Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Recipe: Lemon Curd Chocolate Tarts with Raspberries

Chocolate Tart:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
seeds from one whole vanilla pod (or use vanilla sugar in place of regular)
1 teaspoon ice water

In a large bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a small bowl, using a fork, combine remaining ingredients; add to cocoa mixture. Rub mixture with your fingers until it holds together without large clumps of butter remaining. Turn mixture onto a clean surface, and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Form into a disk, and wrap in plastic; chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 170C. Roll out or press dough into tart pans and prick holes in bottom of the pastry with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Remove and allow to cool completely.

This recipe makes about 5 small tart pans or 1 10-inch tart pan.

Lemon Curd:
5 egg yolks
1 C sugar
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1 stick butter
1/2 C heavy whipped cream

Beat egg yolks with sugar till light and fluffy, add lemon juice and zest. Set the bowl over a steaming water bath and mix till eggs and lemon thicken. Add the butter to the mixture when it has thickened. Let cool and add in half a cup of whipped cream. Both the lemon filling and the chocolate tart should be cool when assembled. Refrigerate and decorate with raspberries or lemon curls.

I'm actually not a huge fan of this lemon curd recipe, which makes a very sharp and strong lemon curd. You can also use these other recipe that I put up recently here for lemon cream, which is smoother, more lucious and yummier.

Another variation is to put the lemon curd at the bottom of the tart and fill the top with a chocolate ganache, which can be decorated with a design on white chocolate on the surface.

Chocolate ganache:
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
1 ounce white chocolate

Place 3/4 of chocolate in a large bowl and bring 3/4 of the cream to a full boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. While the cream is coming to a boil, work the butter with a rubber spatula until it becomes soft and creamy and then set aside

When the cream is at the boil, remove the pan from the heat and, working with a whisk, gently stir the cream into the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Leave the bowl on the counter for a minute before adding the butter.

Add 3/4 of the butter to the chocolate bit by bit, stirring gently to blend. When the butter is fully incorporated, the ganache should be smooth and glossy. Refrigerate ganache until chilled.

Remove ganache from fridge and empty into bowl of electric mixer - whip until light and fluffy. Pour whipped ganache into tart shell, smooth out with an off-set spatula and refrigerate until set.

Heat the 1/4 cream carefully, add to the 1/4 remaining chocolate and mix in the 1/4 remaining butter as before. Let cool for a few minutes on the counter. Pour over chilled ganache in tart shell and leave on counter while preparing the white chocolate. The idea behind this is that by the top layer of the chocolate ganache needs to be wet, so that you can dredge through the white chocolate with a toothpick for making designs.

Melt white chocolate on low heat. Allow to cool on counter for 1-3 minutes. Pour into small sealable bag or cake decorating bag with small tip and pipe swirls on top of still pliable ganache icing on tart. Take a skewer and drag it through the white chocolate and top layer of ganache to create a design.

No comments: