"This sablée is incredible versatile to use in place of any regular sweet shortcrust. What makes it different from a regular shortcrust (apart from the cocoa) is the addition of the hazelnut meal which gives it more depth and richness. The sharpness of the passionfruit curd contrasts wonderfully with the earthy richness of the sablée, and the addition of the lavender cream gives this dish a lovely hint of summer perfume. " Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co.
Cocoa hazelnut pastry (pâte sablée)
- 90 g raw caster sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) hazelnut or almond meal
- 130 g plain flour
- ¼ cup (60 g) Dutch process cocoa or good quality baking cocoa
- 1 generous pinch of salt
- 100 g unsalted butter, room temperature, diced 2 cm
- 1 egg
- 4 eggs (or 2 eggs and 2 yolks which will give you a brighter colour)
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp wheaten cornflour
- ⅓ cup fresh passionfruit pulp
- ⅓ cup blood orange juice and zest
- 150 g unsalted butter, chilled in the freezer
- 250 ml thickened cream
- ½ tsp dried lavender buds
- 25 g icing sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 30 minutes
Chilling time 15 minutes
To make the sablée, combine all the dry ingredients in a medium-large mixing bowl, then break small chunks of butter into the flour mixture. Rub vigorously with your hands until you achieve a sandy consistency. Add the egg and rather than knead, use a gathering, squeezing action to bind the mixture into a ball. Turn and knead about 4 times to smooth the dough out, then quickly shape it into a disk, cover it with cling wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can pulse the dry ingredients and butter (should be chilled in this instance) until a sandy consistency, add the egg and pulse until the mixture starts to pull away from the sides and gathers into a single mass.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan-forced.
Roll the dough out between 2 pieces of baking paper (don’t be afraid to dust with small amounts of flour but frequently - a sablée is one of the stickiest pastries around) to a 3 mm thickness and cut to fit 10 cm round tart tins, line about 10 tins with the pastry taking care to tuck pastry into the corners. Don’t worry if the pastry starts to fall apart or tears - it’s very forgiving, simply press smaller pieces into any holes or cracks and it will bake out. Prick the base of each tart shell evenly with a fork, rest in the freezer for 10–15 minutes before placing tins on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10–15 minutes. If the tart shells emerge from the oven with a few bubbles, immediately press them down with a spatula while the pastry is hot and malleable. Cool a little before de-moulding and cool completely before using.
To make the curd, beat the eggs, sugar, salt and wheaten cornflour with an electric cake mixer, in a medium mixing bowl until combined. Add the passionfruit pulp, orange juice and zest and whisk briefly to combine.
In a heavy-based non-stick saucepan on low-medium heat, cook the curd mixture stirring continuously until you can see small whisps of steam rising (see Note). Start adding a few cubes of butter at a time and only add more when each batch has dissolved. You will notice the curd getting thicker with each addition. Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the curd into clean sterilized glass jars, seal and invert until completely cool before refrigerating. The curd will keep nicely in the fridge for up to 2 months.
To make the lavender cream, warm the cream and lavender in a small saucepan (don’t boil). Remove from the heat and allow the cream to chill in the fridge. When chilled, pass the infused cream through a sieve to remove the lavender buds, add the icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a round 2-3 mm nozzle. Refrigerate until required.
To assemble, spoon enough curd to fill the tart shell halfway up the sides. With the lavender cream, pipe whatever design you wish on the surface of the curd. Serve immediately.
• Do not allow the mixture to boil or even bubble a little or you will split (curdle) the mixture. If you do notice the mixture has split (it will look dotty), immediately transfer it to a mixing bowl and beat on high speed with an electric cake mixer - this will cool the curd down and hopefully return it to a smooth consistency.
This recipe is from Poh & Co.