Ruffles & Truffles

French Tarts class at William Dean Chocolates

Have you taken a cooking class or watched cooking demonstrations in the past? As a lover of everything food related, I have seen and attended my share of them. I love being able to watch a professional at work, and if I can pick up a few tricks of the trade along the way, I’m thrilled. Being able to apply new knowledge and gain confidence in the kitchen is a wonderful thing.

William Dean Chocolates French Tarts

On Friday I had the pleasure of attending a class at William Dean Chocolates. It was a French Tarts class, led by Chef Tim Brown. My fellow attendees and I were treated to Chef Tim’s humor, his expertise, and (of course) his tart recipe repertoire! By the time the 4 hour class was complete, I was armed with the knowledge to create 5 different tarts from start to finish.

William Dean French Tarts Class

I love being able to learn new tricks to apply in my home kitchen! Do you know how to extract the most vanilla out of a bean? How about the various ways to zest a lemon?

William Dean French Tarts Class

One of the tarts created in the class was a poached pear tart with Frangipane (almond based filling) and a Almond Sable crust. After smelling the intoxicating aroma of the pears as they poached in the mixture of sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon, white wine, and water, I instantly knew I had to add this to my to-do list for an at-home dessert.

poached pear tart

And how insanely pretty do those pears look perched on top of the tart? They are rustic, glistening perfection, in my opinion.

lemon curd tarts

How about a tangy lemon curd tart? Topped with toasted meringue, perhaps? I was mistakenly under the impression that lemon curd got its yellow coloring from the lemons; it’s actually the egg yolks in the curd that create the bright hue! See? I’m always learning something new.  This curd in particular was the perfect blend of tart and sweet.

French Tarts assembly

I watched in awe as Chef Tim assembled the various tarts in front of our class. He made it look so easy, and after observing him, I think I may just be brave enough to make an attempt at home.

salted caramel and chocolate ganache tarts

assembled French Tarts

fruit tarts with pasty cream

I’m not sure that the beautiful white chocolate piping on the salted chocolate tarts with chocolate ganache would look as pretty coming from me, but I am quite confident I could create some bright and beautiful fruit tarts with pastry cream. Aren’t they stunning? Almost too pretty to eat. Almost…

William Dean French Tarts Class 2

What I really enjoyed about the tarts class was realizing these tiny treasures look intimidating and make an impressive presentation at the table, but they can actually be very simple to construct.

rustic cherry tarts

My favorite tart of the class happened to be the rustic fruit tarts. They were crafted with puff pastry, filled with brown butter and cherries macerated in Amaretto, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and baked until golden brown. I absolutely, 100%, without a doubt will be making these soon!

William Dean Chocolates chandelier

All in all, I would highly recommend checking out the calendar of classes William Dean Chocolates offers if you live in the Tampa area. They are fun, informative, and you are sure to learn something new! And if a class isn’t up your alley, I definitely suggest you stop in to their shop and purchase an assortment of their chocolates, macarons, pate de fruit, and other confections (plus you can get a glimpse of the gorgeous chandelier in their lobby area). You won’t be sorry.

So tell me: which tart would YOU like to try?

Thanks again to William Dean Chocolates for hosting such an amazing class last week!

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7 Comments on French Tarts class at William Dean Chocolates

  1. Jennifer B
    August 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm (8 months ago)

    Looks delicious!! I’ll be attending the croissant class. :)

    Reply
    • Katie
      August 13, 2013 at 7:18 am (8 months ago)

      Can’t wait to hear how that one goes!

      Reply
  2. Kristie
    Twitter: mypaperlife
    August 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm (8 months ago)

    Everything looks amazing but I am a sucker for chocolate so one of those would be up my alley to sample!

    Reply
    • Katie
      August 13, 2013 at 7:19 am (8 months ago)

      I am right there with you – the salted caramel and chocolate ganache was SO good

      Reply
  3. Wendy
    August 13, 2013 at 5:32 am (8 months ago)

    The tarts look amazing. I will be making a trip to William Dean Chocolates in the near future. I can’t believe I haven’t been there yet!

    Reply
  4. Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons
    August 13, 2013 at 11:39 am (8 months ago)

    All of those tarts are absolutely beautiful! This class looks like so much fun. And lemon curd…topped with blueberries? Ok, yes, please!!

    Reply
  5. Leslie
    August 14, 2013 at 10:46 am (8 months ago)

    Oh my…seriously salivating right now. I agree…that rustic fruit tart looks (and sounds) insane. Brown butter…yes please. I also think those chocolate tarts look crazy decadent. I’m in love with them all. So picture perfect and delicious I’m sure. I need to take a class…for something…lol.

    Reply

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