Coconut-Mango Tartelettes

It seems like ages have past since i have been here. Though, i was out of action for a few months, it felt like eternity. I have missed following the action of all my favorite bloggers and their ever so ingenious posts.
I have completed my course and am back from Paris, the internship was one crazy ride which has taught me a lot.Updates on this will be followed up in another post.

Today, I would like to share with you a recipe for coconut mango tartelettes. The fun part is that there is a lot of coconut used up here, right from the base to the cream to the garnishing. Every coconut lover’s dream.

2

Makes 8 tartlettes 6cm.
Ingredients:

Sweet shortcrust pastry:
Icing Sugar 45g
Almond Powder 15g
Coconut Flour 20g
Salt 1g
Butter, softened 65g
Egg 1/2
All purpose flour 100g
Cocoa Powder 10g

Coconut Mousse
Gelatin powder 5g
Water 30g
Coconut Cream 140g
Heavy cream 150g
Sugar 40g

Mango Gel
Gelatin powder 1g
Water 7g
Sugar 10g
Mango Puree 105g

Garnishing:
Sweet desiccated coconut

DSC_0541

Instructions:

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
1. Sift the icing sugar, almond powder, coconut flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the softened butter and mix with a spatula.
2. Add half of an egg and mix till you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the mixture and knead into a dough.
4. Chill for 2 hours.
5. Line the tart rings with the pastry and bake at 170C for 15 minutes.
Please refer to the post on lining tart rings.

Coconut Cream Mousse:
1. Mix the gelatin with water and give it a stir.
2. Pour half of the coconut cream with all the sugar in a pan and heat it till it simmers.
3. Remove from heat and add the gelatin and whisk till it is dissolved. Add this to the remaining coconut cream and whisk.
4. Whip the heavy cream and add it to the coconut cream mixture ensuring there are no lumps.
5. chill for at least 2 hours.

Mango Gel:
1. Mix the gelatin with water and give it a stir.
2. Add the mango puree, sugar and gelatin in a pan and heat till it comes to a simmer.
3. Turn off the heat and pour the mixture in molds.
4. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Coco-Mango Tartelette

Coco-Mango Tartelette

Assembly:

1. Sprinkle some desiccated coconut over the tart base.
2. Fill with the coconut cream mousse.
3. Place a mango jelly on the top.
4. Garnish with the desiccated coconut.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Advertisements

Ice Cream Cake

While I was working in Singapore I would often pass by an Ice cream shop selling ice cream cakes. I always thought it was weird and never gave it a try. I now know what I have missed! Ice cream cakes are perfect for summer, especially after a good feast it will go down really well.

I made this cake for my friend’s actual birthday and everyone absolutely loved it including myself. I sneaked in a piece for myself to enjoy the next day. What can I say, pure Evil! 😉

It is super easy making it the perfect summer dessert. I have used vanilla and mango flavors as no other fruit sings the songs of summer to me than mango! Vanilla ice cream and Mango sorbet with some chocolate chips will transform you in a heavenly place altogether. Sigh!

LESSON LEARNT : Sometimes, rather unfortunately I can have a closed mind. Open up!

Meringue Ice Cream Cake

Meringue Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients :

Meringue:
100 g egg whites (2.5-3 eggs)
200 g icing sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)

Chantilly Cream:
250 ml heavy cream, chilled
50 g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Ice Cream
Mango Sorbet
Sprinkles (optional)
Chocolate Chips (optional)

Instructions :

Meringue:
Preheat the oven at 150°C.Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Use a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle.

Put the egg whites and 30g of icing sugar in a large, clean, grease free bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the egg white at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 70g of icing sugar , a couple of tablespoons at a time, and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Gently, fold in the remaining 100g of icing sugar.

Pipe two 7-inch(18cm) discs in a spiral shape, center out on the baking sheet. You could also use a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 90 C and bake for another 2 hours.

Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside the oven to cool completely. This can take about an hour or more.

Chantilly Cream:
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to use.

