poached rhubarb hazelnut tart

Our first fresh rhubarb of the season–how exciting! I may turn this blog into an ode to rhubarb…or at least that’s what I feel like doing at the moment.Rhubarb crumble is one of the few desserts my mom makes and so I can’t help but be very fond of it in a sort of baked grainy combination, which prompted this tart.

Actually my mom always used to make rhubarb pies…which then turned into crumbles since they were, understandably, so much quicker! I like them both so I wouldn’t particularly complain. I thought the tart was quite nice; the hazelnut cream on the bottom is very rich and very sweet but the poached rhubarb retains its sharp acidity. I guess I only wish I had more rhubarb now! I think I saw some rhubarb and custard tarts with rhubarb on the bottom–a layer of thick rhubarb compote or jam would be nice underneath the hazelnut cream (and perhaps the tart shell could be blind baked before hand).

But that being said, I also love the hazelnut cream! This might be a fragipane, but I’m not certain–I’ve read elsewhere that to be a fragipane, an almond cream has to be beaten with equal quantities of pastry cream? Well, everything confuses me so this isn’t anything new.

The poached rhubarb took me a couple tries–the first batch turned into a saucepan of strings and pulp and mush–but in the end worked out quite nicely. When you eat the tart, the rhubarb can be cut easily with the side of a fork; it’s not at all stringy but very soft and smooth.

I like poaching the rhubarb because it cooks before you bake it, and I like to think it releases less water when it actually bakes…though I’m not sure that’s actually true? However the cream was certainly a bit more soggy around the rhubarb and probably needed a bit more time.

But more than that, I don’t think I cooked mine enough as the bottom crust was still soggy. The taste of the spelt flour was heightened a bit more due to the rawness and so wasn’t the most pleasant. I would have preferred to use a chestnut flour crust instead.

And, of course, happy Fiesta FridayHosted by the amazing Angie, the Novice Gardener and cohosted by two brilliant bloggers, Dini of Giramuk’s Kitchen and Mollie, The Frugal Hausfrau. You can tell my blog has started to revolve around Fiesta Friday–I’ve been a bit on the busy side lately and so if I’m only going to post once a week, it’s definitely going to be on a Friday…when else?

Cardamom poached rhubarb tart with hazelnut cream

Spelt pastry shell

I think I would have preferred only half spelt flour.

160 g spelt flour

1 stick butter, refrigerator temperature

pinch salt

spoonful brown sugar

40 mL cold water

Cut butter into pieces, dust in flour. Place in a bowl with the flour, salt and brown sugar. Rub the pieces of butter between your fingers and thumb to form flakes.

Once the butter has been adequately flaked, add the water and mix to form a cohesive dough. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill completely.

 

Hazelnut cream

Adapted from almond cream in Richard Bertinet’s Pastry. Makes quite a bit; I only used half for the tart.  

1 stick softened butter

115 g sugar

130 g hazelnut

27 g flour

1.5 eggs, beaten

1 large capful spiced rum

In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened and light. Add the sugar and cream until fluffy.

Beat in the nuts followed by the flour, then the eggs, a bit at a time, and finally the rum. Cover and chill for around 15 minutes; it should be cool but still malleable enough for you to spread.

 

Cardamom and vanilla poached rhubarb

I did this twice as the first time around I overcooked the rhubarb and it become mush. I promise that there exists a point where the rhubarb is cooked but not yet as structureless as porridge–it just comes and goes rather quickly.

300 mL water

90 g sugar

7 small green cardamom pods, crushed

2.5 cm length of vanilla bean

3-4 stalks rhubarb, cut into 8-9 cm lengths

Combine the water, sugar, and cardamom in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, add them, as well as the pod itself.

Bring to a simmer, add the rhubarb, cover and keep on a very low heat so that the water is steaming but not simmering until rhubarb is just tender. Allow to cool.

 

Assembly

Roll out dough, press into tart pan and trim edges. Spread a layer of hazelnut cream (I used around half). Chill.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Gently scoop rhubarb from poaching liquid, drain, and evenly space 8-12 pieces along the tart, rounded side up. Do not press into the hazelnut cream; they’ll sink in perfectly well on their own.

Bake for at least 30 minutes or until the tart is nicely browned on top and you’re convinced that the bottom crust has been cooked.

