Friday, May 3, 2013

Summer League, Secrets of the Dead

As I mentioned some while back, our bowling alley is closing down, the premises are being demolished by the property owners and I believe an apartment building is taking its place (actually someone saBowling alleyid a high rise parking lot, they could certainly do with one). We always had a summer league so I have been trying to organise one at another bowling alley. For some reason I can only get 13 takers. Not enough to form a league so we will just form a bowling group and all turn up same place, same time at a different bowling alley, one which, funnily enough, is almost on our doorstep. We don’t know what is happening with Waterloo Lanes, first we heard they were going to build elsewhere then we heard that had fallen through and the rumour mill has been working overtime. It will be our end of season banquet on Monday so presumably we will eventually find something out. Otherwise we will be going to the alley close to us  for the winter league. I don’t really see how anyone could get a new alley ready in time for the winter season which starts in September.

The other night we watched a fascinating programme on PBS, Bugging Hitler’s Soldiers, about the thousands of documents which have been uncovered detailing the conversations of BuggingGerman officer prisoners being held in Britain, in fairly luxurious conditions, which included their discussions of the details of atrocities which they had witnessed or taken part in. This gave the British their first real insights into what was happening in the death camps. There were generals there who had been captured at the fall of North Africa and later other generals from other theatres of war, some of whom were very pro Hitler and some of whom were not. It was both interesting and horrifying to hear these conversations and what they revealed. Not just about atrocities, but details about the proposed rockets from Peenemunde which permitted the British to bomb the area and other innovations the German war machine had in hand. None of the officers involved were ever prosecuted for war crimes because the British wished to keep their method of acquiring such knowledge secret.

Another chocolate recipe, couldn’t resist it. I haven’t been able to post much in the way of chocolate for the last month. I just got a whole load of pecans brought up from Georgia.

Chocolate Pecan Tart

Contributed by Lydie Marshall

Lydie Marshall's friend Heidi Trachtenburg, a born baker, helped me develop the chocolate pecan tartrecipe for this light, elegant version of the American classic. Unlike most pies, this tart is just as good when baked a day ahead as long as it is not refrigerated.
  1. 11-inch French Pastry Shell, frozen
  2. 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  3. 1/4 cup honey
  4. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  5. 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  6. 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup heavy cream
  7. 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (1/2 pound)
  8. 1 1/2 ounces imported bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  9. Cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar
  10. Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line the bottom and sides of the frozen pastry shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 3 minutes longer to dry out the bottom. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the shell cool to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and honey together over high heat. Add the brown and granulated sugars and stir until dissolved, then boil for 1 minute without stirring. Add 1/3 cup of the heavy cream and stir constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans.
  3. Pour the mixture into the baked pastry shell. If necessary, spread the pecans to evenly distribute them over the bottom of the tart. Bake for about 20 minutes, until bubbles appear around the edges and the center is slightly firm. Transfer the tart to a rack to cool.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted. Spread the chocolate evenly over the cooled tart.
  5. Decorate the tart. Cut out an 11-inch circle from a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Fold it in eights, then open it and cut out every other wedge, leaving 4 wedges held together at the center. Place it on top of the tart. Using a fine sieve, dust the cocoa over the exposed tart. Carefully lift the paper and shake off excess cocoa. Set the paper over the cocoa-dusted sections and sift confectioners' sugar over the tart. Carefully remove the paper. Remove the rim of the pan and transfer the tart to a serving platter. Place a cluster of mint sprigs in the center of the tart.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared 1 day ahead through step 4. Leave the tart out at room temperature, uncovered.

Have a great day


  1. I don't think I could listen to those conversations. They would be horrifying.

    1. Yes and no. They were fascinating. It also shed some light on all those officers who, after the war, swore they didn't know what was going on and that it was "The Gestapo what dunnit, not us".

  2. Sorry about your bowling alley and league. How many people are required for a league?

    Thanks again for helping me with the A to Z list.

    1. Basically you need about 20 people to form a league, I only managed to get 13. The trouble with a summer league is most people have other things they wish to do, not least of which is golfing. There will be over 40 people looking for a home for the winter league next season.

      You are very welcome, I enjoyed it and read more blogs than I might have managed otherwise.

  3. There are so many that got away with murder, literally! Maybe that's why the criminal element is so sure of themselves. I'm talking of the folks who poison our food, manage our money, and govern our countries -- the only true interest is the bottom line. Yeah, a bit cynical, but reading such stories brings it out.
    Take a deep breath, bury head in the sand, and move on.

    Chocolate pecan tart - you know what I like!

    1. What surprised me was the English let this bunch get away with it just to preserve the secrets of how they obtained their information.

      Sounds good doesn't it?

  4. I'm with Alex, I think my heart would just break listening to the evil spewing out of their mouths. I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle hearing it.

    On a much lighter note, that chocolate pecan tart- might just have to get made this afternoon. I am going to the store to pick up the ingredients. It looks absolutely fabulous.

    1. Just as well you didn't work for the MI5 or whoever, they had to listen to it. They also got German Jews to do some of the translation too as, obviously, they were talking German. I don't suppose they liked that too much either.

      Let me know how the tart turns out.

  5. That sounds like a fascinating show. I just finished reading Simon Tolkien's Orders From Berlin, so this sort of thing is on my mind.
    Yum, I wish I was eating that tart right now!

    1. It was fascinating, and all of it was just picked up from the officers chatting with one another. I guess the documents had been hidden for a long while.

      Me too.

  6. Sorry to hear about your bowling alley, but it's good you have another close by.

    I'm so glad you can post more chocolate recipes again. ;) I've seen the lasagna recipe before, but the tart is new to me. Yum! May just have to try both.

    A to Z and Beyond (blogger shout-out!)
    The Daille-y News

  7. Hitler always brings up a disgusted "wow." But that chocolate tart...WOW!

    1. I know Zoe, but we need to know these things in order to try and prevent it happening again.

      I agree, WOW

  8. Fresh pecans, you lucky duck!

    That programme sounds highly interesting. I would probably be ill throughout but there is a part of me that thinks its important to know about these things too, even though it hurts. Good mental health or's a tough call to make sometimes!

    1. Love pecans.

      It was interesting, it just tees me off these guys never were punished although I do understand the priority of not "letting on".

  9. I do miss bowling. Every few years I defy my thrice-fused back and do it anyway. I pay dearly for days afterwards, but I do so enjoy it.

    1. Well your type of bowling (10 pin) is a lot harder on the back than 5 pin. Come visit Canada and I will show you what I mean. The balls aren't so heavy for a start.