Thursday, January 19, 2006

White Chocolate Tart with Raspberries

This tart is from The Art of the Tart by Tamasin Day-Lewis. My friend Ceyda made it first, and then she made it again, and then again for the third time in the course of a week. She did not bring us any samples, but she kept telling me how good it was. That was enough motivation for me to borrow the book from her and to give it a try myself.

The crust for this tart is crispy and keeps its crunch even the next day. It is also easy to roll unlike my usual chocolate tart pastry which I usually end up patting into the tart pan. I accidentally put 2 tbs of sugar in the dough (instead of 2 tsp as specified in the recipe), and I think that's how I'll do it again if I decide to designate it my official chocolate tart pastry. (As of now, I am still undecided.)

While I made this tart, I modified the recipe somewhat and I wrote it as I made it. The book called for boiling 1/3 c cream and 1 c of creme fraiche and pouring the mixture over the white chocolate to melt it. The creme fraiche I bought from the supermarket had the consistency of thick whipped cream. So I chose to add it to the filling at the end. You may want to revert to the original directions if you are making your own creme fraiche from scratch. (I tried to make creme fraiche once and was not very pleased with the result, but I would definitely like to try again. Creme fraiche is a new ingredient for me; although I knew about it for a long time, I started using it in my baking only recently. It definitely contributes to the taste of this tart, so I recommend you not to substitute for it by more cream as suggested by some sources.)

For the Chocolate Pastry Crust:
  • 1 c flour
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs confectioner's sugar
  • 4 tbs cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 egg yolk
  • A few tbs ice water
For the Filling:
  • 1 c creme fraiche
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 6 oz white chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 lb raspberries
  • A little cocoa powder for decoration
Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a 9" tart pan. Sift the flour, cocoa and sugar into the bowl of your food processor. Add in the chunks of butter and process briefly. Add the egg yolk and a tablespoons or two of water, and process just until the dough coheres. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for half an hour (I didn't). Roll on a surface sprinkled with some cocoa powder and line your prepared tart pan. Bake the pastry crust blind with beans for 20 minutes, and 10 minutes more without the beans. It should be crisp and slightly browned. Cool.

Bring 1/3 c of the whipping cream to boil. Pour it over the pieces of white chocolate and stir until completely melted. Refrigerate for a few hours. Whip the remaining 2/3 c cream until thick. Combine it and the creme fraiche with the white chocolate mixture, and stir until the filling comes together uniformly.

Crush some of the raspberries lightly so that they release some juice. Line the cooled pastry crust with the berries. Pour the filling, and use a spoon to smooth it over the fruit. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before you dust the tart lightly with cocoa powder and serve. The consistency and flavor definitely improve after a night of refrigeration.