Fantastiks are riding the new wave of French pâtisserie! They were invented by the renowned pâtissier Christophe Michalak who aimed to create fusion tarts-entremets (layered mousse cakes) that are simpler to make, transport or eat and deliver an explosion of flavours and textures at every bite! His emphasis is on taste rather than decoration but Fantastik tarts still look amazing with a combination of colourful and easy-to-assemble elements. You can customize les tartes Fantastik with any fruit of the season or elements you desire! My invention has a fine sablé shortbread base topped with a slim moist lemon sponge brushed with lemon-mint syrup then a layer of raspberry chia jam. It’s all glutenfree and low sugar, generally sweetened with xylitol, maple syrup or unrefined brown sugar but you can make standard sugar and flour versions. The glazed lemon-lime mint domes on top are interspersed with raspberries filled with leftover glaze and peach balls soaked in the remaining lemon-mint syrup, so you’re recycling and not wasting ingredients or time! To complete the arrangement of dome, ball and raspberry planets there are simple little stars of fresh chantilly cream. Tada! A melba lemon-mint constellation. Or a simply delicious raspberry, lemon and peach Fantastik tart! Worth exploring! 🙂
What first excited me about this tart was the idea of baking the shortbread base lightly then returning to the oven topped with a sponge layer. Nice huh?
Have a look at two earlier prototypes below. They were delicious but the first was a bit cake-like and heavy with rather thick layers. Prototype 2 had overly thin sponge but a lovely crisp base.
In the final version (see ealier photo) both layers are slim so the fruit and other toppings shine. The tastiest seasonal fruit help make this tart special and fresh so I tried fitting lots of raspberries and peach balls on top!
Michalak’s lemon sponge is adapted so it’s glutenfree, sugarfree and soaked with lemon mint syrup; the other elements are based on my own recipes. For more inspiration you can see various Fantastiks in the Michalak Masterbook (in French), with combinations of caramel, strawberries, chocolate, passion fruit, crunchy almond base, choux puffs… The sky’s the limit! It was fun making this one and I love doing the decoration. Want to give one a go? 🙂
Previous day – lemon-lime domes: 10-15 mins work + 20 mins infusing and 10 mins cooling; raspberry jam: 8-10 mins work; pastry: 10-15 mins work. Total: all elements can be prepared together within 1 hour (28-45 mins work).
On the day – baking the pastry: 5-10 mins work; 9-11 mins baking. While pastry’s baking make lemon sponge: 15-20 mins work; 13-18 mins baking. While sponge’s baking make syrup: 5 mins work; 10-15 mins infusing; 2 mins brushing. Waiting: 1-2 hour cooling. Glaze: 5-10 mins work; thickening around 15 mins. Chantilly cream: 5-10 mins. Final assembly: 30-40 mins work. Total: 1 hr 10 mins to 1 hour 50 mins work within about 4 hours.
- 20cm/8in tart ring (or use a traditional tart mould but it could be difficult to unmould).
- Silicone dome moulds, small (24-dome mould, 3cm/1 and 1/4in diametre domes) and medium (8-dome mould, 5cm/2in diametre domes) – can be bought online at Amazon.
- Small melon ball scooper (or cut peach cubes).
- Disposable piping bag and star nozzle.
Raspberry chia jam
You need about 130-150g/half a cup plus 1 or 2 tablespoons easy raspberry chia jam – recipe here from the basics section (halve the quantities) or shop-bought raspberry jam.
Lemon-lime mint curd domes
Makes 2 medium domes and 9 – 12 small ones
- 25g/ml (1 tbsp + 2 tsp) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 25g/ml (1 tbsp + 2 tsp) freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 50g/2 and 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3g/scant 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 60g beaten free-range egg (1 medium-large egg)
- 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 1 tsp water to dilute
- 45g/3 tbsp good-quality unsalted butter
Follow the illustrated recipe:
Sablé shortbread base
- 50g/3 and 1/2 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
- 75g/1/2 cup + 2 tbsp self-raising gluten-free flour (I used Doves Farm), or standard plain flour
- 1/3 tsp (1g) glutenfree baking powder – if making with plain flour use 2/3 tsp (3g) standard baking powder
- 1/5 tsp (1g) fine sea salt
- 13g egg yolk (about 2/3 of a yolk – 1 yolk less 1 tsp)
- 33g/2 tbsp + 2 tsp light brown sugar
Make a ball of sablé pastry following the illustrated recipe but with the quantities shown above. For detailed instructions see sablés bretons in my basics section here.
Use a tart ring lightly greased with butter inside and placed on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Option A (when dough’s too thick to pipe): rest the ball of shortbread in the fridge overnight. Next day sprinkle little pieces in the tart ring then spread to an even layer with the back of a metal tablespoon or offset spatula. Chill in the fridge 2 hours.
- Option B: once the dough’s made immediately put in a disposable piping bag and cut off a small tip. Pipe very thin concentric circles of the pastry in the tart ring then spread to make an even layer with the back of a metal tablespoon or offset spatula. Chill in the fridge overnight.
