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...


CanadianGrandma said...

Too bad it didn't taste that great...maybe it'll taste better after it sits for awhile. I do like your changes in the recipe.

Anonymous said...

I had the same experience with a cake/icing recipe from "what's cooking" magazine. It looked and sounded so good but I found the cake too spicy (it was a carrot pumpkin cake) and the icing had a very odd texture. Very disappointed. Thankfully I have a husband who will pretty much eat anything sweet.


Anonymous said...

I loved it!