Words: Lili Tu. Photos: Anh Nguyen.
We went to see Van Gogh and the Seasons at NGV last week. It was an amazing experience as we could see not only the artworks but also the insight into the influences that dominate much of his work.
I first knew about him and his paintings when I was 9. We were in Moscow because mum did her PhD research there. I fell in love with the bold colours and expressive brushwork in Van Gogh’s painting the moment I saw his Starry night. He is still my most favourite painter now.
One of Van Gogh’s infamous quotes is “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream”.
I can so much relate to that but with cooking. I also dream of food then wake up cook my dream :)
In fact, the ruby tart, a chocolate tart with a hidden layer of pomegranate jelly and chocolate ganache infused pomegranate molasses, did come from one of the dreams like that. That dream, I think, also started with my love for dark chocolate and pomegranate is my daughter's favourite.
It's actually my biggest accomplishment in the kitchen so far. I won the best chocolate recipe with this tart and it was featured on Feast Magazine many years ago.
Pomegranate is in the season at the moment. So, make this tart now! It’s very time-consuming as you have to wait for each layer to set, but I promise it worths the effort.
6 x 7g gelatine leaves
400ml pomegranate juice
1 egg white
150g milk chocolate, chopped
300ml thickened cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pomegranate seeds, to serve
150g (1cup) plain flour
50g (½ cup) cocoa
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
150g cold butter
100g sour cream
150g premium dark chocolate, chopped
185ml (¾ cup) thickened cream
125ml (½ cup) pomegranate molasses
To make the pastry, sieve flour with cocoa. Process with sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add sour cream. Pulse until mixture just comes together. Knead until just combined. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make jelly, soften 4 gelatine leaves in cold water. Bring 100ml juice to the boil, then remove from heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine and stir into warmed juice until dissolved. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 300ml juice. Transfer to a jug. Refrigerate, stirring every 20 minutes, for 2 hours or until thickened but still pourable.
Preheat an oven tray in the oven to 200C. Roll pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Use to line a 24cm fluted tart pan with removable base. Trim the edge, line with baking paper and fill with rice. Bake on hot tray for 12 minutes, remove rice, and bake for further 12 minutes or until dry. Cool on tray.
Brush pastry with egg white, then pour over jelly mixture. Chill for 4 hours or until set.
To make the mousse, soften the remaining 2 gelatine leaves in cold water. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Bring 100ml cream to a simmer, then remove from heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine and stir into the cream until dissolved. Pour over melted chocolate and combine. Cool slightly. Whisk remaining 200ml cream with the vanilla to soft peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture. Pour over jelly and chill for 1 hour or until the mousse is set.
To make ganache, melt the chocolate in heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir in cream and molasses. Cool slightly. Spread over tart. Top with pomegranate seeds.