40% sourdough brioche (apple and pistachio, three ways)

I love butter. I used to eat pieces of butter when I was little. (Eek! I couldn’t do that now.)

And so I also, by extension, love brioche. Brioche is what happens to a croissant when, instead of allowing the butter to peacefully coexist in little layers between the dough, you beat it into assimilation. It makes for a very rich, homogenous, and tender bread.

I did, however, show some restraint. I’ve seen brioche go up to 80%, but I kept mine at a moderate, and perhaps a bit stingy, 40%. It’s soft and tender and definitely best when lightly toasted, just to warm it up and recrisp the slightly flaky crust.

Brioche dough is wonderfully soft, with all that butter, and stretchy, from all that gluten development you hopefully created. However, it is best, when you have higher butter content, to keep the dough at a lower temperature; otherwise it can get very greasy. This is one difficulty with sourdough brioche…I wanted to get it done in one day, but cold rises are very, very slow so I ended up leaving the dough out at room temperature. I was just a bit more careful as I worked with it, and it was fine.

Sorry for all the photos… with three different flavours I somehow ended up taking three times the photos I normally do.

Lately I’ve also been concerned with starting the breads I make from percentages. I’m not sure it’s very interesting, but it’s a good reference for me; usually my percentages work don’t turn out too well, but I hope with practice it’ll become less airy guesswork.

Starting percentages: or how I planned to make this bread

100% flour

25% milk

12.5% starter

40% butter

10% sugar

5% salt

50% egg

Of course things never turn out how I expect them to, so my actual dough ended up having higher hydration, and I cut down on the sugar and salt as I realized just how much I was intending to put in.

Finally, I am a bit disappointed that I only seem to get a few lovely holes in brioche! I don’t aim for a loose crumb in brioche; rather it’s usually a tighter crumb. Whereas in my usual bread…if only I could somehow transfer the holes!

As for the flavours: My favourite was probably the apple brioche; I like the Swiss cheese-type look the pieces of apple gave the bread, and the excess moisture helped. I tend to overbake (even though this time around I remembered to check the internal temperature–I just checked it too late). For that reason the other two brioche were a bit dry, so they were best when toasted.

The crabapple brioche was sweet and sticky–I really like baking with preserves–but I did not notice too much of the orange or lavender.

The pistachio and rose brioche took some warming up to, but the toasted pistachios on top were lovely and it had the lightest (although also the driest) crumb, and the best oven spring.

And happy Fiesta Friday! Has it really been a week since last Friday? I do sometimes try to do 2 posts a week…so I let my blog sit for a little while and before I knew it, Friday again! This event is so very kindly hosted every week by Angie, the Novice Gardener, and cohosted by Aunt Juju of Cooking with Aunt Juju and Amanda, The Chunky Chef.

Sourdough brioche (& three flavours)

Sponge

100 g flour

50 g starter

100 g milk

Mix to combine. Let ferment overnight.

 

Brioche dough

300 g flour

30 g sugar

5 g salt

4 large eggs (or approximately 200 g)

20 g milk

160 g butter (or around 1.5 sticks)

Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Beat in the sponge, eggs, and milk. Continue mixing/kneading until dough is smooth and satiny, stretchy, soft, and a bit sticky. Add the butter piece by piece and beat until fully combined. The stand mixer with the dough hook is definitely the best for this.

Cover dough, let proof until doubled; 6-8 hours for me. As the dough contains so much butter, don’t let it rise anywhere too warm.

Cut the dough into three pieces; proceed with each of the fillings below.

 

Spiced apple filling

1 Gala apple (I thought I was going to put more thought into the apples I use, but this one was in the fridge!)

3 small green cardamom pods

4 cloves

1 stick cinnamon

a good sprinkle of ground cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and nutmeg.

Peel apple and cube. Place in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Crush the cardamom pods, add the whole spices to the water. Heat until it comes to a simmer, cover, remove from the heat and allow to sit for a few hours. Once the dough is proofed, drain the apple cubes.

Take the third of dough and gently knead in the ground spices; due to all the butter, I prefer not to handle the dough too much. Then roll it out into a rough rectangle, place the around 1/3 – 1/2 of apple over top. Roll, cut off one end to form the “tete.” Gently shape into a ball, and place the remaining piece on top.

