White chocolate raspberry tart and how I pissed off the whole town

December 28th, 2010  |  29 Comments

My office is closed between Christmas and New Year’s. I get to stay home. And even if it wasn’t closed I would still get to stay home, because our area got blasted with a Siberian level heap of snow.

Since we are former city-dwellers and we don’t have a full grasp of mother nature’s wrath, we were caught unprepared. No snow blower, no sidewalk salt. Just a shovel left behind by the former homeowner, lucky for us. Scott and I took shifts with this lone shovel, getting a workout like no gym could inflict, then waited for the snow plows to clear the roads so we could get much needed supplies. Like coffee. And McDonald’s. Because these are the things I crave when I know I can’t have them.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to watch the 80s version of Wall Street. And Hot Tub Time Machine. And lay around like I had the flu, but without the flu.

On the second morning, it looked like people were on the go, and there was some life in the air. I decided to risk a trip out to assess the conditions and get some much needed salt. And coffee, And McDonald’s. And while I was at it, some baking stuff. Priorities, people!

Guess I wasn’t the only one looking for salt, since the whole town was out. I drove home.

Not 50 feet from the driveway, the car gave up. I hit the gas and the wheels spun. I tried backing up, and the wheels spun some more. I was right in the middle of the street. Panic set in.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a pack of guys walk toward me, like a benevolent snow gang. They’re the town’s garbage collectors and there’s their truck up the street. Scott saw me out of the window and came out, too. All of them pushed and grunted and groaned, as though there was a birth to be had and somehow they maneuvered the car into the driveway.

Too bad the driveway is on a slope. The car wouldn’t stay parked — it kept slipping backwards, and screw it, we left it as is — half in the driveway, half on the sidewalk. I was just so happy it was out of the street.

Ah, well, it seems no good deed goes unpunished. The guys were about to get back to work and as I waved my thanks, I watched them hit the gas on their 15 ton vehicle. This time, their tires spun and skid and spit out dirty snow. I was sure their auto would pull itself out, but no amount of coaxing would budge it. All the neighbors came out with their shovels. Two neighboring garbage trucks came to see what they could do. Everyone was trying to clear the tires. No dice. The wheels were grinding themselves bald.

A plow truck was summoned to do some more digging. Would you believe HIS truck got stuck in the ice? I wouldn’t if I didn’t see it with my own peepers.

A second plow truck with even bigger tires was called to tow the first plow truck out, which it did.

And still, the garbage truck was stuck. Two hours, and 10 shoveling people later, it finally lurched forward. It was finally free.

All because I wanted some coffee. They’re probably home cursing me out right now.

But I had my baking ingredients and that’s what’s important.

I am a huge fan of white chocolate, and sometimes I prefer it to dark. I know, I know, it’s not for everyone. Don’t sic the garbage men on me. You may not choose to risk life and limb to get some. It can be a bit too sweet, so I like to pair it with something that has a little pucker, something like raspberries, or grilled pineapple. The tart shell came from this post, and heck, if you have lemon curd around, you can try that instead of the jam layer.

After my brush with death, this really hit the comfort spot.

Vanilla and White Chocolate Raspberry Tart

makes one 9″ tart

For the white chocolate mousse:
3/4 cup (175 g) heavy cream
2/3 cup (135 g) whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
6 oz (175 g) good white chocolate (I used Callebaut), finely chopped

Other components:
1 tart shell from this post
1 cup raspberry preserve or lemon curd
2 pints raspberries

1. Ingredients for the white chocolate mousse.

 

Lovely additions.

 

A freshly baked and cooled tart shell.

 

1. Using a plain ol’ whisk, whip the heavy cream.

 

To soft peak. Keep the whipped cream refrigerated until called for.

 

2. Next, I split half a vanilla bean lengthwise…

 

…and scrape the seeds into the milk, which has been poured into a small pot. The pods can get thrown in there too to extract maximum vanilla flavor.

 

I whisk it up to distribute the vanilla seeds and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. This will only take a couple of minutes since there is so little milk.

 

Next I pour this vanilla-y concoction over a fine-mesh trainer set over a bowl of the finely chopped white chocolate. If you’re using vanilla extract, pour it right in now.

 

This can hang out undisturbed for a moment or two. The heat from the milk will melt the white chocolate.

 

Now I whisk this up until smooth. It’s a liquidy ganache of sorts.

 

You know how I love to stick my fingers in things? Get your mind out of the gutter. It’s to test the temperature. Let it cool down to the touch. It should be like room temperature water.

We’re about to fold in the whipped cream. If this mix is too warm, the cream will deflate considerably and the mousse wont be as light. If it’s too cool, the chocolate might start to firm up, so don’t wait too long either. But don’t worry, there is a big window of time before this happens.

