Friday, July 10, 2009

White Chocolate & Baked Rhubarb Tarts

One of my favourite things to do with my baking experiments is bring them into work (so that they don't stay at home where I can eat all of it). It's especially fun when I get to give it to my friend Peter Pad Thai, since we have a hilarious ongoing Iron Chef-style "judging" session with everything I bring in and he will give it a score out of 5. He's a very tough critic hahaha! It's all in good humour of course :) Anyway, I've recently figured out the easiest way to get a guaranteed high score out of Peter Pad Thai, because the two highest scoring things have been my Ginger & Lime Curd Tart and these White Choc & Baked Rhubarb tarts.

This was a surprise considering I had been disappointed and irritated with these tarts while making them, because for some unknown reason I used a random internet recipe shortcrust pastry recipe instead one of the many successful ones that I've used in the past. It was tough and cracking and I made them far too thick so they seemed really dry and rock hard. Weirdly enough they worked well with the filling once I was done with them because they helped to neutralise the sweetness of the white chocolate.

Rhubarb is fantastic to pair with white chocolate, especially when you bake it using Dorie Greenspan's recipe. The recipe uses very little sugar so the rhubarb is still rather tart and this helps balance out the intense sweetness of the white chocolate filling. Sometimes I am really hesistant to use white chocolate in my desserts because it can be so darn sweet, but this filling was perfect. They would be perfect as part of an afternoon tea with the girls, or for the end of a dinner party. I haven't included the recipe I used for the pastry because I wouldn't use it again and I'm sure that even the frozen pastry would be better.

White Chocolate & Baked Rhubarb Tarts

Shortcrust pastry of your choice (frozen or from scratch, I liked this recipe cos it was easy)
200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup thickened cream
Baked rhubarb (see Dorie Greenspan's recipe below)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Chill your pastry dough until firm. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness (mine was about 4mm thick and I would probably make it half and thick in the future if the dough is tough enough for it). Use a 7-8cm round cutter and place into pan or moulds. (I used mini tart foils). Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool enough to unmould the tarts and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Slowly heat the cream in a small saucepan on low heat until it is almost boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in white chocolate until completely melted. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly, about half an hour. Carefully spoon or pipe white chocolate filling into your mini tart shells and then gently top with baked rhubarb.

Baked Rhubarb (I used about half of this for the tarts)
(recipe from Dorie Greenspan)
1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste)
Grated zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 orange (I used orange)
Honey, optional, for serving

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Cut the rhubarb into pieces about 2 inches long (of course you can cut them shorter, if you'd like) and toss them into a baking dish that will hold them comfortably. Sprinkle over the sugar and zest and stir everything around until the rhubarb is covered with sugar. Set aside for about 5 minutes, or just long enough for a little syrup to start to form.

Cover the baking dish with foil and roast the rhubarb for 15 minutes. Take a peek and if the sugar isn't almost completely melted, stir the rhubarb, re-cover the pan with the foil and roast a few mintues more. Now remove the foil and let the rhubarb roast for another 5 minutes or so, until the syrup is bubbling.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the rhubarb cool to just warm or to room temperature; chill, if you'd like. Well packed, the rhubarb can stay in the fridge for 3 days.
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  1. rhubarb is my one of my favourite fruits, I mean vegetables. These tarts are adorable!

  2. These tarts look so cute! Good to hear that Peter Pad Thai approves of them haha.

  3. it's always hard to get pastry to the right thickness. once it's too thin, you run into the issues of it splitting. you've done a good job with these - they look so pretty!

  4. Lisa - lol oh yeah I always forget it's actually a vegetable! Thanks :)

    Betty - Thank you! LOL me too :D

    panda - exactly, it's a fine line! thanks so much!

  5. Love the combination of white chocolate and rhubarb! I always pair white chocolate with strawberry but never have thought of using rhubarb. Thanks for giving me this new idea.

  6. Definitely a drool-worthy combo with the white choc and rhubarb - get a serve of vegies in your treat!
    I'm hopeless with pastry so I'm going to stick with the frozen stuff... :S

  7. I think I'd prefer to use pastry that I know would work too. Its a pity that the pastry recipe didn't quite work. These look lovely though. I love the contrast of the rich red rhubarb and the white chocolate cream

  8. Tina - Hehe yes exactly, it means it's healthy for you right? Vegetables AND calcium :D

    Maria - Aw thanks! Yeah next time I'm sticking with what works :)

  9. wow these tarts look so professional. I thought you'd bought them when I saw the first pic :)

  10. Wow thanks Helen! I'm so chuffed now :D


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