Saturday, May 26, 2012
I think I took it a leetle too far.
Perhaps I should first give you the context to this very troubling tart.
Tango is a creation that can be found in the book Pierre Herme's Pastries, a riff of the classic linzer torte. It is made of a sesame tart base, parmesan mousse, raspberry and red bell pepper "jam" of sorts and topped with fresh raspberries.
I followed most of the recipe but I had to make an emergency swap of black sesame seeds for the intended white because I had none, and I omitted the jam, instead replacing it with... wait for it...
The red saucy stuff I shamelessly smother my fried chicken in, douse on top of countless fried eggs and spoon into my mouth when I think no one is looking. Yes. That ketchup.
I have no idea what in the word possessed me to make such a substitution. Maybe because it was also red and somewhat jammy. Or perhaps because the "jam" in the recipe had red bell peppers in it, and didn't require a lot of added sugar. I should have thought of the fact that raspberries already have natural sweetness in them besides tartness, and thus that does not necessitate the use of too much sugar. Which is why, using ketchup would be a very much less sweeter stand-in.
Luckily, I did not use too much of it. I spread only a meagre amount onto each tart base, so I did not have to cringe throughout eating the tart.
On hindsight, it was not just the ketchup which kind of made this tart off-putting. I felt that the parmesan mousse was way too cheesy and had too little sugar. It is absolutely unlike this cheddar cheese loaf I made last time, which had a near perfect balance of cheese to sugar that made you want to stick your fork in for more. And paired together with the ketchup, I was seriously wondering if I was eating dessert or a really strange appetizer.
The sesame tart crust further added a savoriness which threw me into a spiral of despair. How can one recipe go so horribly wrong? It's not a bad crust, in fact, on its own it would be a pretty darn good cracker, but I was missing the sugar!
It was the raspberries which saved the day. Finally, they supplied the sweetness I was looking for and made the tart so much more palatable.
I admit that this whole fiasco is partially my fault, with the big ketchup boo-boo and all, but I still have to say that that parmesan mousse and I, we have issues.