These tarts look and taste like Spring. There’s a lovely balance of flavours between the ginger, lime and mint encased in beautifully tasty gluten-free buckwheat pastry. Even traditionalists might not miss the meringue topping once they enjoy that unmistakeable soft springy texture of fluffy marshmallows. The fresh zingy flavours take you to cloud number nine and the optional sliced candied kumquats and violet sage flowers can elevate your tarts to fashion models. Um, all hail these ginger and lime marshmallow cloud tarts? 🙂
Later we’ll also be looking at the April cake collection in the new monthly (not weekly) baking roundup. But first…
What’s in a cake name?
A Cordon Bleu pastry chef once said we should create poetic names for our cakes to ‘catch our customers’ imagination’. But a blogger at a workshop said we shouldn’t be too poetic with our post titles or names otherwise people searching online for our cake would never find it. You can see the dilemna.
Well these creations aren’t being sold but they look poetic so I’m calling them ‘cloud tarts’. Hopefully they won’t become virtually invisible. Maybe you have lovely names for your cakes? Do let me know. And now let’s make these cuties.
THE RECIPE (enough for 8 – 9 tarts made with tart rings of diametre 8cm/3in and height 2.4cm/1in)
These tarts are an adaptation of my original ginger and mint lime pies. There were egg yolks, mint and limes left over from making mojito macarons. So to avoid using egg whites for the tart topping (which would lead to a whole new group of yolks hanging around) I used marshmallows instead. And then a deconstructed dessert from the new leftovers was created. Yup, everything gets eaten here! 🙂
And the sage flowers? Well, my mother was over visiting me here in Barcelona and giving my balcony a makeover to make sure my plants don’t all die (story of my life). So suddenly I have mint and flowers and I’m thinking hey ho, stunning cakes decked in colourful blooms as seen on Instagram. Enter my little violet sage flowers – I’m starting small and simple. Um less is more?
If you use sage flowers you should delicately extract the pollen stems from the middle. I’ve read they can provoke allergies and in fact when I ate them with the stems they were tastier but left a slightly strange sensation in my mouth. The stemless flowers are more neutral in flavour – hurray or aw, depending on how you look at it.
Most of my friends enjoyed the soft fluffy marshmallow topping. I find them not too sweet and obviously very fast and convenient but you can whip up Italian meringue topping if you prefer (see the original pie recipe). Oh and I blowtorched some marshmallows as an experiment but didn’t find it that great tastewise or visually. Also if you don’t want to line French tart tins you can use any standard tart tins or a big one. Here’s some I made but overloaded with marshmallows after a friend’s comment on wanting more cloud. Oops.
Timings – make the pastry cases first, the day before if you like (store in an airtight metal tin or baking paper then aluminium foil) and also macerate the 4g (about 1/8oz or 1 good handful) fresh mint in the 100ml/g lime juice 2 hours before making the filling.
Making pastry and lining tart moulds: 20 minutes’ work. Blind baking: 10-20 minutes. Making filling: 5-10 minutes. Chilling: 1 hour. Marshmallow topping: 5-10 mins. Total amount of work: 30-40 mins.
Buckwheat pastry cases
- Dry ingredients
- 225g buckwheat flour (or half buckwheat flour and half plain flour for a lighter pastry)
- 1 teaspoon (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons) ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon stevia (or 45g icing sugar)
- 135g unsalted butter (cold and cut into small pieces)
- 45g egg yolks (from around 2 medium-sized/large eggs) whisked with 1 tablespoon ice cold water (15g)
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips till your mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the yolks/water until starting to come together and tip onto your clean work surface. Fraiser (rub with the palm of your hand on the worktop) quickly and just once or twice and bring the dough together in a ball. Cover in plastic film and keep in the fridge between 30 minutes to 1 hour. For photos, videos and more details please see Making shortcrust pastry in my basics section.
Lightly butter your tart rings/tins. After the pastry has rested in the fridge roll it out quite thinly (between 1 and 3mm) and fill tart tins or rings. For more detailed instructions please see Lining a French tart tin and blind baking in my basics section. Prick the tart rings all over with a fork and freeze for around 1 hour (note: freezing helps them keep their shape so you don’t need to fill with paper and baking beans when blind-baking). Bake in a pre-heated oven about 10-20 minutes until a good light to medium brown all over. The pastry cases should be brown underneath too and fully baked (apparently buckwheat can be bitter if not properly baked). But keep a close eye on them and don’t let them get black and burnt.
