Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tarte Fraise Mascarpone

It's a rare occasion when I make an impulse purchase. But the moment I spotted Laduree: Sucre the Recipes on the Black Pearl Epicure counter I knew I had to have it. There was something so attractive about its tactile mint green cover and gold edged pages so I enquired for more information. Well the book was sold quicker than the helpful staff member informing me that the book was 35% off. My cousin Jacqui was coming over for dinner so I decided to find a lighter style dessert to balance the robust main and I settled on the Tarte Fraise Mascarpone, which a fancy term for a strawberry tart with mascarpone cream.

I started by making the Sweet Almond Pastry the day before. I whipped 120g cold butter (chopped into small cubes) with a stand mixer before adding the following ingredients one by one: 1/2 cup of icing sugar, 1/4 cup ground almonds, 1 pinch of sea salt, a few drops of vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1 cup plain flour and 2/3 cup corn flour. I then cling wrapped the dough and rested it overnight. The next day I rolled out the dough to 2mm, pressed it gently into a 24cm tart pan, cling wrapped again and rested it in the fridge for another hour. When the tart was ready, I preheated the oven to 170°C, pricked the pastry with a fork, lined the case with baking paper and pie weights before baking for 20 minutes or until lightly coloured. Allow it to cool completely before lining the time with melted white chocolate (I got lazy and brushed the case with egg while and baked it again).

While the tart case is in the oven you can start on the mascarpone cream. Cut up 2 gold strength gelatin sheets and soak them in a bowl of cold water. Then take a saucepan and add 60ml double cream, 125g caster sugar and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, incorporate the drained gelatin and allow the mixture to cool completely.

Using a wooden spoon mix 500g mascarpone until smooth and slowly incorporate the cream mixture. Pop the glossy cream in the fridge until it begins to firm.

I then filled the tart case with the mascarpone cream, sliced two punnets of strawberries and arranged them in a floral formation. Though this tart needs plenty of resting time, it is extremely easy and results are well worth it. Serve with vanilla icecream.

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