Monday, January 11, 2010

Creole Tart?

My Creole Tart with Toasted Coconut

I am a little confused by the name, "Creole Tart" for this dessert, I kinda understand the difference between Creole and Cajun, but why would a tart with coconut mousse, cake soaked with Malibu rum and topped with Italian meringue and fresh pineapple be called "Creole"?  Please comment if you have any clue.
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Yum - Dessert for Breakfast

The demonstration by Chef JJ went beautifully - he made the Creole Tart and an Apple Clafoutis Tart.  The Apple tart was delicious - just the thing for a cold winter's morning - it was still dark when I arrived at school at 8:30. I am not a huge fan of mousse with coconut flakes, I think mousses should always be smooth without any extra textures, so when I made mine, I toasted the coconut instead, and used it for decoration.   Remember, the chefs never taste the desserts, so I didn't get caught making changes to the recipe.   I haven't pawned off any of it to my unsuspecting neighbors, but I will tomorrow, just to empty out my cake tupperware for Thursday's practical.  I think we are making a Yule log - probably pistachio-flavored.  Chef JJ rarely lets one class go by without a little pistachio panache.

Chef JJ at work with the torch - one of his favorite kitchen tools

It is very quiet without the boys in the kitchen - they are all in the other group for practicals.  Skip the rest of the paragraph if you are offended by R-rated language.  One of the boys says "Motherfucker" constantly.  Not in a mean way or directed at a person, just like someone else might say, "Darn, I added too much sugar," he will say, "Motherfucker, I put too much goddamn egg in that shit, motherfucker."   To give you a better idea, he has a loud voice (louder than me, if you can believe that) and an Indian accent.  For some reason, it just makes me laugh to hear him, and now I kinda miss it.

OK, back to the PG-rated portion of this post.  We started with a pate sucree - simple sugar dough, pretty fragile though, so it took me two tries to get it in the tart ring, and even then, I had a little hole to patch - with Chef JJ's help.  Then, we filled the rings with plastic and baking beans to keep the edges straight while it baked.  Next, we made a quick pound cake (Genoise Savoie) for the interior of the tart.  Coconut mousse was next - coconut puree, sugar and water to add to gelatin and whipped cream.  I measured out my cream, and put the bowl with the whisk in the fridge to cool, so it would whip better, when Chef JJ told all of us to just add our cream to the bowl of the Kitchenaid mixer.  I almost fell over - finally we get to use a machine!  And I was the one who got to turn it on.  It was a special day indeed.  I

Here is Chef JJ's version of the Creole Tart

Chef JJ made the Italian meringue for all of us, that is standard, since it takes about 20 minutes in the huge mixer to be ready.  I added the whipped cream to the coconut mixture right away, instead of waiting for the tart to be ready, so I was worried that it might congeal, so I just kept stirring it, and it worked out just fine, phew. After a few minutes in the blast freezer to cool, the tart is now ready to be assembled.  I pipe coconut mousse into the ring, sprinkle some julienned pineapple, center the genoise, more mousse and then the meringue for the top, burned with the torch.  Of course I added my own toasted coconut flakes for decoration, and a nice crunch.  There wasn't quite enough meringue to do exactly what I wanted, but I think it turned out very nicely.  Nice enough to earn a "pas mal" from the chef.

On a very happy note, the tub is now unclogged and I can take a much needed shower!  


  1. It is beautiful! Toasted coconut is the way to go. I have never heard of this dessert but love the way it looks.

  2. Sarah - I adore your blog. This was a most appealing dessert to me.
    I have stayed in the apartment you are in, and I love the crazy neighborhood of Barbes.
    My kids and I read your blog and love it - what a great adventure you've had, so sorry it's coming to an end. I envy you terribly! Best of luck to you.

  3. Hi Sarah,
    It is Emel, the turkish girl from LCB. By chance I found your blog. I am so happy to read it.
    Such a nice blog...Felicition ma chere...
    hope to see you again somehow somewhere...


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