Assembling the Cake:
Place a cake ring on one meringue, remove the excess. Repeat with the second meringue.
Place a meringue disc on the cake board. Place the cake ring over it. Cover the meringue with Vanilla ice cream.
IMG_6205
Dust with some sprinkles for a fun look.
IMG_6206
Freeze for 30 minutes.
Spread a layer of mango sorbet on top. Sprinkle over some chocolate chips.
IMG_6207
Place the second meringue disc on the sorbet and press it down gently. Freeze for 30 minutes.
IMG_6208
Cover the cake with chantilly cream and smooth with the help of a spatula. Freeze for 2 hours. Decorate as you please.
Freeze again until 30 minutes before serving.

Bon Apetit

Bon Apetit

Note : You can crush up some oreos, cookies or chocolate wafers instead of using meringue for a no bake, fuss free ice cream cake.

Magic Bullet for World Cup Hangover: Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

“Ummmm”. Well, this is the kind of instant response I am usually seeking from mon chéri when I want to cheer him up.Still under the world cup hangover he unfortunately injured his ankle in a game of football and needs about 2-3 weeks of bed rest to recuperate. No golden boot here… 😦

With this sinful combination of orange and chocolate I’ve hit the nail on the head! I went about creating this dessert as I wanted to try out two recipes, one for an orange sponge cake by Julia Child and the other, a chocolate mousse by Christophe Felder. When you are trying to re-create recipes of two outstanding individuals of the culinary world, you can’t go wrong at all! Julia Child, one of the chefs whom I admire most for her determination and courage who brought about a revolution in the culinary world. Apart from the movies, the book “My Life in France” gives a humurous and lively representation of Julia’s culinary adventure. Christophe Felder, is not only an amazing pâtissier but is also considered as the creator of plated desserts by some critics!

No points for guessing that the combination of both the recipes turned out to be utterly delicious and fulfilling.
I have tried to create a plated dessert here since this is one of the skills I am trying to enhance and find my own style. 🙂

Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

Ingredients :

Orange Sponge Cake : 9-inch cake serves 4-5 portions (I made half this recipe)

120 g sugar
4 egg yolks
Zest of 1Orange/ orange blossom water 1/2 tsp
72 ml orange juice
Salt, pinch
100 g all purpose flour
4 egg whites
Cream of tartar/ lemon juice/ salt, pinch
1 tbsp caster sugar

Candied orange peel:

1 orange
50 g sugar
100 ml water
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (optional)
2 Tsp Vanilla sugar

Chocolate Mousse: Serves 12 (I made 2 portions)

100 g heavy cream
250 g chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
Cream of tartar/ lemon juice/ salt, pinch
6 egg whites
40 g sugar
2 egg yolks

Orange Mint Curd:

1/2 gelatin sheet (1g)
88 g butter, softened
1 egg
68 g sugar
65 ml orange juice
8 medium mint leaves

To decorate:

Pistachios, crushed, optional
Blanched almond flakes, optional
Icing sugar, optional
Ground Cinnamon, optional

DSC_0625

Instructions :

Orange Sponge Cake:
Butter and flour the cake tin. Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Beat the sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy to form a ribbon.
Add the orange zest, orange juice and salt and beat until foamy.

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until it forms stiff peaks.

Pout one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and fold. Fold in the rest.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Cool before serving.

Candied Orange Peels:

Bring a saucepan with water to a boil.Peel the orange into wide strips. Cut into strips.
Add to the boiling water, cook for a minute and drain. This will help to remove bitterness.

Now, combine the sugar and water and boil over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the orange peel and boil for 2 minutes. Add the honey and stir.
Let the mixture Rest for 15 minutes.
Drain the peel. Transfer to a wire rack and let dry for an hour.

Whisk the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Add the orange peel to the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.keep aside.

Chocolate Mousse:

Finely chop the chocolate.
Bring the cream to boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it melt slightly. Whisk to make a smooth, shiny ganache.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whip until they form soft peaks.
Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until they hold a firm peak.Do not overbeat.

