The Cooking Chook does Christmas – White Chocoberry Tartlets
Christmas is apparently less than four weeks away, and I thought maybe I would get into the spirit of things and post some Christmassy recipes leading up to the big day. Even though I am a baker at heart and I love to make desserts, I’ve decided to mix things up a little and attempt both desserts and mains. I am in no way a traditionalist, so there won’t be any turkey or ham recipes but I hope to find and share recipes that still encompass the Christmas spirit in one way or another but also has a dash of Australian flavour to it. The one thing that is a certainty about living in Australia is that there will be no white Christmas. In some ways this is a bit of a bummer, because it has been burned into my consciousness from a young age that Christmas is associated with winter and snow. In other ways, I’m kind of glad because I get rather whingey about being cold. Flicking through all of my Australian foodie mags, I’ve been seeing a lot of desserts with berries in them. Makes sense really because they are in season at the moment. So, with that in mind, I went on a search for a dessert recipe that used berries and this is what I found – White chocolate and berry tartlets. The white chocolate makes me think of Christmas, not sure why, maybe it has something to do with it being the same colour as snow? And the berries take care of the Australiana aspect. I like the idea of tartlets because you can make individual tartlets for each person and not have to worry about having to ‘serve’ people. Plus, it gives the illusion that you are not sharing with anybody; you have a whole tartlet all to yourself. It’s not like Christmas is about sharing, is it? 😉 This recipe makes 8 tartlets.
White Chocoberry Tartlets
1 sheet of ready-made shortcrust pastry (I use Careme’s Vanilla Bean Short Crust pastry)
180g white chocolate, chopped (I use Plaistowe Cooking Chocolate)
2 tbs Grand Marnier
2 eggs, separated
300ml thickened cream
⅓ cup (70g) caster sugar
Fresh raspberries and blueberries, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Divide the pastry into 8 portions. Each portion should be about 8x15cm rectangle, if not, roll the pastry out to size. Line the base and sides of a 6x12cm rectangular tart tin with removable bases with pastry. Continue with remaining pastry to make 8 tartlets. Place on an oven tray and chuck into the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
Combine chocolate and liqueur in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Cook, stirring with a metal spoon, until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Don’t worry if it looks like the chocolate has seized. It will become smooth again when you add the egg yolks. Remove from heat, add the egg yolks and stir quickly to combine.
Use an electric mixer to whip the cream until firm peaks form. Add half of the cream to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Add the remaining cream and gently fold until combined.
Use an electric mixer again, to beat the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add egg whites to the chocolate mixture and gently fold until just combined.
Use a fork to prick the bases of the pastry cases. Chuck the pastry cases in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Spoon the chocolate mixture into each pastry case and chuck in the fridge to chill. Top with berries and dust with a little icing sugar to serve.
Note: I have amended the original recipe, so if you would like to see it, click here. Also, I ended up with about half of the filling left over so next time I make this, I might reduce the amounts by half.