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
160g self raising flour
1 and 1/2tsp baking powder
50g chocolate melted
30g cocoa powder
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.
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.
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.
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!