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Goat Cheese And Fresh Berries Tarts

Fresh Berries Tartelettes

Bill says that he is over the whole "birthday week" idea and that he’s been feeling that way since his last 30th birthday. Good thing I am not because as it gives me the opportunity to post about these Goat Cheese and Berries Tarts that were part of his dessert table a couple of weeks ago. Actually, I made these on three separate occasions prior to his birthday. Each time they disappeared as fast as the donuts.

They are good. They are pretty. They are a breeze to make. Simple pleasure. Sexy too. Indeed, as soon as I put these on the table the other day, our dear friend T. exclaimed "sexy tarts for SPOC!" And this is where I have to backtrack a little and explained why the entire room bursted out laughing, except Bill.

A couple of years ago, my dear husband was voted "SPOC", short for Sexiest Professor On Campus, by the College newspaper. (makes me wonder if the writers of Star Trek had something else in mind). That evening, Bill walked through the door furiously waving the paper in the air, red as a carp and exclaiming "I am SPOC! I am SPOC! I am ruined!"

Berries Before The Rain

I picked up the paper from his hand and started reading, half smiling, half laughing the whole way through. Actually, I thought it was pretty darn cool! I was married to the Sexiest Professor On Campus! Hello?!! Mine is what younger women refer to as "seasoned gentleman", you see. Told him I totally agreed with their hotness rating and that it was just a light topic to read during exams. No one said it was international news they were writing about. I could not figure why he was so upset.

"People voted for my looks and not my academic capabilities. How will I ever be taken seriously by my peers now? Looks over content! That’s terrible!" (notice the drama bit here). He went on and on like that for a couple of minutes until I broke his rant by saying "Is that all? You don’t find it demeaning? You don’t feel cheated, cheap?" He looked at me completely surprised by my last comment, adding "well, geez! Thanks! You sure know how to make me feel better!"

I called him over to the kitchen, handed him a slice of cake and said "Dude! First, by looking at the other professors in the running, they would have been out of their minds not to pick you! Second, it’s all meant in good fun. Third, well, shiz Bill, you are sexy so shut up and eat! Dang you make it really hard to pay you a compliment!"

Goat Cheese And Berries Tarts

I thought we were done with this mini crisis (Oy! My girlfriends' seem easy all of a sudden!) until his bestfriend T. put his hands on a copy of the paper, circled SPOC in red, framed the article and presented it to Bill for his 50th birthday that same week. We knew it was meant as a joke but I could hear Bill sigh as he tore open the wrapping paper. I quickly brought over a piece of cake, said "shushh and eat up! You sexy thing" and made a popping "SPOC" sound with my hand and my mouth. He did not find funny. At all.

To this day, whether we want to brush his ego or push his button, depending on the mood and occasion, we all insert SPOC anywhere we can in the conversation and make popping SPOC sounds whenever we can throughout the day. And most often we like to add "shushh and eat up!" And you know what, even after a gazillion desserts, Bill still retains his sexy figure. Men…Not fair!

One thing he asks me to make about every other week is these tarts, filled with a mild goat cheese mousse and topped with berries during the Spring and Summer or caramelized apple during the winter (they would be great with roasted quince too, come to think of it). We love goat cheese and berries together, especially goat cheese ice cream and cherries so we tend to use medium bodied cheese but if you are hesitant regarding the final taste, try with a mild one first. I have tried all sorts of different pastry doughs for these but I always go back to a short crust. It tends to stay crisper longer while filled with moist cheese or mousses.

Goat Cheese And Berries Tarts

Two years ago: Marbled Ricotta Cheesecake Brownies

Goat Cheese And Berries Tarts.

Makes 4

For the pate sablee:
2 tablespoons (20gr) slivered almonds
1/4 cup (50gr) cup sugar, divided
1/2 stick (56.5gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
3/4 cup (90gr) all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the goat cheese mousse:
200 ml heavy cream, cold
4 oz (120gr) goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25gr) to 1/4 cup (50gr) sugar, depending on your preference
juice and zest of half a lemon

2 cups assorted berries such as raspberries, red currants, blueberries, etc…

Prepare the pate sablee:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place almonds and 2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, vanilla bean seeds, ground nuts and salt on medium speed until well-combined. Slowly add remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and flour and mix well. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Place the dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it out to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out four 6- inch rounds and fit them inside four 4- inch tartlet rings, patting the dough in with your fingertips if it breaks on you as you transfer the rounds. Gather the scraps and set aside.
Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place a piece of parchment paper inside the tart shells, fill with beans or pie weights. Bake the shells for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks and remove the pie weights.

