Sunday, August 30, 2009

Number 9: Mini chocolate cream tarts

Baking for my mom's friends is no fun - they tend to not eat a lot of sweet things, and they ALWAYS complain about how they can't eat a lot of sweet things. Such a shame.

So I made mini chocolate cream tarts to fulfill their sweet tooth and still feel good about themselves (mom's friends' birthday party was yesterday).

Mini chocolate cream tarts
with chocolate shavings

For the crust (adapted from Tartelette's shortbread cookies)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tspoon salt

For the chocolate cream see here

For the whipped cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tspoon powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water

For the crust
1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract
3. Add flour with salt
4. Turn out, wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least two hours
5. Roll out and press into tart tins
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

For the whipped cream
1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water
2. Over boiling water, dissolve the gelatin without stirring until the water is clear
3. Let cool to room temperature
4. Beat the whipping cream until medium-thick
5. Add half the sugar
6. Beat until just stiff
7. Add the gelatin/water, mix to incorporate
8. Beat in the rest of the sugar

To assemble
1. Pipe pastry cream into tart crusts
2. Using a star tip pipe whipped cream on top
3. Top with chocolate shavings

Food for thought: On messy foods, first dates and relationships

My mother makes these great ribs with some molasses and rum grilling sauce from Williams-Sonoma. I don't know what she does, but two hours in the barbecue at 325 degrees, add the sauce on, and it's a pretty damn good chunk of meat.

The catch: It's impossible to eat these (well) without getting messy, without using your hands, and without getting rid of any ladylike notions of propriety. Which is perfectly fine if I have a napkin.

Don't you hate those magazines that suggest women to avoid messy foods such as spaghetti and salad? When I was in high school, my mom always told me to eat as much food as possible on the first date - eat whatever you want, as much as you want (especially if it's sushi) and just offer to go dutch.
Then, if the guy still wants you, you're good to go. (Well, those are my words, not hers. But the sentiment is right on. )

It's such a shame that I didn't put that to good use. First date with Boyfriend consisted of a japanese fushion restaurant that I didn't know. So I stuck to the standard salmon shioyaki lunch combo. If my memory serves me right, it was too dry and I was too nervous to eat. Also, he didn't let me pay. Should've ordered hamachi.

I guess since then we've gone to other good places (dare I say better? Maybe we should go try it out again) and eaten more good food, and he's seen me eat what I call "a lot" at Sushi-Gen (amazing toro. GO NOW). And now we've switched places and he's halfway across the country in Chicago with a gelato shop close-by and I'm jealous. I really want gelato. And Boyfriend to take me to gelato.

I forgot what the point of this post is. Messy foods? Oh right. So is it ever/always okay to be messy and just comfortable on a date? Or does it take time before it's acceptable to dig into a set of BBQ ribs without a napkin in front of a super-cute guy. Or is it idealistic for girls to be completely comfortable on a first date because you know, it'll never really happen?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Number 8: Mint green apple sorbet

Green food has a bad rep - broccoli, spinach, any vegetable actually. And avocados? it's either hate it or love it.

But green apple sorbet is actually the second reason why I bought an ice cream maker - and just like the salted caramel ice cream, it started with a restaurant.

This one's called Catal, and it takes place in Downtown Disney. They have this really great dessert - not chocolate based, and perfect for summer. I believe they've changed their menu right now, but it was a jasmine panna cotta with effervescence, green apple sorbet and a green apple syrup. Afterward, I kept bugging Boyfriend to take me back - well, that never happened.

So onwards - green apple sorbet. Normally, I'm not a fan of apples in general (probably because I haven't had one from Virginia - I've heard they're amazing.) I stuck a bunch of mint leaves with the apples while they were freezing because I felt like it. Came out a little too minty - I guess I put in too many leaves. (Boyfriend is saying "I told you so.")

Green apple sorbet
infused with mint
1 pound green apples (about 3)
11 ounces sugar
1 1/4 cup water
juice of one and a half limes

1. Slice the apples thinly, squeeze lime juice over the slices to prevent oxidation. Place a few mint leaves among the slices. Freeze overnight.
2. Dissolve sugar in water, cook until it becomes a light syrup
3. Pour the syrup over the apple slices, remove mint leaves
4. Puree the apples and syrup as thin as possible
5. Freeze in ice cream maker

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Number 7: Salted butter caramel ice cream

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the reason why I bought an ice cream machine. The one time I've had dessert at Hot Chocolate in Wicker Park, Roomie and I ordered the Chocolate #1, a warm Colombian chocolate ganache and muscavado sugar meringue tart stuffed with chocolate soufflé, served with salted caramel ice cream and housemade pretzels.

