Monday, January 15, 2018

Cloud-like Chocolate Fluff Tart

The chocolate filling for this tart is so light, airy and delicate that it disappears in my mouth like a puff of air! I could accidentally inhale the whole thing. I was never a huge fan of chocolate tarts, but this chocolate tart simply blows my mind!

I followed the original recipe with just a couple of minor modifications. I added a pinch of salt to the pastry because I like a little salt in my chocolate. I also changed the technique for making the pastry slightly.

The original recipe suggests to "push (the pastry mixture) into the tin with fingers and knuckles, just as one does for the crumb crust of a cheesecake". This didn't work for me because I couldn't seems to get a thin even layer. So instead, I rolled out the pastry and lined the pastry into the tin. The pastry is a little crumbly, so it broke up in a few places, which is fine as it can be easily patched up by pressing the broken up pieces back. Also I freeze the pastry overnight before baking as it really helps with reducing shrinkage. And I pricked the base all over with a fork just so that the pastry doesn't puff up when it bakes.

A few tips making this pastry. First, butter the tin even if it's non-stick. This pastry will stick to the tin as I learned the hard way. Second, don't bother with blind-baking because the pastry will stick to the baking paper. Again, I learned this the hard way. Lastly, don't remove the pastry from the tin until the filling is set. This pastry is quite delicate and crumbly, and the filling helps to hold the pastry together.

I have altered the recipe to the way I made the tart, but feel free to refer to the original recipe.

Cloud-like Chocolate Fluff Tart
(Adapted from The Cook's Table by Stephanie Alexander)

Makes 23cm tart

Chocolate Pastry
125 grams unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, plus extra for buttering
80 grams caster sugar
150 grams plain flour
50 grams good-quality dutch cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Fluff
3 gold strength gelatine sheets (2 grams per sheet)
120 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
80 ml (1/3 cup) strong espresso coffee
3 free-range eggs, separated, room temperature (use the freshest eggs you can get)
80 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional: You will also need unsweetened whipped cream and strawberries to serve.

To make Chocolate Pastry:
Butter a 23 cm tart tin lightly.

Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and caster sugar until very pale. Stop the motor. Combine flour, cocoa powder and salt in a separate bowl, then sift the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Using a spatula, incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well combined and starts to form into a dough.

Wrap pastry with plastic wrap, flatten into a disc, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 1/4 inch thick. If the pastry becomes too soft and difficult to handle, put pastry in freezer for 5 minutes until firm but pliable. Lift pastry into tin, ease into base and side. Trim off any excess pastry. Prick the base all over with a fork. Freeze the pastry overnight.

When ready to bake the pastry, preheat oven to 180 degree celcius fan-forced. Bake the pastry (from frozen) for 20 minutes. Let cool completely in tin.

To make Chocolate Fluff:
Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water.

Meanwhile, combine the chocolate and coffee in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, then stir from time to time until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside, then tip out almost all of the hot water, leaving just 2 tablespoons in the pan. Squeeze the gelatine leaves and drop them into the water left in the pan, then stir to dissolve. Pour into the chocolate mixture and stir well.

Using an electric mixer or hand-held electric beaters, beat the egg yolks, half of the caster sugar and the vanilla until thick and pale.

Fold the egg yolk mixture in the chocolate mixture, ensuring that it is all well mixed together. Refrigerate to chill for 15 minutes, whisking once or twice, until the mixture reaches room temperature.

Wash the bowl and beaters and dry very thoroughly.

Using the electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar until you have a glossy meringue. Fold into the chocolate mixture and pour into the chocolate pastry case.

Refrigerate to set for at least 4 hours. Carefully remove tart from tin, and decorate with the whipping cream and strawberries to serve if desired.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Poached Pear, Yogurt Panna Cotta and Candied Walnuts

New year. New resolution. I need to update this space less sporadically. Can't believe that I only posted once last year! Weekly update is too much of a project for me. Monthly post seems doable, perhaps, maybe. I'm never good at keeping resolutions. I plan to share more savory recipes and explore some healthier sweets and cakes this year. So stay tune, people, or whoever patient enough to still check this space even after my singular post last year. For that, I thank you.

Let's kick start the year with this rather understated, almost boring, but amazingly flavorsome and refreshing dessert.

Poached fruit was never my thing. Not something I would order in a restaurant or thought worth the effort to make at home. That was, until recently, I had poached pear for the first time.

It was in a restaurant opened only a few months ago. We heard great reviews and thought we should check it out. We had their nine course meal special which did not come with dessert. It is strange, I thought, that a multi-course tasting menu does not include a dessert. The food was delicious but we were desperate for something sweet. We were told that there was no dessert menu. Only poached pears if we want it. Disappointed and almost reluctantly, we said yes to the poached pear.

