The Indestructable Almond Tart

Sometimes I feel like I must be walking around with a sign on me that says…

“Even though it’s obvious from the way I’m holding it, I’m carrying a fragile dessert that I’ve spent hours making…

…But please feel free to walk right into me anyways.”

Yes, that was me trying to navigate Paris, tranversing the sidewalks and mètros of Paris, hoping to make it safely to the New Year’s party I was invited to with my Almond Tart.


As those who read this blog regularly may recall, I’m a target for Parisians when carrying fragile cakes and tarts down the street. For some reason, they’ll just walk right into me.

But this time, I got wise to their antics and thwarted their efforts to derail me by remembering a favorite recipe from my past, Lindsey’s Almond Tart, one of the all-time great desserts that I made almost every day at Chez Panisse for years and years. Once baked, the tart is bullet-proof: and as anticipated, the disk of firm caramelized almonds successfully withstood both the Line #1 and #14 mètros.


I made it safely to my New Year’s Eve fête with the tart. I did get body-checked by a Parisian in the Bastille mètro, forcing me to crash into the tile wall, and heard the loud “Thwack” of the porcelain cake plate it was resting on.

“Zut!, I thought.
But the tart arrived safely and after dinner, everyone nibbled on it happily along with the last of the cold Champagne along with the Chocolate, Sour Cherry, and Toasted Almond Bark that I made with fleur de sel, which was equally a big hit.

So here’s a few resolutions for my life in 2006…

-I’m going to avoid the black tar as much as I can…


-I’m going to perfect my Madeleine recipe…


-I’m going to cut back on the amount of chocolate I eat…


-I’m going to get to work on my next cookbook…


-And I’m going to become a true Frenchman and no matter how impeccably or fashionably dressed I am, I’m going to wear the wackiest socks I can drum up…


I will avoid socks with images of Homer Simpson or Asterix, though, so popular with the men here in France, though. Even I have my limits.

Never miss a post!


  • January 4, 2006 9:23am

    Those socks are fabulously wretched! Although I think Asterix socks sound pretty cool.. Might have to get me a pair!

  • Melissa
    January 4, 2006 9:46am

    Pumpkin (socks) seems to be your color.
    Nice looking tart!
    Do you shop at Metro?? (Barry chocolate & Large size sugar)

    Happy New Year David!

  • marsha danosky
    January 4, 2006 10:59am

    Thanks for enlightening me about the socks! I thought it strange when I saw the socks of a french friend,but now I know it must be a cultural thing!!

  • January 4, 2006 11:40am

    A new cookbook? A perfected madeleine recipe? David, if you do either of those two, you’ll have made this blogger’s 2006 a stellar year as well. So, Happy New Year and get working! :) Thanks for your great blog.

  • January 4, 2006 2:55pm

    Two things we always bring back from Paris – chocolate and socks. Thank you for sharing your goals and resolutions.


  • andrea
    January 5, 2006 5:43am

    love your blog,

    a shop here in philadelphia where i reside sells the zaniest of socks. Its called benjamin lovell, perhaps try the website. I have a pair with andy warhols lithographs of shoes and a pair with exotic fruits!!

  • January 5, 2006 6:57am

    Dear David, could you please identify those chocolate bars/boxes for other addicts out here? Is rhe black box Valrhona’s cocoa…hmmmm…Also have you seen the New York MTA’s terrific socks #10943? & then search for socks Quite handsome.. :)

  • January 5, 2006 8:20am

    Hi Carol:

    The chocolates are: Excellent, Parisienne Surefine, and Chocolat Blanc (white chocolate). The boxes are ‘palets’ or pellets of Santa Domingo dark chocolate and milk chocolate from New Guinea. All the chocolates are from Barry-Callebaut (or Cacao Barry, depending on where you live.) I think they’re only available in France and you can get them at professional supply shops here, although Callebaut is available worldwide.

  • Monique
    January 5, 2006 10:07pm

    Love your site- I spent several hours reading your blog after discovering it while on Christmas vacation and have been hooked ever since. (Yeah, yeah, everyone says that)
    btw, Asterix and Obelix comix were my favorite back in the olden days – I had no idea they were still around. Thanks!