Filling – for photos and extra details see the recipe on my Ginger and mint lime pie.
- 100ml/g freshly-squeezed juice of lime (about 3 or 4 limes)
- 6g (about 1/5oz or 2 good handfuls) mint leaves, washed then dried in a clean tea towel and torn into pieces by hand. – use two thirds (4g/1/8oz) to macerate in the juice and keep one third (2g/1/16oz) to sprinkle on top.
- finely grated zest of 3 limes (half in the juice, half to sprinkle on top)
- 200g/7oz sweetened condensed milk (skimmed is possible, it just won’t be so thick)
- 45g egg yolks (about 2 and 1/4 yolks from medium-large eggs)
- 150ml/g 35% cold whipping cream (or double cream)
- 35-45g/a few tablespoons pieces of chopped crystallised ginger or stem ginger drained of syrup (use either or a combination)
- 16-24 fluffy white marshmallows (about 2 or 3 for each tart), cut in half horizontally and some cut again vertically
- 10-12 candied kumquats, about 1 to 2 per tart and thinly sliced
- the lime zest and mint (chopped finely) left from making your filling (see above)
- 8 violet flowers from a sage plant (remove the pollen stems) or another kind of edible flower
And if you have leftover lime cream and other bits and pieces you can make… deconstructed ginger and lime cloud tarts! Just place a layer of crumbled digestive biscuit (graham cracker) and some chopped candied ginger over the lime cream then top with your other elements. Delicious! Actually if you don’t want to make pastry just make this version. Deconstruction is all the rage. Even the famous pâtissier Christophe Michalak does it and charges top prices for his creations. So why not… ?!
Eating and storing
Try to eat the tarts one to two hours after making or on the same day (especially for a dinner party). Store in an airtight container in the fridge. The pastry will be softer on Day 2 or 3 but they’ll still be delicious. The deconstructed version could last better and be very welcome after Day 3 or 4 when you fancy that tasty zinginess set against the crunchy biscuit (you can assemble it from leftovers on Day 3).
Again, yum. And now for that roundup.
April cake collection
My mum was visiting me in April and we took to the streets on the 23rd to soak in the festival of Sant Jordi, Valentine’s Day here in Catalunya. You can see photos and read more about it on my post from last year for a Sant Jordi fruitcake. Anyway, to celebrate in our own special cake way (lol) we made our first ever romantic rose apple tarts. They were easier than we thought, lovely and very light with gluten-free buckwheat pastry so the recipe will go up this month.
The recipes for my other April bakes are already up on the blog. Like this Masala Chai, raspberry and pistachio cake that was waiting for mum when she arrived from the airport. Yes, she enjoyed it. 🙂
We then made red bean dumplings in ginger broth – so easy, delicious and refreshing.
And we thoroughly enjoyed making and eating our Torta pasqualina, swiss chard pie with quail’s eggs and quark – the result of various yummy prototypes. 🙂
You can probably see a pattern emerging. Um… bake and eat? But we also managed to do some tourist stuff like see the magic fountains at Montjuic (which means mountain of the Jews by the way), hike from Vilanova to Sitges with a group, walk through Collserola park twice up to Mount Tibidabo and .. er… visit a few patisseries like Bubó, Takashi Ochiai, Hoffman’s and Caellum, where all the cakes are made by nuns. If you’re coming to Barcelona we recommend them all. Yum. We also managed some lovely coffee éclairs from Le Petit Gourmet around the corner (but they’re shutting down, snif) and some coca (a pastry dating from medieval times) from a bakery near my work. But for now I’ll share our crazy selfie at the fountains. We’re so bad at them it cracked us up.
April also saw the first two baking workshops I’ve ever given, at Ffloda. It’s a beautiful space and I’ll share the experience with you in a post later this month. Fun and yum! 🙂
And now it’s time to go sweet reader. First I’m going to share these fairly French-looking treats with this month’s Perfecting Patisserie@bakingqueen74. Do visit to look at some wonderful baking. And I’ll just offer you a little Ginger and lime cloud tart. Go on…
I bid you farewell and wish you a lovely week ahead, on a marshmallow cloud of happiness and filled with yummy stuff. Happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x