These little tartlets were for the second half of the pastry showstopper for the Great British Bake-Off baking challenge I have imposed upon myself. I’m doubly pleased I divided up the entry for this now that I see how long this one has turned out to be.
I made the tartlets about a week after the successful pastry canapes. The requirement was to make three different types of miniature tartlets: mine were raspberry-chocolate ganache tartlets, chocolate and orange-almond tartlets, and a lemon curd. I was inspired to make the chocolate-orange tartlets, with an orange-flavoured almond filling, owing to a log of almond paste sitting in my cupboard which I had bought from Scandinavian Kitchen on a whim when picking up some fresh yeast. I used the same batch of chocolate pastry, from Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess, for both the chocolate-orange tartlets (the pastry introducing the chocolate element) and the raspberry chocolate ganache tartlets.
The raspberry truffle tartlets were very rich, but the raspberry extract (you could also use raspberry liqueur if you prefer or extract isn’t available) and a sprinkling of freeze-dried raspberries, which I bought from Waitrose (so they are fairly easily available, along with freeze-dried strawberries and mango if you fancy that too), cut through the rich filling by bringing some much-needed tartness to the mix.
The third tartlet was perhaps the simplest, just filled with a low-fat (homemade) lemon curd and decorated with blueberries and more freeze-dried raspberries. The curd, made with a minimal amount of sugar, was tart and delicate. Personally I think I preferred them without fruit to cut through the lemon taste and silky texture, but it did make them look very pretty. I used a slightly sweetened shortcrust but as I could barely taste the sugar, I would recommend leaving it out if you like and substituting an equal weight of flour (to get half weight of fat to flour). I did have about three leftover shells extra which I just snacked on. Whether you have extra pastry left over or not will depend on the size of your tartlet tins – mine were very small indeed, true petit four tins.
My favourite was the lemon curd tartlets, my boyfriend like the chocolate-orange ones best and people at work very much enjoyed the raspberry chocolate ones – so there was something for everyone in the mix there!
Making all those tiny tartlets was a bit of a pain because, for the chocolate raspberry and lemon curd tartlets the tins had to be chilled before blind-baking, and this was a bit of a faff because I only had twelve tins of each of the petit four tins I used and this required me to chill, blind bake, line with pastry, chill etc in batches, so it took a very long time. The chocolate-orange tartlets were maybe the easiest to actually make, therefore, because the pastry didn’t require blind baking.
Incidentally, has anyone been watching The White Queen? I have been catching up and it is as implausible as the reviews all suggest. Everyone is basically a 21st century person in fancy dress, with effectively modern attitudes towards love, marriage and child-rearing; the characters are inconsistent (especially the weepy Warwick daughters); and the actors are forced to spout some truly diabolical dialogue, mostly about generating issue. Also, there is a supernatural element in the show which is, I think, meant to give modern audiences the impression that the women actually have more autonomy and power than they actually wield (answer: not much – it’s all about the baby-making, until they’re too old to bear children, after which they’re a bit more powerful). However, it’s not very intellectually taxing, so I can just about manage it. Also, it was shot in Belgium because Belgium is pretty and more medieval-looking than Britain, which is cool – there are a few Belgian actors and actresses in it – speaking English! Something pretty rare for most Flemish thesps.
All three tartlets together
Chocolate-orange almond and lemon curd tartlets
Dark chocolate and raspberry ganache tartlets
Continue reading “Baking challenge: petit four and mini pastry challenge (Part II)”