A New Years Tart

Celebration.  Smiles.  Awe.

There are just some of the words  I hope to inspire in people with my baked goods.  This tart accomplished each one of them and even more.

My parents and I usually enjoy having a lovely dinner on New Years eve, but given time constraints, our meal generally ends up being more slap-dash than five star.  I need to get ready for going out and my parents are rushing about to finish up a few last tasks in the old year.

I nearly didn’t make this tart because of the dwindling time.  On the 30th, I was still franctically thumbing through my cookbooks, debating what would be the most new years worthy dessert.  I wanted something exciting.  I wanted something that would be a challenge.  Suddenly, flipping through my mother’s copy of Paris Sweets for the thousandth time, I saw it.

The coffee tart from Pierre Herme.  Instantly, I knew it would be the perfect challenge to round out 2011 with.

Although there are many steps, none of them were particularly difficult.  The recipe calls for store-bought ladyfingers, but I decided to make my own, because, well, why not.  I used the recipe from my new Le Cordon Bleu Dessert Techniques and enjoyed some of the loveliest ladyfingers I’ve ever had in my life.  Who knew they could taste like something other than disintegrating cardboard?

Dore Greenspan describes this tart as an exceptional medley of textures that display a singular flavor and I couldn’t agree more.  With each bite, you taste both the coffee as well as the three different layers.  The white chocolate coffee ganache, espresso soaked ladyfingers and a coffee whipped cream all come together to describe what coffee tastes like.

It’s sophisiticated, it’s fancy and yet there is something impossibly simple and almost effortless about it.  After making each layer, I didn’t exactly have the desire to pipe out the coffee cream as recommended.  Personally, I preferred the simpler look of one smooth(ish) layer on top.  If I was to make this tart again, however, I would definitely choose to add a bit of a chocolate drizzle on top, just to take the appearance to the next level.

What did you do that was extraordinary this new years eve?

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