Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberry - White Chocolate Mousse Tart

Reasons why this post will be short:
1 - 12 page paper on community interventions for adjudicated youth
1 - 12 page paper on the effects of parental involvement on the academic achievement of ELL students
4 - powerpoint presentations
6 - hours of site visits
2 - school counselor interviews with accompanying summaries in the form of papers
2 - wedding showers
2 - baby showers
1- impending out-of-town wedding that I will be participating in
1 - insane Lego wedding cake that I need to make for another wedding
2 - finals in the six days in between the aforementioned wedding and the aforementioned cake
3- weeks to do it all

Reasons why I made this tart:
1. My husband is a big fan of white chocolate. 
2. Strawberries were on sale for a mind-bogglingly cheap price. 
3. I am a big fan of strawberries.  
4. We had friends coming over.

Reasons why you should make this tart
1. It looks pretty.
2. It is easy to make.
3. It is yummy.  Very, very yummy.

Seriously.  What could be better than two pounds of sweet, juicy strawberries nestled on a cloud of vanilla-scented white chocolate mousse, which itself is nestled inside what is essentially an enormous shortbread cookie receptacle of goodness?

It's a rhetorical question.  Don't try to answer it.

That is all.


Strawberry - White Chocolate Mousse Tart

Tart Crust
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
9 tablespoons butter (very cold and cut into small pieces)
1 large egg yolk

Combine flour and powdered sugar in a bowl, stirring to combine. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients (you can do this with your hands) until the mixture resembles wet sand (the pieces of butter should be no larger than a pea). Stir the yolk to break it up, and add a little of the time, stirring it in with a spatula until the dough forms clumps and curds. Knead the dough lightly just to incorporate any dry ingredients.

Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan. You might want to save a little bit of dough to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before before baking.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Butter the shiny side of some aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against each crust, butter side down. Put the tart pans on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully removie the foil. If the crusts have puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 5 minutes until it is firm and golden brown. Cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

White Chocolate Mousse Filling

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin, sprinkled over 3 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces white chocolate

In a medium bowl, over simmering water, melt the white chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In large bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until very light.
In a large saucepan, bring milk to boil over medium heat. Slowly pour milk over yolks, whisking quickly constantly so the eggs don't curdle. Pour mixture back into saucepan over medium heat and cook until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, mixing continuously. Add softened gelatin and stir until completely melted into the mixture. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.

Stir in the white chocolate and mix until thoroughly combined.

Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into the cooled white chocolate mixture.

Strawberry Topping
2 pounds strawberries, rinsed and halved.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar

Gently toss the berries in the lemon juice and sugar, until evenly coated. Let macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

To Assemble the Tarts

Coat the inside of each tart with some melted chocolate - this will prevent the crust from getting soggy.  Let the chocolate harden.  Spoon the white chocolate mousse and gently spread it to the edges.  Top the tart with strawberries.  Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

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