Tuesday, November 17, 2009

sunday giving, sunday grace

On Sunday, Julie and I had our box collection party for Operation Christmas Child.

If you measure success in bringing people together for a wonderful cause, sharing stories, laughter and good cheer, and a pile of shoe boxes full of goodies, then our "box collection party" was a great success.
We have such generous friends and family who put together beautiful gifts that will make wonderful surprises for the children who receive them.
So, thank you to my dear friends who generously gave of their time and spirit for this cause.

In order to show our gratitude, Julie and I put out a spread and gave everyone a gift.

We had a
give a box, take a box 

Each box was filled with cream scones and a bundle of tea
we also gave each person a jar of marmalade
so they could sit back, enjoy a bit of tea
and revel in their generosity
it was the least we could do

We also had a
please eat a lot 

I love German Chocolate Cake...but I also love pie. So, Tedesco Tart was born.
Tedesco Tart 
(printable recipe)
(tedesco is german in italian--how's that for complicated!)
1 recipe chocolate crust
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips--melted
1 recipe vanilla custard (or 2 boxes pudding if you are going rogue)
1 recipe coconut topping
1 recipe bittersweet chocolate ganache
Blind bake the chocolate crust in a tart tin at 325 until done.  Once it is cooled, spread melted milk chocolate in a thin layer over the entire bottom and up a bit of the sides.
Once the chocolate is cooled, pour cooled custard or pudding in the crust and spread evenly. Pour an even layer of ganache over the top and let firm up in the fridge.  Top with coconut topping.  Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving if a cold day. If a warm day, it will need less time to ease up.
Chocolate Crust
( from Claudia Flemming's "The Last Course")
1 cup unsalted butter--softened
1/2 cup + 1Tbs confectioner's sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
pinch of salt
In a mixer cream butter and sugar until just combined...you do not want to incorporate too much air in this.  Add yolks and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.  Mix all dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture.  Mix until just combined.  Pat into a circle and chill until firm, about 1 hour.  Roll out and fit into a 9" tart pan.  You will have excess dough. I like to have my crust a bit thicker than normal for this tart as it is holding a lot of stuff! But if you like a thinner crust, by all means, roll it thinner.
Vanilla Custard
2 1/2 cups whole milk
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 3 Tbs Cornstarch (i know it seems like a lot but this recipe needs to have a firm custard)

Heat the milk to just a simmer over low heat.  Meanwhile whisk together the yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Once the milk comes to a simmer, use it to temper the yolks.  Put the entire mixture back into the pot and on the stove over low heat. Use a whisk to whisk while the mixture begins to thicken.  You do not want to cook the eggs, but you do need the custard to thicken.  Once the mixture bubbles in the middle, and is a big thick mess, take it off the heat.  If you think you may have cooked the eggs, then run it through a sieve...if you are confident, then don't.  Pour mixture into a clean bowl and add the butter and vanilla.  Whisk until the butter is melted.  Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until cold. Or you can put the bowl over a bowl of ice and stir until it cools.
Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate (use 60% or higher)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
heat heavy cream to just a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let sit until chocolate begins to melt.  Stir until it becomes nice and glossy. Add vanilla. Let cool just a bit, but make sure it is still pouring consistency when you pour onto tart.
Coconut Topping
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
Place milk, sugar, yolks and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until thickens--about 15 minutes or so.. Keep an eye on it and stir frequently. Don't freak out if it looks like the eggs are cooking, because they will. It will also start to darken a bit.  Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans.  Let cool before placing on tart.

So, that is it.  Looks like a lot of work, but it isn't..it comes together nicely.  It's a great holiday dessert.


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