Place in a buttered brioche pan. Cover and let proof.

 

Crabapple, orange, and lavender filling

crabapple jelly

dried lavender

zest of half an orange

Roll out brioche dough into a long rectangle. Spread with crabapple jelly, sprinkle with dried lavender and orange zest. Roll up, lengthwise, into a long rope. Coil, place on a parchment lined pan to proof.

 

Pistachio and rose filling

handful pistachios, chopped

dried rose petals

a bit of rosewater (unnecessary)

Roll out dough into a rough rectangle. Sprinkle with pistachios. Crumble the dried rose petal and sprinkle that overtop as well, and additional rosewater if desired. Roll into a rope, and cut off one tip to form the “tete.” Form the remainder into a ball, and place into a buttered brioche pan to proof; place the small piece on top.

 

Baking

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

dried lavender

chopped pistachios

Preheat oven to 400F. Let the brioche rise until fairly well risen, but not doubled; around three hours or perhaps more.

Beat the egg yolk and vanilla extract together. Glaze breads generously.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400F. Turn down the temperature to 350F, and bake for another 20-30 minutes. The internal temperature should be 190F according to this recipe; otherwise bake until the bread is nicely browned.

black forest cake (a mother’s day sort of thing)

My mum is sometimes a bit reluctant to let me make her a cake as usually I got off on some failure-ish sort of tangent with odd flavours (such as that shiitake and chocolate pudding) when all she really wants is a cake that tastes good and it’s fine if its boring and you’ve made it before!

And because she’s my mom sometimes I do feel obliged to respect her wishes.

Furthermore this last Sunday was my grandparents’ anniversary as well–the occasion merited a cake that everyone should be able to enjoy (well, without forcing themselves).

I also really like black forest cake myself. I does seem a bit retro (or at least I think; with none of that Swiss or Italian meringue buttercream here) but there’s something about a classic cake covered with whipped cream!

It’s an absolute ton of whipped cream though. Yes, it seems light and you think you’re probably not having too much…but let’s not actually discuss how much cream I used. It’s better this way.

Sometimes I like to sketch things out before I start; it also allows me to get some feedback–my mom quite directly rejected the first two designs. I also got quite a bit of inspiration from all the lovely layer cakes I’ve been seeing lately.

cakes

Design 1 I envisioned to be plain but with some piping on top and very definition upward strokes of cream along the sides.

Design 2 (the sort of funky looking one) was inspired in part by this mixed berry genoise from Born and Bred in Brooklyn (whose cake looks much more beautiful than this odd thing I was drawing) and the way that the berries just poked out of the cream; I was envisioning that along the sides of the cake between the layers.

The third was more the classic sort; cherries on top and I thought I might comb the cream on the sides to create ridges.

I also considered the very striking black forest cake from desserts for breakfast. 

The last design, and the one I finally settled on, was inspired by this beautiful fruit arrangement on top of a chocolate beetroot cake from Cupcakes and Curries and adopting the crescent shape from this carrot cake by the Domestic Gothess, The generous top was supposed to contrast the very minimally iced sides (a design choice and not an excuse due to running out of cream, though I was accused of that several times over the evening).

The cake recipe is my mother’s. She once made it as a relative’s wedding cake; the annotation on the side says ‘to make every 5 years!!’ It makes an incredible amount of cake, but the batter doesn’t rise as much as I thought it would (with all that baking powder and eggs); rather it comes already quite voluminous. I ended up baking five layers in different pans of different sizes (a rectangular pan, one with fluted edges) but with some trimming you can end up with five perfectly decent layers (of quite variable thickness).

 

So happy Fiesta Friday and a late mother’s day post! Kindly hosted by Angie, the Novice Gardener and cohosted by That’s Justine of Eclectic odds n sods and Jhuls, The Not So Creative Cook.

Black forest cake

Makes one 7″ five layer cake with excessive amounts of cream.

 

Chocolate chiffon cake

The recipe is from my mother; I’ve no idea of the original source, nor how much it has been adapted over the years. I made one rectangular cake and four cakes of 8-7″ diameter; the layers were 1.5-2 cm thick or so. Perhaps four layers of greater thickness may be preferable–my mother did warn me though that this cake needs some support so you may not want to make it too thick. I also overbaked mine, so do watch out. 

