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Saturday, May 13, 2006
Bon Anniversaire - Tarte fine aux Asperges et aux Meilleur Chèvre Frais du Monde

[Happy Birthday - Fine Asparagus and Best-Goat-Cheese-in-the-World Tart]

My birthday was few weeks ago and as a foodie, i couldn't help but prepare the dinner myself.
Anyone would have been going to the caterer to order a 5-courses dinner. Or they would have bought a nice entremet from the finest pâtisserie.
But i had to make it. The starter, the main course and the dessert.
The most difficult part was to choose what to make.

Tarte fine aux Asperges et aux Meilleur Chèvre Frais du Monde

The choice of the starter has been quite simple: i knew i wanted to use both asparagus (May = lots of lovely asparagus) and fresh goat cheese.
I really had to use goat cheese simply because i did my second training period on a farm -- milking goats and making cheese.
Actually the cheese from this farm are said to be the best of the French Riviera and i can only agree with this.
Bruno, the nicest farmer in the world, takes care of his goats with love. He deeply loves nature and developped a great range of fresh and 'affinés' organic cheese. Indeed most of the best restaurants of Vence, St Paul... buy their cheese from la Ferme des Courmettes.
I mean, look at this cute goat baby. What's not to love?

La Ferme des Courmettes
06140 Tourettes sur Loup
Tel: 00.33.(0)

So you'll understand why i really wanted to use goat cheese -- i love good organic produce.

Tarte fine aux Asperges et aux Meilleur Chèvre Frais du Monde
Source: adapted from Martha Stewart's Asparagus Gruyère Tart
This tart is very easy to make and taste so good especially if you make your own puff pastry - which i always make, now.
Try to buy nice goat cheese from a local farmer instead of buying it from your local supermarket (though some good supermarket that have a great cheese counter, sell cheese from local farms).
The goat cheese should be 2-3 days old, as i think a fresher cheese would had more creaminess than taste.

Tarte fine aux Asperges et aux Meilleur Chèvre Frais du Monde
serves 6

15 green aspargus
400g puff-pastry (preferably homemade -- go on it's a doodle to make and highly rewarding)
a medium fresh cheese (around 6-7 cm in diameter + fanny: see note above)*
extra virgin oilve oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Trim the bottoms of the asparagus so they are about 20cm long and steam them for 10 minutes or until just tender.
Roll the puff pastry into a 25 x 40 cm square (4mm thick) and lightly score the pastry dough 3 cm in from the edges to mark a rectangle.
Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings.
Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pastry shell from oven.
Arrange the asparagus inside the tart shell, alternating ends and tips. Crumble the goat cheese over and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes and heat while still hot.

The main course was - Marinated scallops with Citrus Risotto, but sadly i wasn't able to take some pictures.


The choice of the dessert has been quite a pain actually. Ever since i bought my-now-favourite-cookbook-ever PH 10 i decided it was THE book i had to make a recipe from for my birthday.
I read it again and again and said to myself i should make something simple -- who loves to fall in tears on her/his birthday? -- yet delicate and tasty.

As May was called the official strawberry month by Bea, i thought it would be great to use them. And suddenly i stumbled across the perfect recipe: Symphonie.

Symphonie is basically:
- an almond dacquoise
- a cream cheese mousse
- a strawberry 'compote'
- some cream cheese mousse again

All of this being surrounded by a raspberry 'biscuit joconde' and topped with some fresh strawberries and 'miettes de streusel'.

I was very excited about the joconde biscuit as it was the first time i had to make it. It's amazing how many eggs are in this biscuit, but it's so good and looks rather good.
When i tasted the cream cheese mousse, i was quite scared that it would be a little too heavy, but i was wrong. The whole cake was delicious. Very classy and subtle and not too sweet.
Symphonie was very easy to make though a bit time consuming, but i think it was worth the try.

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18 sweets:
Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Joyeux anniversaire Fanny. Comme je suis de mai, en fait du 4! Et toi?
Qu'est-ce qu'il est beau ton gateau! Je donnerais pas mal pour en avoir une tranche, enfin deux! Et cette petite biquette, qu'est-ce qu'elle es mignonne. Quand j'etais petite, mes parents me disent que j'allais les embrasser! ;-) Comme toi, j'adore le fromage de chevre, et le frais, c'est divin!

13 May, 2006 23:38 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Oh my goodness !! Bon anniv à toi et puisse les Dieux des anniversaires m'apporter la même chose quand le mien arrivera. J'en reste bouche bée.

14 May, 2006 02:06 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Happy birthday Fanny! The cake is gorgeous, looks like it came straight from Herme's patisserie!

14 May, 2006 04:57 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Fabulous ! I want to try to make the "symphonie", i have not the book, but you gives the base, thank you !

14 May, 2006 09:14 

Blogger Ginger M. said something sweet:

Happy Birthday Fanny, and oh, the food looks great. Cheers!

14 May, 2006 10:44 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Happy Belated birthday Fanny!!

14 May, 2006 12:24 

Blogger Alhya said something sweet:

Joyeux anniversaire! quel magnifique repas!

14 May, 2006 13:32 

Blogger barbichounette said something sweet:

Joyeux anniversaire.....
Je ne lis pas tes notes mais j'ai vu que tu lisais mon livre préféré de Tessa !!!! Sublime!
Le livre de Gerard Mulo est aussi très bien !! La recette de la pâte à quiche est extra!

14 May, 2006 14:01 

Blogger Fabienne said something sweet:

Happy Birthday Fanny, ta tarte aux asperges et au chèvre est sublime .... Et le dessert divin ...

14 May, 2006 18:39 

Blogger sooishi said something sweet:

Joyeux Anniversaire Fanny!
Et bravo pour ces belles et sûrement très bonne choses, que tu as préparé!

15 May, 2006 16:00 

Blogger iamchanelle said something sweet:

happy birthday, fanny!!! may is a great birthday month (for me, too!)

i hope your day was beautiful, and that the year upcoming brings you much joy!


15 May, 2006 16:57 

Blogger Fran said something sweet:

Happy Birthday! What a beautiful menu.

21 May, 2006 23:18 

Blogger Hélène Picken said something sweet:

This is absolutely gorgeous!

23 May, 2006 18:56 

Blogger Laurange said something sweet:

Joli !
(et bon anniversaire)

23 May, 2006 21:22 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Très beau!
Bon anniversaire!

23 May, 2006 22:17 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Happy birthday. It is all very beautiful and sounds delicious. I love the goat.

28 May, 2006 14:30 

Blogger Pomme Pomme Girl said something sweet:

j'aime bien tes mises en page avec tes photos++++

26 June, 2006 21:11 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

the whole meal sounds yummy, I am going to make the starter for my dinner party!

28 June, 2006 03:45 

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