Chocolate Mouse Tart

This was one of my hardest bakes because everything went wrong with it.

I made the chocolate pastry but couldn’t roll it out without it breaking all the time.  I did try different things like putting it back in the fridge for a bit longer and also adding some liquid to it but nothing would make it any better.  In the end I rolled out what I could and patched the pastry pieces together.  I really didn’t like this pastry.

I did some reading on the computer and there are lots of reasons why it perhaps didn’t work.  Like the pastry was to dry, or to cold.  Somebody said that all flours are different so that could affect it another person said to add an egg to the pastry to help it.

The filling is a bit like a brownie as it has the same ingredients and the texture is similar the difference is the quantities and the time it takes to cook.

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Then to make things worse I managed to over cook the filling but even though I found this bake hard and I made mistakes it still tasted yummy especially with some vanilla ice-cream.

I think I’m going to have to try this recipe again to see if I can get it right.


Lemon Curd Tart with Sweet Pastry

This week I’m learning to make a sweet pastry and also some homemade lemon curd to put into the tart.IMG_4526

I did think that making my own lemon curd would take a while but it was actually very easy and quick to make as well as tasting amazing.

The pastry uses icing sugar, the seeds from a vanilla pod and ground almonds.  At the beginning the pastry resembles a butter cream until you add the flour and then it starts to look like a pastry.  Once the pastry has been made it is left to rest for two hours.

While the pastry is resting I made up the lemon curd by placing lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, sugar and eggs in a saucepan over a gentle heat.  I gently stirred the mixture until it started to thicken.  If the heat is too high the mixture will become like scrambled eggs.  When the curd has thickened place through a sieve and leave to cool.IMG_4533

I also candied lemon slices by boiling sugar and water and placing sliced lemons into the the boiling water and letting the lemons simmer until the outside rind of the lemon is nearly clear.

When the pastry had rested I rolled out and placed into a tart tin and baked for twenty minutes.  I left the tart to cool and then spread the curd over the pastry and placed the candied lemons on top for decoration.  I then placed the tart in the fridge to set. IMG_4548IMG_4562

This week not only did I learn a new pastry, how to make lemon curd and candy fruit but I also managed not to get a soggy bottom on my pastry.









Upside Down Apple & Rhubarb Tart with Shortbread Pastry

For this weeks pastry I made an upside down apple and rhubarb tart using a shortbread pastry.


To make the pastry

Mix together 3 egg yolks and 130g caster sugar until the mixture is thick then add 150g softened butter and mix till smooth finally add 200g plain flour, a pinch of salt and 10g baking powder to the mixture and beat until you have a smooth ball of dough.  Cover the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Caramelised Apples

Place 100g  caster sugar and 3 tbsp water in a small saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Continue stirring until the mixture changes to a light amber colour. Pour the caramel evenly on to some baking parchment and leave to cool and harden.

Peel, quarter and core 4 baking apples, and place in a oven proof skillet. Break the cooled caramel into pieces and place on to your apples. Pour over the apples half a juice of a orange and 1 tbs of melted butter.

Cover the skillet tightly with tin foil and place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the apples are soft.

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Rhubarb Compte

Whilst the apples are cooking Place 50g castor sugar, 2tbsp water and 200g chopped rhubarb in a saucepan and cook until the rhubarb has softened.  leave to chill

All Together

Now it’s time to put everything together.

Roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick and using a tart pan with a removable bottom place the ring on the pastry and remove the excess pastry.  Place the pastry and the ring onto a baking tray and bake for 15minutes (180°C)IMG_4499

When the pastry has cooled spread the rhubarb compote onto the pastry base and then top with the caramelised apples.  Melt a little apricot jam and spread onto to the apple.

Lots of different techniques to learn this week.  Next week my book concentrates on a chocolate pastry which is a small problem as I’ve given up chocolate for lent so I’m going to skip this till after Easter so next week I’m baking a lemon curd tart with a sweet pastry.

