We love rhubarb. As a schoolboy, Paul was a keen gardener and had a rhubarb plant that amazingly returned a crop year after year. We’ve heard that some rhubarb plants can produce for as long as 20 years! These mini apple pies are little bite-sized bits of Americana, with a Bourke Street Bakery rhubarb twist. We use granny smith apples, as their texture holds up well during baking, but you can experiment with other naturally sweeter apples if you like. The golden, buttery pie crust melts in your mouth when heated up and served with a scoop of ice cream.
Makes 12 pies, 8 cm (31/4 inches) in size
1 quantity Sweet shortcrust pastry (see page 134)
480 g (1 lb 1 oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces
35 g (11/4 oz) unsalted butter
25 g (1 oz) soft brown sugar
2 large granny smith apples, 300 g (101/2 oz) in total, peeled and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) dice
1 quantity Egg wash (see page 231)
Follow the instructions on pages 135–136 to roll out the pastry and use it to line twelve 8 cm (31/4 inch) round, fluted loose-based tart tins. Cut out twelve circles with a 9 cm (31/2 inch) diameter to use as the lids. Rest the pastry cases and lids in the fridge for 20 minutes; these ones do not need to be blind-baked.
To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, butter and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 8–10 minutes, or until the rhubarb has broken down completely and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the apple and continue cooking for 5–6 minutes, or until the apple is slightly soft. Set aside to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Spoon 21/2 tablespoons of the fruit mixture into each pastry shell, piling it slightly higher than the top of the shell.
To attach the lids, brush the rim of the pastry base and the lid with a little egg wash and lay the lid over the base. With your thumb and index finger, gently squeeze the top and bottom pastry edges together to make a good seal. Brush the pie tops with egg wash and make a small hole in the middle of each to allow steam to escape.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry is deeply golden.
Your baked pies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a day, or you can freeze the unbaked pies for up to 1 month.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (sweet pâte brisée)
This pastry will have a slightly uneven edge around the rim of the tin, resulting in a tart that looks rustic and home-made, which is what we aim for at Bourke Street Bakery. If you are after a perfectly even effect, this is not the pastry to use — this dough has water in it, which means it will shrink as the water evaporates during baking; the following method is to help counteract this shrinkage. If you are looking for a perfect result, use the Sweet pastry (pâte sablée) recipe on page 137, but keep in mind that it is a far more fragile dough than this one.
The number of tarts you end up with will vary, depending on how thinly the pastry is rolled. The pastry can be frozen for up to 2 months, so it makes sense to line all the shells with foil (ready to blind-bake), store them in the freezer, then blind-bake them as you need them. You do not need to thaw them first.
Makes one 28 cm (111/4 inch) tart, two 23 cm (9 inch) tarts, twelve 10 cm (4 inch) tarts, or twenty 8 cm (31/4 inch) tarts
400 g (14 oz) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1.5 cm
(5/8 inch) cubes
20 ml (1/2 fl oz) vinegar, chilled
100 g (31/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar, chilled
170 ml (51/2 fl oz/ 2/3 cup) water, chilled
665 g (1 lb 71/2 oz) plain
(all-purpose) flour, chilled
5 g (1/8 oz/1 teaspoon) salt
Remove the butter from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you start mixing — the butter should be just soft, but still very cold, so it doesn’t melt through the pastry while mixing.
Put the vinegar, sugar and water in a bowl, stirring well. Set aside for 10 minutes, then stir again to completely dissolve the sugar.
If mixing the dough by hand, mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl and toss the butter through. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour to partly combine.
If using a food processor, put the flour and salt in the bowl of the food processor and add the butter, pulsing in one-second bursts about three or four times to partly combine. You should now have a floury mix through which you can see squashed pieces of butter.
