May 31, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Tart

I wish I could sit here, on the brink of summer berry season, and wax on about the jams, pies, and tarts that will soon be finding their way to us. Truth is, I'd much rather have an apple than a piece of apple pie. A good bowl of blueberries splashed with cream can't be beat (especially when you smash the berries with the back of your spoon and infuse the cream with berry juice).

But when it comes to dessert, I go for the chocolate.

Which is why, on the last weekend of May, when the local rhubarb could have been transformed into any number of things, I decided to make Amanda Hesser's chocolate caramel tart. You wouldn't believe, but the showstopper here is neither the chocolate or the caramel. It's the sea salt--those flecks of goodness you see sprinkled above. I would even argue it makes chocolate a bit more summery, brightening up the flavor and adding some life.

Life-enhancing salt aside, below is what I got for taking these photos too close to my fiances desk, who looked over and noticed the tart had a 'smile' and proceeded to poke his finger in two times so 'it' could have eyes too.


We were high on sunshine; I guess I don't blame him. (If you scroll back up to the first photo, you'll likely see the cracking smile that he saw, too.) Here's to a summer full of smiles--and chocolate!

May 15, 2011

Yes (!)

Andrei proposed last Sunday, and I said yes. It really does call for an exclamation point, which is normally used judiciously around here. But I think we can make an exception this time, so let's try it again.

I said yes!

What else can I say except that I'm blissfully happy with the lot life has handed me. Especially since that lot currently involves rhubarb (and obvs the aforementioned engagement). Since an engagement can last half a year and rhubarb season a brief month, I made a tart from Florence Fabricant's New York Times Dessert Cookbook, which also contains wickedly good boozy cakes that have proven to be great conversation starters at office parties.

As is true with relationships, jobs, and even tarts--nothing happens overnight and the things that are really worth the effort certainly take more of it than we sometimes thought ourselves capable of. But then we find ourselves capable and are reminded of the strength in ourselves and others.