1 c boiling water

½ c cocoa powder

1 ¾ c flour

5/6 c sugar

1 tsp salt

3 tsp bp

5 egg yolks

½ c oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 c egg whites (7-8 egg whites)

Preheat oven to 325F.

Mix boiling water and cocoa, let cool.

Whisk together four, sugar, salt, baking powder.

Whisk together eggs, oil, and cocoa mixture. Mix into flour, beat until smooth and set aside.

Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold one large scoop into flour mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining.

Fill one large ungreased tube pan, or a variety of other pans of varying sizes…I filled four circular pans and 1 rectangular pan to make five very thin layers of varying sizes. Four of a greater height may have been better. Don’t grease the sides, but line the bottom with parchment paper.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted skewer is removed clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

 

Compote

I did not have too many cherries so I did not make too much and I think it could be doubled. You could also use more cornstarch; I drained the juice, but the cornstarch gave it a bit more body and helped it cling to the cherries. 

Around 35 cherries, pitted and quartered

2 tbsp kirsch

1.5 tbsp sugar

¼ tsp cornstarch

Heat cherries, kirsh and sugar until cherries release juices and become softened. Pull out a bit of the juice to make a cornstarch slurry, mix in, and simmer to thicken. Set aside to cool or in an ice bath if you’re the more impatient sort.

 

Cream

300 g heavy cream

icing sugar, to taste

Whip cream to desired stiffness and then whip in the sugar.

 

Assembly

Inspired by the chocolate beetroot cake from Cupcakes and Curries and the crescent shape from this carrot cake by the Domestic Gothess.

Cherries

Raspberries

White chocolate

Dark chocolate

Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread a generous scoop of whipped cream over top; piling it up more along the sides. Add 1/4 of the compote, draining it to remove excess juice. Repeat for the remaining layers, with cherry compote on top of each subsequent layer except the last. Minimally spread cream on the sides of the cake and generously spread cream overtop of the cake.

Pit and halve some of the cherries; leave some whole. Halve some of the raspberries. Heat a vegetable peeler in hot water, dry, and then make some chocolate curls. Arrange all components overtop.

 

lemongrass coconut tres leches cake

Lemongrass is amazing; it has the flavour of lemon, but in the most soft and delicate and slightly herbal way without the tartness and acidity of lemon lemon.

And so for the absolute longest time I’ve had this dream. This dream was to make a lemongrass cake that actually tasted of lemongrass.

It involved some of steeping milk with lemongrass that then went into the cake batter, or mincing lemongrass very finely or trying to grind dried lemongrass into a powder. None of them were particularly successful.

But this one was. In this adaptation of a tres leches cake, I infused the milk mixture used to soak the cake with lemongrass and it came out beautifully–well, at least in the soaked parts of the cake.

I love the taste of lemongrass with milk; lemongrass pairs well with rich and creamy things (lemongrass ice cream is very pleasant, by the way), and so this was perfect.

This recipe is adapted from the rosewater tres leches cake from Morning Brew & Tea, an absolutely delightful blog (and a bit healthier than my own, I do suspect). Keisha’s recipe uses coconut milk instead of evaporated (convenient as we didn’t have any evaporated) and a lovely match with the lemongrass I added. You can see another brilliant coconut tres leches cake from Prachi at the the Divine Spice Box–oh my, the mango!

I mixed a bit of shredded coconut into the whipped cream for texture, and used the toasted black sesame for taste–both help ground the cake which is otherwise quite light!

After reading Lili’s own work with the tres leches cake, I also realized where I went wrong–this should be done in a springform pan as it allows the milk to drain. I noticed my cake was considerably more soggy on the bottom, so next time I would be sure to use a springform. Not to mention, I could also pour the milk overtop a couple times more as the middle of the cake was most definitely not soaked!

The tres leches cake challenge is being hosted by Lili of Lili’s Cakes. So many lovely variations on the tres leches cake, so please do come by!

Lemongrass coconut tres leches cake

Borrowed and moderately adapted from Morning Brew & Tea. I really like this sponge cake; whisking the egg yolks into the whites wasn’t something I’d done before, but it turned out quite nicely and the baking powder ensures a consistent rise even when I somehow manage to flatten the egg whites with my abysmal folding abilities.

