Additional kitchen equipment
For the shortcrust pastry
125g butter + bit extra
250g flour + bit extra
90g icing sugar
30g almond powder
For the filling
1 vanilla pod
300g dark chocolate
For the preserved kumquats
10cl vino santo*
2cl white wine
40g caster sugar
1/2 red chilli
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
For the Italian meringue
250g caster sugar
125g egg white
1 tablespoon cacao powder
mint and rose petals for the finishing touch
* Vino santo is a Tuscan dessert wine
Additional kitchen equipment
food processor with K-beater and whisk
4 tartlet tins
round pastry cutter, the size of the tartlet tin
2 sieves (large and smaller size)
Wash the kumquats and cut in two. Remove the pips. Add the kumquats to a saucepan together with the rest of the kumquat ingredients: vino santo, white wine, sugar, honey, the red chilli (cut into rings), the peeled and sliced ginger, cinnamon stick and star anise. Bring it all to the boil and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. Ladle the mixture in preserving jars, seal well, plunge into a pot of water at 95C and leave them there for 50 minutes. Allow the preserved kumquats to cool before use.
Add the butter with the icing sugar and the almond powder into the food processor bowl and mix using the K-beater*. Include the egg as well and keep mixing. Finally add the flour. When all ingredients have been mixed well, divide the dough into small batches and leave to set in he fridge (a minimum of 2 hours). Melt the extra bit of butter and use it to grease the tartlet tins.
* The K-beater – what’s in a name – is a food processor attachment that is shaped like a K or a butterfly. It is used to make smooth dough.
Dust the baking tins with a bit of flour, removing the excess flour. Dust your working surface with some flour as well and thinly (0.5 centimeter) roll out the shortcrust pastry.
Cut out round shapes and put those in the tartlet tins. Put some baking parchment into the pastry cases and add some baking beans to blind-bake the dough at 180C for 12 minutes. Once the dough is cooked, leave to cool.
In the meantime you can make the filling. Half the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the vanilla seeds. Put the cream and the glucose in a saucepan, add the emptied vanilla pod and the seeds and bring to the boil. Pour the hot liquid onto the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Keep stirring regularly and leave the mixture to cool down a bit.
Pour the chocolate in the tartlet tins and put those in the fridge allowing them to cool and firm up. Bring out the food processor bowl and the whisk. Make sure there are no traces of any fat left on the food processor parts. In the meantime boil the sugar and the water at 118C.
Whisk the egg whites at high speed. Then drizzle in the boiled sugar with the egg white. Continue to whisk until you get a nice stiff meringue.
Once the pastry cases have cooled down, take them out of the tins, divide between the plates and finish with the kumquats that were left to drain on a sieve. Garnish with some mint leaves, rose petals and finish with a bit of meringue on top. Put some cacao in a sieve and sift it over the meringue.