August 6th, 2009

The cakes that didn’t make it

www.cocoandme.com - rose tart & cherry clafoutis - Coco&Me

(Wine poached pear, sliced then arranged like a rose, above a layer of chocolate ganache – Adapted from a recipe from the book ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Chocolate’ – Picture taken back in Summer 2006)

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Whilst doing the market for 3 years, there’s been variety of cakes & chocolates that have appeared upon my stall table. Most stay popular & remain in the line-up – like my Flourless Chocolate Cake that I have been baking since I started the stall. It’s a pure fixture, that one. I roughly make 4 to 8 of these 8-inch’ers each week, which must mean that I must have made about 800 of them by now?! (crazy number, crazy notion)
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But sadly, some get withdrawn (‘getcha crumbs & get out of ‘ere!’). Mainly because they didn’t sell well enough & I preferred to transfer the time making them to making the more popular ones instead.
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Indeed, there are also other reasons for pulling those products. For instance, cherry clafoutis (de-stoning mass amounts of cherries was cumbersome & it stained my fingers), opera (too time consuming to make all the layers & the costs became too expensive that I had to charge more), & the ‘wine poached pear rose & chocolate ganache tart’ – which got the people oohing as they see it, but only occasionally netted me the crucial sale…! They would say: ‘The tart looks too good to eat’ (they really do say this for real, not kidding!) & opt for safer options like ‘pear & almond tart’ instead. I still love this rose tart to bits though. The pear fruit goes really well with rich chocolate cream. I guess if I know that it can be sold in bucket loads, I would’ve stuck to it.
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www.cocoandme.com - cherry clafoutis, wine poached pear & chocolate tart & pear tart - Coco&Me(Picture of cherry clafoutis, the wine poached pear & chocolate tart & pear tart – picture taken back in Summer 2006)
www.cocoandme.com - cherry clafoutis - Coco&Me(Cherry clafoutis, 8 inch’er – Picture taken back in Summer 2006)
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The tell-tell sign for me to be convinced that they remain in my line-up is obviously its sales numbers, but, also importantly, it is when & if there are specific customers that come back for more of that same product, week after week with great reviews. The ‘Summer Fruit sponge’ (sponge colourfully studded with lots of raspberries, blueberries & blackberries) & the ‘Caramelized Banana Cake’ (whole pieces of bananas were caramelized before incorporated in to the batter) that I had sold for over a year was not the case, it was delicious, & it sold well, but never had the crowd wowing, & eventually I also lost the love for it.
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Whereas this ‘Baked Cheese Cake’ I raved about sometime ago in an earlier post is. Totally is. I really have to let you know the recipe asap & spread this deliciousness! So stay tuned!!

39 Comments »

  1. Roses! So lovely! But I thought for a moment “you do savory tarts??” (Kinda looked like ham before I read on.)

    I would have tried the cherry clafoutis right away… it would have been okay for me if they weren’t pitted, as some seem to recommend!

    Comment by rita - August 7, 2009 2:08 am

  2. Ham! LOL. Now that you mention it, it does look like arranged ham! As for the cherry clafoutis, I see, stones are okay then, but I wouldn’t want unknowing eater to chip their tooth or swallow it…!

    Comment by tamami - August 7, 2009 8:10 am

  3. It’s interesting that some sweets have a beautiful appearance, but one prefers to bite into something familiar. Maybe if you give taste samples to encourage people to reach out of their comfort zone? Anyway I look forward to the cheese cake recipe, it sounds like a real keeper!

    Comment by Astrid - August 7, 2009 1:15 pm

  4. i really don’t have the patience to perfect an opera cake! i have a lovely recipe for german chocolate cheesecake which i prepare rarely because of the cost doesn’t equal the wow factor in my house (& because i could eat the entire thing myself!) it amazes me how bakers can prepare the same recipe untold times & still every one is delicious, pretty, & the baker is not tired of looking at the ingredients!!!

    Comment by petoskystone - August 7, 2009 1:21 pm

  5. I would eat them.

    Comment by Esme - August 7, 2009 3:00 pm

  6. That pear tart is one of the most gorgeous pastries I’ve ever seen! (And no, its beauty wouldn’t stop me for one second!) Now I’m slightly regretting the fact that my mum has already baked my birthday cake… ah well, at least now I can hunt for the recipe and try it myself for another special occasion.