While the shortbread’s baking (or start 10-15 mins before) prepare the lemon sponge.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (fan/convection oven) or 200°C/400°F (static/non-convection)
Bake the shortbread base 9-15 mins until light golden in colour (it goes back in the oven covered with sponge) or until a medium brown colour so it will look almost overdone later but is delicious and crispy (I prefer this, as in thin prototype 2). Next time I’m leaving it around 13-15 mins and not 10-12. Timings depend on your oven and taste.
Take out of oven, keeping on the tray. Lower the oven temperature to 160°C/320°F (fan/convection oven) or 180°C/350°F (static/non-convection) to bake the sponge that will cover this base.
- 36g/1/4 cup + 2 tsp gluten-free self-raising flour (or standard all-purpose flour)
- 9g/1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1/3 tsp baking powder (3/4 tsp if using standard all-purpose flour)
- pinch of salt
- 37g beaten egg (about 2/3 of a medium-large egg)
- 60g/1/4 cup + 3 tsp ground xylitol (to texture a bit finer than caster sugar, almost powdered). Or use caster/superfine sugar.
- 25g greek-style yoghurt (or heavy cream)
- 1 tsp zest of lemon (1 lemon)
- 1 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 15g/1 tbsp + 3/4 tsp 4º cold-pressed olive oil (or some other vegetable oil)
Lemon mint soaking syrup
- 30g/ml (2 tbsp) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 10g/ml (2 tsp) mineral water
- 10g/ml (1/2 tbsp) maple syrup (or honey)
- 2g/scant 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed then dried in a towel
- Whisk the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl to combine.
- Whisk the egg, xylitol (or sugar) and lemon zest in a medium bowl over a bain marie (1cm/1/3in slightly simmering water in a saucepan). You can also whisk it cold but it’s faster with heat.
- Whisk until pale and doubled in size. Don’t let it get too hot (maximum 45ºcelsius). Take off heat and whisk until the bottom of the bowl feels cool to touch.
- Whisk in the greek yoghurt and lemon juice.
- Slowly stir in the flour with the whisk until just combined. Don’t overwork.
- Slowly stir in the oil until just combined.
- Pour over the shortbread base in the tart ring.
- Spread to an even layer with the back of a metal tablespoon or small offset spatula.
- Bake 13-20 minutes until golden – an inserted skewer should come out clean.
- While the sponge is baking make the lemon-mint syrup. Heat the water, lemon and maple syrup in a small saucepan until it just simmers. Take off the heat and add the mint leaves. Cover to infuse 10 mins or more.
- When the sponge is out of the oven immediately slide it (with the baking paper) off the baking tray and onto a wire rack. Slide a sharp knife around the sides to help loosen and take the ring off.
- Leave to cool at room temperature 1-2 hours before decorating.
- simple glaze – shop-bought or use my mirror glaze basics recipe here, making half the quantity: 33g (2tbsp + 1 and 1/2 tsp) caster/superfine sugar, 33g/ml mineral water and half a sheet gelatine (1g). While it’s thickening in the fridge do step 1 and the cream.
- chantilly cream – pour 80-100ml/g whipping cream into a medium bowl and place in fridge. When cold whisk to very soft peak then gradually whisk in 8-10g (1 and 1/2 to 2 tsp) caster/superfine sugar. It should be stiff peak and hold its shape but don’t overwhisk to butter stage..(!)
- Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam (130-150g/about 1/2 cup) on the sponge
- Unmould the domes and place in the freezer.
- Set up a wire rack over a clean baking tray.
- Take out 5 domes, place on the rack and spoon the glaze over them. Make sure the glaze is runny enough to cover them evenly with no lumps. If it’s too gloopy and thick then heat the glaze a little over the stove or bain marie until it’s runny again (stir – don’t whisk). Immediately lift each one carefully with a small offset spatula (or similar utensil) and place on your tart.
- Repeat step 4 until all your domes are glazed, scraping out the glaze from the baking tray to re-use and spoon over the domes when needed.
- Peel 2 large yellow peaches and scoop out semi-spheres with a small scooper. They can be all the same size or varied (using both scooper ends). Soak in the remaining lemon mint syrup.
- Place on the tart.
- Place the fresh raspberries on the tart. Fill them with drops of leftover glaze (using the small scooper end).
- Pipe chantilly cream stars to fill gaps between the fruit and domes.
- Decorate with mint leaves if you like.
Eating and storing
Store in airtight tupperware in the fridge and eat within 3 days – it’s best during the first two days and the third it’s fine but softer.
Perhaps you’d like a colourful slice of Fantastik tart à la raspberry, lemon and peach?
Another slice? 😉
Or invent your own tarte Fantastik! Any ideas?
For now farewell again dear sweet eater! Wishing you a fantastikally creative week with more happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x
p.s. Off to Paris soon (yay!) – will do cake research and attend two Michalak baking workshops!! Will let you know how it goes and what we learn. 🙂