Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Judging a Recipe by Its Magazine Photo is Like Judging a Book by Its Cover

A month or so ago I saw a recipe for a delicious looking "tart" in a Martha Stewart magazine.

The recipe looked complicated (to me) and included lots of unhealthy ingredients like sugar, whipping cream, chocolate, and peanut butter... and even an ingredient I had never tried before - creme fraiche ("Crème fraiche is a delicious, thinner form of sour cream first developed by the French. It has a slight hold and tanginess because it contains bacterial cultures. But the amounts of cultures are minimal as compared to those in sour cream. Crème fraiche can be used as a topping, in sauces, or in a variety of other applications, and many prefer it to the standard and more commonly available sour cream because of its creamy texture.")

But it looked absolutely wonderful! I can't pass up a combination of caramel and chocolate. It reminded me of a ramped up version of Peanut Butter Pie (a family favorite).

I put away the magazine but came across it again last week. And this time I decided that I was going to try and make it.

I easily found the creme fraiche at Trader Joe's but could not find the chocolate wafers - so I ended up using a pre-made Oreo-crust pie pan. Other than that I pretty much followed the recipe - even using heavy cream for the mousse and full-fat cream cheese (usually on the Peanut Butter Pie I use fat-free Cool Whip and reduced fat cream cheese).

This afternoon the girl and I put together Martha's Peanut, Caramel and Chocolate Tart. It was pretty simple - but I don't really like recipes with multiple steps.

Now the tart (I'd call it a pie) is still in the fridge cooling - but of course I had to have a taste and you know what? I don't really care for it :( I tend to think something is going to be wonderful when the name Martha Stewart is attached to it...but I think next time I'll just stick to Aunt Jackie's Peanut Butter Pie.

Sometimes simpler is better.

Now if I was to try this recipe again, these are the changes I would make:

- I'd use Aldi caramel sauce rather than make it - I did not like the sourness that the creme fraiche added (and either add zero peanuts or break the peanuts into small bits)
-I'd use my traditional Peanut Butter Pie filling for the mousse
-I'd use milk chocolate in the chocolate ganache rather than semi-sweet

I guess I'll have to see if the rest of the family likes it or not...