I wanted to make a fancy dessert for you guys. I’m totally guilty of trying to impress y’all out there! So, I ended up making a Caramelized White Chocolate Pastry Cream Tart and then to kick up the flavors and the presentation of the tart, I made a raspberry gel and pipped some lemon curd. Now, truth be told, conceptually I knew the flavors were going to work, but its not till you have the first bite to get that affirmation. Needless to say, I couldn’t stop my self after the first few bites!
There might be an overdose of pictures in this post, but I love the brightness of this tart, especially on a day when its raining and dreary outside!
I had read about caramelized white chocolate a year ago, but never ended up getting to it. I have never really been a fan of white chocolate. I find it too milky and sweet, but once this batch of white chocolate was done caramelizing, I was in love!
White chocolate is made of three things, sugar, milk and fat (in the form of cocoa butter). So basically when you heat the chocolate up and expose it to heat, the sugar in the chocolate caramelizes. It totally also gets that amber caramel color too!. To learn the step by step process, David Lebovitz has an entire post on how white chocolate is transformed into caramelized goodness! The basic idea behind caramelizing white chocolate is to chop it up very finely, and then heat the chocolate in a mild-medium oven. The chocolate needs to be stirred and mixed every ten minutes for between 30-60 minutes. When the chocolate turns amber, you know its done! Your house and your kitchen will smell divine!! Once the white chocolate was caramelized, I added it to the pastry cream that I have prepared. The best part of this pastry cream was the intensity of flavor that the chocolate provided, without it being overtly sweet!
The tart base was perfectly crispy, just the right compliment to the pastry cream and sweetened cream topping. It can totally be scooped up! The raspberry gel and the lemon curd add the extra flavor and the necessary tartness to the creaminess of the rest of the tart. It almost feels like spring in your mouth! They aren’t essential, but if you have the extra time, please make that extra effort and make some! It just takes the tart over the top!
This tart is a bit laborious to make, but I promise it’s totally worth it! Make it for a special occasion!
Caramelized White Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Gel and Lemon Curd
Yield: One Large Tart
For the Crust
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Baking Book
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, more if needed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
For the Pastry Cream
Adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
For the Caramelized White Chocolate
4 Ounces White Chocolate (try for one with a higher cocoa butter content)
For the Raspberry Gel
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup raspberries (any other berry will do as well)
1 envelope powdered unflavored gelatin (10grams)
For the lemon Curd (optional)
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1-2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest,
- 1/4-1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick butter), cut into small pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Whipped Cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
For the crust:
- For the tart dough, combine the egg yolk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are no bigger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and stir until a dough just comes together. If it is too dry, add another tablespoon of ice water. Give it a few kneads, but be careful not to knead it too much. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and put it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to fit a 9 inch tart tin. Transfer the dough to the tart tin and press the dough into the sides of the tin so the dough rises a bit over the edge of the tin. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put an oven rack in the lower third of your oven. Remove the tart from the fridge. Using a piece of parchment paper or tin foil, place it in the tart and fill with dried rice, beans, or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the weights, and bake for another 7 to 10 minutes. If bubbles form in the crust during baking, press them down with a fork. Do not prick them or you could create holes in your crust.
- Remove the tart from the oven and let cool completely.
For the Caramelized White Chocolate
Preheat the oven to 250F (120 C)
1. Chop the white chocolate into small coarse pieces.
2. Distribute the white chocolate on a rimmed baking sheet and heat for ten minutes.
3. Remove it from the oven and spread it with a clean, dry spatula.
4. Continue to cook for and additional 30-60 minutes, stirring at 10 minute intervals. At some points it may look lumpy and chalky (and even unpleasant), but keep stirring and it will smooth out and caramelize.
5. Cook until the white chocolate is deep-golden brown, and caramelized.
If it’s lumpy, scrape it into a bowl and smooth it out with an immersion blender, or in a food processor.
Store in a jar, at room temperature, until ready to use.
For the Pastry Cream
Place milk and 1/4 cup sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat; cook until just barely boiling. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks with remaining tablespoon sugar until thickened; sprinkle in cornstarch and continue whisking until well combined.
Slowly pour half the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly; transfer egg yolk mixture to remaining milk mixture in saucepan, whisking to combine. It is important to constantly whisk to avoid getting scrambled eggs at the bottom of the pan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thick, about 4 minutes. Once done, add the teaspoon of vanilla.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl; stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is touching the surface of cream to prevent a skin from forming. When the white chocolate is ready, mix in. At this point you can strain the mixture again through a fine mesh sieve. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled.
- Pour the caramelized white chocolate pastry cream on top of the baked tart, and put in 200C (375F) oven for 15 minutes. The filling should be slightly puff and should be set in the center. Allow to cool completely before adding whipped cream. Top the tart with pipped raspberry gel, lemon curd and fruit.
For the raspberry gel
- Puree the raspberry in a blender till smooth
- Make a simple sugar syrup by combining the water and sugar. Heat the sugar and water over medium heat. Once the sugar is been dissolved, take off heat and add the gelatin. Mix well to combine.
- Combine the raspberry and sugar-gelatin mixture and pour in a pan. Refrigerate
- Once set, cut the gel into small cubes and blitz in a blender till smooth
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl and refrigerate again.
- Once ready to use, add the gel to a pipping bag and pipe desired design on top of the tart
For the Lemon Curd
For the Filling:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in lemon zest and juice and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time. Let the curd cool completely
- Add 1/4 cooled lemon curd to a pipping bag and pipe on top of the whipped cream. Reserve the rest of the lemon curd. Make Lemon Tartlets or Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes with the rest of the curd. The curd freezes well too, for up to a month.
For the Whipped Cream
- Whip together the cream and sugar till stiff. Add vanilla. Spread over the cooled tart.