Baked Ricotta and Mascarpone Tart with Chocolate And
x basic sweet
250g/9oz ricotta cheese
125g/41/2oz icing sugar
zest of 3 oranges
seeds from 2 vanilla pods
2 eggs, separated
100g/31/2oz best-quality cooking chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten
icing sugar, for dusting
When I used to work at the Neal Street Restaurant with Gennaro Contaldo (a superb chef who taught me such a lot), he used to make 4 or 5 things similar to this every morning using just ricotta and candied fruit. This is a really fantastic tart - great with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Terrific with a little creme fraiche and segmented oranges. For this version I used half ricotta and half mascarpone and put my own flavour combination together.
Make the pastry and line a loose-bottomed 28cm/11 inch flan tin. Bake blind and allow to cool. Roll the extra pastry out to the same thickness in a long rectangular shape, dusting as you go, and divide into 14 strips 2.5 cm/1 inch wide. Set these aside - you will need them to finish off the tart.
Turn the oven down to 170°C/325°F/gas 3. Whip together the ricotta, mascarpone, icing sugar, orange zest, vanilla seeds and egg yolks until smooth and shiny. In a separate bowl whip up your egg whites until stiff - you can test if they're done by holding the bowl upside down over your head. Obviously the mixture should stick to the bowl and not fall on your head! Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture.
Pour into your cooled tart mould and sprinkle the chocolate over the top. Lay 7 strips of pastry across the tart, equally spaced, and then place the other 7 the other way on top of them like a lattice. Use your thumbs to trim any excess pastry off the side of the mould - this will stick it to the pastry below. Brush the pastry with a little of the beaten egg and then dust with a little icing sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
This tart can be served hot or cold with some ice cream, cr譥 frae or cream.