Monday, June 12, 2017

Strawberry Truffle Tart

I began working on this recipe in February, I think.
Long story short, I didn't think it would take me quite so long to post it.
(Time seems to be going fast this year though.)
BUT, among other things, I seemed to have a problem with consistency- each time I made it, it tasted just fine, but the texture was a little off (i.e the strawberry filling wasn't stiff enough to hold up to slicing and cooperate in staying in that form), or I ended up with too much of this or that aspect for a single tart...
You know, stuff...

So, keep trying.

The pastry needed to be crisp and cookie-like, the strawberry filling somewhere between jam and a pâte de fruits, the chocolate ganache top slice-able and solid but still a bit soft.
A little more of this here and maybe less of that there.
(And actually, most of the photos come from a "testing" day, not the final recipe day.
"Sliced" view? Soft filling. But good visual effect!)

I'm hoping this is it for good, for ever time.
But I suppose nothing can ever be totally black and white.
I don't control strawberries and their moisture content, for instance. Sad fact, I know.
And I guess that would be one reason why recipes always have variable times for cooking things- there ARE a lot of variables (humidity, elevation, product availability, etc.).
So that's when the cook's experience and perhaps intuition come into play- you need to have an idea of what you're doing or looking for sometimes to make as best as you can.

However, if nothing else, if not absolutely drop-dead gorgeous on the plate, it will taste good!

I think this is a nice nibble for the afternoon, with tea or coffee...

The pan used is a 13 3/4 x 4 1/2 inch (about 35 cm by 11 1/2 cm) rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom

Strawberry Truffle Tart
serves 9

60 g (1/2 c + 2T) hazelnut flour
50 g (1/3 c + 1T) sweet (glutinous) rice flour
40 g (1/3 c + 1T+ 1t) oat flour
45 g (3 T) sugar
3 g (1/4 t) salt
85 g (6 T) butter, cold and cubed
5 ml (1 t) vanilla
30 ml (2 T) cold water

45 g (1/4 c) semi-sweet chocolate chips

8 oz (225 g) strawberries, trimmed and sliced before weighing
45 g (3 T) sugar
30 ml (2 T) water
120 ml (1/2 c) good strawberry jam
3 ml (1/2 t) lemon juice, plus more to taste

95ml (1/3 c plus 1 T) heavy cream
110 g (about 2/3 c) dark chocolate
10 ml (2 t) corn syrup (optional)

Optional for stripes:

30 g (1/4 c) confectioner's sugar
15 ml (1T) cream or milk

Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend the hazelnut, rice, and oat flours along with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse several times until the mixture is fairly uniform and crumbly or sandy, without visible bits of butter. Sprinkle the vanilla and 2/3 of the water over the flour mixture and pulse several times to incorporate. Pinch a bit of the pastry dough to see if it comes together, if not, add the rest of the water and pulse a few times more to blend.
Tip the dough out into the tart pan and press along the bottom and up the sides of the tin, as uniformly as possible. 

Refrigerate the dough 10-15 minutes until cold and stiff.

Place the prepared tart pan in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 F/175 C. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the tart dough is completely set and pale golden.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over the finished pastry shell and let them melt a few minutes. Very gently, with the bowl of a spoon or an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate over the bottom surface of the tart. Cool the tart and then refrigerate.

While the tart shell rests in the fridge  (or while it bakes), begin working on the strawberry filling. Bring the strawberries, sugar and water to a strong simmer over medium heat. Simmer 7-10 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, at which time you should see thick and glossy bubbles and the liquid is somewhat reduced. Add the strawberry jam and puree the mixture in a food processor to break down the strawberries. Place the mixture back in the pan and simmer the mixture a further 7 minutes or so, stirring more frequently closer to the end so the jam doesn't scorch.
Pull the pan off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Let the mixture cool in the pan.

When ready to assemble the tart, make the ganache.
Place the chocolate and cream together in a bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, set over medium-low heat. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture smooth and homogeneous. Stir in the corn syrup, if using.

While the chocolate is melting for ganache, remove the tart crust from the refrigerator and spoon the strawberry filling over the bottom of the crust. Spread it evenly along the base and set aside.

Make the white stripe icing by mixing the confectioner's sugar and cream in a small bowl. Place the icing in a small plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a very small tip) and set aside until ready to use.)

When the ganache is ready, spoon it carefully over the jam. Spread it gently, smoothly and evenly with an offset spatula, covering all of the jam filling and sealing it off all the way to the edge of the pastry. Cut a small corner off the bag with the icing- if using, and with a steady hand draw stripes across the tart about every inch or so. Using a toothpick, pull a toothpick perpendicularly through the icing stripes, every 1/2 to 1 inch, alternating directions. (After you're finished it should look like the toothpick has been pulled though top to bottom, then bottom to top, top to bottom, etc.) Ganache and icing will both settle a bit and lose some sheen after resting and chilling.

Refrigerate the tart at least a couple hours before slicing and serving.