YOGURT TART

Not too long ago I was browsing the internet searching for entremet cakes, and stumbled on a site that was new to me: Cooking Me Softly, hosted by Arianna, a chef from Italy. All I can say is that I had a very hard time moving away from the computer. Her concoctions are things of complete beauty, her flavor combinations unique and her presentation style superb. Not only she shares detailed recipes, but also short videos with the crucial stages of preparation. Basically, her site is culinary gold for those into patisserie. She blogs in Italian, but I can follow most of it closely enough to get the important points. Or so I hope. I fell in love with her Yogurt Tart the moment I first saw it, and could not wait to try and make it. The use of semi-spheres of mousse on top of the tart? Genius.

YOGURT TART
(slightly modified from Cooking Me Softly)

for Sablé Breton:
80 g egg yolks
100 g granulated sugar
125 g very soft butter
125 g pastry flour
2 g salt
5 g baking powder
grated lemon peel (1 lemon)
MyCryo cocoa butter (optional)

for white chocolate ganache:
340 g Lindt white chocolate
85 g heavy cream

for yogurt mousse:
120 g full-fat Greek yogurt
30 g granulated sugar
15 g of lemon juice, sieved
240 g fresh cream
6 g gelatin, 200 bloom
18 g cold water for gelatine hydration

for decoration:
small meringues
Gold dust
sprinkles of choice

Make the cookie base. In a Kitchen Aid type mixer, whisk the yolks with sugar and lemon zest until pale. Replace the whisk with the leaf beater, add the sifted flour with baking powder, salt, and then the butter. Mix well until creamy.  Place in a piece of plastic wrap, form as a disc and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Roll between two sheets of parchment paper to 1 mm thickness an put in the fridge for another hour, as you heat the oven to 350 F.

Cut a disc of dough with a 20 cm ring (7 + 3/4 in), and bake inside the ring for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and while still hot sprinkle MyCryo over the surface. Allow it to cool completely. Before continuing with assembling, place the base inside the ring and add a band of acetate around it so that the ganache will be poured nicely on top. I like to use a ring that is adjustable, so that I can tighten it better around the base. Often the base shrinks a little during baking.

Make the chocolate ganache. Melt the chocolate gently in the microwave or in a double boiler. Heat the cream to simmering (about 175 F). Add to the chocolate in three additions, whisking gently to fully incorporate the chocolate and the cream.  Reserve. Cool to about 90F before pouring into the cool base. Place in the fridge to cool completely and then in the freezer overnight.

Make the yogurt mousse. Hydrate the gelatin in the water indicated in the recipe. Heat part of the yogurt with the sugar to about 140 F.  Melt the gelatin heating gently for a few seconds in the microwave (do not boil it). Add the melted gelatin to the warm yogurt/sugar mixture.

Add the lemon juice, the remaining cold yogurt and mix. Whip the cream to the consistency of melted ice cream, and fold gently into the yogurt base. Spoon the mousse into a piping bag (no need for a piping tip) and fill half-sphere molds (3.4 and 5 cm in diameter), smoothing the surface well. Put in the fridge to cool and then freeze overnight.

Assemble the tart. Remove the base with chocolate ganache from the freezer, place in a serving tray and remove the acetate. Arrange the mousse spheres of different diameters over the ganache. Decorate with mini-meringues plain and painted with gold spray. Put in the fridge for about 6 hours to allow the ganache to soften and the mousse to thaw.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I truly enjoy making desserts that involve multiple components particularly because they can be made in advance and wait in the freezer or fridge. Finishing the dessert then is easy and fun (assuming it all worked well in the previous steps). For this preparation, Arianna’s video was very helpful, as the Sable Biscuit is quite a bit softer than I anticipated. Watching how she handled it was key to succeed. Also make sure you make the dough the day before you intend to bake it, it needs those 8 hours in the fridge. Another important point is the white chocolate ganache: you need it to be firm enough to slice and hold its shape. Arianna uses a specific brand of chocolate that would be a bit of a hassle for me to find. Using her proportions with the Lindt bar, the ganache ended up way too loose, so I made another batch using a 4:1 ratio chocolate to cream. You can probably get by with a 3.5:1, but not much less than that.

My schedule went like this: I made the biscuit dough on a Friday evening, baked it Saturday morning and made the mini-meringues, the chocolate ganache and the mousse on Saturday afternoon. Once the ganache cooled enough I spread it over the biscuit base and froze it. Sunday afternoon I un-molded the frozen mousse spheres, sprayed some of the meringues with edible gold color, and assembled the tart.

The only issue I had was the golden stars used for decoration. The ones in contact with the ganache held their shape well, but the yogurt mousse (probably due to its acidity) melted the stars within an hour or so.

