Monday, June 21, 2010

Caramel Chocolate Mousse Tart

I bought myself a new camera this weekend. I was originally going to invest in a Canon 450 DSLR, but as I am now heading off on a holiday to France in a month, I decided on a compact digital camera (hopefully I will purchase the DSLR later in the year).

I ended up with the Canon IXIS 130 camera, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by its capabilities.

To break in my camera, I took some photographs of this little baby.

Now this tart is the shit. It is rich, decadent, gooey, and loaded with calories.
I decided to make it for my boyfriend’s friend who is currently stuck in hospital. I wasn’t exactly sure what she would like, but I was sure I couldn’t fail with this tart. Everyone who has eaten it has died and gone to tart heaven.

I changed it up a bit this time, and used some leftover chocolate pastry I had in the freezer. It was a chocoholics dream. (the original pastry recipe can be found here)

What I like about this particular tart is the mousse. I generally don’t like chocolate tarts as I find ganache quite heavy and sickly. The mousse in this recipe gives you the chocolate hit, without the heaviness.

Caramel Chocolate Mousse Tart

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

225g caster sugar
250ml water
80ml thickened cream
70g butter, roughly chopped

Combine sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan and stir over a low flame until sugar is dissolved.

Increase the heat to high and cook sugar, while brushing down the sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until it's a deep golden colour (about 10-15 minutes). As soon as it starts to turn amber, do not take your eyes of it!

As soon as it hits the right colour, remove quickly from the heat and immediately add cream and butter (this will stop it cooking). Be careful as the mixture will spit and foam.

Stir to combine and pour into the tart case. Refrigerate until firm (about 1-2 hours)

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 caramel 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).

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