Turn the dough out onto a clean bench and gather together. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture and use the palm of your hand to ‘smear’ this mixture away from you across the bench (a pastry scraper is a useful tool here). Gather together again and repeat this smearing process twice more, before gathering the dough again. You may need to smear once or twice more to bring it together — you should still be able to see streaks of butter marbled through the pastry; this gives a slightly flaky texture to the final product. two round, flat discs, 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you wish to roll it. Sprinkle a little flour on the bench and rub a little flour over a rolling pin. Working from the centre of the pastry, gently roll the dough away from you, then turn the dough about 30 degrees and roll out again. Repeat this process until you have a flat round disc, about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Sprinkle extra flour over the bench and rolling pin as needed, but use it as sparingly as possible — if too much flour is absorbed into the dough, the pastry will end up with poor flavour and texture. Bear in mind that you are trying to flatten the pastry into a disc, not ferociously stretch it out in all directions. Stretching will only cause the pastry to shrink excessively during baking.
Transfer the pastry to a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the gluten to relax.
To make one 28 cm (111/4 inch) tart shell, roll out the pastry to 4 mm (3/16 inch) thick and cut it into a 30 cm (12 inch) disc. Knead the excess dough back together and roll it out again to get a few smaller discs to keep in the freezer.
To make two 23 cm (9 inch) tart shells, roll out the pastry to 4 mm (3/16 inch) thick and cut it into a 25 cm (10 inch) disc. Knead the excess dough back together and roll it out again to get a second disc.
To make twelve 10 cm (4 inch) tart shells, about 3.5 cm (11/4 inches) deep, roll out the pastry to 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Cut into eight or nine 15 cm (6 inch) discs. Knead the excess dough back together and roll it out again to get the balance of the 12 discs.
To make twenty 8 cm (31/4 inch) tart shells, roll out the pastry to 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Cut into twelve 11 cm (41/2 inch) discs. Knead the excess dough back together and roll it out again to get the balance of the 20 discs.
At Bourke Street Bakery, we prefer to use loose-based tart tins and moulds, which have sides that are at an angle of about 90 degrees to the base. The right-angle offers more support than sloping sides and makes it easier to remove a fragile tart. Again, it is important not to stretch the dough when lining the tins.
Place the pastry on top of the tart tin/s, ensuring it is in the centre, and use your fingers to gently push the pastry into the tin/s, moving around the rim until all the pastry has been inserted — you should now have about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of dough hanging over the sides. Use your index finger and thumb to work your way around the edge, forcing the pastry into the tin so that little or no pastry is left protruding. Where the upright edge of the pastry meets the base, there should be a sharp angle where it has been firmly forced into the corner — this method of lining the tin is to counteract the pastry shrinking once baked.
Set the pastry cases aside to rest for at least 20 minutes in the freezer so that the gluten relaxes and holds its shape when you line it with foil.
Once the tart has been lined and rested, most recipes will call for it to be blind-baked. Blind-baking pastry simply means you need to pre-bake the pastry before filling it, to ensure the base is crisp and cooked through. If you own a pizza stone this will work perfectly, as long as it is heated well and the pastry tin/s are placed directly on the stone.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line the pastry with a double layer of foil, making sure the foil is pushed well into the corners. Pour in some baking beads or uncooked rice to fill the case. The blind-baking time will vary considerably from oven to oven, but the 8 cm (31/4 inch) and 10 cm (4 inch) tarts will take 20–25 minutes to blind-bake, and the larger tarts 30–35 minutes. When cooked properly, the pastry should be golden all over, particularly in the centre, which tends to be the last part to colour and become crisp.
Once cooled, the tart shell/s are ready to be filled.
Now that you’ve folded and rested the dough for your croissants, it’s time to shape them, bake them, and eat them! Once you’ve shaped your croissants, you can store some in the freezer for a few weeks. When you’re ready to use them, place them in the fridge overnight, then early next morning leave them somewhere warm and moist to prove for 2–3 hours, then bake as normal.
