Make this for Mom this Mother’s Day!
Recipe and photograph by Katelyn Allegra
Sparkling wine buttercream tart with figs and flowers
SWEET BISCUIT PASTRY
- 500g cake flour
- 120g icing sugar, sifted
- 240g salted butter, cubed
- 6 large egg yolks
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 550g (2½ cups) white sugar
- 180ml (¾ cup) sparkling wine
- 450g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
- small fresh figs, to decorate
- edible flowers, to decorate
For the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the 240g salted butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the 6 egg yolks and process until the dough just comes together. Tip out onto a lightly-floured work surface, and bring the pastry together with the heel of your hand. Divide into 2 discs, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour, to rest.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C if you’re using a fan-forced oven). Grease 2 large baking sheets and set aside. On a lightly-floured surface, working with one disc of pastry at a time, roll the pastry out onto a large sheet of baking paper, 0,5cm thick, then cut each into a medium-sized heart, 12cm wide. Cut out the centre of each heart so you’re left with heart “frames” of 2cm borders. Bake these heart frames in the preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until the edges start turning golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
Place the egg whites in the scrupulously clean and dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Combine the sugar and sparkling wine in a medium-sized pot and stir over medium heat, about 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves completely. Increase the heat and bring the syrup to a boil. Stop stirring and attach a sugar thermometer to the pot (if any sugar crystals have washed up on the sides, brush them away using a pastry brush dipped in cool water). Continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 115°C (final desired temperature). As soon as the sugar syrup hits 110°C, begin whipping the egg whites on medium-high speed. The goal is to have the egg whites at soft peaks when the sugar reaches the 115° C. With the mixer running, add the sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the mixing bowl. Increase the whipping speed to high and continue to whip until the mixture reaches stiff peaks and the bowl is no longer warm to the touch. The meringue should be smooth and glossy. With the mixer still running, gradually add the 450g unsalted room-temperature butter in chunks. Continue adding and mixing until all of the butter is incorporated and the buttercream is light and smooth. Beat in the vanilla until combined. Place the buttercream in a piping bag with a straight nozzle.
To assemble the tart, pipe blobs of buttercream on the first pastry heart to cover the surface area, then top with the second pastry heart. Repeat with the remaining two pastry layers so you have 4 layers in total. Decorate the top with more buttercream, then arrange quartered fresh figs and edible flowers on top. Serve immediately.