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