Sweet Pastry

So this week I made an Orange cream tart using a sweet pastry as my base.  Sweet pastry is also known as Pâte sablée

The pastry consists of

250g plain flour

140g cubed butter

100g castor sugar

1 egg yolk

Add the butter and sugar to the flour and rub together until you have something that looks like fine bread crumbs.  Then mix in  the egg yolk you should now have a ball of pastry, if it isn’t sticking add a bit water to help you form a ball of pastry.  Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for two hours.Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.25.27

While waiting make your orange cream by heating together in a saucepan the zest of two oranges and 230ml of orange juice until boiling,  In a separate bowl beat 75g of castor sugar, 3 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks and 25g of corn flour.  Pour the heated orange juice and zest into the egg mixture and mix together.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and on a medium heat whisk until the mixture has thickened.  Take the mixture off the heat and add 185g of butter and stir until the mixture is smooth and silky. Place the mixture in a bowl and cover with cling film and place in the fridge until cooled.Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.21.24 Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.19.43

Heat oven to 180°C and grease a 24cm tart tin (with removable bottom).  Roll out the cooled pastry onto a floured surface (it should be 3mm thick) and place over the tart tin and trim the edges.  Prick the base of the pastry.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.  Leave to cool.Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.26.35Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.26.42Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.27.04Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.28.37Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.30.05

When cool lightly whisk the orange cream and spread into the tart base.

Place the tart in the freezer for five minutes then sprinkle brown sugar over the tart.  Using a kitchen blow torch caramelise the sugar.  Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.10.02

Place the tart back in the fridge for ten minutes and serve with creme fraiche and enjoy.

I didn’t do a custard for this tart as the orange cream is very similar to custard.  The pastry is very rich and so is the filling but yummy.


Chocolate Tart

On Saturday I watched Tom Keridge’s best ever dishes and he made a Chocolate tart, obviously because it had chocolate in it I just had to make it and the chocolate pastry made it even more tempting.

The pastry was made from flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, salt and 2 egg yolks.

You mix all the ingredients together and then put it in the fridge for 1 hour.

When the pastry has cooled roll it out onto the work surface until it is slightly bigger than the tin then blind bake the pastry  for 10 – 15 minutes (Blind baking is where you cover the pastry with baking parchment and place beans or rice on top, then the pastry is baked)  The reason for blind baking is to make sure the pastry is fully cooked as when the filling is put inside the tart the bottom might not necessarily get cooked.

When the pastry has been baked remove it from the oven and take off the backing parchment  and the beans.  Put the pastry back in the oven for another 15 – 20 minutes until the bottom is fully cooked and dry.

To make your filling melt chocolate with cream and pour the mixture into the cooled pastry place the tart in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

Whilst the tart is setting roast a handful of whole almonds and then chop up to small pieces.  Scatter them over the cooled tart and then make a coffee cream by whisking up coffee, sugar and cream until it holds it’s shape on the whisk.  Using two spoons make quenelles from the coffee cream and place around the tart.  Finish off dusting with cocoa powder.

Then you are done.


Lemon Tart

This week baked lemon tart especially for my Godmother Andrena because its one of her favourites and I thought I needed to practise before I go and stay with her in the summer.  The recipe said to make the pastry on the worktop.  I have never do this before  and I really liked making the pastry this way because I felt like I had more control over it but I didn’t have control over one of the yolks as it escaped from the dough mixture.

I do need to practise the rolling and laying out my pastry as every time I make a pastry base my sides are not level.

Did you know :- Tarte au citron is the French for lemon tart but it isn’t  actually originally from France. They say it came from the Mediterranean because most of the ingridents comes from there.

In france the most famous town to make these lemon tarts is called ‘ Menton ‘ which is in the south east of France.

Each year they have a lemon festival and the tarts are a big part of the festival. IMG_2567

Raspberry tart with creme patisserie and rosemary

This week i made a raspberry tart that was made up of a lime sable pastry covered with creme patisserie, raspberries and sprinkled with rosemary.

I have never made sable pastry before and it was very different to normal pastries because you make a dough like mixture and when you roll it out you roll it between two sheets of baking paper.  Sable pastry is a sweet pastry.

Did you know :- Sable is French for “sand” which is what the the pastry tasted like. Sable pastry is good for tarts.