Continuing from this post, the second batch of desserts I baked for the food photography session with Dario were chocolate hazelnut tarts. My trip to the States lead me to the discovery of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. This bakery is very similar to Bourke Street Bakery in terms of the massive queues that wind around the corner of the bakery and the vibe of having a cafe inside bakery where customers can chill out and enjoy the baked goods with the aromas of the bakery filling the air.
I was very impressed the banana cream pie that I had (imagine a light banoffee pie with a flaky pastry tart – YUM) that I decided to get their cookbook when I returned from my trip. The cookbook is split up into sections; breakfast, tarts & pies, cakes, fruit desserts, cookies, pastries & confections, cream desserts, with a glass of wine (savouries) and basic bakery recipes, has a decent amount of beautiful pictures and plenty of advice and tips for each recipe.
For the photography session I wanted to make a big tart but as I was preparing the shells the night before, I was having trouble trying to get the dough into the bigger tart tins so I made smaller ones. The main reasons why I think I was struggling was because 1) it was a very warm and humid night so my dough was getting very soft to work with very quickly and 2) I didn’t bother to chill it further after I’ve rolled it out; so I urge you to make sure your dough is slightly chilled before you line your tart tins and possibly rolling the dough in between two sheets of baking paper to make it easier to transfer the dough in the tart tins.
The good thing about this recipe is that you can also serve the chocolate filling in ramekins if you can’t be bothered to make the pastry shell (bake it for the same time as you would with the tarts). This way, it would be like having a warm chocolate custard with toasted hazelnuts on top. Serve it with a dollop of cream and you have a quick and easy dessert you can whip up in no time.
Crumbly pastry, slightly oozy chocolate filling with roasted hazelnuts and orange zest; could anything be more perfect?
Photos are courtesy of Dario (www.foodpixels.com)
A recipe from Tartine by Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
Makes 4 10cm tarts
130g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (250g) flour
Chocolate and hazelnut filling
170g chocolate, chopped
115g unsalted butter
¼ cup (60mL) brandy (optional)
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
3 large eggs
1/8 tsp salt
Zest of half an orange
140g hazelnuts, lightly toasted (at lowest oven temp for about 10mins), skins rubbed off and some roughly chopped
For the pate sablee (to be made at least 2 hours in advanced)
- Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, mix in the egg until combined.
- Add the flour and mix until just incorporated (it is important to not overmix/overhandle at this step otherwise your dough will strink when baked).
- On a lightly floured surface, gather the dough and shape into a 1cm-thick disk, wrap in cling wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Roll dough out to a 3mm thickness on a floured surface (lightly flour rolling pin and both sides of the dough to discourage sticking).
- Cut a circle roughly 5cm bigger than the tart tin and carefully line the tart tin (if the dough has become too soft to work with, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes). If the dough develops any tears, patch it up with a little extra dough.
- Trim the dough to level the top of the tart tin with a knife or rolling pin (by rolling it over the surface to “cut” the dough).
- Chill the pastry shells in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160C
- Prick the base of each pastry with a fork, line tarts with baking paper and fill with a layer of ceramic pie weights, rice or beans (the latter two could be saved and reused).
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
[Pastry shells will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 week.]
For the filling
- Preheat oven to 160C
- Place chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl. In a saucepan, combine the butter, brandy (if using) and 1/3 cup of the sugar and heat over medium-low heat and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
- Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar, eggs, salt and orange zest and mix until mixture is pale yellow.
- Pour one third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk to lighten, and then pour the remaining egg mixture in.
- Pour the filling into the pastry shell and arrange the hazelnuts evenly on top.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until surface of filling loses some of its shine but hasn’t souffleed.
- Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.