These white chocolate strawberry tarts gives a little taste of summer and the warm times to come in the Southern Hemisphere.
By Tania Cusack
It is the depths of winter here in Australia and this tart is white as the snow but it has the promise of better times, berries. The Queenslanders-(the northern most state of Australia), where there are tropical beaches and Strawberries in the winter, have been busy growing these ones. This gives us a little taste of summer and the warm times to come. You however may be able to just squeeze this tart in for the end of summer with the last of the berries
White chocolate can be cloying and…..white…… and a bit sweet, but have you tried it with strawberries and balsamic? You might be surprised at the transformation. Make sure that you use a sweet and lovely balsamic vinegar and some good quality white couveture for best results. I have used Amedei chocolate, because I have it from work . I have also used a very special balsamic from Borgo del Balsamico. It is hand made and barrel evaporated fancy as you can get. Don’t let that deter you. You get the nicest one you can, and use more sugar to balance out the vinegar
- 250gm (8oz)pure icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 450gm unsalted butter (15.85oz)softened
- 3 eggs large
- 100gm (3.5oz) almond meal
- 800gm plain flour (28.22oz)
- 300gm white chocolate- 10.58oz
- 200gm unsalted butter- 7.05oz
- 2 eggs
- 2 yolks
- 100gm caster sugar (3.05oz)granulated sugar
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1 punnet Strawberries
- 2 tablespoons good Balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Set the oven temperature for blind baking 180C/350F. Oven temp for cooking the white chocolate filling 160C/320F. The tart case can be up to 24cm- 10in. I used a shallow 10in ring
- Beat the softened butter and sugar in a mixer till light and fluffy. Add the eggs and almond meal and combine well.
- Add the flour and mix till just combined. Tip on to the bench and push together with floured hands . This dough is sticky and needs to be refrigerated till firm before using. ( trust me you will love this dough when cooked). Separate into 3 discs wrap in plastic and put into the fridge or freezer- for quick chilling approx 1 hour. You will not need all of this pastry. It freezes very well
- Take out of the fridge and sit till just pliable then roll out between two pieces of baking paper with a little sprinkle of flour. Roll as thin as possible . Lay into the tart tin and chill. (If it breaks push together well and flatten down.)
- Bake blind filled with paper and beans for approximately 15 minutes. Before removing the paper and baking till golden, about another 5 - 10 minutes.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together. This can look a little ugly and grainy but it will correct when it is added to the other ingredients.
- Beat the eggs and sugar till very light and fluffy then fold in the butter and chocolate till well combined being careful not to over mix and deflate the air in the eggs.
- Pour into the pastry shell and put into the oven at the reduced temperature. Bake 15 minutes for a shallow tin and 15-25 minutes for a deeper one. The chocolate should form a crust on the top but be soft underneath. Dont let it colour too much . Once cool refridgerate the tart for a couple of hours till set. Then it can be left out.
- Mix the balsamic and sugar in a bowl till you have the balance you like. It should be sharp but sweet. Toss the cut strawberries in this mixture and let stand for about ½ an hour
- This is great with basil leaves , tiny ones are great. It is also spectacular with passionfruit. Put a teaspoon of fresh pulp into the chcolate mixture and serve the rest on top with a little added sugar
After completing Culinary School in Sydney, Tania travelled the world working as a Chef in restaurants, doing catering and cooking on road for a travel company in Europe and the US. Once back at home, the birth of her son meant a change, and during his small years, she enjoyed jobs in wholesale food, buying Artisan food products, testing and recipe writing as sales and educational tools. Tania is now back to what she loves, working as an in house Chef for a large retailer, conducting Cooking Classes and writing recipes for her blog.