The restaurant serves the poached pear with a spoonful of greek yogurt, a broken up walnut biscuit, complete with drizzle of poached pear syrup. I'm not going to lie, it sounds as unimpressive as it looks. But the moment I had my first taste of the poached pear, all is forgiven. The pear perfectly poached, infused with the subtle hint of spices, still firm but soft enough to eat with a fork, sweet but not overly so. The greek yogurt adds creaminess and tartness. The walnut biscuit adds the crunch element that this dessert needs. And not forgetting the poached pear syrup that ties everything together.

This is my glam up version of the dessert. Yogurt panna cotta instead of just plain old yogurt. Candied walnut slightly salted with a sprinkle of sea salt instead of boring walnut biscuit.

This is now one of my top favourite desserts. The sweet spiced poached pear, the wobbly creamy yogurt panna cotta, the additive sweet and salty candied walnuts. The perfect summer dessert. I'm happy to eat this for breakfast too.

Each element can be make days in advance. Tips to store them in recipe below.

Poached Pear, Yogurt Panna Cotta and Candied Walnuts

Serves 8

Poached Pears
5 small pears (I used packham pear)
500 grams caster sugar
1 litre water
1 cinnamon stick
About 1/4 teaspoon of finely grated nutmeg

To make poached pears:
Make cartouche by cutting a round piece of baking paper with diameter slightly bigger than the saucepan that you are using. This will be used during poaching to cover the surface of the poaching syrup and ensure all the pears stay completely submerged.

Peel pears, and use a melon scoop to remove the core of the pears from the base.

Choose a saucepan that will accommodate all the pears. Combine caster sugar, water, cinnamon and nutmeg in the pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the pears to the simmering poaching syrup and cover the surface of the syrup with the cartouche. Place a plate on top to ensure the pears stay submerged.

Gently poach for about 15 minutes or until you can easily pierce the flesh with the tip of the knife. Remove from heat and allow the pears to cool completely in the syrup, covered with the cartouche.

Transfer the pears to a storing container, make sure they are completely submerged in the syrup, covered with the cartouche, and close lid of the storing container. Refrigerate until needed. The pears will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and best served cold.

Reserve a cup of the poaching syrup, return the syrup to saucepan, boil for 10 minutes or until syrup is reduced by half. Once cool, store syrup in a jar until needed.

- This is best make at least a day before serving to allow the spice to completely infused.
- Choose pears that is in between hard and ripe. Ripe pear will become too mushy when poached. While hard pear will stay hard.
- To prevent pears from browning, squeeze lemon juice over each pear or soak pears in slightly salted water.

Yogurt Panna Cotta
4 gold strength gelatine sheets (2 grams per sheet)
250 ml pouring cream
250 ml milk
50 grams caster sugar
1 vanilla beans, halved and seeds scraped
400 grams greek yogurt (sugar free, unflavoured and full fat)

To make yogurt panna cotta:
Soak gelatine sheets in cold water until softened.

Meanwhile, combine cream, milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat, and when mixture just starts to simmer, remove from heat.

Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and stir the gelatine into the warm mixture until dissolves.

Add yoghurt to the mixture and stir until well combine. Strain mixture into dariole moulds.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or preferably overnight. The panna cotta will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

To turn out the panna cottas, dip each mould into very hot water and give it a little shake. Turn the mould upside down onto a plate and shake gently to dislodge.

Candied Walnuts 
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup caster sugar
25 grams unsalted butter
Generous pinch of sea salt

To make candied walnuts: 

Place walnuts, caster sugar and butter in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar mixture starts to melt and coat all the nuts. Once the sugar mixture starts to caramerlise and the nuts start to take on a deep golden colour, transfer immediately onto a baking paper and quickly separate all the nuts with a spoon or spatula. It will be scorching hot so don't be tempted to touch the nuts with your bare hands. Sprinkle nuts with generous pinch of sea salt. Allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container. Do not refrigerate!

To assemble:
Place panna cotta on the centre of a bowl, place half a pear on the side, drizzle with the reduced poaching syrup and top with a couple of candied walnuts. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Matcha Black Sesame Tarts

Oh, hello there! It has been way too long since I last shared a recipe here. I haven't abandon this blog. I just haven't been baking as much lately. In fact, these Matcha Black Sesame Tarts are the second thing I baked this year. (The first was Afghans Cookies which will be a post for another day.)

Anyway, these tarts are soooooo good that I decided to come out from my hiatus so to share this recipe ASAP. It's that good!

