Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts

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oday I’m making quite an elaborate dessert – my strawberry and white chocolate tarts! The list of things we need to do is quite long! First we’ll make almond pastry tart shell, and then beautiful, moist almond sponge cake. After that we’ll mix some white chocolate and lemon ganache, make strawberry jelly, white chocolate mousse, and finally, white chocolate glaze. Phew! Pretty tall order, I agree, but don’t worry, I’ll explain every step in detail!

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

Almond Shortcrust Pastry

To make my strawberry and white chocolate tarts first I’ll make almond shortcrust pastry, that I’ll use to make my tart shells. I love this pastry, because it is easy to work with it, and because you don’t have to use baking weights to make beautiful and neat tart shells. If you have never made tart before, and you would like to learn the traditional way of lining the tart mold and baking the tart shell, check my post, but then come back!

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

So, I like my almond pastry so much that I’ve already used it to make my strawberry tarts, irresistible gourmet chocolate and hazelnut tarts, Valentine’s Day chocolate and coconut heart shaped tart, and soft caramel and chocolate ganache tart.

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

Moist Almond Sponge Cake

Once my tart shells are done and cooled, I will cover their bottom with some strawberry jam, and then put one beautiful, moist and super-yummy almond sponge cake disc onto it. Great thing about this sponge cake is that it is almost crazy simple, because you only need a couple of eggs, sugar, some lemon zest and almond flour. Also, it is gluten free, so you can bake it in a round cake pan and fill it with some ganache or buttercream, but that is a topic for another post… ;)

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

White Chocolate and Lemon Ganache

Remember my post about ganache? Well, ganache is a rich and dense filling that is made of chocolate and cream – with or without addition of butter. Ganache can be flavored with liqueurs or extracts, but my favorite way of flavoring ganache is infusing. “So – what the fudge is infusing?!”- you ask.

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

Well – it’s quite simple, in fact. Infusing means that you need to put aroma like vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, coffee beans or citrus zest into the cream and heat it up. Leave the mixture at room temperature for about 30 minutes, and strain it into melted chocolate. The result is divinely flavored (infused) chocolate ganache! Yum! Told you it’s simple, haven’t I?

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

Strawberry Jelly

This one you already know for sure! Strawberry puree, sugar and gelatin – simple as that! If you like strawberries like I do, you have to check my strawberry panna cotta, it’s a good read!

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

White Chocolate Mousse and White Chocolate Glaze

I will fill my silicone molds with simple, egg free white chocolate mousse. Into each mousse I will insert one frozen strawberry jelly half sphere, and then I will freeze it all. My white chocolate glaze is very simple, too. You won’t need to cook sugar syrup, there is no sweetened condensed milk, and no glucose syrup. All you need is some cream, white chocolate, gelatin, water and oil, and that’s it! Once the mousse is frozen solid, and the glaze is at about 30°C (96°F), I will glaze the mousse and place it onto the tart. Finally, I will decorate my strawberry and white chocolate tarts with some chopped blanched almonds and strawberries. Delish! :)

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

There – no more theory – it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to work! Like I’ve said – this is an elaborate dessert, but trust me – it is worth the time and effort – and than some! Enjoy! :)

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts, Pastry Maestra

Strawberry and White Chocolate Tarts Recipe

by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry Maestra

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Prep. time : 60 minutes

Cook time : 25 minutes

Ready in 85 minutes plus cooling

Level : Advanced

Ingredients:
Almond Shortcrust Pastry:

  • All purpose flour 200g (7oz)
  • Almond flour 20g (0.7oz)
  • Powdered sugar 50g (1.8oz)
  • Butter 125g (4.4oz)
  • Vanilla powder
  • Egg yolks 30g (1oz or 2 small egg yolks)
  • Strawberry jam to fill the tarts 100g (3.5oz)

Moist Almond Sponge Cake:

  • Eggs 100g (3.5oz or 2 medium eggs)
  • Sugar 55g (2oz)
  • Almond flour 75g (6.4oz)
  • Lemon zest 2g (1/2Tsp)

White Chocolate and Lemon Ganache:

  • White Chocolate 100g (3.5oz)
  • Cream (35%) 75g (6.4oz)
  • Lemon zest 4g (1Tsp)

Strawberry Jelly:

  • Strawberry puree 100g (3.5oz)
  • Sugar 30g (1oz)
  • Gelatin 3g (1.5 sheets)

White Chocolate Mousse:

  • White chocolate 85g (3oz)
  • Milk 55g (2oz)
  • Gelatin 3g (1.5 sheets)
  • Cream (35%) 255g (9oz)

White Chocolate Glaze:

  • Cream (35%) 150g (5.3oz)
  • Gelatin 3g (1.5 sheets)
  • White chocolate 200g (7oz)
  • Water 30g (1oz)
  • Vegetable oil 30g (1oz)

