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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bourke Street Bakery's Passion Fruit Meringue Tart

Tart 6

Tart 7

Bourke St Collage 2

Bourke St Collage 1

During my previous trip to Sydney, I had lugged back the very hefty but highly raved baking cookbook, Bourke Street Bakery- The Ultimate Baking Companion. Authored by chefs Paul Allam and David Mcguinness, this is possibly one of the most generous and truthful cookbook I have come across in a long time - a true baking bible. The forward by Paul Allam had me totally sold : " Baking is part science, part stoneground milling and part river-running romance. But it's not the romance that will keep your baking consistently good, it's the science."  Inspiring, is also the story about how the 2 friends had come together to set up the landmark bakery in Sydney's Surry Hills. I have great admiration and respect for people who have a strong sense of vision and conviction in what they set out to do. Amidst all the craze for intricate, aesthetically appealing multiple component French pastries, Bourke Street Bakery stayed committed to their vision that a bakery should be small, rustic, homely and comforting. Intrigued by the book itself, I made sure that Bourke Street Bakery would be my die-die-must-go destination when I returned to Sydney again last week. What I found was literally a hole in the wall. There were only a couple of seats in the bakery with hardly enough standing space to spare - as such, a queue is almost consistently spilling out onto the streets. Everything in the shop, from the furniture to the serveware screamed distressed and rustic. As I stared down at my breakfast on the tattered distressed table, I had a strange sense of satisfaction - I felt...almost local. And damn the camera for making me feel like an intruder in the warm and inviting neighbourhood store!

Both selection of my breakfast spread are firm favourites at the store. The pork & fennel sausage roll was substantial and delicious but the portion was too big for me. The ginger brulee tart, on the other hand was a well balanced and lovely blend of exotic spicy flavours - I could eat this again and again. I bought 2 more pastries to take away - the rhubarb almond tart and the passion fruit meringue tart. Unfortunately, I had foolishly walked around with the pastries for 5 hours and by the time, I got to them again, the meringue on the meringue tart had vanished totally into a small puddle of transparent syrup.

Tart 8

Tart 1
So here I am, picking the passion fruit meringue tart as my first recipe from Bourke Street Bakery. What I find most intriguing about this tart is the short crust pastry recipe. An interesting recipe that calls for the use of vinegar, it actually yields a somewhat stretchy dough. The dough will shrink a little as you line the tart case, leaving you with  a slightly uneven edge around the rim resulting in a tart that looks rustic. I love it and am already planning to make another batch.

I am excited and am even feeling ambitious enough to want to bake through the whole book... well, we'll see.

And now to my most dreaded part of the blog - typing out recipes and this one's a killer!

Tart 9 (250)-100
Recipe : (Adapted from Bourke Street Bakery - please get the book as it is very detailed)
Italian Meringue
200g castor sugar
20g extra castor sugar
100ml water
4 egg whites

Passion Fruit Bavarois
300ml milk
2 tsp gelatine powder
6 egg yolks
175g caster sugar
250ml passionfruit juice (I used passion fruit puree)
350ml whipping cream

Sweet Crust Pastry
400g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
20ml vinegar, chilled
100g caster sugar, chilled
170ml water, chilled
665g plain flour, chilled
5g salt

Method :

Sweet Crust Pastry
1. Mix vinegar and sugar in a bowl. Add water stirring well until sugar dissolves.
2. Mix salt with flour. Toss butter through flour. Use fingertips to rub the butter into the flour to partly combine.
3. Turn out floury mix onto a a clean work surface. Sprinkle vinegar/sugar/water mixture over the dough. Use the palm of your hand to smear this mixture away from you across the work surface. Gather into a ball again and repeat the smearing process 2 more times.
4. Divide dough into 2 and flatten into a thick disc and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (I left it overnight)
5. Remove dough from fridge and on a lightly floured board, roll out dough to about 3mm thick. Using a 11cm round cutter, cut rolled dough into individual circles to fit over a 8cm tart case.
6. Line (5) onto a buttered 8 cam tart case and chill in the fridge for about 20mins.
7. Blind bake (6) at 200C for 25mins.

Passion Fruit Bavarois
1. Mix gelatine powder with 2 tbsp milk and set aside.
2. Put rest of the milk in a saucepan and heat to almost boiling.
3. In a stainless steel bowl add egg yolks, sugar and passion fruit puree. Mix this over a simmering water bath, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water.
4. Pour in hot milk in (2) and whisk mixture over the simmering water bath for about 5 mins until mixture becomes quite thick. Add in (1). Stirring well to dissolve all gelatine.
5. Remove from heat and strain. Cool down mixture in the fridge for about an hour just beginning to set.
6. Whisk whipping cream until soft peaks are formed.
7. Fold in (6) into (5) to combine.
8. Pour (7) into tart cases and refrigerate to set.

Italian Meringue
1. Add sugar in a heavy saucepan. Carefully add water over sugar without stirring.
2. Heat (1) until sugar syrup boils and temperature reaches 118C.
3. When the syrup temperature is about 95C, start to beat egg whites in a clean bowl until foamy. Add extra sugar and continue to whisk until soft peaks are formed.
4. Add (2) into (3) - taking care not to pour syrup directly over the whisk to avoid splatter.
5. Continue whisking until meringue cools down.