Prepare the goat cheese mousse:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream to medium stiff peaks and reserve it in the refrigerator while you prepare the mousse.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the goat cheese and sugar with a spatula (if the goat cheese is soft enough there is no need to put your mixer to use on that one). Add the lemon zest and juice and mix thoroughly until incorporated.
Carefully fold the reserved whipped cream into the goat cheese base by placing your spatula in the center of the bowl, scooping the bottom over the top. Give your bowl a 45 degree turn and repeat until the batter is smooth. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse and divide it evenly among all tart cooled tart shells.

Divide the berries evenly over the mousse and refrigerate the tarts until ready to serve.

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Meeta K. Wolff August 10, 2009 um 8:04 am

hahaha! loved the story! I am sure deep inside he was rather pleased to be selected SPOC! I also love the way everytime he got flustered about it you fed him cake – cracked me up!
lovely looking dessert!

Julia @ Mรฉlanger August 10, 2009 um 8:28 am

I am in a bit of a pastry month lock down and this goats cheese and berry tart instantly got my attention – like all your lovely desserts! So good that it sounds like you can distract and diffuse a situation with your spectacular baking. Men. Strange creatures. P.S. Love that beautiful photograph of the bowl of berries near the window. The light is just gorgeous!

Rosa's Yummy Yums August 10, 2009 um 8:39 am

A wonderful idea! Those tartlets look so refined, refreshing and luscious!

Your pictures are incredibly beautiful!



morgana August 10, 2009 um 9:00 am

I'm sure, every profesor in that campus envy your husband… ๐Ÿ˜‰ And every estudent envy you too. I actually envy you too but not because of your sexy husband (I don't know him) but because of your talent at baking and food styling. And I know I'm not the only one…

Congrats for everything.
One of your spanish fans.

Anonymous August 10, 2009 um 10:08 am

Oh wow, those look absolutely beautiful. I love the SPOC story, too, definitely brightened up my Monday morning ๐Ÿ™‚
I love goats cheese, and berries, so the thought of combining them is genious (even thought I wouldn't have thought of it, strangely enough). Thanks for sharing.

shaz August 10, 2009 um 10:22 am

That looks so luscious! Loved the story that went with it…maybe Bill needs a new title – SPOB (Sexiest Partner on Blog)..naaah…doesn't have the same ring to it ๐Ÿ™‚

Kelly-Jane August 10, 2009 um 10:33 am

Aw, good for Bill! Tell him not to feel badly – brains and beauty – the perfect mix ๐Ÿ™‚

Unknown August 10, 2009 um 10:39 am

Even if I already knew this recipe I never saw it illustrated with such magnificent shots, you're really becoming better and better with the camera.

Nina Timm August 10, 2009 um 11:08 am

Sometimes men just don't like to be made fun of……that's just how it is!!! This tart, however will put my hubs out of his bad mood very quickly!!!

Jennifer August 10, 2009 um 11:12 am

Oh I love it! My husband always has at least a birthday week, sometimes urging to prolong it even more!

Sexy tarts!! Too funny!! But I will have to agree!!! Stunning, sexy, etc etc! Im LOVING that use of goat cheese with the berries!!

Beyza August 10, 2009 um 11:29 am

Hi Helen,
I discovered your blog about a week ago. I loved the pics, delicious recipes and your sweet stories. Surely I will try some of the recipes but I need some time. It wonยดt be so easy to decide ๐Ÿ™‚

Simo August 10, 2009 um 11:35 am

Che delizia…..

Tres Jolie Studios August 10, 2009 um 11:42 am

I bet the creamy goat cheese would be a wonderful companion to the tart berries! Delish.

Philo aux fourneaux – Blog culinaire August 10, 2009 um 11:43 am

Je ne sais pas si ton mari est ร  tomber mais ces tartelettes le sont ! Bises

Anh August 10, 2009 um 11:47 am

Goat cheese tarts! I know I would love that!