Whisk the egg yolks into the ganache.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Gently fold with a spatula. The mousse should be smooth.
Chill for an hour before serving .

Orange Mint Curd:

Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the egg into a heavy saucepan and add the sugar. Whisk the eggs with the sugar.

Whisk in the orange juice. Continue to whisk over medium heat.
Tear the mint leaves into the pan and cook just until the cream comes to a boil and thickens.
Whisk in the softened gelatin.

Strain the cream over the softened butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream and butter for one minute until smooth.
Chill completely, at least 30-45 minutes.

DSC_0682

Assembling the cake:

Spoon a little orange curd on the plate.
Cut a piece of cake and place over the curd. Spoon some mousse over/beside the cake.
Dust the cake with icing sugar, cinnamon and top with almond flakes.
Sprinkle the pistachio and top with the candied citrus peel. Viola!

Plating A

Plating A

Plating B

Plating B

Was Plating B a Hit or a Miss? I would love to know which Plating appealed to you more?

Bon Apetit!

Basil Pesto Damper Rolls

Bread making doesn’t come naturally to me and I need to be really inspired to be able to make my own bread. Yesterday, when I came across Lauzan’s (from The Veggy Side of Me) “exotic pesto dressing” I couldn’t get it out of my head. I knew that it would haunt me in my dreams if I didn’t try it soon enough! Lo and behold, I got out my blender to make it just in time for dinner. This has to be the most delicious pesto I’ve ever eaten without having to use any cheese!

DSC_0564
My hubby is not a big fan of cheese (Yea i know, what’s wrong with him, doesn’t like cheese, chocolate !!) and this basil pesto would be just perfect for him I thought. To accompany this gorgeous pesto, I decided to make bread.  I wanted to make a bread that is easy and quick without having to use yeast. A few weeks back, a friend of mine had shown me how to make damper bread. Not only is it super easy to make, it tastes quite delightful. Damper is a traditional Australian soda bread. I learnt from her that this bread was originally made by stockmen who traveled from one place to another for work. They would cook this bread in the ashes of camp fire. I reckon very much similar to “Baati” as in Baati Chowkha. Quite intriguing!

I made these into pesto rolls and they were delicious to say the least! My hubby asked me today morning if there were any leftovers… 😉

DSC_0566
The bread recipe has been inspired from http://www.taste.com.au

To find out the magic PESTO recipe hop on over to Lauzan’s space!.

Ingredients :
35 g sesame seeds
150 g wholemeal flour
150 g all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
120 ml milk
60 g plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon extra milk or water

Instructions :

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly flour a baking tray with some flour.

Roast the sesame seeds and keep aside.

Sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl, returning the bran to the bowl. Stir in the toasted sesame seeds.

Make a well in the centre and add milk and yoghurt. Mix quickly and lightly with a fork until combined. Bring dough together with your fingertips and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently with floured hands and form into a ball.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 30 x 40cm rectangle, about 1cm-thick. Spread the basil pesto evenly over the dough. Starting from a long side, roll up firmly to form a log. Cut log crossways into equal portions, about 2cm thick. Place the scrolls on prepared tray. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and just cooked through. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
DSC_0562
Serve warm or at room temperature.

I made small buns out of the leftover dough.. 🙂

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

The quintessential “Opéra” Cake

Opéra

Glazed Chocolate and Coffee Layer Cake

Who doesn’t love the Opera cake? When I would walk into a patisserie to buy a croissant or macarons, my eyes would always fall on the rich, dark, mysterious cake.  It is almost as if I was falling in love with it over and over again.  They look so attractive and always make you test your will power….. 😉 Just a bite of these dreamy little cakes can take all worries off your mind. Literally!

DSC_0715
I haven’t eaten the Opéra cake in a long time and when I found myself thinking about it for days together, I decided it was time to get baking! 🙂 They sure do have a lot of elements, but time flies when you make these and the effort is totally worth it. It would make for an outstanding dessert to finish off a dinner party.