To assemble : Pipe Italian Meringue over filled tarts. Using a palette knife to create a more rustic, natural look. Using a blow torch, brown the meringue.


Bakertan said...

hey shirley,

these passion fruit meringue tarts look as though they just came out from the bakery, great job! you just tempted me to buy the book. It's officially making its way into my wishlist of books!

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

They look gorgeous Shirley! Can't wait to have you back in Sydney!!

grub said...

so glad you got to try these after the unintended mishap :) i wonder if we'll see you do a cookbook challenge :D

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Grub- this is certainly a book that is worth doing a cookbook challenge on- but I think even half way through it, I will put on 10kg!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

ZY,try to get it at Books Depository- they deliver free worldwide. Also, I still need to improve on this, I burnt the meringue while browning it... but this tastes awesome.

Zurin said...

The pastry sounds good. Im going to give it a go. You lucky girl! :)

cameras always makes one feel out of place. :)

Trissa said...

It was great to have you in Sydney Shirley - beautiful tarts - now you don't need to travel so far to get them - yours looks just like the real thing.

Karen from Globetrotter Diaries said...

Passion fruit is probably my favorite fruit (okay, I take that back- I don't play favorites with my fruits) but it's still WAAAAY up there. Just love it. And with the toasted meringue... gaaaa!!! *drool*

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Interesting to see vinegar adding into sweet crust pastry, usually I like to add some lemon rind into short crust pastry too. You just tempted me to buy this book, this tart just perfect, like store bought.

msihua said...

Wow.. that burnt meringue looks sooooo good! I wish I was in Sydney!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shirley
i just made your blueberry chiffon cake and linked u up to my blog. i hope u dont mind! Pls notify me if you do, i will gladly take it down. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@crustabakes - not at all. I am glad that you found something useful here :)

Aimei said...

You are making me tempted to put this book into my christmas wish list.. ;) Been wanting to source for a good book to add to my shelf. Can I get it anywhere here?

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hello Aimei, yes you can get it at Kinokuniya. But I suggest that you get it at Book Depository- the price is possibly halved compared to our price here. Also now until year end they ship everywhere for free. So hurry!

Wah, BSB and book depository should pay me commission!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

So glad that you went here on your visit! And that quote from him is so true about the science being the key to baking!

Von said...

I've never actually been to Bourke Street Bakery- and I LIVE in Sydney....haha =) I bought the book too! Everything in it looks so good I can't decide which to make first:) Your tarts look beautiful! They lok so good I want to grab one to eat right now!

Swee San said...

I just placed order for this book, can't wait for it to arrive.. would love to try the ginger brulee tart!
btw ur meringue looks a little split

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Swee San- You are right, it splitted because I did not get to work with it fast enough. I left it resting a little too long before I piped it - and I burnt it with the blow torch...

Jo said...

Shirley, I love the idea of a passionfruit tart, so yummy. And the tarts look absolutely gorgeous and mouth-watering with the crisp meringue topping. I've not tried using vinegar but have heard that it gives the pastry a more flaky texture.

Angie's Recipes said...

The recipe sounds really great and your meringue tarts look fantastic! I love the passion fruit cream...looks so smooth and creamy.

WendyinKK said...

The authors are so generous to share the recipes of what they sell at the shop

Joudie's Mood Food said...

This looks incredible. I would love to have the book for this place. YUMMY YUM YUM!

Anh said...

beautiful tartlets!! I lovee Bourke St bakery :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely tart :)

I love eating passionfruit. Have never tasted passionfruit meringue tart but I am sure it must be really tasty.

tigerfish said...

The sausage roll looks exceptionally huge! I would say, your tarts are the perfect size :) Must be tasting great too!

Joanne said...

I have always wanted to go to Bourke street bakery and after seeing this...yeah. I know why. The tarts are glorious!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

So pretty! Love the second shot and I can't resist passion fruit. Especially because it's hard to find it around here.

Zoe said...

heard about this book...going to check out the book online now :D

Edith said...

Shirley, I have a question. Am now attempting this sweet crust recipe. Just wondering did you used up all the syrup water? my email is not working, can you forward the ans to instead. Many thanks.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Edith, yes I used all the liquid. The dough will be quite wet. But I floured the pastry board very genenrously when I turned out the dough to 'knead' and roll. Flour enough so that the dough does not stick to your hand.

Edith said...

Thanks for the reply. I actually only used half the amount and it still yield a nice crust. Next time I will use up all the syrup.

Michelle said...

hi shirley, im thinking of making the small tartlets, but just wondering, how many small tartlets did you get out of the recipe above? thanks!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Michelle, the recipe ought to yield 20 8-cm tarts(according to the book0. For small tartlets, possibly you can get 3 tartlets for every 2 8cm tarts, I guess.
Hope this helps.

Michelle said...

thanks shirley for the prompt reply! it's lucky i asked if not i'll have too many tartlets, nw i'll know to halve the recipe for the passionfruit bavarois then! (:

Jane Chew said...

Shirley, I got the book right now infront of me. I dint tried out any recipe but reading again n again never felt tired at all. But i will definitely have a go on one of it :) I always want to try out the croissant dough to make the pan au chocolat but not confident at myself at all.


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