 

 

Now we get folding. Using a rubber spatula, scrape 1/3 of the whipped cream into the white chocolate…

 

…and fold it in. Since the white chocolate liquid is quite dense and heavy to begin with, this will help lighten it. The rest of the cream will be easier to incorporate and will lose less volume.

If you happened to whip the cream to stiff peak, there may be some stubborn lumps and you may need to do a little more coaxing to get it folded into the white chocolate. Be persistent, but gentle. It will come together.

 

Now add the rest of the whipped cream.

 

Carefully fold it all together until smooth and creamy.

 

Slather the bottom of the tart shell with a thin layer of the preferred flavor — raspberry preserve, or lemon curd.

 

Pour in the white chocolate mousse. If you’re like me, lick the bowl crystal clean.

 

Filled! Refrigerate this for about half an hour to allow the mousse to start setting up, or the raspberries may sink to the bottom.

 

Decorate with raspberries. I start by circling the outside, and keep circling the interior until I get to the center.

 

My reward for causing neighborhood mayhem.

This recipe is participating in:

Vanilla and White Chocolate Raspberry Tart

makes one 9″ tart

For the white chocolate mousse:
3/4 cup (175 g) heavy cream
2/3 cup (135 g) whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
6 oz (175 g) good white chocolate (I used Callebaut), finely chopped

Other components:
1 tart shell from this post
1 cup raspberry preserve or lemon curd
2 pints raspberries

1. Using a plain ol’ whisk, whip the heavy cream to soft peak. Keep the whipped cream refrigerated until called for.

2. Pour the milk into a small pot. Split half a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk. The pods can get thrown in there too to extract maximum vanilla flavor. Whisk it up to distribute the vanilla seeds and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. This will only take a couple of minutes since there is so little milk.

2. Next, pour this vanilla-y concoction over a fine-mesh trainer, which is set over the bowl of finely chopped white chocolate. If you’re using vanilla extract, pour it right in now.

3. Let this sit undisturbed for a moment or two. The heat from the milk will melt the white chocolate.

4. Now whisk this up until smooth. It’s a liquidy ganache of sorts. Let it cool down to the touch. It should be like room temperature water. Set aside.

(We’re about to fold in the whipped cream. If this mix is too warm, the cream will deflate considerably and the mousse wont be as light. If it’s too cool, the chocolate might start to firm up, so don’t wait too long either. But don’t worry, there is a big window of time before this happens.)

6. Now we get folding. Using a rubber spatula, scrape 1/3 of the whipped cream into the white chocolate and fold it in. Since the white chocolate liquid is quite dense and heavy to begin with, this will help lighten it. The rest of the cream will be easier to incorporate and will lose less volume. (If the whipped cream is a little stiff and doesn’t incorporate easily, be gentle but persistent. It will come together.)

7. Now add the rest of the whipped cream and carefully fold it all together until smooth and creamy.

8. Grab your prepared tart shell and slather the bottom with a thin layer of the preferred flavor — raspberry preserve, or lemon curd.

9. Pour in the white chocolate mousse. Refrigerate this for about half an hour to allow the mousse to start setting up, or the raspberries may sink to the bottom.

10. Decorate with raspberries. I start by circling the outside, and keep circling the interior until I get to the center. Refrigerate until completely set up. This is best served the day it’s made because the tart shells starts to absorb moisture.

Yum!






29 Responses to “White chocolate raspberry tart and how I pissed off the whole town”

  1. Cyndy says:

    OMG Irina you have me in stitches! I know that must of been horrible to be stuck in the snow, but I also know that a craving left unsaited can be terrible too. This is something so sinfully delicious and raspberries are in abundance right now. As usual your photo’s are mouth watering, Thanks!

  2. Deanna says:

    Beautiful Tart! My tart shells have been a little crumbly lately – probably not adding enough liquid? I’m not sure how we escaped the snow storm, but we didn’t get a lick of snow! I almost wish we were snowed in. I’m sure the snow will come the moment the kids have to go back to school!

  3. Dee D. says:

    That looks really good, and it sounds great too! Raspberries and white chocolate yumm :)

  4. Anna says:

    Your white chocolate raspberry tart looks delicious! Sorry about getting stuck in the snow, that’s definitely no fun :(

  5. Dianne says:

    This looks super delicious! Our parking lot wasn’t cleared until yesterday afternoon so I was stuck inside for three days! I don’t think the east coast was ready for that storm!

  6. yum yum. I want some NOW

  7. michelle says:

    This looks divine! I can’t wait to try it.
    If you are interested in any other white chocolate recipes, my blog is full of them.
    http://www.dreamingofwhitechocolate.com

  8. Joanne says:

    I totally went grocery shopping the morning that the blizzard was hitting. It was a necessity. I knew I couldn’t be snowed into my apartment without homemade chocolate chip cookies. That would just be tragic. The point being that I don’t think you’re really to be blamed. This tart looks glorious.