Hilda August 10, 2009 um 12:26 pm

Goat cheese and fruit, the perfect combination! I don't suppose it would help to say that I doubt Bill's peers in the academic world use the college newspaper as an assessment tool… If they do he might have other bigger problems than being voted SPOC, lol. A. is not as seasoned but I am wife #2 or #3 depending on how you count. I like that.

Anonymous August 10, 2009 um 12:41 pm

Well, of course I don't know about your husband but these tarts definitely look sexy! Always love reading your posts- thanks. Anna ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to the Chopping Board August 10, 2009 um 12:57 pm

Mmmm…… they look divine! I bet they taste it too..

Navita (Gupta) Hakim August 10, 2009 um 12:58 pm

GORGEOUS…can't believe they are easy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Amy J August 10, 2009 um 1:03 pm

How funny is that. Y'all sound like a fun bunch to hang out with.

Beautiful tart. This would have been perfect for a bridal brunch a few months back, although I've never made my own dough – never! It looks so difficult to me.

This is a stupid question but where do you buy red currants?

Poorni Pillai August 10, 2009 um 1:04 pm

๐Ÿ˜€ That's a funny story. I think SPOC is a fantastic compliment. Yup, sexy tarts indeed!

Helene August 10, 2009 um 1:53 pm

Hilda: I am wife #2 also!

Amy J: you can find them at the grocery store, depending on how well they stock their produce section or at most health food stores.

Nina Timm: really, they were not making fun of him but he's always funny when people comment on his looks.

MyKitchenInHalfCups August 10, 2009 um 1:54 pm

Oh Helen you wonderful woman! Thanks so much for the word by word exchange, that is just the best! SPOC what a hoot!
I so wish I'd had this recipe in Portland where our son has a fig tree dropping them by the dozens everyday. Love goat cheese but never tried it sweet like this.

Cheri August 10, 2009 um 1:56 pm

Oh Helen! These look divine!

Sara @ Our Best Bites August 10, 2009 um 1:58 pm

Those pictures are GORGEOUS!

Valรฉrie August 10, 2009 um 2:28 pm

This was a really funny story! I think I can sort of understand Bill's concerns though: I teach too, and I would be a little uncomfortable knowing my students found me attractive – although I suppose it depends on where you are in your career (I've only just started, so I'm still trying to establish my authority).

Those tartlets look divine! I don't pair goat cheese with sweetness nearly often enough.

emily August 10, 2009 um 2:33 pm

Do you think it would be possible to translate this to a larger tart size? I've never made a tart before, but for some reason, the goat cheese is calling out to me. I don't own much in terms of baking pans and equipment, so I was just wondering what size tart this would make? They look delicious!

Nirmala August 10, 2009 um 3:14 pm

Helen, you made me laugh aloud (at work ;)) You have a great talent on explaining happenings in such a vivid manner as I could imagine the whole scene where Bill was furious and becoming calm once gobbling up the slice of cake! It was wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes both Bill and the tarts were SPOC ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nutmeg Nanny August 10, 2009 um 3:15 pm

You had me at goat cheese…yum!

Phoo-D August 10, 2009 um 3:43 pm

These look lovely and delicious! I don't suppose Bill has looked himself up on They have a category for "hot" along with other more academic ratings.

Deeba PAB August 10, 2009 um 3:45 pm

Great fun read Helen.Love your blushing SPOC…and these gorgeous tartlets just seem to make your cookie monster happy! They are STUNNING. I would love to try making these one day…

Irina @ PastryPal August 10, 2009 um 3:46 pm

Ha, funny the nicknames that can't be lived down. And now a dessert to go with the nickname. Yes, this tart is indeed sexy, and dare I say even sophisticated, with that goat cheese filling.
By the way, thank you for the warm welcome. You're so sweet. I'm thrilled to have joined the blogging gang.

Helene August 10, 2009 um 3:49 pm

Valerie: I understand. In Bill's case he has been there 18 years so not that much to prove anymore. His classes are always full so he really needn't worry about that!

Phoo -D: I did it for him! He's got 3 hot red chile peppers ๐Ÿ™‚ I think he's doing alright!!

Erin Helgerson August 10, 2009 um 4:01 pm

Those are absolutely stunning! I'm so glad I just stumbled upon your blog. I aspire to be like you! Such great pictures and recipes! I'm INSPIRED! THanks for the great post, and Happy Monday! XO!

browniegirl August 10, 2009 um 4:10 pm

What a happy fun read….so enjoyed it and these are definitely sexy tartlets for a SPOC…WOW! Well done!! xxx

montague August 10, 2009 um 4:19 pm

they sound amazing, and look it too (as ever!)

