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Passion fruit, pecan and caramel tart

It’s winter. It’s so cold that I am cold even at home, with a blanket and the heating on. And yet sometimes I receive rescue tropical fruit and when I do, I am torn between the desire to eat it fresh and to bake with it. Usually I manage to do both things, but with passion fruit it’s so difficult, because each fruit carries a tiny amount of pulp. I used quite a few for this recipe and I am glad I did, because the passion fruit cuts through the chocolate and the caramel without being overwhelmed by these strong flavours.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe and try it! I used a 15cm cake tin because I wanted the pastry to go all the way up, as this tart is quite filled with things (and quite filling too!). The tart is composed of:

  • pecan sablee crust
  • chocolate sponge cake
  • caramel layer
  • passion fruit cremeaux
  • passion fruit gel
  • tempered chocolate decorations

Ingredients and Recipe

Pecan sablee crust 

160 g flour

100 g butter – it should be cold and cubed, I usually like the vegan block one for this kind of pastry because it’s harder and works better 

60 g icing sugar

40 g pecan flour

Pinch of salt

40g melted dark chocolate 

push the butter in the icing sugar and flour to incorporate well. Add the other dry ingredients and mix. Melt the chocolate at 45C in the microwave or with the double boiler system. Once melted, pour in the crust mixture and combine well. When the dough comes together in a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap with cling film or a reusable ziplock bag and let in the fridge to set for 1h.

Roll out your pastry and line your tin. Usually I roll it 3mm thin, but for this I kept 3mm for the bottom of the tart and 4mm for the sides: this tart has to carry a lot of weight so it needs some reinforcement. Freeze for 30′.

Preheat oven at 160C fan. Blind bake for 15′ and then keep caking for 20 minutes at 150C fan. Once out of the oven and cooled, brush with melted dark chocolate, so that the shell will be more resistant to the layers’ fillings. 

Chocolate cake  (2 thin layers)

70ml vegetable oil 

100g  sugar

160g self raising flour

1 and 1/2tsp baking powder

50g chocolate melted

30g cocoa powder

200mlhazelnut milk

15g apple cider vinegar

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Melt the chocolate and pour it in the dry ingredients, whisking quickly, then pour the wet ingredients in the dry ones, whisk well to combine but without overmixing and pour in your greased and lined cake tin.

Bake at 160C static for 40-50 minutes.

Caramel layer (between the chocolate sponges)

140 g Coconut sugar (it will give a oomph to the caramel flavour!)

272 g heavy cream 

20 g agave syrup

80g vegan white chocolate

80g rice milk chocolate

48 g soft butter, to room temperature 

Place 1/3 of the coconut sugar in a saucepan over low-medium heat and wait until it’s dissolved without stirring. Do not leave too long on the heat because it might become bitter, due to its unrefined nature. Add another third of the sugar. Stir to combine and put back on the heat without stirring. Repeat this for the rest of the sugar. 

In the meanwhile, heat the heave cream and the agave syrup. 

When the sugar is melted, remove from heat and pour on the warm cream. Do this in three batched and stir well to combine. The cream you will obtain has to be smooth. Pout on heat and keep cooking until the caramel reaches 104 C (when I did this, my thermometer was broken so I patiently waited for it to become bubbly, but I wouldn’t recommend to do this as it feels very risky and could end in utter disaster!). Do not over worry if the mixture is not 100% smooth at the beginning, when it will heat up everything will be melted and silky if things have been done right. 

Chop the chocolate and let sit in a bowl. Once the caramel and cream mixture is ready pour in on the chocolate (use a sieve to avoid any potential solids to end in there). Once the chocolate is melted, transfer to a blending glass and emulsify. Add the butter when the cream has cooled down to approx. 35C and emulsify. Transfer to a baking dish and then cover with cling film touching the surface. Let set in the fridge for about 2 hours. 

Pineapple layer:

200g pineapple sliced

50g brown sugar

1 tsp tamarind paste

Cook the pineapple with the brown sugar and the tamarind paste until well coated and caramelised. Set aside until ready to assemble.

Tamarind almond crème “anglaise” (for the the crémeux, see next step)

60 g unsweetened almond milk 

60 g vegan heavy cream/ top part of the can of coconut milk after a night in the fridge

20g g cornstarch

22 g coconut sugar

1 tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp turmeric

Warm the milk and the cream with the tamarind and the vanilla, then pour on the cornstarch and coconut sugar and turmeric, whisk well and return to heat. Keep whisking until slightly thick and creamy. Set aside, covering with cling film touching the top to prevent the skin from forming.

Passion fruit and chocolate crémeaux

110 g almond crème anglaise 

110 g passion fruit puree

30 g agave syrup

50 g white chocolate

70 g toffee vegan chocolate

2.5 g agar agar + 22 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets

Revive the agar agar with the cold water, in the meantime melt the chocolates (double boiler, or 45C). 

Heat together the passion fruit puree with the agave on a low flame, this doesn’t have to boil. 

Add the agar to the 110g of crème anglaise and stir until it is completely dissolved. Add the warm  puree to the crème anglaise and stir well to combine. 

Add the mixture to the melted chocolate pouring it in 3 batches. Keep stirring with a rubber spatula to ensure that the mixture comes out silky and smooth. Once incorporated well, transfer to a mixing glass and use a blender to emulsify. 

Assemble:

divide the cake in two horizontally and place the first sponge layer in the tart shell. Pour the caramel on top of that sponge and let set in the fridge for a few minutes before adding the second sponge. Cover the second sponge with the pineapple slices. Pour the cremeaux on the pineapple slices very close to the tart edges.

Let sit overnight in the fridge. 

Decorate

Tempered chocolate decorations: go wild! I piped some swirls in dark chocolate and made some decorations in white chocolate and sprinkled them with turmeric for some colour!

Passion fruit gel

150g passion fruit puree

1.5g agar agar

25g caster sugar

Heat the sugar and the agar with the puree in a saucepan until it reaches 90C. Pour in a jug, wrap in cling film and let rest for a few hours in the fridge.

Pipe on the to cremeaux between the tempered chocolate decorations!

Eat 🙂

By cakefiles

Baking blogger with a particular interest in vegan patisserie.

2 replies on “Passion fruit, pecan and caramel tart”

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