This recipe has been adapted from Cristophe Felder’s “Patisserie”. If I have to make this again, I would eliminate the egg yolk buttercream from the buttercream recipe and use just butter, coffee and italian meringue. I have used half of the recipe and made a small cake.
The cake turned out moist and light, with perfectly tempered chocolate. What more can one ask for? 😉

DSC_06601
Makes 16 by 12 inch cake
Ingredients:

Coffee Syrup : ( I have made 1/4 of the recipe)
400 ml warm coffee
150 g caster sugar

Jaconde Cake: ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
8 eggs, 4 whole, 4 separated
220 g ground almonds
275 g sugar
100 g all purpose flour

Chocolate Ganache : ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
170 g dark chocolate (60% cocoa)
120 ml milk
40 ml heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, softened

Coffee Buttercream:
20 ml espresso or strong coffee, at room temperature
Italian Meringue:
62 g sugar
1.5 tbsp water
1 egg white
Egg Yolk Buttercream:
2.5 egg yolks
120 g sugar
50 ml water
180 g butter, softened

Chocolate Glaze: ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
400 g chocolate (%2% cocoa)
50 g vegetable shortening (replaced with butter)
50 g grapeseed oil (replaced with butter)
DSC_0731

Instructions :

Coffee Syrup :

Combine the coffee and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep aside.

Jaconde Cake:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line 3 baking sheets with baking paper. ( I have used 2 baking sheets)

Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, ground almonds and half of the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 15 minutes.

Whip the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and beat until firm and glossy.

Gently fold the egg whites into the egg-almond mixture.

Gradually sift in the flour and gently fold until smooth.

Spread one-third of the cake batter on each prepared sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove and let cool.
7686701e1491708ef4f86ace5c9069722e67927aafd6ceede501247f62253392

Chocolate Ganache :

Finely chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Add the butter and whisk until smooth.

Coffee Buttercream :
Step 1: Italian Meringue
Whisk the egg whites in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.You can tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.
c2
Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk until the mixture returns at room temperature. Touch the bottom of the bowl, it should not be hot.
c3
Step 2: Egg yolk buttercream :
Whisk the egg yolks at low speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.You can tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.
Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the egg yolks and beat until they are pale. This should be the ribbon stage.
099f35ebaf7c5b591c57edf2b76f587cdf5899cc317b474f6ed496838428fd02
Step 3 :
Whip the butter until it is creamy and smooth.
bb1c7cf85f28ca2cbc9910daa89ee16fe7fa7bf80837f16c31540fdf9896723f
Step 4:
Add the egg yolk mixture to the butter and beat at low speed until the texture is light.
Beat in the italian meringue at low speed.
a552a43f38e77193a45685cdb6352211f62a33da52e0fd084ae818bbc2b5a41d
COntinue beating at medium speed for about 10 minutes.

Step 5:
Add the espresso to the buttercream and whip at low speed until smooth.
2
Assembling the Cake:

  • Line the cake board with parchment paper. (Optional) I just used some buttercream on the board. 🙂
  • Place one sponge cake and brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread half of the coffee buttercream over the cake with an offbeat spatula.
  • Place the second sponge onto it and brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache over it.
  • Place the third sponge cake on top. Brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream and smooth with the spatula.
  • Chill until set, at least an hour.

Chocolate Glaze:
Finely chop the chocolate and place with butter in a bowl. Place over a double boiler and let melt, stiring until the chocolate reaches between 95 and 104° F or 35 to 40° C. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, smooth with an offbeat spatula and chill until set.
DSC_0627

Decorate as you please… 🙂
DSC_0644
Serve:

Dip the knife into hot water and wipe it dry after each cut. Serve with a big smile…:)

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Chocolate Delice

 

I had been in Wroclaw, Poland for a month now.It was January, still winter time and I was facing quite a bit of a challenge never having lived in a place where the  temperatures would drop to -17°C. 🙂 Not having to go out much, I decided to throw my first dinner party here! Having planned a few Indian starters and a chicken biryani I got to thinking about the dessert. I thought of skipping an Indian dessert as I have experienced that some people find them to be too sweet, well, not me. I love my jalebis and gulab jamun. 🙂

dsc_01997

I had recently bought few of Lindt chocolate 75% and 80 % cocoa and I couldn’t stop thinking how could I do justice to them.Pondering over it for quite some time I decided to go for a chocolate delice.This is no ordinary delice, it is the recipe of one of my favorite chef Raymond Blanc and in honesty, it turned out better than I imagined.It tasted absolutely divine and I had to pack some of the dessert to take home for one of my friends as he absolutely couldn’t get enough of it!