Chelsea August 10, 2009 um 4:27 pm

So lovely, cheese and dessert course all at once. Perfect!

Christine August 10, 2009 um 4:57 pm

I can't wait to try these tarts with some ripe plums! I recently made a tart with blue cheese, but I think the goat cheese would work a lot better. Thanks for the great stories and pictures!

Char August 10, 2009 um 5:10 pm


I adore goat cheese

veron August 10, 2009 um 5:35 pm

So ready to try this. Hungry hubby hates goat cheese but I'm sure the mild one won't bother him. He..hee. Bill crack me up, Mr. Spoc.

Jamie August 10, 2009 um 5:57 pm

Love the story…stunning photos, I am always in awe of your photography skills!

isa August 10, 2009 um 6:26 pm

Dรฉlicieux billet!
Et les tartelettes sont une vraie tuerie, impossible d'y rรฉsister!

leaca August 10, 2009 um 6:49 pm

LOL…poor guy.

Those tarts look delish. I wished I could eat them and retain a figure. guys! sheesh!

Maybe August 10, 2009 um 7:00 pm

I laughed soooo much when I read your little annecdote about your husband !!! PS : Your tarts are so lovely… I love the picture you took near the window.

Tuty August 10, 2009 um 7:31 pm

Your photograhps are outstanding…
I especially love the currants.. they're like tiny jewels.

What would you suggest I use if we don't eat goat cheese?

Helene August 10, 2009 um 8:27 pm

Tuty: you could use mascarpone, cream cheese or even yogurt cheese (yogurt that has been drained overnight).

Thanks everyone! We are having another SPOC-ish day over here ๐Ÿ™‚

Shining Windows August 10, 2009 um 10:14 pm

you lucky thing being married to such a sexy prof…great fun story and wonderful recipe!

Lisa~~ August 10, 2009 um 10:47 pm

Oh my gosh these tarts look so wonderful I'm going to have to make them…with my own little twist though. I have been on a major goat cheese & fig binge as my neighbors tree is laden with figs. I've been picking figs every day and eating them with goat cheese & some 20+ yr balsamic vinegar drizzled on. I'm ready to make these right now, thanks for posting the recipe.

Chez US August 10, 2009 um 11:00 pm


I love this story & I bet deep down inside he secretly liked being SPOC – after all, what guy or gal, for that matter, wouldn't – at least for a few moments! Beautiful tarts as well!

Lori August 11, 2009 um 12:51 am

This is funny because two weeks ago I made a tart with goat cheese and then raspberries and blueberries on top. I didnt post them because it just didnt look pretty. Well yours is way beyond mine. Beautiful, sexy and colorful. I like the mousse idea A LOT!

And one time you put a pic of your husband up and (sorry to him but) he is SO sexy! SPOC. ha. I love it.

jackie connelly August 11, 2009 um 1:24 am

Wow goat cheese and berries ~ you really ARE on the same page as Shannon's marscapone blueberry pie ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and that shot of the berries in the window — to die for. Well done.

Engineer Baker August 11, 2009 um 1:27 am

That is just too funny – poor Bill! My dad's a prof, and he's known as "that scary one you don't take unless you can take a lot of sarcasm & biting wit," so you just play the cards you're dealt, right? And those tarts look wonderful! Sorry I haven't been around lately, but I promise to do better – I finally get to meet you in 1.5 mos!!! I'm just a little bit thrilled ๐Ÿ™‚

Nicole August 11, 2009 um 1:51 am

I agree with Nutmeg Nanny – you had me at goat cheese. Yum, yum, yum.

And that was an adorable story!

diva August 11, 2009 um 2:39 am

goats cheese and berries sound like an awesome combination. i like goats cheese with sweetish things and this is just fab. looks amazing!

Dana August 11, 2009 um 4:12 am

Gorgeous dessert, amazing photos and terrific story! What a lucky woman you are to have a SPOC. ๐Ÿ™‚

Alexandra August 11, 2009 um 4:58 am

The pain and agony of being beautiful AND intelligent…great story!
you're quite a pair!

