Friday, 21 October 2011

Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Tart Dough)

Original Recipe:

Original Ingredients:

  • 250 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 500 grams cake flour
  • 1/2-teaspoon baking powder

Original Method:

  1. Place the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat of low to just combine. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is light and creamy. 
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. (Do not add them too quickly or the mixture will separate. If separation occurs, continue mixing until the mixture comes back together. If it does not homogenize after a period of mixing, add just a spoonful of flour to encourage the process.)
  3. When the eggs are well incorporated, turn off the motor and add the cake flour and baking powder all at once. Return the machine to slow speed and, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, beat until the flour is just incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  4. Using the spatula, scrape the dough from the bowl. Gather the dough together and form it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic film and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 week before rolling it into the shape required. The dough may also be wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.

My Ingredients:
  • 125 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 62 grams icing sugar
  • 2 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 200 grams plain flour
  • 50 grams cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

My Method: 
  • I followed the recipe word for word except halving it and substituting away cake flour which is not available in the UK. For 5 parts of cake flour, I use 1 part of cornstarch and 4 parts of plain flour instead.

One-line Verdict:
Easier than I expected. Hubby and my friends loved it! (Of course they didn't have it alone. It was made into a Berry Tart shell)

    • This recipe is very well written and guarantees success!
    • The only problem is... the portion seems to be INCORRECT. Before I started, I compared this with other pastry dough recipes found online as well as the other two dough recipes  (Pâte Brisée & Pâte Sablée) on the same book. Looking at the ingredients, this Pâte Sucrée recipe seems to be 50% more than others. After baking my first tart, my scepticism was proven right. The halved recipe should only be enough for one 8- to 9- inch tart. But I think I only used about 60-65% of the dough and got enough to make 9 smaller 2-inch tartlets the other day.
    • I used the remaining dough to make tartlets after 2 more days but it did not work. It was quite difficult to roll it out and apparently I overworked it. With gluten built up, the resulting tartlet crusts were tough and bread-like. Next time if I have to make my own pastry dough, I will try to use up all of it on the following day.
    • Approximate cost of the main ingredients: £2 (for 1.5 or 2 eight-inch tarts)

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