I love the addition of the black sesame seeds in the sweet pastry case. The unmistakably nutty sesame flavour in the pastry case adds an almost savory-like element to the tarts, not overpowering as sesame seeds can be sometimes, but rather a gentle note that has a somewhat lingering familiarity.

Matcha is the star of the show of course. For anyone who is concerned about the bitterness, typical of Matcha, these tarts carry the flavour but not the bitterness. And the pretty jade green pastry cream makes the tarts seem deceptively healthy. Green means healthy, right?

I'm so excited to finally use the elderflowers from my garden. I planted the elderflowers last winter with hope that I will be able to use them to decorate my desserts. The elderflowers exceed beyond expectation, with constant blooms since spring. Ahhh, the joy of gardening.

Matcha Black Sesame Tarts
(Adapted from Delicious Magazine)

Makes 6x6cm tartlets

Black Sesame Sweet Pastry Case
125 grams unsalted butter, chilled, chopped
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
200 grams plain flour
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
60ml cold water

Matcha Pastry Cream
375ml pure (thin) cream
5 egg yolks
50 grams caster sugar
2 tablespoons matcha powder
125ml double cream

You will also need fresh strawberries (and elderflowers to decorate).

To make black sesame sweet pastry case:
Place butter, sugar, salt, flour and sesame seeds in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add water and process until the dough just comes together. Turn out the pastry, flatten into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 1/4 inch thick. Cut rounds large enough to fit the tart tins. Lift pastry into tin, ease into base and side. Trim off any excess pastry. Prick the base all over with a fork. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (I like to freeze the pastry overnight. I find that baking the pastry from when it’s completely frozen helps minimize shrinkage.)

Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius fan-forced. Place tart tins on baking tray. Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and pour in dried beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove paper and beans/rice. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until light golden. Set aside to cool completely.

To make Matcha Pastry Cream:
Place the cream in a saucepan over high heat and bring to just below boiling point. Place egg yolks, sugar and matcha in a heatproof bowl and whisk until creamy. While whisking, slowly pour the hot cream over the matcha mixture.

Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) and stir custard with a wooden spoon for 4-6 minutes until mixture coats the back of the spoon.

Cover surface with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until cold. Transfer to a stand mixer, add double cream and whisk until soft peaks form.

To assemble the tart, spoon the matcha cream into the tart shells and top with the strawberries (and elderflowers).

Monday, September 26, 2016

Peach and Cream Syrup Cake

I have a lot of cake tins. I can't help but impulse buy when I saw something that I don’t already have. I got to have it, I said. I would need it in the very near future and who knows it might not be available then, I debated. I would be wishing that I brought it in the first place and I would be full of regrets forever, I reasoned.

So it's no surprise that I got a kugelhopf/ bundt tin. To be fair, I have every intention of making kugelhopf. But when I saw this interesting peach and cream syrup cake recipe, my kugelhopf tin was screaming to me. I could visualise the beautiful pattern imprinted on the cake. It would be beautiful with nothing else.

This peach and cream syrup cake has a wonderful tender crumb, almost fudgy even. With the peach syrup that absorbs into the cake, you know it's going to be good. You might think that it will be too sweet like most syrup cakes, but it's not. And the cream! Please whatever you do, don't skip the cream. The cream adds a wonderful lightness and creamy component to the cake. And it's a peach and cream cake afterall.

Peach and Cream Syrup Cake
(Adapted from Delicious Magazine Australia October 2016)

Peach Cake
700 grams canned peaches in syrup (400 gram drained weight)
200 grams unsalted butter, room temperature, softened
200 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
4 eggs
200 grams almond meal
225 grams plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
250 ml buttermilk
Additional melted butter and flour for greasing

Peach Syrup
300 grams reserved peach juices/syrup from cans
50 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Vanilla Cream
300 grams thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

To make peach cake:
Preheat oven to 180C conventional (or 160C fan forced).

Brush 26cm bundt pan generously with melted butter, dust buttered pan with flour, shake and tap the pan over the sink to remove excess flour. (Note: Don't be tempted to skip this step even if you have a non-stick bundt cake pan.)

Drain peaches, reserving syrup. Whiz the peaches in a food processor to a smooth puree. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until thick and pale. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the almond meal, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. With the motor running on low speed, add dry ingredients and buttermilk in 2 batches until just combined. Stir through peach puree until well combined. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spoon. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is still hot, poke a few holes in the cake with a toothpick, and pour two third of the hot peach syrup over the cake (see steps below on how to make the peach syrup). With the cake still in the pan, set aside to allow the syrup to absorb completely, about 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack set over a baking tray, drizzle remainder of the peach syrup over cake, and allow cake to cool completely.