It. Was. Amazing. To say the least. Completely worth the long train ride and $11.

So since then, I've wanted to try salted caramel ice cream (and the chocolate souffle tart) but the closest recipe I've found online is David Lebovitz (of the Perfect Scoop) and his Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream recipe.

Making caramel was a bit scary at first (pure sugar? almost burnt? hell to clean) but it was all right (Jerry helped again). It took a while at first to make this because I couldn't find the mixer for my ice cream maker, so Jerry and Vincent made a makeshift one - it didn't really work.

It sort of worked, and then didn't. But good thinking, Harvey Mudd kid. Eventually we found the paddle but it was too late, so I saved it for the next day and churned it then.

The problem is that the sugar content is so high in this recipe, it doesn't freeze easily. Even after you churn it, it's still a bit liquidy and you have to freeze it for a couple hours before it gets to the right consistency.

The ice cream definitely didn't turn out as good as the one from Hot Chocolate - it's too sweet, a little burnt (that's my bad). It was definitely worthwhile, but I didn't want to mess with the recipe because ice cream is like chemistry - super cool but a little foreign to me.

Salted butter caramel ice cream
with caramel pralines

For the caramel praline (mix-in)
½ cup (100 gr) sugar

¾ teaspoon sea salt, such as fleur de sel

For the ice cream custard
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk, divided
1½ cups (300 gr) sugar
4 tablespoons (60 gr) salted butter
scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cups (250 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the caramel praline
1. Spread the ½ cup (100 gr) of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized, unlined heavy duty saucepan
2. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or brush it sparingly with unflavored oil.
3. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt.
4. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved.
5. Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it's just about to burn. It won't take long.

6. Without hesitation, sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon salt without stirring (don't even pause to scratch your nose), then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet immediately, tilting and swirling it almost vertically to encourage the caramel to form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool.

To make the ice cream
1. Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they're floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts/liters) over the ice, pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.
2. Spread 1½ cups (300 gr) sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described above.
3. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. The caramel may harden and seize.
4. Return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted.
5. Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk
6. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly.
7. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170 F (71-77 C).
8. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
10. While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into very little bits, about the size of very large confetti (about ½-inch, or 1 cm).
11. Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.

Note: As the ice cream sits, the little bits of caramel may liquefy and get runny and gooey, which is what they're intended to do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Number 5: Swiss rolls

Another one of mother's favorites. It's a very light cake - usually bakeries around here have very dense, thick sponge cakes that require something to wash it down. But this one is pretty ... fluffy?

Swiss rolls
with coffee ice cream
4 egg yolks
20 g sugar
30 g olive oil
60 g milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
C -
75 g cake flour
3 g baking powder
D -
4 egg whites
90 g sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 356 degrees
Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper - Cut diagonals at the corners to make a perfect fit

1. Combine A
2. Add B to A mixture
3. Sift C twice, add into mixture, set aside.

4. Beat the egg whites until frothy (start at high speed)
5. Gradually add in half of the sugar
6. When the egg whites are smooth, add in the rest of the sugar and the lemon juice
7. Beat until stiff

8. Mix 1/3 of the stiff egg whites into the liquid mixture
9. When smooth, fold in the rest of the egg whites until just incorporated. Do not over-mix
10. Pour the batter into the baking pan
11. Spread the mixture evenly around, using a large spatula or a straight edge (index cards are usable)
12. Bake immediately for 12 to 15 minutes

13. Immediately remove the cake from the pan after taking it out of the oven
14. Pull the sides of the paper down to separate the parchment paper from the cake - this will prevent the cake from sinking in the middle and creating a valley
15. Once cool, take another piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the cake, place over the cake to create a paper sandwich
16. Grabbing both parchment sheets at the edges tightly, flip over the cake and remove the paper now on the top
17. Do this a second time if you want to cleanly remove the brown surface of the cake - I left mine on because I like the look but some of it got stuck onto the paper - hence the edge design

To assemble:
1.Find a thinner side of the cake. If they are equal, cut diagonally to taper off an end
2. Slice lines along the edge of the thin side - not through the cake. This is to help rolling
3. Spread whipped cream, jelly or any sort of filling along the cake with a spatula
4. Arrange the cake so the thin edge is right in front of you, the cake perpendicular to your body
5. With a rolling pin under the parchment paper, gently fold the edge in. Continue by rolling the pin along the parchment paper and pulling away the paper.
6. Wrap the circular cake in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate.

Sound complicated? It still takes me a couple of tries.
Serve with tea, coffee, coffee ice cream, anything.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Number 4: Chocolate galore

extra chocolate custard and glaze left over from the pseudo-failed chocolate eclairs, so I made them into little chocolate cups of whipped, creamy heaven. Kind of.

