I saw some beautiful daisy mandarins at the market a while back. They were lovely and small with a beautiful colour, but what really sold me on them was that they had a lovely tasting skin. It’s not often you get that in a citrus, but it made me think I could do something exciting with them. In the end, I poached most of them in a simple sugar syrup, and put them in the fridge. The syrup had a wonderful rich fragrance that I wanted to be able to make the most of. I had been toying with the idea of pairing them with a rich bitter chocolate cake, but wasn’t quite decided. At ten o’clock last night, I remember it was my turn to bring something for morning tea at the office. It’s occasions like that I’m incredibly glad I keep a box of Careme Traditional Pastry in the freezer. The pickings were slim in the pantry, but I had half a block of chocolate, cocoa, some whole almonds, butter sugar and eggs. Of course, I also had the poached mandarins in the fridge. I whizzed up the almonds to make meal, and magic-ed the whole lot into this great chocolate frangipane tart with mandarins. It was a great success.
|Careme Traditional vanilla bean shortcrust pastry|
|5||free range eggs|
|75||grams||dark chocolate, melted|
|4||poached mandarins in syrup|
|thick cream, to serve|
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
Line a 23 centimetre loose bottomed flan tin with pastry, line with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake according to the directions on the packet. Remove from the oven, remove the beads and paper and allow to cool.
Beat the butter and icing sugar till pale and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, incorporating fully after each addition. Beat in the cocoa and melted chocolate. When combined, fold through the flour and ground almonds. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and spread to fill. Slice the mandarins (reserving the poaching liquid) and arrange on top of the filling. Bake at 180oC for 30 minutes, or till the filling is set all the way through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Transfer the mandarin syrup to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer till reduced to a thick syrup. Allow to cool before brushing on top of the tart.
Serve the tart at room temperature with a dollop of cream.