Are you in need of a new show to binge watch? Wait, stupid question—of course you are. We all are. And today, I have the perfect recommendation for you: a beautiful little show called Mozart in the Jungle.
Being a total music nerd (and a reluctant fan of classical music), I was instantly intrigued by the premise of a comedy-drama centering on a fictional New York symphony, described by the tagline “sex, drugs, and classical music”. And yeah, it delivers on all three things. In abundance.
|Pictured: the most enthusiastic fake conducting you'll ever see. source|
Oh, and did I mention—the main character is an oboist?
|Bet you've never seen that before. source|
Of course, the most exciting character is Rodrigo, the symphony’s eccentric conductor (famously inspired by Gustavo Dudamel, who, by the way, was at the Super Bowl this past Sunday).
|Pictured: Rodrigo making himself at home. source|
Bernadette Peters makes an appearance as Gloria, who is pretty charming herself.
|I just love her speaking voice. source|
From a musician’s perspective, it’s pretty inspiring too, the way the character’s sheer passion and enthusiasm for their art shines through. Almost makes you want to practice eight hours a day...almost.
|Once I was done binge-watching, I picked up my violin and had the most excellent practice session. source|
I really don’t know how else I can sell this shit to you. Stream it on Amazon, if you have it. Or just use your local pirate bay, I don’t care. Ignore the pilot if you don’t like it—the following episodes are much better. The second season is just stellar.
And even better, it’s being renewed for a third season!
But while you’re binge-watching, you’ll probably need some refreshments. Like, say, a cup of coffee, or a slice of tart.
|Smooth, June. Real smooth.|
This tart is something I made for a little dinner party a few weeks ago, and I’m proud to say it was a smashing hit. Or, I dunno. There weren’t any other desserts to compete with. But it was pretty much gone by the end of the night, so I suppose that’s a good sign.
|They were a captive audience.|
The only big thing with this tart is the white chocolate filling. The original recipe uses whipped ganache, but I didn’t feel like risking a batch of failed ganache so I ended up making a sort of white chocolate yogurt. This is obviously VERY different from the recipe in Baked Explorations, but it works in its own way. If you want, you can try making whipped ganache with coconut cream (if you have enough of the stuff on hand—I certainly didn’t) or heavy cream. But the yogurt filling is still quite good.
|Nobody noticed the yogurt flavor, anyway.|
Here’s the recipe.
Almond Joy tart
Adapted from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis
Almond tart dough
8 grams • Ener-g egg replacer • 1 tablespoon
45 grams • water • 3 tablespoons
36 grams • whole toasted almonds • ¼ cup
50 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup
188 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons
2 grams • salt • ¼ teaspoon
112 grams • coconut oil • ½ cup
Coconut cream filling
224 grams • vegan white chocolate, coarsely chopped • 8 ounces
228 grams • nondairy yogurt • 1 cup
240 grams • shredded sweetened coconut • 2 cups
15 grams • light rum • 1 tablespoon
Chocolate glaze and garnish
112 grams • semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped • 4 ounces
122 grams • full-fat coconut milk • ½ cup
Slivered almonds, to taste
To make the almond tart dough, start by whisking together egg replacer and water. Set aside.
Place almonds and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Add flour and salt and pulse again just to combine. Add coconut oil and pulse until the mixture is sandy, with no large chunks remaining. Add egg replacer and pulse once more until the dough begins to cohere into a ball. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
In the meantime, start making the coconut cream filing. Place vegan white chocolate in a small saucepan and melt on very low heat. Let cool to room temperature, or at least until not hot to the touch. Add nondairy yogurt to a large bowl, then pour in white chocolate; whisk until smooth. This may take a few minutes, so be patient. Fold in shredded coconut and rum. Refrigerate until chilled completely.
Now assemble the tart shell. Because my dough was a little crumbly, I just pressed it into the tart pan and it was fine. I also used a 9-inch round tart pan, but you can try other sizes or shapes if you like—just adjust the baking time accordingly. Freeze the unbaked tart shell for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cover the tart with tinfoil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove tinfoil and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool completely before adding the white chocolate coconut cream filling. Smooth over the top with a spatula.
To make the chocolate glaze, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and the coconut milk in a small saucepan. Heat the milk just until it begins to boil, then pour over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Then, whisk until smooth. Pour the warm glaze over the tart. Sprinkle with slivered almonds. Chill the tart until set, at least 10 minutes, before removing from the tart pan and serving.
|I didn't have any whole almonds, so I used slivered almonds. I think it works.|
For more pie and tart recipes, click these links.
Butterscotch meringue tart with chocolate chip cookie crust. This tart is crazy.
Chocolate chip cookie dough pie. Those mini cookies!
Ginger peach galette with almond crust. For a more rustic variation on a tart.
Raw lemon cream pie. This thing is INSANELY good. Like really.