Gin and tonic tarts

These are so much fun! What could be better than a favourite cocktail in tart form? Make these and watch them disappear. The fizzy chocolate is a fantastic addition and the juniper in the pastry gives a familiar gin and tonic tarts ‘gin’ aroma to the cocktail.

These can be found in my cake cabinet at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio every day but they’re especially popular with the on-the-way-home-from-work crowd on Friday evenings. I think these effervescent tarts just shout, ‘The weekend is here!’

Serving Size

Makes 12

WHAT YOU NEED

Juniper sweet tart cases

280 g (10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
90 g (3 oz/¾ cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon ground juniper
135 g (5 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Lime marshmallow

4 egg whites
400g (14oz/1 3/4 cups) caster sugar
1 tbsp liquid glucose
10 gold-strength gelatine leaves (20g/3/4 oz), soaked and drained
1 lime zest, finely grated

Fizzy white chocolate with lime

40 g (1½ oz/⅓ cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
40 g (1½ oz) citric acid powder 40 g (1½ oz) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
finely grated zest of 2 limes
340 g (12 oz) white chocolate, melted and cooled (but still liquid)


Gin and tonic jelly

120 ml (4 fl oz) gin
350 ml (12 fl oz) tonic water
180 ml (6 fl oz) Sugar syrup
5 gold-strength gelatine leaves (10 g/¼ oz), soaked and drained

Lime curd

8 eggs
juice and finely grated zest of 6 limes
260 g (9 oz) unsalted butter, softened
400 g (14 oz/1¾ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
4 gold-strength gelatine leaves (8 g/¼ oz), soaked and drained

WHAT TO DO

Juniper sweet tart cases

Place the flour, icing sugar, salt, juniper and butter in a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until you have a fine sandy texture.

Add the egg and egg yolk to the bowl and mix again until the dough starts to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it briefly with your hands to bring it together.

Form a square shape with the dough and flatten it on a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover the dough completely with the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill and rest for 45 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 2 mm (¹⁄8 in).

Transfer the dough onto a couple of sheets of baking paper, place them on a tray and rest them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Place twelve 8 x 2.5 cm (3¼ x 1 in) round tartlet tins or rings on a baking tray (or two) lined with baking paper.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and, using an 8 cm (3¼ in) round pastry cutter, cut 12 discs from the two sheets of pastry. Line the tartlet tins with the pastry discs. (See pages 82–3 for instructions on lining tins with pastry.) Place the tarts in the refrigerator to rest for 20 minutes.

Remove the tarts from the refrigerator and trim any excess pastry from the rims. Blind bake the tarts for 20 minutes or until cooked. (See page 83 for instructions on blind baking.) Remove the baking beans and return the tarts to the oven for 2 minutes to dry out.

Remove the tarts from the oven and leave them to cool in the tin. Turn out the tarts onto a wire rack.

Fizzy white chocolate with lime

Place the icing sugar, citric acid, bicarbonate of soda and lime zest in a bowl. Add the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Set aside until cool, but keep it liquid.

Lime curd

Using a pastry brush, brush the chocolate mixture on the inside of the juniper sweet tart cases (see above).

The remainder of the chocolate can be spread out thinly on a clean and smooth work surface using a palette knife. Leave the chocolate to set for a few minutes before scraping it up with a metal scraper or the blade of a knife. Store the ‘shavings’ in a container until needed. (See page 143 for instructions on how to make chocolate shavings.)

Place all the ingredients, except the gelatine, in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk the mixture constantly. Continue to cook – being careful of the steam, which can burn – and check your water does not run dry in the pan (top up the water if needed). Heat the curd until it reaches a temperature of 82°C (180°F), using a digital thermometer for accuracy.

Prepare a large bowl of iced water.

Remove the bowl from the saucepan on the heat and add the gelatine, stirring well until it has dissolved. Strain the curd into another bowl, then set this bowl in the larger bowl of iced water to cool the curd down quickly.

Stir the mixture occasionally over the ice to cool the curd down to a temperature of 40°C (104°F). Pour the curd into the prepared tart cases and tap the tarts gently to level them flat.

Place the tarts in the refrigerator to finish cooling and set. This will take around 30 minutes.

TIP: The curd can also be cooked in the microwave by placing all the ingredients, except the gelatine, in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix well and cook for 20 seconds on High (100%) then stir vigorously. Repeat these steps until the curd is starting to bubble and is smooth and shiny. Remove from the microwave and add the soaked gelatine. Mix well again then proceed with the method as above.

Gin and tonic tarts

Mix the gin, tonic water and sugar syrup together in a bowl. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and gently bring to the boil.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the gelatine until it has dissolved.

Strain the jelly mixture through a small sieve into a plastic container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Lime marshmallow

Place the egg whites in a freestanding electric mixer and start to whisk them slowly on low speed.

Place 150 ml (5 fl oz) water, the caster sugar and glucose in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar and bring the syrup to the boil.

Once the syrup has come to the boil, turn the mixer with the egg whites to medium speed.

Cook the syrup until it reaches a temperature of 125°C (257°F), using a digital or sugar thermometer to check the temperature. Then slowly trickle the syrup in a constant stream down the side of the bowl into the whisking egg whites, ensuring it doesn’t touch the whisk.

Melt the gelatine in the still-hot saucepan and add it to the bowl. Whisk well until the mixture starts to cool and thicken, then add

the lime zest.

Transfer the mixture to a piping (icing) bag fitted with a small

plain nozzle.

Assembly

Finely grated lime zest for garnish.

Remove the gin and tonic tarts filled with the curd from the refrigerator. Pipe small bulbs of marshmallow onto each tart.

Place a spoon in some hot water and then scoop some gin and tonic jelly onto each tart. (See page 35 for instructions on how to spoon jelly.) Garnish the tarts with some fizzy white chocolate shavings and fresh lime zest to get the party started.

Variation

Try a piña colada tart – switch lime curd for pineapple; gin and tonic jelly for a Malibu jelly and remove the juniper from the pastry. Keep the lime marshmallow as is but maybe top the tarts with shaved coconut.


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