It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. My husband has decided to take an early retirement that will begin the end of this month... much more than a Simple Pleasure as far as he's concerned. But during all of the planning for this momentous event, I have been asking myself, what do I really need in life? The health and well-being of my family is a given. Of course I want that over anything else. But what is it that I need on a daily basis to give me enjoyment? To make my days pleasurable...
My top 3 basic necessities? 1. A dog (my French Bulldog Pipi, to be exact). 2. Espresso every morning. 3. Creative inspiration in all that I do. (that's not asking too much, is it?) And yes, that's where meringue comes into play (if you were wondering). When I was making this Chocolate Pudding Tart and piping the meringue, I thought... I really love doing this. I have to say, decorating a tart with meringue for me is a Simple Pleasure, creative... and fun.
A Simple Pleasure gone bad... smashed by the "white board" I use in my photography; it fell smack-dab on top of the meringue. Good thing I had whipped up a large amount of egg whites and sugar. I cleaned the damage off the top of the tart and just started over...
Whoo-hoo! Torching meringue is even more fun!
Oh... and the best part? The Chocolate Pudding Tart tasted really good.
Ahh... Life's Simple Pleasures.
Chocolate Pudding Tart with Swiss Meringue
• Sweet dough tart crust, prebaked (recipe here)
• Chocolate pudding (recipe here)
• 8 egg whites
• 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1. In a large stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir the egg whites with the 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the heat. Using an electric mixer, beat the whites at medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until a stiff, glossy meringue forms, about 5 minutes longer.
2. Fill the tart crust with the hot chocolate pudding. Either spoon the meringue onto the top of the chocolate, or use a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch tip to pipe decorative mounds on top. Use a butane or pastry torch to brown the meringue, or place in a hot (375˚F) oven until golden (watch closely).
• How to keep your meringue from weeping -- read this.
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