Week 146: Earl Grey and raspberry tartlets

Recently I was interviewed and featured on an article by Business Times. While I am happy to see how far I have come where baking is concerned, I am particularly pleased at the comments I got from the journalist on my photography. And I have a few good friends to thank for that.

One of them is in town for a visit this week and I really wanted to bake something special for her. After lots of research, I decided to bake her these Earl Grey and raspberry tarts. I went baking supply shopping in Tokyo recently where I got some Earl Grey oil from and I thought it’s a good opportunity to give it a try.

The tart shells are made using Pierre Hermé’s pâte sucrée beurrée recipe. They are then filled with a layer of white chocolate, walnut and raspberry feuilletine crunch, raspberry gelée, Earl Grey milk chocolate crème pâtissière, and topped with Earl Grey crème chantilly.

Makes 4 x 8cm round tartlets

For the walnut and raspberry feuilletine crunch

30g white chocolate couverture

20g toasted walnuts, chopped

20g feuilletine

3g freeze-dried raspberry powder

1) Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.

2) Remove the pot from heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

3) Fill the bottom of the tart shells with the mixture. I used 12g per tart.

4) Refridgerate while preparing the other components.

For the raspberry gel

94g raspberry purée, strained

32g granulated sugar

1g pectin

3g gelatine powder + 2 tsp water

1) In a small saucepan, on low heat, heat the raspberry purée.

2) Add pectin to sugar in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.

3) Bloom gelatine powder in 2 teaspoons water.

4) Add sugar mixture to raspberry purée in the saucepan. And gently stir until mixture comes to a boil.
5) Remove saucepan from heat then stir in the gelatine mixture. Stir until fully dissolved.
6) When raspberry has cooled to room temperature, spoon into prepared tarts. I used 16g per tart. This recipe makes extras.

For the Earl grey milk chocolate crème pâtissière

140g Earl Grey infused whole milk (165g whole milk + 5g Earl grey tea leaves)

10 drops Earl Grey oil

1 large egg yolk

20g granulated sugar

6g cornstarch

40g milk chocolate couverture

10g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) Prepare the Earl Grey milk before hand. Measure 165g whole milk and 5g loose Earl Grey tea leaves in a saucepan.

2) Heat until little bubbles form around the edge of the saucepan, then turn the heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. After that, turn off the heat and allow to steep for at least 40 minutes. Strain the tea leaves from the infused milk. If you have less than 140g of strained liquid, top up with more milk.

3) Add the Earl Grey oil, Earl Grey infused milk and sugar to a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a light boil.

4) In a bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the cornstarch.

5) Pour a third of the boiling liquid while whisking vigorously. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and continue cooking on medium heat while whisking continuously until mixture have thicken to pastry cream consistency.

6) Remove cream mixture from heat and pour it onto milk chocolate in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Then, fold gently to incorporate. Allow to cool to < 50C.

7) Add butter to the cream and stir to incorporate.

8) Divide the Earl Grey pastry cream evenly between the 4 tarts. There should be about 50g per tart. Refridgerate.

For the Earl Grey crème chantilly

185g Earl Grey-infused heavy cream (215g heavy cream + 5g Earl grey tea leaves)(simmer 5 mins, steep 5 mins, refrigerate at least 10 hours)

30g icing sugar

7 drops Earl Grey oil

3/4 tsp gelatine powder + 3/4 tbsp water

1) The night before, prepare the Earl Grey infused cream. Measure 215g heavy cream and 5g loose Earl Grey tea leaves in a saucepan.

2) Heat until little bubbles form around the edge of the saucepan, then turn the heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. After that, turn off the heat and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes. Strain the tea leaves from the infused cream. If you have less than 185g of strained liquid, top up with more heavy cream. Refridgerate for at least 10 hours or overnight.

3) Bloom gelatine powder in 3/4 tablespoon water. Ensure gelatine granules are completely melted using a water-bath. Then add the Earl Grey oil.

4) Sift icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Then add the cold Earl Grey-infused heavy cream.

5) Whisk on high until cream has started to thicken. Turn the mixer to low and pour in the gelatine mixture while mixture is still running.

6) Turn mixer back on high and whisk until stiff peaks form. Do not overwhip.

7) Fill the chantilly cream into a piping bag fitted with a large St Honore tip.

8) Remove filled tart from refrigerator. The pastry cream should be firm. Pipe chantilly cream in continuous curves on each tart.

9) Dot with remaining raspberry gel to decorate.

I have been wanting to pipe this pattern onto my tarts but have always worried that it might not work. That I will “break” the piping halfway through, and there’s no way to recover from that. When I finally tried it though, it proved to be surprisingly easy! Honest. I can’t wait to get the opportunity to pipe these again.

A side note to baking enthusiast visiting Tokyo. So for a trip to Tomizawa. They have outlets all over Tokyo and I managed to visit the outlet in Shinjuku and Ilebukuro. The best thing about Tomizawa is that they have English labels on all their ingredients! And they do carry quite a fair bit of stuff we don’t find in Singapore. I had a field day! Who would have thought baking supply shopping can be so much fun?


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