In Brno today, it was sunny and spring like mood was sweeping in the air. This morning I had my very first official photography class and it was amazing! I learned a lot of interesting things and how to make my photography even nicer. A lot of white balance, exposure, basic settings and lots more to come. So, being very excited about my first lesson, this afternoon I’ve prepare this spring Italian tart, for all the lovers of meringue (me, me, me) and to practice the new things learned about photography. Still I have a homework to do for this class, but until then, I want to delight you all with my spring tart. Enjoy!
Ingredients for the tart’s pastry :
180 g softened butter
40 g crystal sugar
2 egg yolks
250 g plain flour, sifted
Ingredients for the Italian meringue :
175 g crystal sugar
2 egg whites
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of lemon juice
Beat the butter in an electric mixer until pale, add crystal sugar and stir to combine, add yolks and 1 tablespoon chilled water. Sieve flour over and stir to just combine. Lightly knead the dough, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (1 hour).
Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round. Line it in a cake pan already coated with butter and flour, or use directly a parchment paper. Trim edges, prick base with a fork and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 175°C. Cover the dough on top with parchment paper and weights and bake until light golden, 15-20 minutes. Remove the paper and bake it until golden 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then remove tart from tin and cool completely on a wire rack (30 minutes). Spoon the chocolate cream (you can use the cream used for the french éclairs here or use any rich chocolate cream that you prefer) and set aside.
Meanwhile, for Italian meringue, combine sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and cook until syrup reaches 121C on a sugar thermometer (6-9 minutes). Meanwhile, when syrup reaches 110C, start whisking egg whites and combine the pinch of bicarbonate of soda with the pinch of lemon juice and mix with the egg whites (after starting to form soft peaks). Gradually pour hot syrup over egg whites in a thin stream, whisking continuously until cooled, thick and glossy (10-12 minutes).
Cut the strawberries in thin slices and add them in a circle on your tart. Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe swirls on top.
Recipe adapted from "Australian Gourmet Traveller", March 2011.[/stextbox]