Folded 3 tablespoons of the chocolate glaze, room temperature, into some stabilized whipped cream, and then a dollop of vanilla whipped cream. (p.s. dollop is a Taboo word. the game, you know?)

Then added on some decorating cookies.

Jerry and Chris couldn't wait for me to finish taking the photos.

Chocolate galore

chocolate custard, chocolate whipped cream, decorational cookies

Chocolate custard
see chocolate eclair recipe here

Chocolate whipped cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon gelatin
4 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 or 4 tablespoons chocolate glaze, or to taste, from the eclair recipe here

1. Dissolve gelatin in cold water in a small pan placed over boiling water. Wait until it becomes clear - do not stir. Let it come to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, beat the cream until medium to stiff consistency
3. Add the gelatin and beat until stiff
4. Quickly beat in the sugar and vanilla
5. Take out 1/4 of the cream and set aside
6. Fold the glaze into the remaining cream

Decorating cookies adapted from Tartelette
4 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces confectioners sugar, sifted
4 ounces all-purpose flour
1/2 cup egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Cream butter and sugar with paddle attachment
2. Add egg whites until it just comes together
3. Add in the flour until just mixed
4. Put into a piping bag with a small tip (I just cut a small hole in a bag)
5. Pipe shapes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
6. Bake until golden (I made thin cookies so I baked mine for about 5 minutes)

Note: The dough must be used immediately, or frozen. Take out for about 30 minutes before using.

To assemble
1. Pipe the chocolate custard into 6 to 10 glasses or cups and flatten with a small spatula
2. Pipe chocolate cream evenly into the glasses, using any sort of designed tip
3. Using a star tip, pipe a large dollop of the vanilla cream on top
4. Add on the decorating cookies, or chocolate shavings if desired
5. Goes great with these almond cookies

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Number 3: Chocolate éclairs

So you know when you've had a bad day, and it's hot and muggy and you're stressed and tired and sleepy and angry without knowing why?

Maybe it's a girl thing.

Anyway, I've never had a chocolate éclair before. Until today, as I made them for the first time. And then I realized they're just like cream puffs, except longer. And when filled with a chocolate custard, instead of vanilla, they're amazing. Especially when topped with a chocolate sauce.

So today, I had a bad day. I was cranky all morning and missing Boyfriend and not knowing what to expect when he came back from a 1.5 month trip to China and everything. I'm always like this after a long distance thing. That and trying to find birthday presents and figuring out my work schedule and gosh, I feel ugly today. It probably is a girl thing.

And then I made these éclairs. And yes, the first batch fell flat because I didn't bake them long enough. But at around 9:30 when I finally filled these puffs to serve at a family friend's birthday party, it kind of came together.

It worked. Cold chocolate cream and room-temperature chocolate sauce and choux pastry. It worked.

I found Pierre Hermé’s chocolate eclair recipe via Tartelette and in hopes of creating a true french dessert, I decided to make it for this birthday extravaganza. That and I had a major craving for chocolate.

Tartlette (Helen) talked about this one
éclair she had in France, this elusive éclair that made everything in the world stop for a moment, and I figured this was good enough to calm me down for a bit. And it did. Even as chocolate custard came gushing out onto my already chocolate-covered fingers.

So enough talking. Things are good, and tomorrow will be just fine.

Here's the recipe. My first batch fell flat as I said, but I found that you want the baked pastry to be completely dry - no bubbling oil or whatever on top.

I ended up using 7 eggs instead of 5 because the consistency wasn't what it was described to be. Ugh, maybe it was but it sure didn't fall in a ribbon.

Another change I made (sorry!) - I didn't have bittersweet so I used semisweet chips and added a tablespoon of baking cocoa.

Pastry shells before filling

Pierre Hermé’s chocolate éclairs

Cream Puff Dough
. All recipes below from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 eclairs)
½ cup (125g) whole milk
½ cup (125g) water
1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, with two racks evenly distributed.
1. In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to theboil.
2. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to.
3. You need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth.
4. Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand.
5. Add the eggs one at a time,beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough. You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time youhave added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted itshould fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs.

Notes: Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately. You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined bakingsheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

6. Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough. Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers. Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff. The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.
7. Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 5 - 10 more minutes, or until the shells are golden brown and crisp. The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
2 cups (500g) whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75g) sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted
2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. 8. n the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.
2. Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.
3. Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.
4. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled.
5. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).
6. Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.
7. Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.
8. Once the crea has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments.
9. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.

Notes:The pastry cream can be made 2‐3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream.Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.