    I know what you mean about cherry clafoutis, though. I usually make mine with apricots or peaches instead – far fewer stones to remove!

    Comment by Rachel - August 7, 2009 4:14 pm

  7. Hi Astrid, I guess it is difficult to reach out of comfort zone if it involves own money!
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    Hi Petoskystone, Hmmm…, German cheese cake! – I quite like monotonous activities!
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    Thanks Esme!
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    And also thank you to Rachel, re clafoutis: I never thought of putting in apricots or peaches. – Peaches sounds lovely especially!

    Comment by tamami - August 8, 2009 10:33 pm

  8. Wow, that rose pear tart looks absolutely beautiful and delicious. I wish that I could buy one and have it shipped over here (Hong Kong). I am curious, where did you get the recipe/inspiration for that tart? It is so creative!

    Comment by Maria - August 10, 2009 4:20 am

  9. Thanx Maria. The recipe idea comes from a 2005 book called ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Chocolate’ – But it seems like it is out of print on amazon UK… I have the French book of it ‘Les sept péchés du chocolat’ but that seems out of print on amazon FR too…

    Comment by tamami - August 10, 2009 1:31 pm

  10. … all your cakes look simply amazing ^^ … XOXO

    Comment by gine - August 11, 2009 9:14 am

  11. Hello Gine!! Thank you!!!!!!

    Comment by tamami - August 11, 2009 4:23 pm

  12. Sadly for you I think I would have been one of those ‘The tart looks too good to eat’ people. I would have bought one and then taken millions of photos though!!

    Comment by Gillian - August 18, 2009 8:16 pm

  13. Hi Gillian!! That’s good to know that you’d still buy it though! ^^

    Comment by tamami - August 18, 2009 10:53 pm

  14. Hi, I love reading your blog! Your cakes look really beautiful and delicious! I feel inspired to try some different recipes as I am guilt of making my favourite cakes again and again….I wondered if you have published your flourless chocolate cake ever as I am always on the look out for the perfect chocolate cake and am still seeking perfection! Keep baking, I would love to visit your stall next time I am in London.

    Comment by Polly - August 24, 2009 9:25 pm

  15. Thank you for your lovely comment Polly! Comments like yours are what keeps me writing on this blog.
    Re: chocolate cake, no, I haven’t had the chance to publish the recipe yet – but if you google ‘flourless chocolate cake’ you’ll come across a similar recipe I’m sure!

    Comment by tamami - August 25, 2009 9:33 am

  16. Hello Tamami,

    I really like your blog and thanks for sharing some of your recipes!

    Will you be at Broadway Market the coming weekend (29/8)?

    Comment by Diana - August 26, 2009 7:17 pm

  17. Hi Diana! Yup! I’ll definately be there!!! You coming? Hope so! xxx

    Comment by tamami - August 26, 2009 10:23 pm

  18. Hello..i just discovered your blog..its great! your cakes/tarts look look insanely good. I’m always searching for the perfect cheesecake… so looking forward to you posting your version! Thanks Tamami.

    Comment by jo - August 27, 2009 11:04 am

  19. And thank you to you, J0! ;)

    Comment by tamami - August 27, 2009 1:27 pm

  20. Hi Tamami! I just found your site too, and I love your work. Your market stall is exactly what I dream about having one day–only for retirement, as I am only a few years into a long training period for being a future scientist. But who knows what will happen? =) I look forward to reading more about your tips and successes! And Broadway Market has just become my number one destination in London whenever I next visit there ;) Please feel welcome to visit my blog too, if you have a chance. Take care!

    Comment by DPLK - September 28, 2009 11:18 pm

  21. Hello DPLK! Wow! Being a scientist is an amazing job! If only I was clever like you…! As for being a stall holder, I certainly don’t think I’ll be doing this til retirement! Hopefully… xx

    Comment by tamami - September 29, 2009 12:23 pm

  22. cheeesecake recipeeeeeeee!! where, where, where!! (:

    Comment by kim - October 31, 2009 4:08 pm

  23. Soon, soon, soon!! (I hope… when I get myself enough time…) xxx

    Comment by tamami - October 31, 2009 10:59 pm

  24. Best food website in London!

    Comment by Marsha Levin - November 5, 2009 4:06 pm

  25. Marsha, what kind words! Thank you!

    Comment by tamami - November 5, 2009 8:56 pm

  26. Hi Tamami,
    It’s my first time on this page, and I must say that the Rose Tart is the prettiest thing I’ve seen on your website. It’s so blushingly beautiful. Sigh.
    You are an incredibly talented lady and I look forward to meeting you soon! Yes, in about 5 weeks I think. (I’ve been counting)
    :-)
    Ann

