Friday, October 29, 2010
By most accounts, I was a pretty good older sister. I mean, I think my lil' C is lucky to have me. I like to attribute much of her success in life to the way I raised her. (Didn't you hear? Turns out siblings might have more impact on the way they're raised than parents! And I think I did a pretty darn good job.) But, I mean, I caused some damage, too. For example, you remember all the mnemonic devices kids use to remember things. My sister and I always got 'desert' and 'dessert' mixed up, so my mother told us that 'dessert' has two S's because it's 'So Sweet.' I immediately told my sister that actually, it was 'desert' with two S's because it stood for 'Sand Storm.' To this day lil' C has to stop and think about which is which, and even her best childhood friend remembers being confused about it as a result. (They got me back by ripping all the heads off my Barbies in an effort to find a more efficient way to change their outfits.)
Anyway, this little tart is definitely both dessert and So Sweet. Decadently so, in fact. I let R choose something for his birthday (which admittedly was a while ago) and to my surprise, out of a book dedicated to chocolate, he picked something mostly white, and mostly dairy. Granted, he's not the cookbook reader that I am, so I'm pretty sure he just saw the picture and pointed, without even reading the ingredients (imagine!).
The recipe comes from a thin little paperback put out by the Women's Institute in the UK (I have kind of a love-crush on these books lately). I've written about them before, if you want to know more. Suffice it to say, both things I've made from their books so far have turned out. Plus, there's just something about the British that's hard to resist!
White Chocolate & Raspberry Tart
Adapted from Sîan Cook's Best Kept Secrets of the Women's Institute: Chocolate
6 oz all-purpose flour
2 oz cocoa powder plus more for decorating
4 oz unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
4 oz caster or superfine sugar (if you can't find it, just use the same amount of sugar and give it a wizz in a food processor to make it superfine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
For the Filling:
2 tablespoons or more (I went with more) raspberry jam
8 oz fresh raspberries plus more for decorating
For the Topping:
2 teaspoons gelatin powder
200g of cream cheese
200g of crème fraîche
200g of plain Greek yogurt
7 oz (200g) white chocolate, melted
Start with the pastry:
Sift the flour and cocoa together into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture until it resembled breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar then add the vanilla and the egg yolk. Add about 1 tablespoon of cold water and knead until the mixture comes together like a dough. Wrap well and refrigerate for an hour.
When you remove the pastry, allow it to warm a bit at room temperature. In the meantime, sprinkle a clean surface and a rolling pin with a little cocoa powder and powdered sugar (or just cocoa powder). Roll out the pastry dough so that it will fit a greased 10" tart pan with a removable bottom. Transfer the pastry into the tin and trim off any excess, which you can use for patching if needed. Press the dough so that it fits the pan, then prick it all over with a fork to allow air to escape while it bakes. Return to the refrigerator for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F just before the pastry comes out of the fridge. Line the pastry in the tin with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with dried beans to keep it from puffing. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes. Allow the cooked pastry to cool on a wire rack in the tin.
For the filling:
Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water in a microwave safe bowl and let sit for a moment. Dissolve the gelatin by microwaving the bowl on high for 20 seconds. Set aside and allow to cool.
In the meantime, thoroughly beat together the cream cheese, crème fraîche and yogurt. Add the gelatin as you beat, then fold in the melted white chocolate. Mix well.
Once the pastry is completely cool, spread it with a layer of raspberry jam and a layer of fresh raspberries. Mound the white chocolate mixture on top and spread it so it completely covers the raspberries. Chill until set.
Before serving, sprinkle some cocoa powder over the top if you wish, and decorate with more fresh raspberries.