To make peach syrup:
Combine reserve peach juices/syrup, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

To make vanilla cream:
Whip cream and vanilla until soft peak.

Serve cake with vanilla cream and a couple of peach slices.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hazelnut and Chocolate Chips Flourless Cookies

These flourless cookies are probably the easiest thing I have ever made. It's one of those mix-everything-in-a-bowl type recipe. These cookies are amazingly good for something that requires so little effort. They are crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle. I love the classic combination of hazelnut and chocolate which always reminds me of nutella. I added a touch of salt in and on these cookies because I believe that the salt brings these cookies to another level. The salt is totally optional though if you are not a fan of sweet and salty.

I can't take credit for this recipe of course. It's a Donna Hay recipe which was featured in a weekend paper (Sunday Times?) a couple of weeks ago. I was curious, and I had all the ingredients in my pantry. I'm glad that I tried it because this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Hazelnut and Chocolate Chips Flourless Cookies

Makes about 12

175grams (1 3/4 cup) hazelnut meal (ground hazelnut)
40grams (1/4 cup) cornflour
110grams (1/2 cup) caster sugar
60grams (1/3 cup) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
100g unsalted butter, melted and allow to cool slightly
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150grams dark chocolate chips
Flake sea salt to sprinkle

To make Hazelnut and Chocolate Chips Flourless Cookies:

Preheat oven to 180C conventional (or 160C fan forced).

Place the hazelnut meal, cornflour, caster sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine.

Add butter, egg and vanilla extract and mix well to combine.

Stir through the chocolate chips.

Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball. Repeat with remaining dough.

Place the balls on baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, leaving 8cm between each ball to allow room for spreading.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly on trays before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle a small amount of flake sea salt over cookies while still warm.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fancy "Green Apple" Apple Tart

I had this idea of making an apple tart that actually looks like an apple for a while now. Well, I can't take all the credit. The idea was inspired by a couple of patisseries that did that, and I thought it's probably something I can recreate quite easily at home. So there you go! Not bad at all, if I may say so myself. Haha.

The hardest part of making this tart is the pâte sucrée. I did a post on making pâte sucrée last week. The other components for this tart are pretty easy, I promise.

The dome part of this tart is an apple vanilla bavarian cream. Bavarian cream is like a custard based mousse. Hidden under the dome is homemade vanilla apple compote.

I'm really happy with the glazing. Look how shiny it is! I could almost see my reflection. A note about the glazing - you will need several coats to achieve the glaze. Just pour the glaze that is collected at the bottom of the baking tray back into the jug, pour over the domes again, keep repeating. You will probably need to do this about 10 times.

Fancy "Green Apple" Apple Tart

Makes 6 tarts

Pâte Sucrée
See link here.

Bake the pâte sucrée on the day when you are ready to assemble the tart. I used 8cm diameter tart rings.

Apple Puree
250 grams granny smith apples (about 3-4 apples, see notes below)
25 grams caster sugar
25 grams water

To make apple puree:
Note: Weigh out 250 grams of apples after peeled, cored and cut into 2cm cubes.

Combined apples, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until apples are very soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer to food processor and puree. Makes about 1/2 cup apple puree.

Apple Bavarian Cream
2 sheets gelatin
2 egg yolks
50 grams caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
1/2 cup apple puree (see steps above), room temperature
200ml whipping cream

To make apple bavarian cream:
Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds in a heatproof bowl until pale and creamy. Add apple puree, and whisk to incorporate. Place bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, whisk constantly, until the mixture reaches 85C. Remove from heat.

Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin. Stir gelatin into the apple mixture until gelatin completely dissolves. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Place the mixture over a bowl of water with ice. Stir mixture until it cools to room temperature. (Alternatively, place cling wrap over surface of mixture, and place in freezer for about 5-10 minutes until it cools to room temperature.)

Meanwhile, whisk cream to firm peaks (be careful not to over-whip). When the apple mixture cools completely, carefully fold whipped cream into the apple mixture with a spatula until combine.

Spoon the apple bavarian cream in the cavities of 70mm diameter semi-sphere silicon mold. Wrap the mold well with plastic wrap, and freeze until completely frozen.

Apple Compote
1 sheet gelatin
250 grams granny smith apples (about 3-4 apples, see notes below)
25 grams caster sugar
25 grams water
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped

To make apple compote:
Note: Weigh out 250 grams of apples after peeled, cored and cut into 2cm cubes.

Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water.