The flavors were quite amazing, as the sweetness of the white chocolate ganache stood well to the bright flavor of the yogurt mousse. The biscuit base had excellent texture, even if I overbaked it slightly. It was hard to see it inside the ring, next time I’ll be more careful.

Arianna has a cookbook published online and I could not resist getting my copy. It is absolutely amazing, you can get it with a click here.  The name is just too clever: Aria di Dolci. Loved it! Keep in mind it is in Italian, so you need to have some level of understanding of the language.

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Grilled Lamb-Stuffed Pita Bread

TWO YEARS AGO: Elderflower Macarons

THREE YEARS AGO: A Duet of Sorbets

FOUR YEARS AGO: Sobering Peach Sorbet

FIVE YEARS AGO: Spiralizer Fun

SIX YEARS AGO: Beer-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  Secret Recipe Club: Corn Chowda

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Page-A-Day Calendar (Pits and Chief 5 minutes of fame…)

NINE YEARS AGO: Home Sweet Home (our beloved Pits in one of his last photos)

TEN YEARS AGO: Marbled Rye

CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CURD TART


If you are tired of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, may I offer the perfect alternative? The color of the cranberry curd as you cut through the pie is enough to make your heart miss a beat. Plus, if you prefer a dessert that is not cloying sweet, look no further.  Tartness in the center, subtle chocolate sweetness on top and bottom. Oddly enough, I’ve had this recipe in my files to try soon ever since Helen published it in her blog. We are talking November 2014. I know, what’s wrong with me?  (Please, refrain from answering, it is a purely rhetorical question).

CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CURD TART
(from Helen’s Pastries like a Pro)

Chocolate Press-in Shell
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of an 11”x1” quiche pan with removable sides in the center only. Set aside. Combine flours and cocoa in bowl of mixer. Mix briefly to combine. Add butter and cut in until very fine. Add sugar and baking powder. Mix to combine. Add egg and egg yolk; mix until it balls up and rides the blade. Remove from the processor and divide in half.

Divide one half into 2 pieces.  Roll one piece into a rope and press it in evenly along one side of the pan. Repeat with the second half of dough.  Overlap the seams and seal well so no seam shows. Press the remainder of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Seal the edges very well so no line shows. Prick the shell before baking.

Bake approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until completely baked. Cool completely.

Cranberry Curd
12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries picked over
1 cup sugar (7 ounces or 200 grams)
2 tablespoons water
5 egg yolks (3 ounces or 85 grams)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (4 ounces or 114 grams)

Place the cranberries in a rimmed baking sheet and pick over.  Shake the tray to move the berries around.

Place the  cranberries in a saucepan with sugar and water over low heat until the cranberries are very soft and some of them have popped.   Stir frequently as this will be very thick and can scorch. Immediately, puree them in a food processor (by batches if necessary). Puree for several minutes to get the skins as fine as possible. There will be tiny specs of red which is as it should be. If you prefer to remove the skins, strain the puree before proceeding. Add the yolks and lemon juice to the processor and process briefly.

Place the cranberry mixture in the top of a double boiler and add the butter. Bring the water underneath to a boil.   Stir the curd constantly until an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees. Immediately pour into the cooled crust. Smooth the top. Cover directly with film and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight.

Chocolate Cream Glaze
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

Bring the cream to a simmer. Submerge the chocolate. Allow to sit for 4 to 5 minutes then whisk gently to smooth the chocolate completely. Remove the film from on top of the cranberry curd. Pour the glaze in the center and move it out to the edge of the curd with an offset spatula.

Refrigerate if using within a day or two. Freeze for up to a month for longer storage.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: First of all, I urge you to visit Helen’s site because as is always the case for her blog posts, you will find a step by step tutorial that will guide you through the process. Even if you’ve never baked a tart in your life, her explanations will take you to a happy – and tasty – ending. This was my first time making this type of press-in crust. I normally delegate all things crust (pies and tarts) to Phil, but not this time. My pan was a little smaller than the one she used, so the crust turned out a bit thick at the bottom. With my inexperience, I was a bit insecure to use less crust, not knowing exactly what to expect.  Next time I’ll make sure it’s thinner. Anyway, if you have the right size pan, just follow the recipe exactly.

The color of the cranberry curd is something! I shared a few photos on my Facebook page, and some of my friends were wondering how to get the finalized tart to show the curd, maybe reducing the glaze to a zig-zag drizzle, or putting the glaze underneath the curd instead.  Having tasted it, I think the tartness of the curd really benefits from a nice layer of ganache on top. So the striking beauty of it will have to be appreciated only after slicing. Gastronomic compromise.

This is a perfect recipe for those who don’t like overly sweet desserts. The colors scream end of the year festivities, so I hope you consider making it if not for Thanksgiving, before 2017 says goodbye.

Helen, thanks once again for a fantastic recipe and tutorial…
I am a bit ashamed it took me so long to get to this tart, but better late than never!

