Baking time again. Lately Vancouverites have been enjoying on some beautiful tropical fruits such as litchee, mango, watermelon etc etc. The weather certainly bodes well for picking them at their peak. With the strawberries and mangoes in season, I decided to make a strawberry mango tart. I first started to make the crust. As always I chose the pate sucre crust by Felder. I find that his recipe has the right levels of lightness and crispness to the pastry.
Key to a light and flaky pastry.
- work the cold butter in with the flour until sand like texture than add the remaining ingredients
Next I made the pastry cream to fill the tarts once the tart was cooled.
- do not over cook the pastry cream. Take it off the heat once the cream thickens and boils. Whisk constantly as the pastry cream will burn.
- To prevent lumps of cornstarch, mix the sugar with the cornstarch first prior to adding it into the milk
Once the pastry cream has cooled, I then set to decorate the tart. Pastry Cream Recipe
1 1/4 cups milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup castor sugar
1 tsp. vanilla essence. ( I chose to use a vanilla bean)
Result: This recipe is a keeper. Both strawberry and mango complimented each other. The pastry cream was light, smooth and creamy and added complexity to the dessert.
Have a lovely weekend all!!!!
I decided to make another chocolate treat today with the remaining cream I had in the fridge. I had taken some courses in Pastry as my favourite hobby thus decided to recreate something I learned in class with my own little twist to it. As the instructor once said, “now that I have taught you the basics it is up to us students to practice and take the recipe to a new level.”
I first started out with a pate sable crust and added another dimension to the classic crust. I had some unsweetened coconut flakes lying around and thus decided to toast them in the oven for a toasted coconut taste. I then formed the dough with the roasted coconut and proceeded to bake the crust. One could either use round bottomless tart rings or fluted tart rings, both worked.
Next I assembled the two different chocolate ganache and used as fillings for the tarts. I first prepared the milk chocolate coffee cream filling. I heated the cream and then added the coffee to the cream for infusion. For a stronger coffee taste, steep the coffee and cream for a longer period of time. With a strainer, I strained the cream and coffee onto the chopped milk chocolate chunks and whipped until all the ingredients were combined and smooth. I then poured the milk chocolate ganache onto the base of the baked tarts to cool. Note: Coffee is only an option for flavoring, you could use other flavorings for the milk chocolate.
With the milk chocolate ganache cooling, attention was placed on making the dark chocolate ganache for the top. I repeated the identical steps in making the milk chocolate ganache minus the coffee and then poured the dark chocolate ganache onto the set tarts. Once the tarts were set, a raspberry and chocolate pearls were used to decorate the tarts. I prefer a simplistic approach.
The finish product was a smooth and rich tart. You got your rich dark chocolate taste complimented by a milk chocolate coffee layer finished by a sweet crust with a hint of roasted coconut.
Pate Sucre adapted from Le Cordon Bleu
1 2/3 cups of all purpose flour (I used cake and pastry flour)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup superfine sugar (I used berry sugar)
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean)
***Opt. Roasted Coconut
Sift flour into bowl and rub in butter. Combine the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla together. Mix the flour and the sugar mixture together to form a ball. Press together lightly and chill for 30 minutes.