Wednesday, June 22, 2011
RECIPE: Chocolate Ganache and Mandarin Ricotta Tart
- In a mixing bowl add 1 cup of plain flour and 100g of soft butter. Work the butter and flour with your fingers until they're like fine breadcrumbs, kind of like you're making a crumble.
- To that, add a inch of salt, 2 tablespoons of caster sugar, 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. A little mid of mandarin zest too if you can be bothered.
- Using a knife, cut the mixture together (you pretty much keep slicing through the mixture until it starts coming together).
- When it starts feeling similar to a dough, ditch the knife and finish it off with your hands. The pastry should be in between a firm dough and a wet dough. Solid enough to roll out, and not wet so that when you poke it you finger comes out clean. Don't overwork it. If it's too wet, add more flour.
- Wrap in cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 mins or so.
- After 30 mins (or so) preheat the oven to 160c and take your pastry out of the fridge. Roll it out so that it's circular (if you're using a circular tin) and around 5mils thick. Tip: if it's too elastic and hard to work then try putting it in the fridge for longer to cool down. And make sure you don't overwork the pastry.
- Put your rolled out pastry into a buttered tin. You want to have sides that are at least 6cm deep.
- Poke some holes in the base with a fork, cover it with baking paper and weigh down the middle if you having some of those ceramic ball things. Cook the dough until the base looks firm. Ideally you don't want any colour, but the base won't cook any further past this point so that's the focus.
- Take it out and let it cool.
- Ideally, you should do this while the tart is resting in the fridge or blind baking. But you can do it the day before if you want to.
- In a bowl, mix together around 600g of ricotta, 2 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar, the zest of 1 mandarin, around 1/4 of a cup of mandarin juice and (optional) a shot of brandy/cognac/grappa/etc. Mix until it's smooth. The smoother the better.
- Taste the mixture. You only want it to be ever so slightly sweet and only have a hint of mandarin. If needed, adjust it. If you want to assault people with sweetness or mandarin then add more. Personal taste plays a big factor here.
- Check the texture. You want it smooth and slightly running. Pourable, basically. If you need it runnier, add more mandarin juice.
Baked Mandarin Ricotta Tart
- So your tart base has been blind-baked and has cooled. You've made the mandarin ricotta filling.
- Poor the ricotta filling into the tart base so it leaves a gap of around a centimetre to the top of the sides.
- Put this into the oven and cook until the sides of the tart start to get a bit golden. Probably around 40 mins.
- Once cooked, take out of the oven to cool.
- Set up a double-boiler (a mixing bowl above a pot filled with simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water level).
- Into the bowl add 200g of cooking milk chocolate. Let that melt down, stirring often. Take this slowly. If it's going too fast, take the bowl off the heat for 20 seconds or so and let it cool.
- When the chocolate has completely melted, slowly add 150ml of room temperature cream. Mix it through. Again, don't rush this step; control the temperature.
- Add 25g of softened butter. Mix through.
- Optional: add a small amount of vanilla beans or vanilla paste. NOT essence or extract.
- Set aside to cool slightly.
Chocolate Ganache and Mandarin Ricotta Tart
- Pour the ganache over the cooled tart so the level of chocolate reaches the top of the sides (but doesn't overflow).
- Put into the fridge to cool completely. At least 2 hours.
There you have it. Looks complicated, but, trust me, it's really easy.