Monday, January 5, 2009

Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

Chocolate raspberry tart VI
Chocolate raspberry tart I
Chocolate raspberry tart V

When I bought Nigella Lawson's cookbook, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, I was in Ireland vacationing with my friend, Renee. I didn't realize at the time that the recipes are - duh - on the metric scale. Every time I bake from this book I have to convert, and I worry just a little that I don't get it exactly right. Most things turn out tasting fine although they may not be as pretty as Nigella's pictures.

These tarts turned out OK although I had trouble getting them out of the tartlet pans. My solution? Eat straight out of the pan!!! I am not nearly sophisticated enough to be embarrassed about this.

For the tarts:
175 g (3/4 cup) plain flour, preferably italian 00
30 g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
50 g (3.5 tbsp) caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
125 g (4.5 oz) unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp iced water

For the filling:
50 g (2 oz) white chocolate
250 g (8.75 oz) mascarpone
100 ml (1/2 cup) double cream (I substituted heavy cream)
Approximately 500 g (18 oz) raspberries
6 x 12 cm (4 in) tartlet tins with loose bottoms

Your best bet is to make the pastry in a food processor, so put the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt into the bowl and pulse to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and pulse with the flour mixture until it looks crumbly. Beat the yolk and iced water together and add, down the funnel, to bind the pastry. When it starts to clump together, turn it out of the processor and work it together with your hands into two discs. Wrap them in clingfilm and rest the pastry in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out one of the dough discs; it will be quite a dry pastry because of the cocoa, so don't be too heavy-handed with the flour on your rolling surface. Then, using a tart case as a guide, cut at least 3 rough squares or circles slightly bigger than the tin. Ease the pastry squares into the tins - don't worry if they break, just patch them as best you can - and cut off the excess pastry. Do this with all 6 tins, and then freee them for about 30 minutes or until they feel frozen. While the pastry's in the freezer, turn on the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 (about 350 degrees Fahrenheit), and slip in a baking sheet to heat up at the same time.

Put the tartlets straight into the oven on the baking sheet, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry feels cooked and dry. The freezing plus the fact that the individual area is small means that they shouldn't puff up, which in turn means we're doing without the beans and all that blind-baking palaver. While the pastry's cooking, you might melt the chocolate for the filling, either in the microwave or in a double boiler.

When the pastry cases are cool, slip them out of their tins and finish the filling. This is simple: you just beat the mascarpone and double cream together and fold in the melted, slightly cooked, white chocolate. Go gently with your whisking: you dn't want this too thick; however, a little extra unwhipped double cream stirred in at the end will thin it down if necessary. Fill the pastry cases with the cream, and then top with raspberries.

Makes 6.

Recipe from Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess, Chatto & Windus 2003. Please note that I roughly converted the ingredients from metric to US scale and any flaws are my fault.

Wow, did things get messy.
Heavy cream, white chocolate and mascarpone
Hershey's cocoa powder
Ghirardelli white chocolate


Deanna said...

Wow, Katie! These pictures are cookbook quality. What surface did you take the pictures on? Wonderful!

Sconnie Girl said...

I LOVE these photos and now I'm craving chocolate! :) Hee..hee...I still think it's hilarious that we bought those books and didn't even notice that the ingredient descriptions were different! :)

LesleyAlmost said...

Amazing pictures, those raspberries look divine in that light.....

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