Chocolate Glaze
(makes 1 cup or 300g)
1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

1. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.
3. Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.
Notes: If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.
It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.

Chocolate Sauce
(makes 1½ cups or 525 g)
4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 g) water
½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
1/3 cup (70 g) sugar

1. Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.
2. It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.
Notes: You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.
This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.

Since half of my choux pastry fell flat, I have extra chocolate glaze and cream. I think I'll make light cookies and whipped cream tomorrow and serve those to my family as dessert tomorrow.

You know, we're really not a dessert family. We only eat dessert when we go out to eat at restaurants - like Taps, where we went to brunch this morning. (Taps brunch = all you can eat crab legs and oysters. Blog about this to come).

Apologies for the long post - I was delaying bed time.

Sweet dreams.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Number 2: Mother's favorite almond cookies

My mother is not a fan of sugar. Anything sweet is often dubbed too sweet, so these almond cookies are perfect for her - not that they aren't sweet. They're more naturally sweet via the almonds.

So tomorrow we're off to a CalPhil concert where Older Sister interns. It's their summer series "Concert in the Park" and we snagged a 10-seat table (yay for benefiting from sister's perks!). I do believe there will be red wine, sushi and jello. But we still needed some finger food, small sweet things to munch on to the sounds of Memoirs of a Geisha and Lord of the Rings. It's the movie-themed concert, you know.

Almond cookies it is.

Almond cookies
Almond Cookies
250 g butter (unsalted)
125 g confectioners sugar
1 g salt
1 egg
240 g cake flour
120 g ground almonds

1. Combine ground almonds with cake flour - sift or stir with a whisk to separate.
2. Cut butter into small pieces
3. Using a paddle attachment, cream butter, add in sifted sugar and cream until smooth
4. Add in egg.
5. Add flour and almond mixture

6. Turn out onto floured plastic wrap. Roll into a two-inch diameter log.
7. Refridgerate overnight (or at least an hour)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cut log into cookies about 1/4 inch thick
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden

Note: For a crispier cookie, replace half of the butter with peanut oil. It'll be more difficult to shape, so freeze the dough if necessary. Also, this makes the cookies expand more.

To come --------- chocolate eclairs. My next adventure.

Also, check this story out.
If only I were menopausal and
had type two diabetes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Number 1: Chocolate ganache, strawberries and meringue

So as you can see,I'm starting a food blog. Because I bake too often to not share my successes and failures.
To start off this new project of mine, here's a recent successful experiment. There's a lot of components to this, but it's worth it.

Forgive me for the mixed measurement styles.

Chocolate ganache tart
with strawberries and meringue

For the shortbread crust:
250 grams butter (unsalted)
125 grams confectioners sugar
1 gram salt
1 egg
360 grams cake flour (plus extra for rolling)

For the chocolate ganache:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
8 ounces of good quality, bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)
1 egg, beaten

For the meringue:
1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

To make the crust:
note: using an electric mixer makes this much easier, but use the paddle attachment
1. Soften the butter. Sift in the powdered sugar and salt and cream the butter until it pales slightly
2. Mix in the egg
3. Mix in the flour
4. Turn out the dough onto a piece of clear plastic wrap, slightly floured
5. Wrap the dough in the plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If you must use it soon, freeze it for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees for flatter tart crusts, 365 for taller crusts
6. Take the dough out from the fridge and turn it out onto a slightly floured work surface
7. Flatten so it is 1/4 inch thick
8. Press into tart mold (?) and poke a couple holes onto the bottom with a fork
9. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden on the edges. Let cool

To make the ganache:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
1. Heat the cream and milk to a simmer
2. Pour over the chocolate, let sit for a minute or two
3. Mix the chocolate until creamy
4. Mix in the beaten egg
5. Divide evenly into the baked tart crusts
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until glossy. If cracks or bubbles appear, you've over baked it

To make the meringue:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
1. In a small saucepan, stir 1/2 cup of sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts
2. Cook without stirring until the sugar-water mixture becomes a syrup, from 243 to 245 degrees on a thermometer
3. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until frothy
4. Add the cream of tartar and beat until firm peaks form (medium-high speed)
5. Reduce to medium-low speed and gradually beat in the syrup
6. Beat until meringue reaches room temperature

7. Slice strawberries and place evenly over the cooled chocolate ganache tart
8. Sprinkle some sugar over the strawberries
9. Spoon meringue onto the strawberries and use a fork to create peaks
10. Bake for 4 minutes or until golden brown patches form

Eat these the day of. You can make the chocolate ganache tarts beforehand and store them in an airtight container (fridge if you want) and add on the strawberries and meringue later. It will still get a little soggy, however, so really it's best to make the tart crust beforehand and everything else the day of.