Not leaving myself enough time to make the dessert I had to tweak the base a bit and skip the elements that accentuate the dessert to another level. I would try it the next time I make this.

Link to Ramond Blanc’s recipe.

I couldn’t take any photographs but I have shared the video link for the recipe as well.

Serves 10

Ingredients:
For the base
100 g toasted hazelnuts
100 g caramelised sugar pieces OR
200 g Nutella
150 g bran flakes, slightly crushed

For the delice
140ml full-fat milk
325ml heavy cream
2 eggs
340g good-quality dark chocolate, minimum 60 per cent cocoa solids, roughly chopped

Instructions:

For the base, blend the hazelnuts and caramelised sugar pieces in a food processor until you have a smooth paste. Heat the paste in a small pan on a gentle heat until warmed through.I was running out of time to make this dessert,so I have used nutella instead of the hazelnut praline paste.If using nutella, microwave for a minute until warm.
nutella
Place the bran flakes and warmed praline paste into a mixing bowl and scrunch them together, using your hands, until the bran flakes have broken down and been incorporated into the paste.
bran

Line a flan/tart tin with a sheet of baking paper, then transfer the praline mixture onto it. Cover the praline mixture with a second sheet of baking paper, then roll the mixture out until it measures at least 14cm x 20cm/5½in x 8in and is 0.5cm/¼in thick.
Chill the base in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until set.

Meanwhile, for the delice, heat the milk and cream in a saucepan and gently over a medium heat until it just reaches boiling point.
Simultaneously, whisk the eggs in a bowl.

As the milk and cream mixture comes to the boil, pour it over the eggs, then whisk the mixture constantly until smooth and thick.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and whisk again until the chocolate has melted and the custard is smooth.I have used a 70:30 combination of Lindt 70% : 85% cocoa and it was simply divine.

Remove the base from the fridge and pour in the chocolate delice to fill the mould. Gently tap the sides of the mould to release any trapped air bubbles, then smooth the surface using a palette knife. Chill in the fridge for 6 hours at least or until completely set.

Note: The delice tastes best if made a day ahead.

Bon Apetit!

Strawberry Crumble

Yes, we have yet another post on Strawberries.My friends think I have a strawberry abuse problem…haha.Just make the most of what you can when you can, I’d say. 🙂

Apologies that I have not taken pictures for this post,I have a couple that were taken by my iphone which should give a pretty decent idea of how the dessert looked on the plate.We were having a very busy week and I realized it had been a long time since we had a special meal together.One evening,I decided to make a quick and easy meal which would also be a treat for the eyes.I love Raymond Blanc’s recipes and was quite inspired to make his version of the strawberry crumble.It has a subtle twist to the traditional Strawberry Crumble.

It was super easy to make and boy, did it turn out delicious.I would surely make this again, may be for a dinner party too!

Strawberry Crumble

Strawberry Crumble

Ingredients :
480 g Strawberries
60 g Caster sugar
2 tbsp Water
30 g butter
1 tsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Maple Syrup (optional)

For the crumble
80 g Plain flour
50 g Caster sugar
20 g Brown sugar
55 g butter

Instructions:
Halve the strawberries, place in a bowl and sprinkle with half of the caster sugar. Set aside while you prepare the crumble.

