it sounds sickly sweet. it sounds unsophisticated. its a play on a very prolific muffin. but in terms of my own creative production it represents an apex. an aesthetic apex. and a rather elegant solution to a glut of tart tins. it was a long lazy day when i happened upon 20 tartlet tins. this incident was closely followed by a catering request. i cant help but wonder how intimately the two were linked. i suspect the latter was an attempt by a primary eater to offset the results of the former. in any (pastry) case, suddenly 20 tarts had to be made. this therefore is the first of a number of tarts which will appear in this space. i have given a recipe for shortcrust pastry. instead of using one large tin, roll this chilled pastry out, cut out circles, and put the pastry into 20 mini tart tins. or use a muffin tray. probably two. this recipe for the filling will make about 10 (max.). for the other 10, use your imagination if you have one. if not, do as i did and refer yourself to a reference book like ottolenghi. i would like to add, not because of any coercive influence, that these tarts were made with BBC worldservice on in the background. the soothing british voices, the calm english panic about the rise of indias economy, the human interest story about little madeleine who disappeared in portugal three years ago, and the exquisite interview technique of the bbc journalist who asked the pertinent question of her parents “are you ever able to laugh?”, provided an intellectual and emotional space in which these tarts were so lovingly and tenderly made. i think they speak for themselves. and they are made in memory of little madeleine. as well as for snow and berry who taught me the true meaning of raspberry and white chocolate.
1 quantity short crust pastry – this should be divided into mini tart tins. it will make about 18 pastry cases.
180g white chocolate (very finely chopped)
20g butter – cubed. very little ones obviously.
6tsp raspberry jam
first mash up the raspberries through a sieve to remove the pips. what this will give you is raspberry coulis. you may have to do this twice if you have a penchant for pureed raspberry and have absolutely no self control so perhaps should amend this to be 80g of raspberries for those restraint-challenged
then chop up the chocolate and butter and put into a heat proof bowl
in a small saucepan heat the cream over medium heat. just as it gets to boiling point remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate and butter. stir with a spatula until all the chocolate has melted and you have a very sexy ganache on your hands
quickly spoon in a teaspoon of raspberry jam into the base of each tart case. (quick because the ganache will set and then it will all, very quickly, fall apart).
pour the chocolate in, over the jam. dont lick the spoon too much…remember what you are licking (refer to ingredients.) it will only end in a stomach ache.
fill the tarts to the rim
then put a small teaspoon of coulis into the centre and with a pointy implement (i used a very groovy cocktail umbrella. it was orange and i think came from the seventies) swirl the coulis around and make it look like something you cannot believe you made. put them into the fridge to set and i think, remove them 15 minutes before serving. i cant say for sure because here, there is no chilling and no serving. just eating.
they are very rich. and potentially sickly but the raspberry elevates it all…as only raspberry can. they are beautiful and if you have 20 mini tart tins and 6 hours free i suggest you make them.