I can’t believe that semi-finals week has come and gone and that I only have one back left to do this year. It’s really, really flown by! And I’m extremely happy with the top three bakers going into the finale. I think they are some of the most talented bakers that have ever been on the program.
This week was chocolate week and there was nothing NOT to love. I could have happily eaten any of this weeks challenges. However, the showstopper (chocolate sculpture) would have been a bit too expensive and excessive to make, and whilst I would have loved to have a go at the technical (chocolate souffle), I knew the souffle probably wouldn’t survive all the time and jostling that it takes to do photos for this post.
- 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 140g unsalted butter, cut in cubes
- 2 medium free-range egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter (190 g)
- 115 g of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, sifted
- 2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream, very cold
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (115 g)
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate (130 g)
- crushed peanuts to finish
- Start by preheating your oven to 180 C and lightly greasing your tart pan.
- Sift your flour, icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Rub all the butter in with your fingertips. (It will resemble breadcrumbs at this stage.) Then add in your eggs, lemon juice, and two tablespoons of cold water (or a bit more if that hasn't quite brought the dough together). Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and then place in your tart pan, pressing in place gently. Prick the bottom of your tart lightly with a fork and then place a piece of baking parchment on top of your tart and fill it with baking beans and bake your tart crust for 25 minutes. Then remove your beans and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, set your tart aside to cool.
- To prepare your mousse, place the peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla and milk into a large mixing bowl. Beat it with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add your powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and then set it aside.
- Place whipping cream into a separate mixing bowl. Beat until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks.
- Working in four batches, gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to form a light, airy mousse. Scrape the mousse into a piping bag with a large round tip. Place the mousse into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour before piping into your tart.
- Then make your ganache. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer, remove from the heat. Add the chocolate to the cream and let sit for 5 minutes. Slowly stir the heavy cream and chocolate until they come together and form a shiny ganache. Let it cool. You want the ganache to be pourable but not too warm that it will melt the mousse. Spread it over the mousse and refrigerate until set. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts and serve.
Hopefully, I’ll be up for one last challenge next week!
Our favourites from last week’s patisserie challenge were Angela’s delicious sounding lemon posset with raspberry, and apple crumble and custard cream horns; Hannah’s insanely intricate mokatines (that she was way too hard on herself about); and Ashlyn’s deserves an engineering degree for her religieuse a l’ancienne. Congrats ladies!