Friday, 8 June 2012

Sweet Perfection

Well, hasn't it been a while between posts?  Unfortunately, I have been a touch under the weather.  Fortunately, I have a very good reason for feeling so.  It's not that I've been completely off the baking bandwagon - just a little cooking here and there.  And I have missed it!

I thought that I simply must share this fabulous dessert with you.  It's been a favourite of mine for quite a few years but I made it most recently, last week.  The event was the lovely baby shower of one of my gorgeous teaching partners.  Mel's little "wombat" is due on the first of August and I just cannot wait to squeeze (his) cubby cheeks!  This wonderful gathering required a pregnancy friendly dessert and so I chose this beautiful White Chocolate and Strawberry Tart. 

This tart is perfect in it's simplicity.  Essentially, it is a sweet shortcrust, filled with a white chocolate custard, which is baked and topped with fresh strawberries.  It is perfection on a plate.  The filling is light, smooth and creamy all at once.  Needless to say, I took a clean cake stand home at the conclusion of the shower!  I have also made this when strawberries were out of season and made a sweet, fresh raspberry coulis to serve.  It was just as delightful.  I'm sure there is so much more you could do to modify this recipe but I haven't looked too much into it.  It's pretty darn good as it is!
Sweet Shortcrust
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
125g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, lightly beaten

Place flour, sugar and butter into the food processor.  Pulse until the mixture has a fine crumb consistency.  Add the egg and process again in short bursts until the mixture starts to come together.  Turn the mixture onto a work surface and press dough together into a thick disk.  Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for thirty minutes.
Roll dough out between two sheets of baking paper.  Line your greased flan tin, easing (not stretching) the dough into the corners.  Refrigerate for another thirty minutes and preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Blind bake the pastry case with weights for 15 minutes, then remove weights and bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden.  Allow the case to cool completely.

White Chocolate Custard
225g white chocolate, chopped
375mL pouring (single) cream
3 egg yolks

Place chocolate and cream into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until melted together and smooth.  Remove from heat and whisk through the egg yolks.  Pour mixture into the pastry case and bake for 35-40 minutes.  It should be just set.  Allow to cool in tin and then refrigerate.

The Tart
To assemble the tart, top the filling with 500g of hulled strawberries and dust with icing sugar.

Too lovely!

F. x