Week 3: Tart Week
It’s a lovely world that I have entered, knocking on the door of someone you think you know because you’ve seen them on TV, and then baking cakes with them whilst having a chat. I’ll be a star baker before you know it!
Week 3 challenge saw mylegoman tarting about with Juanita Hennessey, the super talented 2016 Masterchef finalist. Juanita’s creative flair for food and flavour combinations made her an outright favourite from the very beginning of the series. I can’t tell you how excited I was to be invited round for some baking banter and to have my very own chocolate and salted caramel tart masterclass!
I opened the afternoon with the most obvious of all questions… So why MasterChef? “You can fail in life taking the safe route, so why not have a crack at doing something you love; there really is nothing to lose!”. More sound advice for @mylegoman from another superb Chef!
Juanita lives in a beautiful little Wiltshire hamlet, in a house that I was destined to visit with its little mini figure standing guard over the front of the house. Chickens roaming in the garden and a beautifully quirky cat majestically strolling around. This was country living at its best!
A Chef’s most prized possession? Surely their little book of sacred tried and well and truly tested recipes? Juanita’s baking bible was one to be admired- illustrations and arty scribbles of not just the usual grams and ounces, but how her creations are to be presented in their most showstopping forms.
I had actually attempted baking a few pastry concoctions myself this Summer- most of which were swiftly chucked in the bin! However Juanita, effortlessly poured the ingredients into the mixer, creating as expected- perfect pastry! The little balls were then rolled out and fitted to individual tart rings, then popped in the oven for a good old fashioned blind bake. Cleverly multitasking all the way, keeping me entertained with MasterChef tales and churning out the fresh coffee!
Juanita has a great new website where you can find beautiful photography of all her cooking creations, her inspirations, delicious recipes, her life in the country and of course, information on what she gets up to and where these days in the world of Cheffing.
And back to the task in hand, the tart! A smooth and scrumptious salted chocolate caramel centre, and Italian meringue top expertly and artistically piped, and finally finished off with the beloved MasterChef gadget- the blow torch! Delicious. And perhaps you fancy creating this masterpiece for yourself, so here’s the link to her fantastic recipe:
Time for the garden photo shoot, and the all important taste test, accompanied by the cat and a few onlooking chickens. “Juanita, I think you have chocolate on your face?” “oh yes, oh no! That’s chicken poo!’.
Biscuits, cakes, and now tarts. mylegoman is certainly building up quite the portfolio of some of the finest baking creations possible! Who’s kitchen shall mylegoman be taking on next?