Sunday, 22 April 2012

Mascarpone & Apple Curd Tarts - We Should Cocoa 20

Not being especially thrilled by my chocolate and cheddar biscuits (cheecolates), I thought I'd have another attempt at a chocolate and cheese combination for this month's We Should Cocoa. This time, I took a slightly safer route by going for a tart with a mascarpone and fruit curd filling. The curd in question was some apple and lemon curd I'd recently made to which I've become rather addicted - it is so delicious. The bit that was slightly risky was making pastry with an egg white. I've never done this before and nor had anyone else according to google. But I had an egg white lurking in the fridge from making the biscuits and I didn't want it lurking there anymore. The chocolate addition, I took from my surprise cheesecake and made these three layered tarts.

This is what I did:
  • Rubbed 40g unsalted butter into 100g flour (half wholemeal, half white) and 20g cardamom sugar (caster) until the mixture resembled bread crumbs.
  • Added the egg white and a splash of water and mixed with a knife.
  • Bought the mixture together to form a dough.
  • Being too impatient to hang around (to my cost), rolled the dough out thinly and cut circles just big enough to fill a 9 cm tart case. 
  • Pressed the pastry circles into 4 buttered tart tins & trimmed the tops with a knife.
  • Reformed the remaining pastry into a ball and rolled into a circle.
  • Shaped into a freeform pastry case & placed on a baking tray with the other tarts.
  • Pricked the bottoms in several places with a fork.
  • Baked for 10 minutes at 180C then left to cool. Oh dear the pastry had shrunk hugely - my own fault for not putting it into the fridge before rolling probably.
  • Removed the pastry from the tins.
  • Melted 50g milk chocolate (Green&Blacks 37%) in a glass bowl over a pan of not quite simmering water.
  • Left to cool a little.
  • Spread a couple of teaspoons or so of chocolate around the bases of the tart cases.
  • Mixed 125g mascarpone cheese with 3 tbsp of lemon and apple curd.
  • Divided this mixture between the 5 tarts.
  • Sprinkled the tops with grated dark chocolate (Green&Blacks 70%).
The pastry, I was pleased to find, worked well - apart from the shrinkage). It was easy to roll, which always gets lots of points in my book and being rather plain, offset the richness of the filling nicely. I now have another use for left over egg whites. CT pronounced these delicious, but I was disappointed by the pastry shrinkage and didn't think the pastry worked as well as the shortbread I'd used for the lime curd mascarpone tarts I made last year. Nor did they look as striking. However, I was quite happy to polish off my share of the tarts and they didn't last long. The chocolate layer gave a pleasant surprise snap to the experience as our teeth sank in.

34 comments:

  1. These look amazingly tasty and I can imagine that apple and lemon curd tastes pretty good too! A very pretty tart! :-)

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    1. Thanks Laura - I've become rather a fan of fruit curd mixed with mascarpone adding chocolate makes for a perfect dessert.

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  2. mmm they sound yummy. I love tarts with chocolate spread in the base, it's such a lovely surprise.

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    1. Thanks Janice - the chocolate layer usually causes quite a sensation for those not expecting it.

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  3. Very pretty tarts - I am curious to see what the cross section looked like - I would prefer lots of the chocolate filling but it doesn't sound like there was a lot!

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    1. Thanks Johanna. I was going to take a picture of the cross section, but the filling was quite soft and I couldn't get a clean cut. It just looked too messy, hence no photo.

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  4. They look lovely. I like the sound of the lemon and apple curd - is it one you've made up or did you follow a recipe? I think I've seen a HFW recipe for it somewhere. Must investigate...

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    1. Yes, I sort of followed Pam's recipe in Preserves - River Cottage Handbook. The curd is delicious.

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  5. These look pretty as a picture - and I love the idea of apple curd

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  6. Very pretty and no doubt delicious!

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    1. Thanks MCB, they were good, but would have been really good if the pastry hadn't shrunk and I could have filled them more :-S

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  7. I do love the way you like to experiment with flavours but you also know what works well together like the choc & lemon truffles. The idea of mixing in a lovely curd with mascarpone is really clever as well as the hidden layer of chocolate, just remember to wait for your pastry and it will re-pay you!!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks Laura - patience is not my strong point.

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  8. A fabulous idea, thank you for sharing. I do sometimes find I can get away with not chilling the pastry before blind baking if I use copious quantities of baking beans to weight it down. I must try the curd - my mother has Pam's book of preserves and swears by it. Will have to see if she is willing to part with it for a few days...

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    1. Thanks Charlotte, this was shrinkage on a grand scale! Pam's book is fabulous as is her one on Cakes. See if you can wrest it from your mother for a while ;-)

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  9. They look so pretty! Love the idea of suprise chocolate on the base of the tart too - perfect!

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    1. Thanks Hannah. The chocolate is the fun bit and adds to the overall yumminess, but they'd taste good without it too.

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  10. Your tarts look beautiful! And much more up my street than the chocolate cheese biscuits you made before...gorgeous post :-)

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    1. Ha ha, you have to do something a little different from time to time and weirdly, they did appeal to some. Thank you for lovely comment.

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  11. Definitely must try some of your curds. I love the simple idea of the mixing them with some mascarpone and chocolate then for a quick pud!

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    1. You're right you need nothing more than a good fruit curd and some mascarpone for a delicious & quick dessert - maybe a grating of chocolate on top! Would be good on scones too.

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  12. Mascarpone and curd makes a great combination and that addition of apple must be really interesting in the tarts. I've been playing around with lower-fat recipes lately using egg whites (including the chilled packs of egg white as an experiment). It's interesting to see what works and what's better left with whole eggs.

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    1. Well I've not heard of egg white packs until now Phil - can't quite figure out how they would work. Egg white makes a really good binder for roast nuts with spices or herbs rather than using butter or oil.

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  13. now we talking!... mascarpone is the way i'm going this month for WSC... love the stuff although i'll doubt mine will be as divine as yours!

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  14. Dom, what rot you do talk - I bet yours will be even more divine. Mind you, it's hard to go wrong with such a lovely substance as mascarpone ;-)

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  15. ooh these look delicious! Well done for persevering with your we should cocoa challenge - I am truly impressed. Also good to know there's something else I can do with egg whites. Love the sound of apple and lemon curd... yum!

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    1. Ros, I had a 3rd one up my sleeve which would have been completely different, but I ran out of time :-S

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  16. looks delicious! cant believe I missed this months we should cocoa challenge! Il be nice and refreshed for next month's when the big 3-0 celebrations are over!

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    1. Hey congratulations - hope you celebrate well and happily. And of course look forward to your WSC entry next month ;-)

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  17. Mascarpone is always an excellent choice (for so MANY sweet and savory foods), so I'm a fan. Although, knowing your blog, I am the tiniest bit surprised that there wasn't more chocolate involved ;) These are lovely though and I'd happily help eat them!

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  18. JW - thanks. There's more chocolate than you;d think hiding in there ;-)

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  19. Yummy! Looks really tempting & lovely! Gosh! I guess I'm a bit to late for this event! Always thought the dateline was the on the 28th but not the 25th. :(

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    1. I even have a recipe just for this challenge! I'll catch up next month but I so wanted to join this month's awesome challenge!

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