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.