Another creation from my ‘partially-healthy’ series. Ahem. Buttery, crumbly and delicious low-gluten pastry perfectly complements the heavenly salted caramel and milk chocolate mousse. The steps are surprisingly short and simple from minimalist Sadaharu Aoki, famous in Japan and considered one of the great pâtissiers in France. More about him and his cake philosophy later. Anyway, his amazing salted caramel and milk chocolate mousse tart is adapted here for our pleasure and delight. Especially if you have a sweet tooth. Once you look beyond the wonky piping and my tart’s rather homemade ‘rustic’ appearance your taste buds will find it irresistible! 🙂
Warning, warning. Dee do, dee da. When making the mousse do not fold in the whipped cream when the chocolate is too hot – it will become runny. But don’t let the mousse firm too much in the fridge because piping then becomes difficult and it loses ‘air’ and fluffiness. So your mission not impossible is to have a flexible chocolate mousse you can pipe.
The good news
My prototype 1 mousse was a little runny then prototype 2 was lovely but later overfirm. The good news is both were delicious. So even if your mousse isn’t perfect you’ll love your tart.
RECIPE – for a smallish 22cm diametre tart ring/mould
The low-gluten and sugar-free pastry is my invention and perfect for this recipe. It has a lovely flavour and texture and brings a nice ‘healthy’ touch to this tart. lol. Of course you can also make shortcrust pastry with icing sugar, flour and ground almonds as in the original recipe by Sadahoru Aoki in the Fou de Pâtisserie magazine issue no. 4/2014. I adapted his method slightly for the salted caramel and chocolate mousse and also increased the quantity of mousse.
Timings: make the chocolate mousse 3 hours before assembly (20 mins work); make the pastry and blind bake the same day or the previous day and store in an airtight tin (15-20 mins work/30 mins baking); make the caramel 2 hours before assembly (15-20 mins). 50 mins to 1 hour’s work in total.
Low-gluten pastry (it’s a good idea to make double or triple this quantity so you can store some in the freezer for next time)
- 40g/quarter of a cup millet flour
- 48g/quarter of a cup plus 1 tablespoon white spelt flour
- 45g/quarter of a cup white rice flour
- 20g/2 tablespoons and half a teaspoon ground almonds
- 10g/1 tablespoon cornflour/cornstarch
- 22g/1 and a half tablespoons sugar or xylitol sugar substitute or half a teaspoon Stevia
- a quarter teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- a pinch of salt
- 70g/2.5 ounces/a little under a third of a cup cold butter cut into small chunks ((75g/a third of a cup for a crumblier and more buttery texture OR for easier to roll: 65g/a quarter cup and a tablespoon and reduce spelt flour by half a tablespoon; for 75g add half a tablespoon)
- 1 small egg (about 50g) beaten with half a teaspoon cold water
Whisk all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Rub the butter in. Mix in the the egg and water. Knead lightly and quickly. Fraiser. Wrap in plastic film and rest in the fridge for 1 hour then roll out your pastry, line the ring/mould and blind bake till well-browned but not burnt and bitter. For more details see my basics pages on making shortcrust pastry and lining a ring with pastry and blind baking. This pastry is quite delicate so roll it on greaseproof paper lightly dusted with flour so it’s easy to lift, wrap loosely around the roller then unroll over your tart ring/mould. I blind baked the pastry 10 to 15 minutes at around 190°C (static oven) and 170°C (fan-assisted) then uncovered it to continue baking another 15 to 20 minutes at 180°C (static oven) and 160°C (fan assisted), but timings will depend on the thickness of your pastry and your oven. Let the pastry case cool before filling.
- 85g/a third of a cup whipping or double cream (in Spain I use 35% whipping cream)
- 150g/5.3 ounces good-quality milk chocolate (like Lindt)
- 123g/half a cup whipping or double cream (then whip the cold cream to stiff but not dry peaks)
- Break the milk chocolate up into very little pieces and place in a small heatproof bowl. Place over a bain marie until it has almost completely melted. Take off the heat.
- Bring the cream (60g) just to the boil and pour it over the chocolate. Stir to combine till smooth.
- Wait around 10 to 15 minutes till the mixture cools to lukewarm – around 45°C/110°F.
- Meanwhile whisk the 123g of cream to stiff but not dry peaks.
- First stir a tablespoon of the whipped cream into the liquid chocolate and cream, to ‘loosen’ the mixture. Then gently fold the rest of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
- Let the mousse rest in the fridge 3 hours but not too much longer as it becomes more difficult to pipe. Try to have it fairly firm but still flexible.
- 70g/a third of a cup minus 1 tablespoon whipping cream or double cream
- 30g/2 tablespoons semi-salted butter
- 2 vanilla pods (split lengthways, with the seeds scraped out of the pod – use both the pods and seeds)
- 70g/a fifth of a cup/three tablespoons liquid glucose
- 70g/a third of a cup caster/superfine sugar
- Bring the cream, butter, vanilla pods and glucose to the boil in a small saucepan over low heat. Then take off the heat.
- At the same time, in a separate small heavy-based saucepan cook the sugar on medium heat to a dry caramel at 170°C/340°F (for extra tips and photos see my making a dry caramel basics page). It should be foaming and smoking slightly.
- Take off the heat then very slowly and carefully pour the boiling cream mixture into the caramel while whisking constantly. You need to do this little by little or you’ll get a volcanic eruption and lots of spurting lava.
- Once incorporated put back on low to medium heat and whisk constantly till it reaches a temperature of 105°C/220°F. Remove from heat, pour into a small clean bowl and allow to cool before using.
Assembly and storage
Spread the caramel on the base of the tart. Then pipe the chocolate mousse with a number 8 medium nozzle over the caramel in concentric circles. You can sprinkle a little cocoa powder over the tart through a sieve.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days. EAT! 🙂
This Japanese chef pâtissier has set up various Sadaharu Aoki pâtisseries around Paris. Apparently he’s responsible for revolutionising desserts by being the first to introduce Matcha tea, black sesame and red bean into pâtisserie and is generally known for using traditional Japanese ingredients and flavors in French-style pastries. His approach is defined as ‘a combination of minimalistic aesthetics with rigorous French techniques’. He has some amazing reviews on trip advisor and I’ll definitely be sampling his creations in November when I’m in Paris. 🙂
Aoki says ‘I like to create simple things, but it is the most difficult thing to do, since simple things cannot be manipulated’. Which could apply to this salted caramel and milk chocolate mousse tart, deceptively simple but requiring some care. Still, it’s always delicious even when perfection is not attained so don’t hesitate to give it a go! 🙂 It’s so worth it for that ‘hhhmmmm’ ‘yum’ I’m-in-heaven moment. Here’s a little slice for you.
Farewell for now sweet reader and I wish you a simply heavenly week ahead! Happy baking and eating! 🙂 x