Decoration:

  • Blanched and chopped almonds 55g (2oz)
  • Fresh strawberries 100g (3.5oz)

Directions

  1. To make shortcrust pastry place sifted flour into a large bowl. Add sifted almond flour, powdered sugar and vanilla powder, and stir with a whisk. Then, add cold butter cut in cubes, and rub the dry ingredients into the butter with your fingertips until you get crumbly mixture. Add egg yolks, and make the dough. Wrap it in plastic foil and leave it in the fridge for about one hour.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper onto your counter and put half of the dough onto it. Cover the pastry with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough to 3mm (18“) thickness using an adjustable rolling pin. Roll from the center towards one end, at the same time holding the opposite side of the paper with your hand, so the paper doesn’t slide. Put everything in the freezer for about 20 minutes to chill. Repeat the procedure with remaining pastry.
  3. The diameter of my round perforated tart rings is 7cm (2.7″), and their circumference is 23cm (9″).
  4. First cut six, approximately 2.5cm (1″) wide strips that will be the sides of your tarts. Then, cut out discs about 6.5cm (2.5″) for the bottom of your tarts.
  5. Place your tart mold onto a perforated silicone mat. First carefully line the sides of the mold with pastry strip. Cut the excess pastry and smooth it with your fingers. Then, insert the pastry disc into the mold and smooth the bottom with your fingers. Finally you need to trim the sides of your tart. Using mold as a guide trim the excess pastry with your small knife. Put lined molds in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes.
  6. When the pastry is chilled, dock the bottom with a fork, and bake your tarts at 170°C (340°F) for about 10 minutes. Then, brush their interior with egg wash and put them back in the oven for another 2 minutes. Leave them to cool down completely.
  7. To make moist almond sponge cake first you have to make French meringue. To do that whisk egg whites into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Then, gradually add sugar and continue whisking until firm peaks form. Add egg yolks and lemon zest into the meringue and mix with a silicone spatula. Then, add almond flour and fold it in.
  8. Pour the mixture onto a paper lined baking tray and spread it using a spatula to 5mm (14“) thickness. Bake it at 180°C (350°F) for about 10 minutes, and then, leave it to cool down.
  9. When the cake is cooled, cut out 5cm (2″) in diameter discs.
  10. Pipe some strawberry jam on the bottom of your tarts, and put one sponge cake disc onto the jam. Tuck it in and level it.
  11. To make white chocolate and lemon ganache mix cream with lemon zest and heat up the mixture in the microwave. Cover with cling film, and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes to infuse. Then, strain the cream into the melted white chocolate and stir until the ganache becomes uniform.
  12. Put ganache into a piping bag without tip and fill the tarts all the way to the top. Put them in the fridge until the ganache sets.
  13. To make strawberry jelly soak gelatin in cold water. As soon as the gelatin softens, take it out and squeeze to get rid of the excess water. Put strawberry puree into a bowl, add sugar and stir with a whisk. Heat up this mixture in the microwave. When the puree is hot, add soaked gelatin and stir until it melts.
  14. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag without tip, and fill 2.5cm (1″) in diameter half sphere silicone molds. Put the mold in the freezer until the jelly sets.
  15. To make white chocolate mousse soak gelatin in cold water. As soon as the gelatin softens, take it out and squeeze to get rid of the excess water. Heat milk in the microwave, add soaked gelatin and stir until it melts. Melt white chocolate in the microwave on low heat, and add milk and gelatin mixture into the melted chocolate. Stir until the mixture becomes uniform. Whisk cream in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. When the white chocolate and milk mixture becomes lukewarm, add it to cream whipped to soft peaks and stir until uniform. Put the mousse into a piping bag without tip and pipe into “Pavoni monotarts round” silicone molds. Put the mold in the fridge for a couple of minutes until the mousse starts to set, and then take it out. Insert one frozen strawberry jelly half sphere into the center of each mousse, and then put everything in the freezer.
  16. To make white chocolate glaze soak gelatin in cold water. As soon as the gelatin softens, take it out and squeeze to get rid of the excess water. Heat cream in the microwave, add soaked gelatin and stir until it melts. Melt white chocolate in the microwave on low heat, and add the cream and gelatin mixture into the melted chocolate. Stir until the mixture becomes uniform. Add water and vegetable oil and stir again. Blend the mixture with immersion blender to emulsify and leave it at room temperature to cool down.
  17. When the glaze cools to 30°C (86°F), pour it onto the frozen mousse. Transfer the mousse onto the tart. Decorate the sides with some chopped blanched almonds, and put one fresh strawberry on the top.
  18. There, your beautiful strawberry and white chocolate tarts are done. Enjoy!

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