Spring has arrived and rhubarb is finally in season! I've never tasted raw rhubarb before so out of curiosity I bit into one and it wasn't a particularly pleasant experience. On its own, rhubarb is very sharp and tangy but when transformed (into a compote or pie etc.), it's surprisingly delicious.
Something as sharp as the rhubarb deserves to be paired up with something sweet - white chocolate. A white chocolate ganache tart can be sickeningly sweet, but the sharpness of the rhubarb from the puree in the ganache and the compote on the side helps to balance the flavours. And as an added bonus, the gorgeous natural pink from the rhubarb makes the tart aesthetically pleasing.
You may notice that the rhubarb compote in this recipe is not cooked on the stove, but in the oven. This is because I prefer to have the rhubarb keep its shape instead of having a compote that resembles a mushy pulp. The recipe below makes a jar of compote and its use is not limited to just this tart. The compote pairs well with icecream, crumble, pancakes, breakfast yogurt and granola, cake, trifle, overnight oats and cocktails among other things.
Rhubarb White Chocolate Tart
(makes two 16cm x 2cm tarts)
Pâte Sucrée aux Amandes (Sweet Almond Pastry Dough)
125g - Butter
50g - Caster sugar
1/2 Lemon zest
5g - Vanilla extract
50g - Egg
2g - Salt
200g - Plain flour
40g – Ground almonds
~ In a bowl, cream butter and sugar with a whisk till pale and fluffy (or with a paddle attachment in the stand mixer).
~ Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
~ Add in the egg and mix well.
~ Sieve the flour, ground almonds and salt. Add to the mixture and combine with a dough scrapper (or on low speed on the mixer) until it forms a ball.
~ Knead the dough by hand a few times before flattening the dough into a disc (if not using mixer).
~ Cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before use.
Blind Baking A Tart
~ Preheat the oven to 180°C.
~ Remove from the fridge and knead the dough slightly to make it more pliable. Lightly dust the table with flour and roll out 2/3 of the dough out to a thickness of 3mm.
~ Place the tart ring on a paper lined tray and line the ring with the dough. (Tip: to transfer the dough from the table to the ring, roll it up around the rolling pin. This prevents the dough from tearing)
~ Dock the tart by pricking the base all over with a fork. Refrigerate again for at least 30 minutes.
~ Trim off the excess dough with a knife or by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the ring. Place two layers of cling film over the tart and fill it with baking beans.
~ Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the baking beans and return the tart to the oven for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Rhubarb White Chocolate Ganache
420g - White chocolate
400g - Rhubarb
56g - Butter (room temperature)
~ Melt white chocolate in a bowl over a hot water bath.
~ In a pan, cook the rhubarb on medium heat till tender. Remove from heat and puree till completely smooth with a blender/ hand blender. Sieve rhubarb puree into a bowl.
~ Combine melted white chocolate and 112g of sieved rhubarb puree. The chocolate tends to seize at this stage so use a hand blender to obtain a well emulsified ganache.
~ When the ganache has cooled (body temperature), add the butter and blend till smooth.
~ Pour into tart shells and allow to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Decorate with berries and serve with rhubarb compote.
I've decorated one tart with blackberries, strawberries, gold dust and little freeze dried strawberry pieces, and the other tart with a shower of crushed freeze dried strawberry through a sieve that resembles pink glitter under the sunlight, and topped it with macerated strawberries and rhubarb in rhubarb cordial.
(with orange, honey and ginger)
400g - Rhubarb
50g - Orange juice
1/2 tspn - Ground ginger
40g - Caster sugar
30g - Honey
~ Preheat oven to 180°C.
~ Cut rhubarb into 1 inch pieces.
~ Combine orange juice, ground ginger and sugar in a bowl.
~ Toss rhubarb in the orange juice. Transfer both rhubarb and juice onto a small tray and drizzle honey over rhubarb.
~ Bake for 30 mins till tender.
~ Serve when cooled or place the rhubarb and syrup in a jar and refrigerate overnight for maximum flavour.