Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kuidaore's Eric Kayser's Matcha Tart

Being utterly in lust with Kuidaore's website for now, my eyes very nearly popped when I saw Kuidaore's take on Eric Kayer's Matcha Tart. Her rectangular fluted pie tin, her little fluted leaf molds, her presentation of the most perfect financier I've seen to date. I knew I had to make this soonest possible.

The other thing that got me salivating was the way J described the financier. It is also the first time I've read the words 'closely knit crumb'. I do understand the word, but the moment that was used to describe the base, there could be no disillusionment of how the base should be. Closely knit also indicates that this would be is a heavy cake-like base, much like the butter laden Pound Cake. And I would say a clean crisp tea would go great as an accompaniment.

I went around hunting for her rectangular fluted tin and was extremely disappointed. It seems pie tins have to be circular in shape and I had an even tougher time searching for a fluted leaf mold. Determined as I was, I went ahead with a rather large and oaf-ish square cake tin that had large curvy sides and decided I could wait no longer. I had to make Eric Kayser's Matcha Tart. I am glad that I did.
I halved the mixture except for the key catalysts such as the salt and the Matcha. Whilst using the 10 egg whites as dictated by the original recipe, seemed like a good way to please any cholesterol-laden body, it would also mean the risk of an imminent cardiac arrest, as well as having to decide on near-future recipes utilizing all 16 yolks. And because I tend to bake more whenever I'm stressed, I already had 6 yolks, eagerly anticipating their fate, in deep freeze. In addition, I didn't have a vanilla bean on hand so after preparing the beurre noisette, I added a generous splosh of good vanilla extract and left the browned butter to cool.

I love everything about the financier. The moist yet clean taste of matcha sans the bitterness. The hints of sweetness in the cake, especially the now much-longed 'closely knit crumb'. And as hard as this is to fathom, seeing how I am terribly intolerant of sour tarty foods, I even love the way it's paired with the crisp tart raspberries. Again, the pairing of raspberries instead of red currents, was decided by J. I was just following her flog, in a semi-lust trance.

I wanted to experiment a little, so I decided to use up the remainder of my Japanese Champagne grapes for the other half of the cake. Aesthetically, I'm sure the grapes didn't do much for my picture. As for taste, I think the grapes would taste better had they been peeled but sitting around for half a day, peeling grape by grape, is just too much for a good picture, even for me. Moreover, I was pretty sure, adding peeled grapes would just quicken the deterioration of the base without refrigeration, in our humid weather.

Aside from a few scrunched up shocked faces in the morning, almost every colleague who tasted this, loved it minus the tarty raspberries. More importantly, this financier got the approval of Dad, who doesn't have as sweet a tooth as most of my colleagues.

In retrospect, I did a little flip through of Eric Kayser's Sweet and Savoury Tarts and as much as I dislike sounding like a crazed Kuidaore fan, J's pic of the Matcha Tart actually looks waaaay better than the one in Eric Kayser's book!

But J is right on one count, "it's one of those effortless recipes requiring labour no more arduous than some unhurried stirring". Simple enough an investment for a resounding Wow! on returns. This is going to be a keeper in my books, times when I am too lazy to make anything for a house party or pot luck but am obliged to nonetheless.I will be experimenting a little on the flavouring. I see futures of lemon zest, orange, and perhaps even earl grey if it can withstand the heat from the aromatic beurre noisette. Mmmm...!

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