  9. Sil BsAs says:

    Here we have a “heat wave” and I’m in all day long with air conditioning! I totally envy you and your fresh raspberries. Maybe I can try your recipe with strawberries.

  10. Aw I’m sure no one blames you ;p. But that is quite an unexpected result from one little trip out of the house. Glad to hear you have such kind garbagemen, though! Your tart is a beauty, Irina. Raspberry and white chocolate are a match made in dessert heaven.

  11. Y says:

    “And all this because I wanted coffee”.. haha! Oops well at least the day ended rather sweetly, with that tart :)

  12. BigFatBaker says:

    I am so glad we didn’t get hit with snow like that! But, I am glad you had time to make this amazing looking tart! My boyfriend loves white chocolate..I might have to find some time to make this for him.

  13. Haha great story! At least you had your baking ingredients :) This tart looks gorgeous, I really haven’t explored the white chocolate flavor too much!

  14. Anita says:

    Irina what a story – Yikes! Btw – I am having a few friends over this weekend and I am planning to make your white choc. mousse and serve it in martini glasses topped with raspberries and a few shavings of chocolate curls. As always, your photography is stunning, and you make it look so simple.

  15. PastryPal says:

    Anita — As always, I’m thrilled that you’ll be trying my recipe. Please let us know how it works out.

  16. SaltyLips says:

    Greetings from Argentina!!
    Here we gave it a try… http://www.saltylips.com.ar/2011/01/tarta-de-chocolate-blanco-y-frutos.html Happy New Year and thank you very much for the inspiration :)
    Melisa & Alejandro.

  17. PastryPal says:

    Hi Salty, (love the name), looks good! Love the addition of all that fruit, especially the cherries. I wish I could understand all that spanish, but ah, well. Happy New Year to you!

  18. i love white chocolate…mouth-watering delicious!

    Carmen

  19. Regan says:

    Hi,
    I happened upon your site and tried your recipe, and it didn’t work at all. I’m wondering if the milk measurement of 2/3 cup is a misprint and perhaps should be 1/3 cup? It was just a liquid mess of a tart that never set. I am not an inexperienced baker, and I followed your recipe and instructions exactly. I think it could be helped by the addition of gelatin. I would love your feedback.

  20. PastryPal says:

    Hi Regan — I always hate to hear when a recipe didn’t work, and I’m sorry! It worked for me exactly as written, and these are the 2 things I can think of:
    1. Chocolate brand. Some of them have more fat, some have less, and that will partially determine how it sets up. Some melt very liquid-y and some melt and barely flow.
    2. The mixture was still too warm when the heavy cream was folded in, or perhaps the heavy cream was not whipped enough.

    I think you can definitely play with reducing the milk, and/or adding gelatin. Those would be sound solutions to the problem you’ve had.

  21. Em says:

    Worked beautifully first time. Love your recipes!!

  22. swaleh sulaiman says:

    It’s lovely, I prepared white chocolate raspberry tart and…… one guest at hotel tipped me. Advised me to add it to alternate menu.

  23. [...] on Pinterest, but I finally broke in the tart pan my pal Lucy bought me for Christmas.  I made a white chocolate raspberry tart for the mother’s day dinner we had with Ale’s family on Saturday [...]

  24. sophie says:

    Wow this looks amazing!

    Could you please clarify what you mean by heavy cream? Is it just cream that you have beaten?

    Here in New Zealand we only have normal liquid cream, not double cream etc.

    Thanks

  25. PastryPal says:

    Sophie — Heavy cream is a cream with a high fat content, which whips up well. You can use any cream that can be whipped to soft peaks. Enjoy!

  26. Sophie says:

    I made the tart tonight and it didn’t work :( I left it in the fridge for four hours and it still hadn’t set. When I cut the tart the bottom of the mousse ran everywhere & it was just a liquid mess. If I were to add gelatin I can only get normal powdered gelatin, at what stage would you reccomend adding it and how much?

  27. PastryPal says:

    Hi Sophie — Sorry it gave you some trouble! I think it has to do with chocolate brand, where some firm up more than others. Gelatin is a good solution, and I’d add a teaspoon to the mix. Before adding it the recipe, dissolve it first by sprinkling it into a bowl holding 2 tablespoons of water. Wait 5 minutes for it to absorb the water. Once the vanilla milk has come to a simmer, turn off the heat and scrape the gelatin mix right into the pot. Stir it around until it’s completely dissolved, about 20 seconds. Then pour it over the white chocolate and proceed with the recipe. Hope that helps…

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