Guest Post: Engadiner Nut Tart
As a food lover, I am always curious what is it like to be a chef? What is it like to work in a professional kitchen? To tell you a secret, I always dream to have professional cooker, you know those really professional looking ones like this and this…! A really big and well equipped kitchen like one of those that you can see in the magazines will suit me well! Hmmmm, I am still waiting for the day to win a lottery!
Right, day dreaming aside. Today, I have something really interesting to share with you guys! I would like to introduce Chris, the man behind SugarHeadBlog. He is the Executive Pastry Chef at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. I have to say that I am thrilled to have an executive pastry chef as my guest. Chris told me that he has worked at Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur before. So, he knows a bit of Malaysian cuisine. I really want to thank Chris for his time. Let’s see what Chris has to share with us today!
I was much honored to receive an invitation from Leemei of My Cooking Hut to be a guest writer on her blog. Although occupying a full time job and running my own SugarHeadBlog, I gave this opportunity prime time of the highest priority.
Leemei was asking me to talk about my work as an Executive Pastry Chef. That is a difficult one since it is more like a life style than a job. Every other aspect of life is build around this, leaving very little time for anything else. I am taking care of three hotels at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, forty restaurants and bars! I have been working in many cities around the world like Oslo, Sydney, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo and Dubai. All in all 14 countries and every city had its own challenge.
Working in large kitchen has its advantage; one has all the equipment there is under the sun, all the ingredients from around the world, literally a phone call away. The drawback is the quantity and the attention to the detail, the individualism.
SugarHeadBlog was born due to my life long passion in taking pictures and combining this with my life style, being a Chef! Even though I have many cameras, different formats I tend to use my Panasonic Lumix for restaurant reviews and my Nikon D200 for food shots at home. Most of the shots are done with day light but at times I require shooting with flash, therefore using my Elinchrom mono blocks and Soft boxes.
As an Executive Pastry Chef I am every minute connected to food, sampled perhaps most delicious dishes from around the world and have many favorite foods. I therefore chose a dessert from my home country, Switzerland which is normally presented as a tart. Engadiner Nut Tart or in Romantsch; “Tuorta da nusch”.
I have changed slightly adjusted the basic ingredients and added some to transform this tart into a dessert to be served in a glass. As in all dishes and in particular to this; the basic ingredients need to be of the best quality. Chinese Walnuts is a big no-no; they look great but taste horrible. For the Brandy I used a Riesling, Chardonnay und Cabernet-Sauvignon Grappa, four times distilled from Austria.
Since I live and work in the Middle East I used Katayef do decorate this dessert. Nowadays this ingredient is easily available in the frozen section of super markets and is very versatile for home cooking!
Engadiner Nut Tart (Tuorta Da Nusch)
For the nut filling:
300g caster sugar
10g lemon juice
60g unsalted butter
100g double cream
2g fluer de sel
3g lemon zest
200g walnut kernel
For the crumble:
80g caster sugar
60g unsalted butter
10g baking powder
2g vanilla sugar
5g lemon zest
30g egg yolk
For the katayef décor:
100g Katayef, shredded dough
20g caster sugar
20g icing sugar for dusting
1. To make the nut filling: cook the sugar with honey and lemon juice to a dark brown caramel. Carefully add the soft butter, bring to a simmer. Add the walnut kernel, fleur de sel with the Grappa and last the Lemon zest. Bring all ingredients to a boil and pour into a dish to cool completely.
2. To make the crumble: sift the flour with baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and castor sugar and combine with butter. Add the lemon zest and egg yolk and rub to a crumble. Place on baking tray lined with was paper and bake at pre-heated oven of 180°Celsius for 16 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. To make katayef décor: form with some of the shredded dough a round nest and place into buttered muffin moulds. Tab with a water glass flat and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar and bake covered at 180°Celsius for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool before dusting with icing sugar.
4. To assemble: spoon some of the crumble on the bottom of the glass followed by the nut filling. Cover with the remaining crumble and decorate with a Katayef disk as décor.