Tarts are my latest baking obsession, I love them and they are a huge success whenever I make them. I follow all the great pastry chefs around the world and I can’t help myself, I need to master the technique! I owe my improvements (and obsession, to be honest) to my teacher Ester, you can check out her Instagram feed, she’s very talented both at pastry and photography.
I am here to share with you what I have learned over time, practice (and failing) and
some a lot of studying. To start baking perfect tart shells, first thing I’d recommend is to use good quality ingredients and butter is key here for a better taste. Second, to use the proper tools. That doesn’t mean you won’t get acceptable results with your old pie pan, but they won’t be perfect. Don’t let this scare you, specially if you’re on a budget: start small and make a thorough online search for the best prices, I got most of my tools on Amazon.
My must-haves are an adjustable rolling pin, a perforated ring (choose the size that is suitable for you, but I find it easier to work with rings up to 16 cm/6 inch) and a perforated mat. All those holes will make the heat spread evenly for you to obtain the PERFECT TART SHELL.
Once your shell is done, you can fill it with almost anything but, is there anything better than chocolate? I don’t think so!
- CHOCOLATE Y MASCARPONE TART
- FOR THE SHELL (from a Carl Marletti recipe, you will get twice the amount needed):
250 g all purpose flour
125 g good quality european style butter 82% fat
100 g caster sugar
2 g salt
1 free range egg (50 g)
30 g powdered almond (or any other nut of your choice)
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
190 g milk chocolate (I used Cacao Barry’s Alunga 41% )
100 g whipping or heavy cream
- FOR THE MASCARPONE CREAM:
100 g heavy cream
100 g mascarpone cheese
30 g white sugar
1.- Star by beating the butter with the caster sugar, just until they come together. DO NOT overbeat the butter, we don’t want any air into it or it will ruin your crust.
2.- Add the almond and the egg and, again, beat just until combined.
3.- Next, add flour and salt and finish your dough by hand, it’s the best way not to overwork it. Make a ball.
4.- At this point, divide your dough in 2. You will only need half of the recipe, but you can freeze the rest up to 2 months. Place it between 2 parchment papers and roll it up to 2 mm thick.
5.- Freeze at least for 30 minutes, although I prefer to leave it overnight.
6.- Once it’s frozen, cut your crust with your ring and line it on your mat. For the walls, cut a 2.5 cm strap and place it on your ring. Press it firmly to the walls, to avoid air pockets. This step has to be done quickly because this type of crust tends to heat rapidly, and it gets hard to work with. If this happens to you, place it back in the freezer for 10 minutes.
7.- Bake for 15 minutes at 170ºC without a fan. Take it out of the oven and place it immediately over a wire rack. Let cool.
8.- For the filling, boil the cream and pour on the chocolate. Beat constantly, you will see how it thickens and it becomes silky and smooth. Try to remove all the air bubbles, you can use your Thermomix or blender for this.
9.- Fill in the tart and let it set in the fridge for about 2 hours.
10.- For the mascarpone cream, whisk your cold heavy cream with the sugar just until it starts to thicken a little bit, but it’s still runny. Ddd the mascarpone cheese and beat them together until they form stiff peaks.
11.- Use a piping bag for decorating the tart and add fruit to your taste. Et voilà! Enjoy!