No reviews on the works of a patisserie is complete without a look at their entremets, which in my humble opinion, is one of the litmus test to the skills and creativity in taste, texture and technique for a patissier. Then again, I have a whole checklist of lil’ quirky things which I look out for when I visit a new patisserie, e.g. how smooth is the creme patisserie made, how thin is the L’Opera being layered and how neatly is it being cut etc… much like how seemingly trivial tamagoyaki making skills, amidst his knife skills, is attesting to the greatness of a sushi chef.
Bearing contrast and yet homogenising all the components together, bringing about conflict and yet blending in everything in perfect harmony, tantalising the tastebuds and yet provide equilibrium all within the confinements of that small oblongish slab of cake, mousse and what nots; not an easy task if you ask me…
I think many like me have experienced the frustrations of wanting to make something but discovered that an ingredient or tool or two is lacking in the pantry or inventory. Like three different types of vanilla beans Pierre Hermé calls for in his Tarte Infinitement Vanille, or the chic-looking square tartlette moulds in Sugino’s Tartlette aux Figues, are just some of the factors which had deterred me from attempting these recipes. Some of these ingredients may be seasonal, e.g. exotic berries and Rainier cherries, while others totally inaccessible, e.g. meyer lemons, quince, bergamot, wild strawberries fraises des bois…just to name a few, or simply out of this world… like talent!
I guess rhubarb is one of those things that fall into the “seasonal” category. I was absolutely enthralled when I recieved a “tipoff” that a good batch of them was in town a couple of weeks back, promptly me to go grab some before they are gone again. It would have to be another long year’s wait for the next Australian winter before we see them again and I don’t think I can survive the ordeal!
True to the word, they looked fabulous in all that vermilion brilliance. And while I was pondering over what to make with these, mulberries are sighted as well. Twice lucky! How often does one get that! Aran’s Rhubarb and Mulberry Crumb Cake came to mind quite naturally.