1 quantity Croissant dough (see pages 224–226)
15 ml (3 teaspoons/ 1/2 fl oz) milk
Take the rested dough from the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle measuring about 25 x 100 cm (10 x 391/2 inches). This may take quite a lot of energy, as the dough may keep springing back to its original size. If this happens, rest the dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes, then resume rolling. This resting process may need to be done a number of times. If the dough is becoming too large to fit in the fridge, simply fold it over and place on a tray before chilling it.
Cut the dough into 18 triangles, each with a base 9 cm (31/2 inches) wide, and two sides that are 21 cm (81/2 inches) high — you may wish to prepare a template by drawing the dimensions onto a piece of cardboard and cutting out a triangle to use as a guide. Place the triangles on baking trays lined with baking paper, cover with a clean tea towel and rest in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
Along the base of each tail, halfway along, cut a 2.5 cm (1 inch) slit. Working with one triangle at a time, gently stretch it out slightly. Starting from the base, roll up towards the tip, to form a croissant shape.
Press the tip on to secure it.
Place the rolled croissants back onto the lined baking trays, at well-spaced intervals. Cover loosely with a damp tea towel or damp muslin (cheesecloth). Set aside in a warm room (about 26–28°C/79–82°F) for 2–3 hours, or until almost doubled in size. (It takes a little longer to prove croissants made from overnight dough, but you will end up with a better-flavoured croissant.) Spray the cloth with water occasionally if it becomes dry.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Put the egg wash ingredients in a bowl and whisk using a fork until combined.
Lightly brush the top of each croissant with the egg wash and place in the oven. Turn the oven down to 180°C (350°F) and bake for about 15 minutes, or until deeply golden.
Cool slightly on the trays before devouring.
We’ve included this classic cake because sometimes the simplest things really are the best. Add a sour cream filling to glam it up, or slice the cake into three layers and fill with one quantity of the White chocolate mousse on page 37.
280 g (10 oz) unsalted butter, softened
360 g (123/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
300 g (101/2 oz/2 cups) self-raising flour
225 g (73/4 oz) sour cream
Sour cream filling
125 g (41/2 oz/ 1/2 cup) sour cream
125 ml (4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup) thin (pouring) cream (35% fat), whipped
2 shots of espresso coffee, or 2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water (if espresso is not your thing, try the zest of two limes and 1 lemon)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 25 cm (10 inch) round cake tin and line the base and side with baking paper, allowing it to protrude about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the tin.
Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for 5 minutes on medium speed, until the mixture is pale.
Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next, and scraping the bowl down halfway through.
Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and mix until combined. Add the sour cream and beat on high for 20 seconds. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 45–50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack.
The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days if not filled, or in the fridge for several days filled with the sour cream filling.
for the filling
Combine all the sour cream filling ingredients in a bowl.
Cut the cooled cake in half horizontally. Spoon the frosting over the bottom half and top with the second layer.
White chocolate mousse
Makes enough for two cakes, if you are doing one layer
400 g (14 oz) white chocolate, chopped
40 g (11/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
3 egg yolks
200 ml (7 fl oz) milk
11/2 titanium-strength gelatine sheets (or 21/3 teaspoons powdered gelatine)
600 ml (21 fl oz) thin (pouring) cream (35% fat)
Put the chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
Put the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine. In a saucepan, bring the milk to boiling point, then pour the milk over the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens.
Meanwhile, soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the excess water. Add the gelatine to the hot mixture and stir to dissolve. (If using powdered gelatine, first dissolve it in 30 ml/1 fl oz water.)
Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool completely.
Whip the cream to soft peaks. Gently fold the chocolate mixture through the cream. Chill for 2 hours, or until set.
This is lovely layered in a chocolate sponge, or in a pale sponge for a snow-white effect. It can be dolloped next to a flourless chocolate cake, or served in a curvy glass on its own with raspberries or caramelised figs on top.
These came about after we had a build-up of chocolate ganache from our Chocolate ganache tarts on page 154 and we were looking for a home for it — which we found, within these beautifully moist, deep-fried brioche balls. We are lucky that these get into our shops at all, as they only get made on a Friday to Sunday and the office staff devour them.
