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.
TAKE a LOOK:
11/2/2011 01:58:51 pm
11/3/2011 12:34:01 am
Congratulations to your hubby, that's great. When my Dad retired my Mom had a hard time adjusting. She'd say, "I married your Dad for better or for worse but not for all day." Once she found him projects to do and broke him of the habit of asking every five minutes what she was doing, peace returned to the household. ;-) Here's to your Sweet Life and Simple Pleasures!
11/3/2011 05:42:09 am
Send my congratulations to Bill! He certainly deserves to start this next chapter, and I, too, can't wait to see a few guest appearances! Maybe a LT Beverage column??
Retirement doesn't look nearly as scary as it did not that long ago. All the best to you and Bill on this important new chapter of your lives together. Are you gaining a sous chef??
11/4/2011 01:22:42 am
Margo- I'm not worried about Bill at all. He is not one to sit around and he's hoping to get involved in things he's had to push on the back burner for far too long. Sous chef, I don't know... He may be doing something along the lines of what Allison suggested -- a LT beverage column. And Susan, I think I've convinced Bill he needs to go to Provence with me. However, I don't think he'll be driving me around the countryside. He is more likely to be riding a bike instead.
11/6/2011 02:27:57 am
Madeline - Years ago if something (bad) happened in my kitchen, my heart would also stop. But over time, you do find that there is almost always a solution or a way around it.
11/6/2011 07:29:24 am
How would you serve a tart like this? Do you let the pudding firm up a bit in the fridge first? I feel like the recipe just abruptly ended for novice chefs like myself. Thanks!
11/6/2011 09:51:33 am
Kevin- The pudding sets up beautifully. You don't need to refrigerate it; I did though after adding the meringue since we weren't planning on eating it for several hours.
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