Pistachio, ricotta and chocolate tart

As promised, here’s the recipe to this tasty tart! I made the sweet pastry from scratch, and although it takes longer and requires more effort, the end result makes up for it, and how!

It’s a Giorgio Locatelli recipe, and just like he himself says,

“This is almost like a chocolate ricotta cheesecake, with a delicious pistachio topping…there won’t be any left by the end of the evening’.

 

True!

Sweet Pastry:
– 140g unsalted butter, slightly softened
– 90g caster sugar
– 1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
– 1 egg
– 250g plain flour
– 25g ground almonds

(Or you can use 375g shop-bought pastry.)

Filling:
– 700g ricotta
– 200g caster sugar
– 2 lemons, zest
– 150g dark chocolate, blitzed in a food processor or grated
– 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Topping:
– 50g caster sugar
– 100g pistachios

– To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla seeds and egg until combined. Add the flour and ground almonds in 3 stages, mixing well each time. Knead lightly on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a disc and wrap in clingfilm, chill for at least one hour.
– Preheat the oven to 200 celcius. Line the base of a 20-cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a circle. Use to line the tin and trim the edges to 5cm high, don’t worry if it cracks. Just patch it up with the trimmings. Line to blind bake, then chill for 30 minutes. Blind bake for 10-15 minutes until just cooked. Set aside to cool.
– Lower the oven to 170 celcius. Mix all the ingredients for the filling and then spoon into the pastry case. Bake for 30-40 minutes. It should be a little wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool in the tin. Don’t worry if the cake seems too wobbly because it will harden when it cools down!
– Meanwhile prepare the topping. Heat the sugar and 50ml water over a low heat, stirring gently until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bubble until you have a thick syrup that has not started to caramelize (117 celcius on a sugar thermometer). Add 75g of the pistachios and stir until the syrup sticks to them but they don’t quite stick together. Spoon onto greaseproof paper and leave to cool, and then break into clumps. Crush the remaining nuts in a food processor.
– Lift the tart from the tin. To decorate use a ruler to help you sprinkle alternate 2-3 cm strips of candied and crushed pistachios over the top.

Enjoy!

Mid-Week Treat!

The good thing about owning quite a number of cookbooks is being able to take bits and pieces of various recipes and making your own custom-made dish. The same goes for baking. This week I was craving pistachios and immediately starting looking up recipes to incorporate them in. Since I could not go out to purchase missing ingredients, I mish-mashed three recipes and came out with my own take of the:

 

Pistachio and Apricot Cake with a White Chocolate Frosting:

 

120g plain flour

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter, soft

120ml whole milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

(I added 30g roasted pistachios and some chopped up dried apricots).

 

Frosting:

 

80g white chocolate

300g icing sugar

150g unsalted butter, soft

 

– Heat up the oven at 170 Celcius.

– Mix the four, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a mixer and beat slowly till it’s of a breadcrumb consistency.

– Gradually pour in 60ml of the milk and mix.

– In the other 60ml of milk, mix in the vanilla and beaten egg.

– Add this to the flour mixture and beat. Fold in the pistachios and apricots and bake for around 20 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean. Leave out to cool.

– For the frosting, melt the white chocolate. Beat the butter and half of the sugar.

– Add the chocolate and gradually add the remaining 150g of sugar.

– Sprinkle and decorate as you wish 🙂

Yum, yum – Enjoy!

 

IMG_20130220_114742

 

IMG_20130220_135724IMG_20130220_130211