Sydney has a close friend, Brent, who lost his father and mother when he was two; we decided to have him over for Father’s Day. Brent was blessed with friends and family, all whom were willing, able, and ready to help raise him threw his childhood. The honor was bestowed to his God mother and her husband. They loved him as if he was their own. As Brent loves to boast, his God mother was an angel, however the worst baker in the world. Please believe me that is only Brent’s subjective opinion, we have never tried her baked goods. About two and half year ago, when Brent graduated from high school, his adoptive family moved to New Zealand, and he began college in the United States.
Brent is addicted to chocolate and his palate has never experienced a chocolate tart, let alone a ricotta crème tart. This year for Father’s Day we invited him to join our celebration. Since DF, my husband Sydney’s father, also adores anything with chocolate we declared Chocolate Ricotta Crème tart for dessert.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese:
976 grams/4-cups whole milk
220 grams/ 1 cup heavy cream
122 grams/ ½ -cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of two lemons
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
Prepare your mise en place and line a strainer with a cheesecloth and place suspended over a large bowl.
In a 2 quart saucepan gentle bring the milk, cream, and buttermilk to a boil over medium heat. Immediately remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, zest, salt and sugar. Allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes.
Use a large spoon to scoop the solids from the surface into the strainer. Pour the tepid mixture through the lined sieve, allowing the whey to drain through. Allow the cheese to stand at room temperature for 2 hours and press lightly to form a half sphere shape. Turn out onto a plate and cover with wax paper.
Transfer to a covered container to store in the fridge until ready to use. The ricotta is best the same day but will still be good for 2 to 3 days.
220 grams pastry flour
70 grams sugar
50 grams butter, cold and cubed
1 organic lemon, zested
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons water
In the bowl of a food processor pulse the flour about 5 times to aerate, add the sugar pulse about 5 more times. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse about 15 times until the butter resembles peas. Add the egg, salt and zest and pulse till the dough is incorporated.
Use the “dump and form method.” Pat the dough into a disk, wrap with film, and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Once the dough has rested roll out on a lightly floured surface to designed tart shape.
Chocolate Ricotta Filling:
170 grams/6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona chopped
424 grams/15 ounces homemade milk ricotta cheese, or drained whole milk ricotta store bought ricotta cheese
226 grams/ 8-ounces crème Frâiche
50 grams/ 1/4 cup 3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ -teaspoon pure almond extract
¼ -teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites
60 grams/ 1/3 cup superfine sugar
In a baine-marie or double boiler melt the bittersweet chocolate, set asides, and allow the chocolate to become room temperature.
In the bowl of a food processor add ricotta cheese, crème frâiche, egg yolk, so grams/ ¼ -cup sugar, orange zest, almond extract, cinnamon, and salt pulse until smooth creamy. Add the cooled chocolate and pulse a few more times until all the ingredients are completely combined.
Using a hand mixer beat the egg whites till foamy and slowly add superfine sugar until firm peaks form.
Fold the French meringue, in three batches into the chocolate mixture.
Pour the chocolate filling into tart pans.
Bake in preheated oven at about 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set, but still has a slight jiggle. Decorate with piping bag and tube of choice.
Since Father’s Day is still about four days away, I cannot tell you if Brent liked the Chocolate Ricotta Crème Tart, but we loved the trial run! There are some profound benefits to being the pastry chefs!
Happy Father’s Day!