Sponge cake

135 g or 1 c flour

70 g or 1/3 c sugar

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

3 eggs, divided

1/4 c milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter and line the bottom of a 7″ cake pan with parchment paper. I also put two long parchment paper slips underneath the circle of parchment.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.

Separate the whites from the yolks. Beat the whites until thick and foamy, then gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until they are glossy and have formed soft peaks.

Alternate folding in the flour and milk; I did three additions of flour and two of milk, though next time perhaps I would do two and one instead.

Scrape into the prepared pan.

Bake around 25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer is removed clean. If you’re quick, you can prepare and let the milk steep while the cake is baking.

 

Milk

125 mL coconut milk

125 mL milk

1/2 stalk lemongrass; top or bottom, both will work (though it’s nicer cooking with the bottom, so you’ll probably have the top half left)

75 mL condensed milk

Cut the lemongrass in half, smack firmly with the side of a knife to crush it a bit.

Heat the coconut milk and milk with the lemongrass in a small saucepan until it reaches a simmer. Cover, and let steep at least 15 to 20 minutes. If you do this beforehand, let it steep even longer!

When you’re ready to use the milk, remove the lemongrass and whisk in the condensed milk until combined. Pour the cooled milk over the hot cake, let cool, and then chill overnight.

 

Whipped cream with black sesame and coconut

1/2 c whipping cream

1/2 tsp black sesame seeds

2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut

Toast black sesame seeds in a pan. Coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle.

Whip the cream to soft peaks, beat in the sesame and coconut. To assemble, remove the cake from the pan (you should be able to life it out using the parchment slips, which you can then remove). Frost the top of the cake with an offset spatula.

Serve with the excess milk from the pan.

blackberry, orange and bay tart

I made use of the leftover tart shells from my last set of tarts for these.

Inspiration for the flavour combination was borrowed from c’est ne pas une pie and her blackberry and bay eclairs. I’ve found her blog to use quite a few herbs in baking, from some thyme here to some rosemary here and in the most creative manner.

Bay stood out to me especially as I’ve never really even known what bay tasted like (it was just a leaf that one might tuck into the corner of a stew) let alone ever thought of using it in a dessert.

I used the usual pastry cream recipe I usually use (how useful yet useless information) and it was a bit too thick and a bit too floury…I’m not sure what I was doing differently than normal; I think next time I might try 15 g of flour or so instead of 20 g or opt for a cornstarch-based pastry cream.

The bay pastry cream tasted clearly on it’s own, but I did lose it a bit under all the blackberries and oranges. Everything was perhaps overall a bit too acidic because I folded in the excess yogurt chantilly from the grape tarts to add to the already a bit tart blackberries and oranges; just folding in some whipped cream to lighten would be better.

Blackberry, orange and bay pastry cream tarts

Inspired by the blackberry and bay eclairs from ce n’est pas une pie. 

Chestnut pastry shells

See this previous post

Bay pastry cream

Adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel. Will make enough for five or so tarts depending on how much whipped cream you use.

 1/2 c milk

1 bay leaf

20 g flour

10 g sugar

pinch salt

1 egg yolk

small pat of butter

whipped cream

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until steaming. Add bay leaf, cover and set aside to steep for half an hour. Remove the bay leaf and reheat the milk.

Whisk together the egg yolk, flour, sugar and salt until pale.

Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolk while whisking constantly. Return to the saucepan and cook until well thickened.

Beat in a bit of butter and chill. Fold some whipped cream into the chilled pastry cream to lighten.

Assembly

Blackberries, sliced in half

Orange segments (I used a dried-up mandarin and some sort of tangerine derivative)

Fill pastry shell with the pastry cream; arrange blackberries and orange overtop.

grapefruit rose cake

I don’t think I’ve really been more busy so much as I’ve just been getting home much later now. I actually intended to post something earlier this week as well, but I’ll get around to that post later–and in the meantime, of course I can’t miss a Friday post for Fiesta Friday! For now, this is a bit of a second take for my last attempt at grapefruit rose madeleines which were mediocre at best. However, thanks to posting about that failure, I received some helpful advice on tackling grapefruit!

