Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Daring Bakers Challenge November 2010 : Crostata November 28, 2010

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The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I chose to make 2 different fillings for my mini crostata, caramelized white chocolate ganache and raspberry (above), and milk chocolate praline ganache with dark chocolate glaze (below).

started off by making the pasta frolla for the crostata. I made it in the processor to save time and chilled the pastry down before rolling. I found the pastry easy to work with, and during baking, the shells didn’t shrink at all which is my usual problem with pastry.

The fillings I chose were quite labour intensive, but I really wanted to try working with praline which is where my idea for the chocolate crostata filling came from. I poured caramel over hazelnuts to make the praline, then whizzed to a powder before mixing into a milk chocolate ganache. This filled the tart almost to the top, but there was just enough room for a glaze of shiny dark chocolate and a sprinkling of praline powder.

For the other crostata, I made caramelized white chocolate (which is something I have been meaning to do for ages and I will DEFINITELY do again – it was delicious!). I melted this into some cream to make a ganache, and set some raspberries in a (hopefully) pretty pattern. I glazed the raspberries with a little sieved strawberry jam to give them a glossy finish.

I really enjoyed this challenge as I really got to be creative with the fillings – Thanks Simona for giving us all so much creative licence!

Pasta Frolla

1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option, see Note 2)
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Chocolate Filling

Make a praline by pouring caramel over skinned, blanched hazelnuts. Whiz to a fine powder in a food processor.
Mix some praline powder into a milk chocolate ganache (made by pouring hot double cream over milk chocolate and whisking until smooth).
Fill the baked crostata shells with the praline ganache.
Make a glaze with dark chocolate, milk and cream and spread over the top. Finish with a sprinkle of praline powder.

Caramelized white chocolate and raspberry filling

Make caramelized white chocolate according to David Lebovitz’s recipe
Pour over hot double cream to make a ganache.
Arrange raspberries on top and glaze with sieved jam.