Since your creations look heavenly, do you 'float' over your composition to get those great shots?
(I mean really there are no shadowy disruptions to speak of)

Marc @ NoRecipes August 11, 2009 um 5:06 am

This does indeed look sexy. What kind of goat cheese do you use? Chevre?

Helene August 11, 2009 um 5:20 am

Marc: chevre means goat cheese so I am guessing you are refering to whether it was fresh, ashy, in crottins, hard, etc…I used a mild fresh one here.

Alexandra: ahahah…it's been ages since I floated anywhere!! I shoot in the morning where the shadows are at their minimum and play around with bounces directed at them to minimize them more (silver bounces, cardboard, papers, etc…)

Simones Kitchen August 11, 2009 um 7:16 am

What a funny story! Even funnier since Bill doesn't think it's funny..:) The goatcheese and berries combo looks absolutely divine. I love goatcheese and this sounds delicious!

Abbie August 11, 2009 um 11:22 am

These look really lovely. The goat cheese is a great idea.

Anonymous August 11, 2009 um 3:19 pm

These tarts look/sound absolutely divine. What a great story! My husband is also easily distracted by a treat.

matt August 11, 2009 um 9:37 pm

WOW. just perfect right now. love the red currants in there.

Cakebrain August 11, 2009 um 11:07 pm

Lucky you for having such a sexy husband! The tarts look like they'd win a sexy contest too!

Ash August 11, 2009 um 11:32 pm

Beautiful!! I've by dying to make a tart like this recently.. I must give it a go now!

Anonymous August 12, 2009 um 2:06 am

That story about having SPOC for a husband is hilarious!

Anonymous August 12, 2009 um 2:10 am

My photos would never look as beautiful as yours, but this is one little tart I think I can make. Thanks for the inspiration!

Romy August 12, 2009 um 9:21 am

Hello Helen, thank you for your comments and for stopping by my blog! Your photos are absolutely stunning and it's a pleasure to visit here. I'll be back! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cannelle Et Vanille August 12, 2009 um 11:40 am

"you are sexy so shut up and eat!"… that's a great line. i will use it more often… hahaha… i'm cracking up. the tarts look so refreshing… oh how i love berries with anything!

Eileen @ Passions to Pastry August 12, 2009 um 12:34 pm

This tart is being added to my list of things I need to bake. Beautiful photos!

Dharm August 13, 2009 um 11:23 am

What a lovely tart and how fun to be married to the SPOC!! Loved the post as much as I loved the tart!

ChichaJo August 13, 2009 um 2:53 pm

Aw! Love this story…love your couple dynamic ๐Ÿ™‚ And these tarts are another thing to love…what a delicious combination with the goat cheese!

mimi August 13, 2009 um 3:36 pm

what a wonderful story, and there are certainly worse things than being called sexy! and worrying about being judged by looks and not brains – sigh, if only all men could understand what us women go through!!

but speaking of looks, these tarts look delicious! and lovely photos, i always have trouble with red hues, but these just look great!

Madison Sanders August 14, 2009 um 11:34 pm

Haha, this was funny! Althogh I'm sure Bill still cringes when he hears about it. Good thing baked good will cure almost any ailment.

Jen Yu August 15, 2009 um 12:27 pm

Oh you crazy girl! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love goat cheese, but I've never seen anyone make it as sexy as you make it. And speaking of sexy… SPOC! Awesome. He is just awesome. It is no surprise then that he gets to celebrate each day with a beautiful woman bearing sexy French desserts. Hey! That's YOU ๐Ÿ™‚ xxoo Love you guys.

Julie August 17, 2009 um 2:45 am

WOW – beautiful food, beautiful story, and beautiful website! Way to go!!

Mel @ August 17, 2009 um 3:55 am

The currents are so transparent and beautiful. mmm… that looks delicious, thanks so much for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ Can't wait to try it!

Unknown August 20, 2009 um 12:07 pm

since i always have chevre in the fridge, and tart dough in the freezer, this is my new emergency secret weapon dessert. it was SOOO good.

molly August 20, 2009 um 7:04 pm

Fabulous photos. So wonderful seeing great photos of great food. We just recently recreated our website Tried to catch the essence of authentic, artisan, natural, Italian gelato and sorbet. Let me know your thoughts. Suggestions are always so helpful. Thanks again for creating such a beautiful site to review!

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