26 November 2008

Adult Rating

A much awaited return! At least to the few who drop by now and then. Honestly, if not for those nudges for me to start blogging again, I would have been too lazy to. Bad me. So far, I've also yet to pick up my camera and cooking utensils, but hopefully I will do so a couple of times before I set off on my holiday to Japan.

I left before truly finishing my strawberry phase so I really have just this one recipe left. As a warm up to my return to the blogosphere, it's really quite short and easy. Despite that, I do think it results in a very pretty and classy outcome, good for entertaining!

Because the whole recipe barely uses any sugar, it's quite adult and probably won't go very well with the sweet tooth. And because it's so simple, it's important to use sweet strawberries and good chocolate if you have access to them, or at least those you think are good. The tart pastry recipe yields much more than required for 2 individual tarts, but you can freeze the extra till you decide to make more tarts again.

Bitter Chocolate and Strawberry Tart
Makes 2 4" tarts

Chocolate Tart Pastry
240g flour
25g sugar
2tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
125g butter, chopped and chilled
1 egg yolk
40ml ice cold water

- Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Using the fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. While incorporating the butter, lift up your hand slightly and let the flour fall back into the bowl.
- When no big pieces of butter is left, mix the egg yolk and water in a small bowl and pour it over the flour mixture.
- Knead gently with fingertips until the dough comes together in a ball. Work lightly and as little as possible so that the pastry will be flaky when baked.
- Divide the dough into 3 portions, wrap each portion in cling wrap and chill for 30 mins or until ready to use. I like to wrap each portion into individual plastic bags and then pop all into a Ziploc bag if I'm freezing them.

- Preheat oven to 180 degC. Lightly butter and flour 2 4" tart moulds.
- Take out 1 portion (out of 3) of the chilled dough, roll out to 1/8" - 1/4" thick and fit into tart moulds.
- Trim off the excess from the edges and prick the base with a fork. Chill again for another 30 mins.
- Bake the tart pastry for 20 - 30mins until cooked through.
- Let chill before assembling the tarts.

100g dark chocolate
80ml cream
2 tbsp milk (optional)

10 - 12 smallish strawberries

- Put the chocolate, into a large bowl. I use chocolate pallets, but if yours comes in a block, chop into smaller pieces to facilitate melting.
- In a small pot over medium heat, cook cream and milk until small bubbles form around the sides and then remove from heat.
- Add the cream to the chocolate and stir occasionally until all the chocolate has melted. Let cool before assembling the tarts.
- Divide the cooled ganache into the baked tart crusts. Let chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve before proceeding to the next step. If you cut the strawberries too early, they'll dry out when you chill the tart.
- 15mins before serving, wash and hull the strawberries. I cut the tops off so that it's easier to slice them.
- Place strawberries, cut side (top) down, and cut into thin slices.
- Finish the tart by arranging the strawberries on top in a flower-like pattern. Work from the outermost towards the center.

No comments: