Yes, I went to the Ruby Chocolate demo, and yes, I pre-ordered a big bag of ruby chocolate, so there are probably going to be a few ruby chocolate recipes on this blog in the near future. For those unfamiliar with ruby chocolate, it’s being hyped as The Newest Chocolate – an entirely separate sort of chocolate to dark, milk or white chocolate, made from a particular variety of red cacao bean, and treated in such a way as to keep its pink colour (though, alas, this denatures pretty fast when exposed to heat – you can’t really use this chocolate in baking and have it retain its colour).
We were informed at the demo that when the first ruby chocolate recipe was tested – this is the recipe for manufacturing the chocolate itself, not recipes made from the chocolate – they decided to reduce the sugar by 9%, because ‘people are more health-conscious these days’. I find this hilarious, because certainly, when I am feeling health conscious, the absolute first thing I do is focus on the sugar levels in my chocolate…
The demonstrator, Kirsten Tibballs, told us that ruby chocolate was more like milk chocolate in its manufacture than other chocolate types. Myself, I find that it tastes closer to white chocolate – but a very tangy, acidic sort of white chocolate. It supposedly has berry overtones, and I can certainly taste that, but I think it also has citrusy overtones, hence my tendency to use it with lemon, a flavour that I normally think tastes terrible with chocolate.
Having said all that… much as I want to love ruby chocolate, I don’t think I’m ever going to be a big fan of it. I like it, in moderation, but it’s a little sweet for my taste, and I’m not sure acidity is what I look for in chocolate. Basically, I’m a dark chocolate girl all the way. But it’s definitely an interesting flavour to play with, and I think it works well here.
This recipe is adapted from a Savour recipe for a Ruby PB&J Tart. I don’t like peanuts, so I replaced them with almonds in the pastry and the crunch, and I took out the peanut and ruby chocolate cream and replaced it with lemon curd, because you can’t really go wrong with lemon curd in a tart. The ruby chocolate whipped ganache is entirely theirs, however.
The results were pretty good – I’ve reduced the sugar in the pastry here, because I found it to be a little on the sweet side (nothing to do with being health-conscious, though, I promise!), and I think if I were doing this again, I’d find smaller tart shell moulds, or give people half a tart each – this made for a pretty enormous dessert.
Having originated as a Savour recipe, this recipe has a lot of parts to it, but the good news is that you can make most of them well in advance. The pastry shells are basically a biscuit crust – you can make them and bake them a couple of days ahead. Lemon curd is happy in the fridge for several days, and you can make the whipped ganache up until the point it needs whipping a day or two in advance, too. The only thing you really have to make just before you use it is the chocolate crunch, but that’s a five minute job. And you should whip the ganache just before putting it on the tarts, but it will sit quite happily on the tart once done – I mean, I have one tart left in the fridge from yesterday, and it’s still fine, so you can safely make this in the morning and serve it in the afternoon.
If you are making the tarts all on the one day, I’d recommend starting the whipped ganache first, because it needs to cool in the fridge for 4-6 hours, or more. Make the pastry while the ganache is cooling. Or, if you are me, take a nap and then make the pastry (it’s been a very long few weeks at work). The pastry needs to sit in the fridge for half an hour, so you can use that time to make the lemon curd, and then get that in the fridge. Then you make the pastry tartlet shells, which are probably the most difficult part of this recipe and definitely the part that takes the longest. Then you make the crunch and spread it over the tart shell bases. Then you put on the broken raspberries. By this time, if you are lucky, the lemon curd will be cooled and set, so you can spoon it over the broken raspberries and add some whole ones. Finally, you whip the ganache and pipe it onto the tarts, hopefully more successfully than I did.
Makes 8 x 12cm tartlets
Your shopping list
250 + 325 g thickened cream
25 g glucose syrup
150 g ruby chocolate
red or pink food colouring
160 g unsalted butter, softened
90g icing sugar
35g ground almonds
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
250 g flour, plus flour for dusting (trust me, you want the flour for dusting, this is sticky)
You need about 1.5 – 2 cups of lemon curd. So you can either make a double batch of my lemon curd recipe, which will leave you with a LOT of egg whites to play with, or you can make a whole egg lemon curd with the following ingredients:
2/3 cup caster sugar
4 lemons (you want 2/3 cup of lemon juice and as much zest as you can get away with)
125 g ruby chocolate
40 g roasted almonds, finely chopped (salted is nice, but I forgot that bit)
40 g almond spread, or any other nutty spread of your choice – mine had almond, cashews and brazil nuts)
300 g raspberries
Now what will you do with it?
First, start on the whipped ganache. This is easy – combine 250 g cream with the glucose syrup in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Pour it over the ruby chocolate in a bowl, and stir until the chocolate melts. Yes, I know, it’s gone beige. This is why there is food colouring in the recipe.
Stir in the rest of the cream, and then add a drop or two of colouring until the ganache is the pink we all deserve. Place some cling-wrap directly onto the surface of the ganache, and put it in the fridge to rest for at least 4 hours.
Now start the pastry. Put the butter, almond meal, salt and sugar in a food processor and mixing bowl, and mix until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix again. Scrape down the sides of the food processor, add the flour, and mix until it just comes together.
Remove the pastry from the food processor and pat into a ball, then press into a fat disc and wrap in cling-wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the pastry is chilling, make the lemon curd. Zest and juice the lemons (you want 2/3 cup of lemon juice, freeze the rest in ice cube trays for later if you have any leftover – but use all the zest!), and put in a microwave-proof bowl with the sugar, and eggs. Whisk together, and add the butter – either in cubes, or melted, depending on how lazy you are feeling.
Microwave at 50% for one minute intervals, stirring every minute or so, until the mixture is doing that alarming thing where it looks like a monster is erupting from the depths. Or alternatively, until it coats the back of the spoon. This took about 7 minutes in my microwave. Put clingwrap on the surface, and refrigerate.
Remove your pastry from the fridge, and divide into eight pieces. If, like me, you only have four tartlet tins, put half of it back into the fridge. Incidentally, non-stick, loose bottomed tartlet tins are your friend here.
Preheat your oven to 170°C.
Sprinkle flour on your rolling surface, and onto the first piece of pastry, and roll out. This is very sticky pastry, so I recommend flipping and turning it after each roll. Roll it out until it’s a circle 5 cm wider than your tin. You want it to be about 2-5 mm thick – which is to say, aim for 2 mm, but this may be an aspirational goal. Place the pastry gently in the tin, pushing it lightly into the corners, and then use a sharp knife to trim the overhang. Prick the base in a few places with a fork to keep it from rising.
Repeat with the rest of the pastry. I never work with pastry, but either this one is fairly easy to manage, or I levelled up at some point without noticing, because this worked unexpectedly easily.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry is looking biscuity and a little golden in places. I found it easiest to put all my tartlet tins onto a large baking sheet, so that I could get them in and out of the oven easily.
Let the pastry shells cool in the tins for about 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove them.
Now you are ready to start assembly! Melt the ruby chocolate in the microwave (50% heat at 1 minute intervals for about 3 minutes), and when melted, stir in the nut butter and the crushed nuts. Divide between the tartlet cases, and spread evenly over the base (and sides, if you can, but I couldn’t).
Pull half the raspberries apart, and divide between the tartlets.
Spoon the lemon curd over the nutty chocolate and broken raspberries, and put a few whole raspberries standing up in the curd.
Whip the ganache – which will take about 1-2 minutes, so don’t wander off to do something else – and pipe it over the curd and raspberries. I say this as though it’s easy, but you should have seen the disasters I had with my piping – wrong nozzle for the occasion, and the results were not pretty!
Decorate with little stars, if you have little stars, and serve!
Ruby chocolate contains milk solids, so this is never going to be a vegan recipe, I’m afraid. If you swap out spelt flour for the plain flour, it is, however, low fructose. I’m not sure how well the pastry would work with gluten-free flour mix, but it might be worth a shot. I’m just really, really bad at pastry, so I don’t want to make any promises.
In terms of flavour, I think strawberries would work well instead of raspberries, and maybe you could swap all the almonds out for pistachios.
But my brain is in that post-conference haze, so that’s all I’ve got for today.