Sunday, May 3, 2009

Strawberry Cream Chiffon Tarts

I'm in the mood for tarts lately. I had bought a bunch of mini tart molds from Indonesia and have yet to find the chance to use them. Making petite desserts takes a lot of time because each small tart requires the same amount of effort to make as a large one but I have to make a lot of them. So when work slowed down this past weekend (we filed the 10-Q!) and I have a short day on Friday, I decided to make these mini strawberry tarts.

I started with pate sucree for the crust the night before and chilled it in the fridge overnight. After work on Friday, I started to roll out the dough and mold them to each mini tart molds. I have to say, this is quite challenging for me. First, rolling out the dough when it's still chilled is quite difficult because it's hard as stone. But when the dough started to warm out, it sticked to my rolling pin! >_< I found a solution for this though: I rolled the dough between 2 sheets of cling wraps. It worked perfect!

Second, trying to pit the rolled out dough on the mold was really tedious. I had to make sure that the dough was pressed to the sides and bottom on the mold. I'm not sure why, but it's a difficult process for me. :0 I guess I'm just not patient enough for this. :p

When all this is done, I had to cover each one with aluminium foil and weigh them down with rice grains. Then I had to bake them in the oven! :) I like this part best because it's the last step in the process. :p

Even after the crusts were ready, I still wasn't sure on the filling. I couldn't decide whether to make a fruit tart (with custard), mango chiffon tart, or strawberry cream chiffon tart. After browsing through my fridge, I scratched off fruit tart because I don't have many different kinds of fruit at home. But I have both mango puree and strawberry puree sitting in the freezer. I also have fresh mangoes and strawberries at home. It was a tough battle, but I finally decided on the strawberries. Why? Because the strawberries wouldn't last longer in the fridge compared to the mangoes. :p Plus, strawberries are in season now and the ones I had at home were just the reddest and sweetest strawberries ever (all for just $0.99/lbs).

I promise to make something mango next. :)

I brought these for the bible study session Friday night. :) I love bringing desserts to my bible study group because I know that they'll eat it all - with a big smile on their faces. This is what makes all that effort worthwhile.

Here's a little glimpse of the tarts before I filled them up with the strawberry cream chiffon filling. :) Aren't they cute?

Now, for the strawberry cream chiffon filling's recipe:

450g strawberry puree
8g cornstarch dissolved in 60ml water
30 ml lemon juice
7g powdered gelatin bloomed in 120ml water
60g egg whites
60g granulated sugar
125ml heavy cream

Bring to boil the strawberry puree and then stir in the cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened and then add the lemon juice and the softened gelatin. Continue stirring until all the gelatin is dissolved. Chill until thickened but not set.

In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until it reaches soft peaks and then slowly mix in the sugar while whisking at high speed until you get a glossy meringue. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks. Fold the meringue into the chilled strawberry mixture followed by the whipped heavy cream.

At this stage, you can fill the tart shells with the strawberry cream chiffon filling and decorate as you desire. :)

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