Chocolate, beetroot and milk crunch
3 large beetroot (about 450g), juiced
1 large beetroot (about 150g), skin removed and retained
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 cup thickened cream
2 vanilla pods, split and seeds scraped
1 cup almond meal
1 cup plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt flakes
70g unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
¼ cup caster sugar
1 cup thickened cream
1 cup milk
1 cup chocolate drops (70% cocoa)
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons self-raising flour
3 tablespoons milk powder
2 tablespoons oat bran
100g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons caster sugar
pinch of sea salt flakes
100g white chocolate, finely chopped
Bring the beetroot juice to the boil in a small saucepan, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, until it begins to thicken and reduce by two-thirds. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
To make the pastry, combine the almond meal, flour, baking powder, vanilla seeds, sugar, a pinch of salt and butter in a food processor until the mixture comes together as a ball of dough. Shape into a disc then wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 170ºC. Grease an 18cmx18cm tin and line two baking trays with paper.
Roll dough on a lightly floured surface until 3mm thick and use to line the prepared tin. Do not be too concerned about perfecting the pastry lining around the edges of the tin as later we will cookie cut the chocolate and pastry so you can see the two layers.
Place a sheet of baking paper on the pastry and top with baking beads or uncooked rice or lentils. Blind-bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 140ºC.
To make the chocolate cremeux, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and thick. Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Turn heat down until mixture is simmering. Pour one ladle of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, repeat this process twice more. At this stage you have tempered the egg mixture and you can incorporate the sweetened egg yolks into the cream. Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the hot cream, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk over the heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Place the chocolate drops in a large bowl and pour on the hot custard. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted. Allow to cool. Pour the cremeux onto the pastry. Refrigerate for 2 hours to set.
To make the milk crunch, in a large bowl, combine the flour, milk powder, oat bran, butter, sugar and salt. Using your fingers, rub all the ingredients together until you have a crumb-like texture. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over one of the prepared baking trays. Bake for 3 minutes, stir and shuffle the tray, then return to the oven and repeat 3 times until you have a golden crumb. Allow to cool. Melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Pour over the crumb, stir to combine and freeze until set. Break into small clusters and return to freezer. Reduce oven temperature to 110ºC.
Lay beetroot peelings in a single layer on the remaining prepared baking tray. Sprinkle with the sugar and bake for 35-45 minutes until the crisps shrivel and begin to curl at the edges. Allow to cool and crisp.
Divide the cream between two bowls. Whip one to soft peaks with the vanilla seeds and the other to soft peaks with 2 teaspoons of beetroot reduction. Spoon creams into piping bags and put in fridge.
Press an 8cm cookie cutter into the cremeux and pastry, then carefully push the tart up and through the cutter and place in the middle of a serving plate. Repeat so you have four tarts. Pipe one small swirl of vanilla cream on each tart and then pipe two large beetroot cream swirls. Top with beetroot crisps and surround the tart on one side with milk crunch.
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