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I find myself baking much more than I thought when starting this blog, probably because I am not a baker and it’s a challenge for me and I love challenges. Attempting to create beautiful and delicious bakery goods to have and to share has helped refine that skill. On the “behind the scenes” action I find myself chanting, “No need to be frightened.” Head strong and after copious amounts of butter and eggs later I feel complete. Whoever said that baking is an easy task to undertake was wrong or perhaps left a few details out. I find comfort working with my favorite baking medium [eggs], nothing more and nothing less; whipped egg whites can do spectacular things. Light as air, meringue can satisfy my sweet tooth any day.
Chocolate Pâte Sucree Recipe
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
6 tablepsoons unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
This is the chocolate tart base for these or any filled tart.
Process butter, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor until smooth and creamy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add egg to the mixture and further process for a few minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the food processor bowl.
Once egg is completely incorporated, turn processor off and add the flour all at once. Run the food processor to create dough. This will be almost take five seconds. If you see any loose dustings of flour, do not worry. Place dough onto a work surface and knead gently to form a ball. Place on a piece of wax paper and fold edges over dough and flatten. Chill for at least two hours.
Divide dough into eight equal pieces. Working with one dough piece at a time, roll out to an eighth of an inch. Even if you see the pan through the dough, don’t be alarmed, the egg in this type of dough will cause it to expand and make a nice crust. Place dough into tart pan and press along the edges to cut the dough to shape. Now press dough into the sides of the tart pan. The bottom may split as you do this, but no fear, just press the dough to make a nice smooth bottom. Repeat with remaining tart pans. Chill for thirty minutes and prick bottoms a few times with the tines of a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 12-14 minutes. You may be wondering why I haven’t instructed to blind bake this crust, I find that there is no need, as the dough is rolled out thinly and it does not puff so much.
Recipe Makes 8-4” tarts.
Raspberry Chocolate Tart Filling Recipe
7 ounces heavy cream
6 ounces best quality semisweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons raspberry puree
Combine the cream and raspberry puree in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately pour over chocolate chunks, whisk until smooth. Allow mixture to cool slightly then place three tablespoons in each tart shell. Chill to firm chocolate.
Toasted Meringue Recipe
½ cup plus 1 Tablespoons granular sugar
3 Tablespoons water
2 large egg whites, room temperature
pinch of cream of tartar
pinch of sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice [optional]
Bring sugar and water to a boil over medium heat. [Bring temperature to 238°F] Meanwhile, whip egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and sea salt. Whip on medium high speed until soft peaks form.
Once sugar syrup reaches the proper temperature, slowly pour into the egg whites. [The best way to incorporate the syrup is to pour it down the inside of the bowl, avoiding the wire whisk.] After the syrup, incorporate lemon juice, and whip egg whites on high speed until glossy [approximately 5-8 minutes.] Use meringue immediately.
Fill a pastry bag with a large rounded star tip and pipe onto the chilled tart. Now comes the fun part where we have a chance to burn the kitchen down. Using a torch, toast the meringue to your liking and garnish with fresh raspberries.
As with any recipe, I encourage you to edit, experiment and adjust. What’s right for you is what works. If you feel like busting out this recipe, let me know what you think.