Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mint Slice Tart

I have a thing for tarts at the moment. This week I was still feeling like something chocolately, but with a bit of a kick. After trawling through recipe’s of chocolate tarts, it hit me: Chocolate Peppermint Tart.

I knew in my head the kind of tart that I wanted. Chocolate biscuity pastry, a layer of peppermint crème, followed by chocolate mousse, encased with a layer of slightly crisp ganache. I was after something reminiscent of the beloved Mint Slice biscuit.

So I played Frankenstein, mixing parts of recipes together and came up with the following. Rich, decadent, and a little (ok, a lot) naughty.

Chocolate Pastry
320g plain flour
60g cocoa
160g caster sugar
Pinch salt
160g cold butter, diced
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the eggs and process until dough just starts to come together.

Turn on to a lightly floured surface and gently knead until just smooth. Shape into a disc and cover with plastic wrap, then place in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest.

Roll out the pastry to a 15 x 40cm rectangle, about 3mm thick. Line a shallow rectangle 10 x 34cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin with a removable base with the pastry and trim any excess. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.

Line pastry with baking paper and fill with baking weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and rice and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until firm to touch. Cool pastry in tin.

Peppermint Crème
2 cups icing sugar (sifted)
1/4 cup cream
25g melted butter
1 tsp peppermint essence (or to your taste)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and spread a layer over the cooled pastry. Refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes to 1 hour).

Chocolate Mousse
250g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 eggs, separated
185ml thickened cream
2 Tbl caster sugar

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler or heatproof bowl over a pan of low simmering water. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Add the yolks, stir to combine and set aside (it will look a bit weird and gluggy but this is ok).

In a separate bowl, whisk cream until soft peaks and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk eggwhites with an electric mixer until frothy. Then gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until it forms soft peaks.

Add a little of the cream and stir into the chocolate mixture to soften it up and make it easier to mix.

Fold a 1/3 of the eggwhite mixture gently into the chocolate mixture, then fold in a 1/3 of the remainder of the cream. Repeat with remaining eggwhite and cream until all combined.

Spoon over cold peppermint crème in the tart case. Spread the mousse to the edges and smooth the top. Refrigerate until firm (about 2-3 hours).

To Finish
150g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
60ml pouring cream
20g unsalted butter, softened

Combine chocolate and cream in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until chocolate melts.

Remove from the heat, add butter and stir to combine.

Cool until it's a touch warm, then spread over the fully chilled chocolate mousse in the tart case and smooth top. Refrigerate immediately until set (about 30-40 minutes).

The pastry makes quite a bit (i had a bit under half left over). Freeze the left over portion to use again. I also felt the pastry was a little too dry to work with, so added a teaspoon or so of water after i added the eggs.
The peppermint crème was a bit too stiff to spread, so i added a little milk to make it a touch runnier.

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