1 quantity Sugar brioche dough (see page 285)
cottonseed oil, for deep-frying
100 g (31/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
800 g (1 lb 12 oz) Chocolate ganache (see page 154)
Shape the brioche dough into 40 g (11/2 oz) balls and leave to prove for 3 hours at 26–28°C (79–82°F).
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan to 170°C (340°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 20 seconds.
Meanwhile, spread the sugar and cinnamon on a plate, mixing to combine.
Working in batches, fry the doughnuts for 5 minutes in total, flipping them over halfway through.
Remove the doughnuts using a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towel. Immediately roll in the cinnamon sugar and allow to cool.
Attach a thin nozzle to a piping (icing) bag, and use it to pierce a hole in each doughnut. Pipe about 30 g (1 oz) of chocolate ganache into each doughnut.
These doughnuts will last a day, if you don’t have children.
This brioche dough is a lot sweeter than the Brioche on page 282 or the Butter brioche opposite. It’s particularly good with the Lemon curd brioche balls on the next page, as the lemon cuts the sweetness. We also use it for the Chocolate brioche doughnuts on page 293.
Makes two 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) loaves
375 g (13 oz) bakers’ flour
250 g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
11/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
70 ml (21/4 fl oz) milk
125 g (41/2 oz) unsalted butter, diced and softened
mild-flavoured oil, for brushing
125 g (41/2 oz) bakers’ flour
95 ml (31/4 fl oz) milk
30 g (1 oz) compressed fresh yeast
Put the starter ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Wrap the bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 3 hours.
Transfer the yeast mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the flour, sugar, salt, eggs and milk. Mix on medium speed for 8–10 minutes, or until a smooth dough is formed.
Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Add the butter to the dough and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, or until the butter has been incorporated.
Transfer the dough to a clean, greased bowl or container and cover the surface of the dough with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight; this step needs to be done to set the butter in the dough, and allow the yeast to ferment.
The next day, remove the dough from the fridge and set aside for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a ball and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Brush two 9 x 17 x 10 cm deep (31/2 x 61/2 x 4 inch) loaf (bar) tins with oil. Form each piece of dough into a loaf shape and place into the loaf tins. Set aside for 3–5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Bake the loaves for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
The loaves will keep in a tied-up plastic bag in your bread bin for 4 days.
Chocolate Ganache tarts
Paul’s nephew, Elijah, when he was three years old, used to scoop and lick out every morsel of the chocolate tart filling, leaving the tart shell entirely empty and perfectly clean. His birthday cake for years was a mound of these tarts. These tarts are so popular we couldn’t help sharing this recipe from our first book. At Bourke Street Bakery we use Belgian chocolate in these tarts. It is worth spending a little more on the highest-quality chocolate you can lay your hands on — you’ll taste the difference… or the Elijah in your life will, at least.
Makes 20 tarts, 8 cm (31/4 inches) in size
1 quantity Sweet shortcrust pastry (see page 134)
chocolate ganache filling
850 g (1 lb 14 oz) good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) thin (pouring) cream (35% fat)
Follow the instructions on pages 135-136 to roll out the pastry and use it to line twenty 8 cm (31/4 inch) round, fluted loose-based tart tins. Rest the pastry cases in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
Blind-bake the tart cases in a preheated 200°C (400°F) oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To make the filling, put the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat — this needs to happen quickly so the cream doesn’t evaporate and reduce in volume.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until well combined. Be careful not to create air bubbles, as these will give a pocked look to the top of the tarts.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a jug, then pour it into the cooled blind-baked tart shells, filling them to the brim.
Allow the tarts to set at room temperature overnight in a plastic airtight container.
These chocolate tarts are best not refrigerated and should be eaten within 24 hours. If you do need to keep them for longer, they can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, then brought back to room temperature to be eaten, but condensation will form on the top after refrigeration, which will affect their appearance.