    Comment by Ann Jebaratnam - February 22, 2010 3:20 am

  27. Hello Ann!! Wow! You’re coming from Malaysia right?! I’ll look forward to meeting you!!!

    Comment by tamami - February 22, 2010 8:37 am

  28. Hi,
    Yes, I’m coming from Malaysia. :-) I actually arrive in London at noon on 10 April, but I don’t know if it will be possible to pop over then. Seems like a bit of a rush. So I am hoping to visit you on 17 April at the market. Hope you’ll be there!
    Ann

    Comment by Ann Jebaratnam - February 25, 2010 1:42 am

  29. Hi Ann!!!
    See you there!! xx

    Comment by tamami - February 25, 2010 11:58 am

  30. [...] an open market (in cold, damp England) make for great reading. Here’s a sample called “The cakes that didn’t make it” about some of her baking [...]

    Pingback by Great chocolates I have known and loved: #6 Oreos/Hydrox | nobluehair - February 6, 2011 9:36 pm

  31. Hello Nobluehair! Thanks for the mention!! All the best, t xx

    Comment by tamami - February 6, 2011 10:30 pm

  32. Hi Tamami,

    Will you teach me how to make the Pear Rose Tart? I’m interested more in what pears you used, how you poached it and how you moulded it into a rose? Please help. I’d like to try making it. Thanks.

    Comment by Ann Jebaratnam - June 25, 2011 8:24 am

  33. Hi Ann!! So sorry for the late reply – It’s been a bit hectic this weekend!!
    The recipe for making the pear roses is as follows:
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    3 FIRM pears
    40cl red wine
    180g sugar
    1 cinnamon stick
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    1. Peal whole pear.
    2. Place in pan with above ingredients.
    3. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
    4. Wait for it to cool, then slice.
    5. Using the big slices as the outer leaves first, assemble on ganache tart.
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    Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes!!

    Comment by tamami - June 27, 2011 2:48 pm

  34. Hi, just wanted to report that I’ve not made the tart yet. I’ve been really busy with work this month. The 12-14 hour days will end on the 29th and I hope to make the tart on the last weekend of the month, if not early August. I shall surely leave you a message here when I do. In the meantime, have a lovely week ahead.
    :-)

    Comment by Ann Jebaratnam - July 24, 2011 5:00 am

  35. Hi Ann!! Again, sorry for the late reply…!!
    Cheers for reporting back!! :) :) I’ll look forward to hearing about the outcome then!! Have a lovely, lovely & extra lovely Summer! It’s ultra hot here in Ldn this week, & I’m melting… xx

    Comment by tamami - August 3, 2011 10:58 pm

  36. Hi Tamami,

    I have been admiring your rose tart for a while and finally made it but I did not get the red colour as in your photos. Also I cut the pears into quarters to expose more surfaces in the liquid. My mistake could be that I added quite a bit of water to the poaching liquid. I used beurre bosc pears but wonder if I should use another type…

    Did you cut the pear to shape or just decorate in their natural shape? Each of my tart has a different looking rose :)

    Would love if you could give me a few tips. Thanks!

    Comment by Lee Lin - August 5, 2011 9:25 am

  37. Hi Lee,
    thanks for your enquiry. I use any pear so long as it is firm! And it is best to poach them as a whole. And then I would cut them in half – spoon out the ‘core’ – then slice them with knife. – I would use the bigger slices as the outer petal, then use smaller toward the middle of the rose.
    .
    The recipe is as follows:
    .
    3 FIRM pears
    40cl red wine
    180g sugar
    1 cinnamon stick
    .
    1. Peal whole pear.
    2. Place in pan with above ingredients.
    3. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
    4. Wait for it to cool, then slice.
    5. Using the big slices as the outer leaves first, assemble on ganache tart.
    .
    Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes!!

    Comment by Tamami - August 5, 2011 10:19 am

  38. This is a fantastic post, a great blog and a real inspiration for me whilst I am just starting up. Thank you.

    Comment by Eryn - September 6, 2012 2:01 pm

  39. Eryn, thank you! x Good luck with your new venture! xx

    Comment by Tamami - September 6, 2012 2:46 pm

 

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