Finding Balance

For me, the most memorable kitchen creations are those which bring together contrasting flavours which balance each other out.  In my constant quest for something a little bit different, I find much inspiration in taking simple recipes to which I can add and subtract flavours, resulting in something exciting with just a few little tweaks to the original recipe.
White Chocolate, Raspberry & Chilli Tart 2

I often find recipes on blogs I love and adapt them (usually by adding spice of some kind!).  The recipe below is adapted from a recipe by my favourite baking blogger – Sprinkle Bakes.  Heather is a true artist and inspires me with everything she makes.  Her Rosewater Gold Tart had been on my ‘to make’ list for ages because it is just so beautiful and simple.  
I’m not a fan of floral flavours and find white chocolate can be overly sweet without some balance, so I opted to add raspberry jam instead of strawberry to add a little tartness.  I also warmed up the raspberry with a touch of chilli.  I think the tang of the raspberry and the heat of the chilli blends well with the sweet white chocolate ganache and rich pastry. For me, the most memorable creations are those which bring together contrasting flavours which balance each other out.
White Chocolate, Raspberry & Chilli Tart

The finished result was beautiful – a crisp golden shell blanketed by the creamy ganache and the bright punch of red jam hidden underneath.  Cutting that first slice was a lovely moment!
White Chocolate, Raspberry & Chilli Tart 3
I used readymade pastry for ease and opted for a decoration of white chocolate stars and freeze-dried raspberries since fresh raspberries are not in season and I wanted something bright on top of the tart.  You could use your own favourite sweet short-crust recipe if you prefer and use pretty much anything you like to top the tart with.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a wonderful start to 2014! xxx
White Chocolate, Raspberry & Chilli Tart 6

White Chocolate, Raspberry & Chilli Tart

350g sweet short-crust pastry (I used the readymade pastry from the supermarket chill section)
300g seedless raspberry jam
350g good quality white chocolate, chopped
150ml double cream
1 teaspoon chilli powder (or less/ more to taste)
To decorate: curled/ grated white chocolate or white chocolate stars & fresh or freeze-dried raspberries (depending on time of year)

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead together slightly. Gather the dough together and form into a ball. Flatten into a rectangle. Press the dough over the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch square tart tin in an even layer with well-floured fingers. Chill the shell for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375F/ 190C/ 170C Fan. Lightly prick the bottom of the shell with the tines of a fork and bake until the sides are set and the edge is golden, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

When the tart shell is cool, beat the raspberry jam with the teaspoon of chilli powder until smooth and well mixed then spread over the crust.  I found that 1 teaspoon of chilli powder gives a subtle kick and touch of heat which is noticeable and cuts the sweetness of the tart without being overpowering but use more or less if you wish.

Combine the white chocolate and double cream in a medium saucepan and melt together over a medium-low heat. Whisk slowly until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Allow the ganache to cool slightly (but not so much that it firms up) and pour the ganache over the jam layer gently.  Place the tart in the refrigerator until the ganache is set.

When the ganache is firm, decorate the tart.  I used white chocolate stars and freeze-dried raspberries but you could use anything – edible stars/glitter/ lustre, grated or curled white chocolate, fresh raspberries or red and pink sprinkles.
White Chocolate, Raspberry & Chilli Tart 5

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