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    La Belle Cuisine - Cookbooks

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


"No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook
in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice
and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers."

~ Laurie Colwin


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 Chocolat Suchard
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 The Lemon Bowl
The Lemon Bowl
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Etienne, Suzanne
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Other nominees in this category:

The Art of the Cake: Modern French Baking and Decorating icon







Room for Dessert: 110 Recipes for Cakes, Custards, Souffles, Tarts, Pies, Cobblers, Sorbets, Sherbets, Ice Creams, Cookies, Candies, and Cordials icon







The 1999 IACP Award Winner - Bread, Other Baking
and Sweets Category

Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers icon

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Art Print

Wood, Catherine
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IACP Award Winner

Bread, Other Baking and Sweets

(Cookbooks that focus on desserts, confections, and
sweet or savory pastries or doughs)


Simply Sensational Desserts:
140 Classics for the Home Baker from
New York's Famous Patisserie and Bistro

François Payard, Tim Moriarty, Tish Boyle,
1999, Random House, Inc.


"Baking is such a precise discipline that many baking books read like lab texts.
Simply Sensational Desserts. François Payard introduces every one of
his cakes, tarts, or soufflés as though it were a dear friend."

~ Irene Sax

Irene Sax is the Epicurious cookbook reviewer, in addition to being restaurant reviewer for the New York Daily News. We respect her opinion tremendously,
and have appreciated her words of wisdom over the years in Gourmet, Bon
, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living,
and New York magazine. In 1995,
she was named food editor of the year by the James Beard Foundation.  


Warm Chocolate Tart

"I have made this amazing tart in every restaurant where I've worked and
it never fails to sell out. It is very simple to make. The filling is like a
ganache, but the egg adds some air. The rich chocolate creaminess of
the tart, the chewiness of the dough, and then the temperature and
flavor jolt of vanilla ice cream against the warm tart explain why this
is so popular. You can serve it warm or cold, but I recommend warm -
make it up a day ahead of time, then just warm it up again in a
low oven."

 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup (174 grams) heavy cream
1/2 cup (121 grams) whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
One 9 1/2-inch tart shell made from Sweet Tart Dough
(recipe follows), prebaked

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the cream and milk in a medium saucepan, and bring to a
boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream mixture over the choc-
olate. Allow to stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate, then
whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is
smooth. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Whisk the egg into the chocolate mixture. Pour the filling into the pre-baked tart shell.
5. Bake the tart for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the filling are set;
the center will be soft. Cool the tart on a wire rack for 10 minutes and
serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Lemon Tart

"Pastry chefs sometimes tend to make things too complex, and this perfect,
perfectly simple lemon tart is evidence. When I first started making it, both
customers and staff agreed that it was better than the labor-intensive tart we
were serving in the shop at the time. And some chefs are afraid of tartness.
But when people want lemon, they don't want to eat a bowl of sugar. With this
tart, you taste the lemon. It is perfectly balanced between the sweet and sour.
You want the richness of the lemon without it being too acid, and the rich
buttery crust cuts the acidity too.
Most lemon tart recipes are made with lemon curd, which involves a lot of
cooking, but this is a streamlined version. The filling is a variation of flan,
the Spanish custard. The tart shell can be made the day before, and so can
the filling, but they should be stored separately."

Special Equipment:
Channel Knife

Grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (112 grams) of sugar
3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter,
cut into 1/2-inch pieces
One 9 and 1/2-inch tart shell made from
Sweet Tart Dough, prebaked
(recipe follows)

1 lemon
1/4 cup (60 grams) Apricot Glaze
Mint leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Fill a medium saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a simmer. Put the zest and lemon juice in a medium bowl and whisk in the eggs.
Add the sugar and butter and place the bowl over the simmering water;
the water must not touch the bottom of the bowl. Cook, whisking con-
stantly until the butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove the bowl from the pan of hot water and allow the mixture to
cool for 15 minutes.
3. Place the prebaked tart shell on a baking sheet. Pour the filling into the shell and bake the tart for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the center is just set.
Cool the tart completely on a wire rack.
4. Make the garnish: Using a channel knife, cut lengthwise grooves in
the lemon, removing six strips of rind. Cut a crosswise slice from the
center of the lemon and place it in the center of the tart. Slice the re-
maining lemon halves lengthwise in half and then cut the sections into
half-moons. Arrange the slices around the edge of the tart with the cut
sides out.
5. If necessary, rewarm the apricot glaze over low heat or in the micro-
wave. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the tart with the
warm apricot glaze. Garnish with a few mint leaves.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Sweet Tart Dough

"This recipe for the rich, sweet short dough known as pâte sucrée is the only one you will need for the tarts in this book. In addition to its use as the pastry shell
for tarts and tartlets, pâte sucrée is frequently used in petits fours, for filled
cookies, and as a thin sweet crust under mousse desserts. This recipe makes
enough for two tart shells. You can freeze half for another time, or you can
roll out and shape both shells and freeze one of them, well wrapped, ready
to use."

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (122 grams) confectioners' sugar
13/4 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
9 tablespoons (127 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg

1. Sift together the confectioners' sugar, flour, and salt into a bowl.
2. Place the butter in a food processor and process until smooth, about
15 seconds. Scatter the flour mixture over the butter, add the egg, and
process just until the dough forms a mass; do not overmix. Turn the
dough out onto the counter and divide it in two. Shape each half into
a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up
to 24 hours. Half of the dough may be well wrapped and frozen for
up to 1 month.
3. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften.
Lightly butter two 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms.
4. Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Dust one of the discs lightly
with flour and, using a floured rolling pin, roll it out into a rough 12-
inch circle. Lift the dough often, making sure that the work surface
and dough are lightly floured at all times. Roll the dough up onto the
rolling pin and gently unroll it over one of the prepared tart pans.
Press the dough into the pan and roll the pin over the top to remove
the excess dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and tart pan.
Prick the bottom of the tart shells all over with a fork. Chill the tart
shells for 20 minutes. (The tart shells can be refrigerated for up
to 24 hours.)

To prebake the tart shells:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter two pieces of aluminum
foil large enough to generously line each tart pan. Line the tart shells with
the foil, buttered side down, and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake the tart shells for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and con-
tinue baking for 8 to 10 minutes longer, until evenly golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack.

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