Cottonrake, on Great Western Road, has a sweet selection like few others and its proper croissants set it above every other local competitor. But nearly every time I go in there, I can’t help but get a white chocolate and raspberry tart. And it’s so good that despite its relative largeness I might go back and get another to take away. Then eat it on the 10-minute walk home. Sometimes I think I might have a problem. But then I remember you cannot have too many tarts.
The simplicity of this tart is where it triumphs in both flavour and in our ability to replicate it at home. Pastry. Raspberry Jam. Ganache. That’s it. Now, the words ‘pastry’ and ‘ganache’ may well put you off, but please don’t worry. I’m not going to tell anyone if your pastry comes from a packet (and you shouldn’t either). And ganache? That’s just chocolate and double cream, mixed. There’s nothing here you can’t do. Or at least, there’s nothing here that can’t be hidden by a little dusting of icing sugar.
Into a large bowl, weigh your flour. Weigh your butter, then chop this up into squares and add this too. Rub these together with your fingers (or a food processor) until they have the appearance of breadcrumbs.
Add your cold water and use a butter knife to mix everything together, gently. Use your hands to bring the pastry into a rough dough (don’t knead or overmix) then wrap this in cling film and place it in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. This will relax the gluten and give you a crumblier pastry. You can leave it here for up to 2 days, or freeze it.
At this point, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Look out and grease 6 individual metal tart tins with loads of butter. If they’re quite big, you might only get 4 out of this recipe. Alternatively, you could make one big tart.
Remove your pastry from the fridge and place on a floured work surface. Add more flour on top, and then roll it out until it’s the thickness of a £1 coin. I like to use a coin to measure this. Keep the pastry moving all the time and add more flour as necessary to stop it sticking.
Cut out circles a bit bigger than your tins and tuck the pastry inside, leaving any excess dangling over the edge. Prick each case all over with a fork.
Place them in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until they’re turning golden. They’re not going to get cooked again so make sure they’re crisp. I’d check them after 10 minutes and push down any bubbles that form, or you could weigh them down with baking beans.
Once done, remove the pastry and leave to cool, before trimming off the overhang with a sharp knife. Spread the bottom of each tart case with a thin layer of jam.
Make the ganache by heating your double cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until it begins to simmer. As it’s heating, break your chocolate into squares and place in a bowl. Pour your simmering cream over your chocolate and mix together gently with a wooden spoon.
To finish, pour your white chocolate ganache into your jammy tart cases and smooth out if necessary. Place them in the fridge to set for 20 minutes or so, and then decorate with a few fresh raspberries. Cover any sins with a dusting of icing sugar.