It started me on thinking about glazes, and when I think about glazes I always think back to my ever favourite lemon cake (and here is my previous, ever favourite lemon cake).

(Okay, so maybe “ever favourite” is a bit of an exaggeration).

The glaze stands up to its word in this cake; the cake however doesn’t have any flavour at all (now I recognize the grapefruit zest is merely a formality). So that part is a disappointment, however you can at least take heart in all the grapefruit juice the cake can be soaked in.

I like leaving the grapefruit pulp in the glaze; it does leave it rather lumpy, however I think the bright pink pulp looks wonderfully flowery, and provides a nice spectrum of colours against the darker dried rose petals and pale glaze.

And (I almost forgot…this is what happens when you write posts early in the morning!) happy Fiesta Friday! Hosted by Angie, the Novice Gardener, and cohosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking andJess of Cooking Is My Sport. I’m very fortunate to be able to participate in such a fun and supportive event!

The final glaze looks very off; I only got a chance to take photos in decent light of the final, set glaze a few days later.

Recipe notes:

I think the grapefruit flavour comes out perfectly well. That being said, I could always still do with a heavier grapefruit flavour, especially as it all comes from the glaze, not the cake. I was thinking in that regard I may have to look along the lines of grinding up the whole fruit… though seeing as grapefruit has such thick pith, it may end up very bitter (which could be a good thing).

The rose flavour is, I think, well balanced with the grapefruit flavour. The cake could potentially do with a bit more of both flavours however (or maybe I like things to taste too strong.) I also find that I prefer using room temperature eggs and milk if possible with this cake; though that never really happens.Grapefruit-rose loaf cake

Adapted from the lemon loaf in Chateleine, Oct 2009. 

2 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

generous pinch salt

105 g butter

20 g extra virgin olive oil

¾ c sugar

½ tsp rose water

zest 1 grapefruit

a few dried rose petals, slightly crushed, plus additional to decorate

¾ c milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a loaf pan and line with a parchment sling.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter, oil and sugar until light. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the rose water, grapefruit zest, and dried rose petals.

Alternate beating in the flour and milk. Scrape into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 40-60 minutes or until an inserted skewer is removed clean or with only moist crumbs clinging.

Glaze #1

Half of a grapefruit, perhaps small-ish

As soon as the cake has been removed from the oven, squeeze the juice overtop, moistening all of the loaf surface. Once the juice has been absorbed, slide a knife around the edges of the pan not covered by the parchment sling, and remove the cake. Set on a wire rack to cool.

Glaze #2

1 c icing sugar

¼ tsp rosewater (or more, if desired)

a few tablespoons of grapefruit juice

some dried rose petals

Whisk together the icing sugar, rosewater, and enough grapefruit juice to reach the desired consistency. It should be thin enough to flow on its own, but not so thin that it absorbs into the cake instead of drying on top.

Pour the glaze over top of the cake in increments and use an offset spatula to smooth the glaze along the sides of the cake. Decorate with some dried rose petals.

 

roasted red grape tart with yoghurt chantilly

In lieu of other interesting things to talk about (of which I have none, as usual) I’m so glad I finished up this year without any horrendous failures! Still, I found it rather difficult, which is unfortunate since I hear next year will be worse!

So now I’ll be starting a new summer job-thing-y though and I’m always nervous about these before they start. I don’t really know what to anticipate other than that I’ll make quite a few mistakes, and that only makes me more worried. I think I should probably do some additional research before I start…though I’d really rather do some more baking in the time I have…

I first had roasted grapes when my sister prepared them; she served them with a soft, unripened cheese. Since then I’ve been wanting to use them in a sweet context.

(I have a one-track mind.)

I decided that I finally ought to after seeing some lovely roasted grape tarts from La Petit Chef, with tomatoes!, and Food Eat Love, with olives!, of the more savoury persuasion. (And I hope you’re not all tired of grape tarts yet!)

I’m on a bit of a tart run lately. But it’s also nice to actually make some tarts with the tart pans as mostly I’ve only been making financiers and more financiers and an occasional sponge cake.

The pastry shrunk quite a bit; but I was not that dismayed as I didn’t really want too much volume in the first place.

Speaking of which, blind baking really dries out the rice! I used to just put it back into the canister but then I eventually realized why sometimes some of the rice was harder than other grains after being cooked…

The grapes are roasted with a bit of olive oil and salt until soft.

