Showing posts with label jasmine tea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jasmine tea. Show all posts

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bittersweet Citrus Tart with Jasmine Cream

Saturday evening, a couple of friends joined us for dinner. We were celebrating a backyard project getting off to a great start and autumn’s arrival. Although, you need a calendar to know that it’s fall in Austin because the 90 degree weather is still going strong. We toasted the project, and the good company and conversation far outshone the menu, as they should. Just the same, I’m going to write about the food, and I’ll start with dessert. I tried to choose a somewhat simple dessert. I had hoped that a small piece of tart filled with good chocolate would be a nice ending to a big meal. I took this from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich.

I appreciate Medrich’s precision in her recipe writing. For instance, bittersweet chocolate with 60-62% cacao was listed, and a note was provided for how to change the recipe if 65-72% cacao was used instead. Of course, this should be high quality chocolate. Unfortunately, the definition of chocolate is being reconsidered these days, so referencing the cacao percentage is becoming necessary. The tart making process was very easy. The dough was made with melted butter, was patted into the tart pan, and was baked and then allowed to cool. The filling contained only chocolate, butter, orange zest, and an egg yolk whisked with boiling water. Medrich mentions, and I agree, that the orange and/or grapefruit used here should be organic so no sprays will be on the zested skin. No sugar was added to the filling, and none was needed. Had a higher percentage chocolate been used, a small amount of sugar was to be added. As it was, it was silky-textured and balanced in flavor with a fresh, citrus note. Once filled, the tart was chilled for a few hours.

For the topping, jasmine tea leaves were steeped in cream for eight to twelve hours. Medrich notes that the cream should be poured through a sieve to remove the tea after twelve hours even if you won’t be using it yet. I steeped the cream overnight, and removed the tea in the morning. When I tasted the cream at that point, there was a lovely, subtly floral, jasmine presence. However, by the time dessert was served, the jasmine was nowhere to be found. It was a nice addition to the cream, and in the future, I’ll time it so the jasmine tea is removed just before serving.

One other point to mention is the serving temperature. The tart should be removed from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to serving so the filling can slightly soften. I failed to give it quite enough time, and the chocolate was a little firmer than ideal. It may seem like I’m nitpicking on several tiny details, but for a dessert like this with so few ingredients, every part of the process matters. The chocolate has to be excellent, the texture has to be right, and all the flavors have to come together. Then, it becomes just what it was intended to be. The result was very good, but next time I’ll know how to make it even better.

Blogging tips