To make the crumble, in a food processor, pulse all the ingredients together to a light crumbly texture, then press together and cut into 2-3cm cubes. Place on a small baking tray, cover and freeze for 1 hour until solid.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Pulse the cubes of dough in a food processor to break into small pieces of crumble. Spread evenly on a baking tray to a 5mm thickness and bake for 7 minutes until golden brown. While still warm and pliable, cut out 4 discs with an 8cm cookie cutter. Bake these for a further 3 minutes.

To prepare the berries, put the water into a large, heavy-based saucepan, add the remaining 30g sugar and leave for a few minutes, then dissolve over a medium-high heat and cook to a very pale blond caramel. Immediately add the butter, then the strawberries, lemon juice and maple syrup, if using. The original recipe calls for kirsch, but I don’t usually stock kirsch, hence i have used maple syrup.Heat for 30 seconds.

To serve,divide the warm strawberries between individual dishes and top each serving with a crumble disc.I just made one serving with two crumble discs.
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop or whipped cream if you prefer.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Berry Tart

 

Summer Berry Tart

Summer Berry Tart

It’s Spring time……….which means it’s time to get berrilicious.I can have strawberries any time of the day, so I sure am making most of the berry season.Back home in India,we would travel to Mahabaleshwar,a hill station located in the Western Ghats, just for the strawberries..There was never enough of the strawberry jam,jellies,the ice creams!
strawberries

Back to the tart story, I along with my hubby was invited to a friend’s dinner party and decided to present them with a beautiful summery berry tart.It seemed like a good idea to take a break from all the chocolate desserts,a breather for my dear hubby as he is not into chocolates.Who can hate chocolate!

Well,I had picked up a lot of strawberries,raspberries and blackberries and ta da….here is a sweet,fresh,light, tangy dessert which will have you wanting for more.

1-0-IMG_4798

Ingredients

220 g pâte sucrée (Sweet pastry)
250 g fresh strawberries
250 g fresh raspberries
250 g fresh blackberries
300 g chantilly cream
150 g Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)
a few mint sprigs

Pâte sucrée  (Sweet pastry) :

250 g plain flour
100 g butter, cubed and slightly softened
100 g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs, at room temperature

Chantilly Cream :
250 ml whipping cream, well chilled
50 g icing sugar
vanilla essence or seeds scraped from a vanilla pod

Crème Pâtissière  (Pastry Cream) :
4 egg yolks
65 g caster sugar
15 g plain flour
15 g cornflour
350 ml whole milk
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

For the Pâte sucrée   (Sweet pastry):

Put the flour in a mound on a work surface and make a well.Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt, and mix these ingredients together with your fingertips.
Gradually draw the flour into the centre and mix with your fingertips until the dough becomes slightly grainy.
Again, make a well and add the eggs.Work them into the flour mixture, using your fingertips, until the dough begins to hold together.
When the dough is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hand until smooth.
Refrigerate for an hour or so.
Roll out the pastry to a round,2- 3 mm thick, and us to line an 18cm diameter tart tin.Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 5.Prick the pastry base with a fork.Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with a layer of beans to weight the pastry down and prevent it from rising unevenly.Bake for 30 minutes removing the beans for the last 10 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the tin and cool.

Chantilly Cream :

Put the chilled cream,icing sugar and vanilla into a chilled bowl and beat using an electric beater at medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
Increase the speed and beat for another 3-4 minutes until the cream starts to thicken to a light ribbon consistency,do not overbeat.
Use immediately.

Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream):

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they turn a pale gold colour.
Whisk in the flour and cornflour and set aside.
Place the milk and vanilla bean paste in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 30 seconds.
Slowly pour half of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then return the mixture to the remaining milk in the pan.
Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer for one minute, whisking continuously, or until smooth.
Pour the cream into a clean bowl and dust with icing sugar to prevent a skin forming. Cool as quickly as possible, by sitting the bowl of pastry cream in another larger bowl of ice water. When cooled, refrigerate until needed.

Assembling the tart:

Halve the strawberries if they are large.
Delicately fold the chantilly cream into the pastry cream and fill the pastry case with this mixture.
Arrange the berries on top, heaving them up slightly in the centre.
Decorate with mint sprigs and serve.

Bon Apetit!