Combined apples, sugar, water and vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until apples soften slightly, about 5 minutes. The apples should lose the crunch, but still firm and not mushy. Remove vanilla pod.

Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin. Stir gelatin into the apple mixture until gelatin completely dissolves. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

4 sheets gelatin
250ml water
250 grams caster sugar
A couple drops of green food coloring

To make glaze:
Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water.

Combined water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves, and allow to bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin. Stir gelatin into the sugar syrup. Add food colouring and stir to combine. Pour glaze into a jug and set aside to cool to room temperature (20ish degree celsius) before use.

To assemble:
Spoon apple compote into baked tart case. Set aside.

Unmold the apple bavarian cream domes, and place on cooling rack set on a baking tray. Pour room temperature glaze over the domes. Note about the glaze- the first pour/coat of glaze will seems like it's not sticking to the dome. You will need to pour the glaze over the dome a few more times, letting each coat to set for half a minute before the next pour.

Carefully place the dome over the tart case. Stick a pretzel stick on top of the dome.

Allow to thaw tart before serving. (Note: Takes about 20 minutes to thaw at room temperature depending on the weather. Or 2-4 hours to thaw in the fridge.)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Crust Pastry)

Next week, I will be sharing a very special recipe – a tart of sort. It will be a secret for now. In the meantime, I thought I will first share the basic of making pâte sucrée (sweet crust pastry) which I will be using for the tart.

I have two go-to pâte sucrée recipes. One is a lot easier and I like to use that for filling that needs to be baked, like my classic lemon tart and passionfruit tart.

This pâte sucrée is my favourite of the two even though it requires a few more steps, and the pastry is harder to manage especially on a hot day. But it’s worth the effort if done right because this pâte sucrée is more buttery, richer and crisper. Just like the ones that you get from a good French patisserie.

Lining the tart ring is still a challenge for me, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

A tip for making this pâte sucrée- avoid making this on a hot day especially if you have little experience with making pastry. If the pastry becomes too soft to handle, put it in the freezer for a minute until it’s firm.

This recipe makes a big batch. My advice is to make the full batch, divide into portions, and freeze the portions that you won’t be using. It keeps well in the freezer.

Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Crust Pastry)
(Adapted from PS Desserts)

360 grams unsalted butter, room temperature, softened
150 grams pure icing sugar, sifted
4 egg yolks
50 ml cold water
500 gram plain flour, sifted
a pinch of cooking salt

To make pâte sucrée:
Place the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Mix together at a low speed until the icing sugar is incorporated into the butter and the mixture is smooth. Take care not to aerate too much. You don't want it pale and fluffy. This step should not take you more than a minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the 4 egg yolks and water.

With the mixer on low, add the egg yolks and water mixture to the butter mixture bit by bit. At this stage the mixture may look as through it has separated (see photo below). Don't worry, it will be fine once the flour is added.

Now turn off the mixer, then tip in the flour and salt. On low speed, work in the flour and salt until the mixture just comes together and is crumbly. Do not overwork at this stage as the gluten in the flour will activate and the pastry could become tough. This step should only take about a minute.

Tip the contents of the bowl onto a work surface. Working very quickly, gather the pastry together into a smooth ball. Divide the pastry into half. Pat each half into about 3cm half rounds. You don't want a big boulder otherwise it will make it harder to roll out the pastry. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled all the way through. (This pastry freezes well. Freeze the portion you don't use. Remove from the freezer and thaw overnight in the fridge before rolling out.)

Lining the tart rings:
Once the pastry has chilled (at least 30 minutes), roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 2mm (1/16") thick. For a larger tart, roll the pastry out to 4mm thick.

If the pastry becomes too soft after you rolled it out, freeze the pastry for a minute until firm but still pliable. Cut pastry large enough to line the tart ring. Ease the pastry into the ring, and gently press the dough to the corners of the ring. It is extremely important (and the hardest step) to make sure the pastry is perfectly flush along the corner and sides of the ring. Make sure not to make too much indentations with your fingers. Trim off the excess pastry. Prick the pastry with a fork.

At this stage, I usually like to cover the pastry with plastic wrap and freeze it overnight. I find that baking the pastry from when it’s completely frozen helps minimize shrinkage.

To blind bake:
Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced.

Scrunch up a piece of baking paper, straighten it out, then line the paper over the frozen tart shell (I prefer using baking paper to foil because it doesn't stick to the pastry as much.) Fill with uncooked rice all the way to the top. Bake for 18 minutes (or 25 minutes for larger tart).

Remove from oven, tip out the rice and remove the baking paper. Return to the oven for 5 - 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden.