Tag Archives: French

Bitter Chocolate Raspberry Tart

It’s probably about time I shared this recipe. Even though I haven’t quite perfected it, I think it comes out pretty lovely each time. Also, while I think it’s a French dessert, I wouldn’t dare.

Made from three main components, this tart comprising sweet shortcrust pastry, glossy chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries will rock your socks off. I hope. I guess you’d probably find better recipes for the perfect pastry out there, but I’m pretty pleased with my chocolate ganache.

These numbers are for approximately two 6-inch tart tins:

Pastry

  1. In a 150g heap of plain sifted flour, make a hole in the middle so the flour is now in a ring.
  2. Add in, tiny cubes of soft unsalted butter, about 80g in total.
  3. And about 40g of caster sugar.
  4. Using your fingertips, incorporate the sugar with the butter until there are no more big lumps.
  5. Then, add in an egg yolk, and mix with the butter and sugar, until creamy.
  6. Finally, bring in the flour gradually, until it sits as a single ball.
  7. Wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes. Apparently, you can keep it at this stage for up to a day in the fridge.
  8. When ready to use, TIP! roll the pastry out between two sheets of cling film. This makes it way easier to handle. Roll it out till it’s 2mm thick.
  9. Transfer the pastry layer onto a well-greased tart tin and gently but surely, press it well against the tin walls.
  10. Blind-bake it with ceramic beads on baking paper (or if you’re daring enough, copper coins), for about 20 minutes at 180ÂȘC. It must be fully cooked, but not overdone.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. In the meantime, with a tablespoon of liquid glucose in a pot, add 150ml of single cream (or double cream if it tickles your fancy).
  2. Once the sweet cream mixture comes to a boil, take it off the heat.
  3. Immediately, add in 200g of dark chocolate chunks (70% cocoa), and about 80g of unsalted butter.
  4. Stir well until smooth, and set it aside for use later.

Raspberries

  1. As much as possible, using only the larger raspberries, half them vertically with a small knife.

Combining

  1. Once the pastry is baked and done, let it cool.
  2. Then, put in the raspberries. Don’t just throw them in, arrange them radially cut side down. You will be duly rewarded when you cut into the tart later.
  3. Pour the chocolate ganache in and make sure it sits evenly.
  4. Chill in the fridge for about an hour, or till the ganache is no longer runny, but yet still slightly gooey.
  5. If you’re extravagant, serve with sifted icing sugar atop, and a fancy chocolate decoration. If not, JUST DIG IN.

Photography: Sarah Lee

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Ballotine of Pork & Shrimps

I confess, I am currently obsessed with the ballotine. Rolling meat into a tight bundle and then cooking it makes me happy. It doesn’t help that there is such a sense of excitement when the time is nigh to slice it.

Alright, so maybe pork isn’t so appetising in a ballotine. In any case, a drizzle of sesame oil elevates its flavour immensely. Served with ultra-thin rice noodles, carrot mash and seared lettuce, I am definitely playing with my food.

French-style cooking and Asian flavours, at its best.


Ballotine of Chicken & Mixed Fruits

A ballotine, which means ‘bundle’, is a French dish made of deboned meat fish or poultry (sometimes the whole animal) filled with stuffing and then rolled and tied into a bundle. It is roasted, poached or braised, and can be served hot or cold.

Overwhelmed by curiosity, I tried my hand at it. After removing the bone from a chicken thigh, I packed some wine-soaked dried fruits in it, and proceeded to roll it into tight bundle. I poached it for eight minutes before pan-roasting it in a mixture of foaming butter and dry white wine. Once done, cutting it into thick slices to expose its beauty became much of a moment of truth.

The fruits in the center were a little too sweet for the bird but nonetheless, was well-balanced with arugula and chilli. I should make a sauce next time. Preferably something slightly spicy and definitely something rich.

Endless possibility beckons.