)

kellypea said...

Nicely done! I had thought of doing a nut based cup and can't remember how I got off that track. I know it would taste so good with that yummy mousse :)

Laura said...

Thank you everyone!

If you haven't tried the tartlet base, please do, they are unbelievable and so easy to make.

Aparna said...

Love your tartlets. They look so pretty.

Lisa said...

Laura, wow, those pecan cups are phenomenal! Both flavors combos with the mousse look and sound amazing, but I think I'd like a dozen of the maple/banana/pecan. I'll take a a bunch of lemon, coconut, blueberry too :)

Julia @Mélanger said...

I really love what you have done for this challenge. Looks delicious. Sounded like a great challenge to be pretty creative, no?

Thanks for asking after Nina. She's doing great. She's now 7 1/2 months, pulling herself up, 'talking' constantly, and generally just being cute (well, most of the time - LOL!).

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