Saturday, November 27, 2010


Some exciting news for our loyal blog readers out there - both Erica and I successfully tackled the California Bar Exam and can now proudly add some new letters to our signatures. Such a relief to have that done with!

I would like to report that this month's challenge was worthy of our celebration. But it was not meant to be. The gap between what we were expecting and the end result was possibly the largest it has ever been - and not in the right direction. :-(

In theory, our Crostata should have been delectable. I tracked down some black mission figs, some triple creme brie, and some organic honey, thinking that we'd add a touch of savory/sweet to the traditional pastry creme. I made the dough early in the day, and on bringing it over to Erica's house, proclaimed it "the best dough I had ever tasted." The pastry creme set up right, and we popped it into Erica's oven to toast to a golden brown (we added the toppings later - frequent followers know the reason why...).

Sadly, however, Erica's oven has a wee bit of a temper, and apparently we weren't showing it enough love. When we checked it eight minutes early, the top was a crisp. Since it was no longer shaking, we pulled it out, thinking the extra heat had cooked it through.

The highlight of this challenge was probably our aesthetic prowess - for once, I can say that this actually looked better than it tasted. That wasn't a high bar, but the brie and fig lattice crust was quite pretty, and a drizzle of honey added a warm glow.

But, man, in case anyone ever offers you undercooked pastry creme, please turn it down. A gloppy, raw mess was in store for us, and I imagine that most of this ended up in the garbage. I'd like to say we tried again, but the results were just too disappointing. Perhaps the sting of defeat will lessen with time, and we'll try again another time. Until then, we'll just relish our non-gustatory victories...

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.