Darren Purchese’s Gin & Tonic Tarts


Darren Purchese’s gin & tonic tarts are so much fun. What could be better than a favourite cocktail in tart form? Make these and watch them disappear.

The fizzy chocolate is a fantastic addition and the juniper in the pastry gives a familiar ‘gin’ aroma to the cocktail

For the juniper sweet tart cases:
• 280g plain flour
• 90g icing sugar
• pinch salt
• 1/2 teaspooon ground juniper
• 135g cold unsalted butter, diced
• 1 egg
• 1 egg yolk

For the fizzy white chocolate with lime:
• 40g icing sugar
• 40g citric acid powder
• 40g bicarbonate of soda
• 2 limes, finely grated zest
• 340g white chocolate, melted and cooled, (but still liquid)

For the lime curd:
• 8 eggs
• 6 limes, juice and finely grated zest
• 260g unsalted butter, softened
• 400g caster sugar
• 4 gold-strength gelatine leaves, soaked and drained

For the gin and tonic jelly:
• 120ml gin
• 350ml tonic water
• 180ml sugar syrup
• 5 gold-strength gelatine leaves, soaked and drained

For the lime marshmallow:
• 4 egg whites
• 400g caster sugar
• 1 tablespoon liquid glucose
• 10 gold-strength gelatine leaves, soaked and drained
• 1 lime, finely grated zest

For the assembly:
• finely grated lime zest, for garnish

1 For the tart cases, place the flour, icing sugar, salt, juniper and butter in a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until you have a fine sandy texture.
2 Add the egg and egg yolk to the bowl and mix again until the dough starts to come together.
3 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it briefly with your hands to bring it together.
4 Form a square shape with the dough and flatten it on a large piece of plastic wrap.
5 Cover the dough completely with the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill and rest for 45 minutes.
6 Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 2 mm.
7 Transfer the dough onto a couple of sheets of baking paper, place them on a tray and rest them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
8 Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place twelve 8 x 2.5 cm round tartlet tins or rings on a baking tray (or two) lined with baking paper.
9 Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and, using an 8 cm round pastry cutter, cut 12 discs from the two sheets of pastry. Line the tartlet tins with the pastry discs. Place the tarts in the refrigerator to rest for 20 minutes.
10 Remove the tarts from the refrigerator and trim any excess pastry from the rims. Blind bake the tarts for 20 minutes or until cooked (see Sweet essentials chapter for more on this).
11 Remove the baking beans and return the tarts to the oven for 2 minutes to dry out.
12 Remove the tarts from the oven and leave them to cool in the tin. Turn out the tarts onto a wire rack.
13 To make the fizzy white chocolate, place the icing sugar, citric acid, bicarbonate of soda and lime zest in a bowl. Add the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Set aside until cool, but keep it liquid.
14 Using a pastry brush, brush the chocolate mixture on the inside of the juniper sweet tart cases.
15 The remainder of the chocolate can be spread out thinly on a clean and smooth work surface using a palette knife. Leave the chocolate to set for a few minutes before scraping it up with a metal scraper or the blade of a knife. Store the ‘shavings’ in a container until needed.
16 For the lime curd, place all the ingredients, except the gelatine, in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk the mixture constantly.
17 Continue to cook – being careful of the steam, which can burn – and check your water does not run dry in the pan (top up the water if needed). Heat the curd until it reaches a temperature of 82°C, using a digital thermometer for accuracy.
18 Prepare a large bowl of iced water.
19 Remove the bowl from the saucepan on the heat and add the gelatine, stirring well until it has dissolved. Strain the curd into another bowl, then set this bowl in the larger bowl of iced water to cool the curd down quickly.
20 Stir the mixture occasionally over the ice to cool the curd down to a temperature of 40°C. Pour the curd into the prepared tart cases and tap the tarts gently to level them flat.
21 Place the tarts in the refrigerator to finish cooling and set. This will take around 30 minutes.
22 For the gin and tonic jelly, mix the gin, tonic water and sugar syrup together in a bowl. 23 Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and gently bring to the boil.
24 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the gelatine until it has dissolved.
25 Strain the jelly mixture through a small sieve into a plastic container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours
26 To make the lime marshmallow, place the egg whites in a freestanding electric mixer and start to whisk them slowly on low speed.
27 Place 150 ml water, the caster sugar and glucose in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar and bring the syrup to the boil.
28 Once the syrup has come to the boil, turn the mixer with the egg whites to medium speed.
29 Cook the syrup until it reaches a temperature of 125°C, using a digital or sugar thermometer to check the temperature. Then slowly trickle the syrup in a constant stream down the side of the bowl into the whisking egg whites, ensuring it doesn’t touch the whisk.
30 Melt the gelatine in the still-hot saucepan and add it to the bowl. Whisk well until the mixture starts to cool and thicken, then add the lime zest.
31 Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. To assemble, remove the tarts filled with the curd from the refrigerator. Pipe small bulbs of marshmallow onto each tart.
32 Place a spoon in some hot water and then scoop some gin and tonic jelly onto each tart (see Sweet essentials chapter for more on this). Garnish the tarts with some fizzy white chocolate shavings and fresh lime zest to get the party started.

Recipe courtesy of Darren Purchese, extracted from Lamingtons & lemon tart.


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