The roasted grapes develop a concentrated sweetness, a bit reminiscent of cooked tomato; they’re best still warm or room temperature on the tarts. It is very, very different.

I’m really curious what roasted green grapes would be like–and just how sweet they would be after roasted. We also have some muscat grapes at the moment that might be interesting to try something with–but I also really love how floral the muscat grapes are, and so depending on whether that comes out after being roasted, maybe it’s a bit too cruel to roast them!

I’ve grown fond of brushing the pastry shells with a bit egg midway through baking. This time around it wasn’t needed to strengthen the shell, but I like the shine and crust that forms.

Normally I wouldn’t use yoghurt and whipped cream in this proportion with more acidic fruits like grapes as overall it would be too acidic.

This however was perfect; it’s good to have the yogurt against the richness of the cream. From the olive oil, even the roasted grapes taste rich, and the grapes are so sweet that the acidity is necessary.

A quick note on grape arrangements: I thought it looked very nice to have small, intact, clumps of grapes on the tart. And it does; it provides some nice height that otherwise the tarts would lack (and also makes for a side photo that is a little bit interesting), but it’s really no good for eating. The grapes become quite a bit more difficult to pull off the stem after being roasted, so instead it’s much better to arrange some emancipated grapes.

It is, however, a deceptively heavy dessert. The pastry is rich, the cream is rich, and the grapes themselves are also rich. Using the yoghurt helped, but it’s still not very refreshing. Then again, I suppose I wasn’t expecting something too refreshing for roasted fruit.

But as it’s so heavy, one tart is quite a large serving! I would consider sharing with someone (and just pile on grapes!)

This tart dough made me very happy–the chestnut flour was a bit sweet and nutty and the pastry was flaky and crisp. It did, however, shrink quite a bit. As opposed to a shortbread crust, it does have more gluten, so I think next time if I wanted a full tart, I would stretch the dough over the edges of the tart pan, bake, and then trim the overlying edges.

This, however, was alright since not very much cream was wanted in the first place.

And happy Fiesta FridayHosted by Angie, the Novice Gardener, and cohosted by Anna of Anna International. I’m still making tarts so I guess I’ll bring some more!

Roasted red grape tart with yoghurt chantilly

Makes 8 tarts, 4-cm in diameter.

Chestnut tart dough

I made 8 4-cm tarts shells. If you want to stretch the dough over the lip of the tart pans to prevent shrinkage, perhaps you’ll make 6-7?

110 g flour

50 g chestnut flour

pinch salt

spoonful brown sugar

1 stick butter

40 mL cold water

beaten egg

Combine flours, salt and sugar. Cut butter into pieces. Rub into flour in large flakes by rubbing between thumb and fingers.

Once butter has been rubbed into flakes, add cold water and mix until you formed a dough.

Wrap in plastic, refrigerate.

Roll out dough thinly and line 8 4-cm tart pans.

Place a piece of parchment in each and fill with baking weight.

Blind bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Remove paper and weights, brush lightly with beaten egg. Return to oven for another 10 minutes or until golden.

 

Roasted grapes

It’s much easier to remove the grapes from the stems before cooking! So I would recommend doing that instead of leaving the grapes in bunches. You want a couple clusters of grapes per tart.

1 bunch red grapes

olive oil

kosher salt

Line a pan with parchment. Cut bunch of grapes into smaller clusters. Scatter on the pan, sprinkle with olive oil and toss until grapes are very lightly coated. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.

Roast for 400 for around half an hour or until grapes are soft and have shriveled; they should look like plump and juicy raisins instead of plump and juicy grapes.

 

Yoghurt Chantilly

You want around 10 g each of cream and yoghurt per tart. Yoghurt chantilly sounded so much more appealing in my head so I decided to call it that instead of “yoghurt mixed with whipped cream.”

80 g heavy whipping cream

80 g thick greek yoghurt

icing sugar to taste

Whip cream until firm peaks. Whisk in the yoghurt and icing sugar to taste until combined.

 

Assembly

Spread a small dollop of Chantilly cream on the a tart shell. Cover with roasted grapes.

You can sprinkle with a bit of ground pistachio for colour if you like.

SAM_0367