ONE YEAR AGO: Slow-Cooker Pork Ragu with Fennel

TWO YEARS AGO: Pimp your Veg, a Guest Post

THREE YEARS AGO: Cooking Light Pan-Charred Veggies 

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pomegranate Chicken Thighs and Carrot Mash

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Many Faces of Kale

SIX YEARS AGO:  Short and Sweet 

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Ciabatta, a Classic Italian Bread

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Magical Lamb Stew

 

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SECRET RECIPE CLUB: LEEK AND CHEESE TART

tart1

One more month flew by us! Last Monday of April, first Secret Recipe Club of a favorite season, Spring!  I was paired with the blog Food Baby Life, and had a blast browsing Susan’s site. She has a well-organized index which makes life a lot easier for the stalker.  Being a busy mom, many of her recipes are compatible with our own life style. You know, that life style in which the day doesn’t seem to have enough hours, and each night we ask ourselves “why isn’t tomorrow Saturday instead of Tuesday?”   😉    I had quite a few recipes on a list of favorites to choose from, including her  Spiced Meatball Wrap, but settled on this tart because of the unusual crust: instead of butter, olive oil. Instead of white flour, a combination of 50/50 white and whole-wheat. A few modifications of my own for reasons specified in the comments, and there you have it: a Leek and Kale Tart with Olive Oil Crust!

LEEK AND KALE TART WITH OLIVE OIL CRUST
(adapted from Food Baby Life

for the filling:
2 large leeks, washed and sliced thinly
1 small bunch kale, sliced thinly
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs
1 cup (250ml) evaporated milk
125g cheddar cheese, grated (see comments)
for the crust:
125g plain flour
125g whole -wheat flour
1 ts salt
60 ml olive oil
100-120ml cold water
Lightly grease a 28cm (11 inch) tart dish, preferably one with a removable bottom, but a Pyrex type will work too.  Heat  the oven to 390 F  (200 degrees Celsius).
To make the pastry, place the flours and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the oil and stir with a fork. Add the water and continue to stir with a fork until it is just absorbed then start to knead with your hand, until the dough forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to fit the tart pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, trim the edges and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling, make your filling. Melt the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes, then add the kale and cook for a few minutes more, until wilted. Season with nutmeg and remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and milk along with salt and pepper to taste.

Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes lining it with parchment paper and filling it with beans. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the edges are golden and the base is totally dry to the touch. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

To assemble the tart, fill the pastry shell with the cooked leek and kale mixture, sprinkle over the cheese and then pour over the egg mixture. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. The filling should be just set and the edges of the pastry a deep golden brown. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Comments:
What’s life without a little adrenaline rush? You would think that by staying away from cakes I’d be safe, right?  Not so fast.  Things were going quite well up to the moment of adding evaporated milk to the game. I grabbed my can opener, a little gadget that works like a charm, smooth, graceful, leaving no sharp edges. It usually performs a little magic around the edges, so that you cannot quite tell the can is open, but it is.  Or is it really?  Something about the edge of the can of evaporated milk simply would not cooperate and it refused to open.  I had a second can in the pantry, tried to work on it,  again no luck. I searched everywhere for an old-fashioned type can opener, but apparently ours was lost during the move.  A few slammed doors and drawers, a few words not fit to print, I finally had the brilliant idea of pairing an oyster knife with a hammer.  Punched a square hole on top of the can, and back in business I was.  (BTW, I don’t recommend doing that, it is both messy and dangerous).

IMG_1627
To add a little more emotion to the day, I forgot to buy Cheddar cheese for the recipe!  I had no cheese around, except for three little triangles of “Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese”.   I ended up mixing it as well as I could to the evaporated milk, and that was that. Finally, If you followed the original link to Baby. Food. Life, you will notice that she removed the excess dough after covering her tart pan, for a very polished look. I don’t know what I was thinking, but obviously I went into a different direction.  Oh, well…   What matters is that this crust might very well become my default recipe from now on.  We both absolutely loved it, it does have a more rustic quality thanks to the whole-wheat flour and the olive oil.  Plus, making it in a bowl using just a fork and your hands was awesome!

Susan, it was great to meet you and your blog through The Secret Recipe Club, we loved this recipe, enjoyed it three days in a row, it only got better and better!

slice

For those who want to see what my fellow friends from group D cooked up this month, don’t be shy, just click on the blue frog at the very end of my post, and happy browsing!  And those who are curious to see which recipe was chosen from my blog, and who had it, jump here for a fantastic article by Fran!  She made a favorite of ours, Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

ONE YEAR AGO: Secret Recipe Club; Triple Chocolate Brownies

TWO YEARS AGO: Shaved Asparagus Salad

THREE YEARS AGO: Indonesian Ginger Chicken