Friday, April 20, 2007

Eric Kayser's Matcha Tart

I found the tart on the cover of Eric Kayser's Sweet and Savoury Tarts completely seductive in her brazen pairing of flamingly red fruit and matcha. But looks aside, I've been eager to dive into this newly translated edition of a title from the Parisian master baker, whose recipes (as shared in Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets) are always straightforward yet elegant in their simplicity (for instance, these Galettes à l’Orange or Fondants aux Pommes or Tigrés).

Seeing as Eric Kayser has at least as many doors in Japan as he does in France, the choice of cover tart seems fitting. Nonetheless, most of the recipes in the book are very French, and my copy now resides happily next to another very French title on the art of the tart, Christine Ferber's Mes Tartes.

It's not a conventional tart in the crust-and-filling sense. A rich and buttery financier-like batter (made with egg whites, confectioner's sugar, ground almonds, flour and beurre noisette, and flavoured with matcha) stands in more than admirably for the tart base.

Cake-like in texture with a moist and closely knit crumb, this base is crowned with red currant jelly and red currants (I used raspberry preserves and raspberries instead). More importantly, it's one of those effortless recipes requiring labour no more arduous than some unhurried stirring - a real keeper in the repertoire that I just know will come in handy some day when I need to dish out a good and good-looking dessert pronto.

A few minor changes, apart from the fruit substitution as red currants are virtually impossible to find in this neck of the woods (for the original recipe, pick up a copy of the wonderful book). I was sipping one of my favourite Mariage Frères teas, Thé des Impressionnistes, when perusing the book so quite naturally was thinking about how much I enjoy the way vanilla lends depth to the lovely floral green tea blend. So I added a split vanilla bean to the caramelising butter, which also bolsters the nuanced vanilla-ey flavour already associated with browned butter thanks to Maillard reactions. And I've added a very tiny pinch of salt, which as a salt fiend I almost automatically add to any baked goods recipe which omits it in the conviction it goes a long way in heightening all other flavours.

My rectangular tart tin was not the specified dimensions (20 x 30cm) but I didn't want to use the suggested alternative (26cm round), so I had a bit of leftover batter. But this kept, like all financier batters do, really well overnight in the fridge and I was able to enjoy warm, freshly baked little matcha friands (topped with bits of candied orange peel, pine nuts and black sesame) this morning for breakfast, which reminded me very much of the sort of treats you're likely to find nestled in a chic Sadaharu Aoki boîte.

I've given the full quantities of the recipe, seeing as you may have the right-sized tin or may want extra batter for making minis - financier, madeleine, barquette, tartlet and mini muffin/cupcake pans would all work, simply adjust baking time accordingly (takes anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes depending on how dimunitive your miniature tins are).

Matcha & Vanilla Tart with Raspberries

Adapted from Eric Kayser's Sweet and Savoury Tarts

Makes one 20 x 30cm rectangular tart or 26cm round tart

300 gm unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tart tin
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
10 egg whites
300 gm confectioner's sugar, sifted
130 gm ground almonds
1/4 tsp fine salt
2 tsp matcha, plus a little more for dusting
130 gm plain all-purpose flour, sifted
375 gm raspberries
2 Tbsp sieved raspberry preserves (or seedless raspberry jam)

Preheat the oven to
175°C (350°F). Grease your chosen tart tin with softened unsalted butter, making sure to reach every crevice especially if the edges of your tin are fluted. (If your tin is smaller than the recommended size, as mine is, not to worry - adjust your baking time accordingly and use the leftover batter to make minis.) Place the tart tin on a baking sheet and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the 300 gm of unsalted butter. Toss in the split vanilla bean and the seeds which have been scraped out. Make beurre noisette but be careful not to burn it - let the butter cook and caramelise slowly until it turns nut brown in colour and smells like toasted hazelnuts. Remove immediately from the heat and scrape all the vanilla-infused butter into a jug, including all the flavour-laden brown bits which have settled onto the bottom of the saucepan. Discard the split vanilla bean.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with the confectioner's sugar until well blended.

Add the ground almonds, salt and matcha. Mix until evenly blended. Add the flour, gently whisking until incorporated.

Add the liquid butter (which should be added whilst warm) in a very gradual stream while whisking constantly so it properly emulsifies with the batter.

Pour the batter into the tart tin till about three-quarters full. Do not over-fill as allowance should be given for the batter's slight rise in the oven. (Leftover batter, if any, keeps well overnight in the fridge and makes for tasty teatime treats you can bake up in a jiffy.) Bake with the tart tin on the baking sheet (which helps catch any drips or spills) for about 30 minutes. Less if your tart tin is smaller than that specified -
start checking at the 20 minute mark; a skewer inserted into the centre should emerge clean when it is done and the edges will be tinged golden brown and will have shrunk ever so slightly away from the sides of the tart tin.

When done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Liquefy the sieved raspberry preserves or seedless raspberry jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Spread evenly over the cooled matcha tart. Arrange raspberries on top. Dust sparingly with matcha.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must confess that your friands look even more enticing than the original tart :) Love the addition of toasted black sesame, candied orange and pine nuts.

2:20 pm, April 20, 2007  
Blogger monica said...

i am always in awe of your creations and photography. i can't wait to try these matcha friands, and the black sesame looks like a delicious addition!

9:44 pm, April 20, 2007  
Blogger Ales said...

This looks wonderful!

4:38 am, April 21, 2007  
Blogger Anita said...

I can always rely on you to be the first to size up the newest releases. Based on your stellar renditions, I'm certainly anxious for my copy to arrive!

9:49 am, April 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my GOD. I am going to make this right now!!

10:49 am, April 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi J,

Just wondering where can we get fresh raspberries? Can't really find them in the usual supermarkets.

4:14 pm, April 21, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

The color's so vibrant! I think the choice of rectangular tart pan makes a bolder statement too =o)

9:01 pm, April 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesomeee. Thanks for the recipe! Beautiful photographs as usual. :)

9:58 pm, April 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Joycelyn,

I love the cup and plate (saucer? tray?) set in the friands picture. Is it Japanese? Would you mind sharing where you bought it?


11:07 pm, April 21, 2007  
Blogger sooishi said...

i juste fell in love with this recipe...beacause of your magnifiques pictures of course!
Thank you so much :)

11:55 pm, April 21, 2007  
Blogger Kajal@aapplemint said...

first of all I'd like to tell you how fantastic those pictures look.So neat and precise...great colour contrasts and nice lines of symmetry.The cake obviously looks to die for....

1:28 pm, April 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Joycelyn - having seen your gorgeous creation, I just had to buy this book! I always have loads of egg whites leftover and have a big financier/chiffon cake session regularly :) I can't wait to try the recipe, thank you for the inspiration as always.

10:31 pm, April 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful recipe! May i know where you purchase your matcha from? I'd feel safer with a recommendation to ensure that it's of quality. Thanks!

2:01 am, April 23, 2007  
Blogger Kazmic said...

That looks fantastic! Great idea!

12:24 pm, April 23, 2007  
Blogger Linda said...

that tart is simply breathtaking. lovely design & photos. i'm sure it tastes just as good and even better than it looks ;) and of course, thanks for the recipe!

1:46 am, April 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay, I just bought a rectangular tart pan. Guess I have to buy the book too. I love brown butter desserts ever since I made the brown butter almond tea cake from the Sweet Life.

1:58 am, April 24, 2007  
Blogger CookingDiva - Chef Melissa said...

it is so perfect in shape, color and size---I love it! Well done :)


5:49 am, April 24, 2007  
Blogger Michèle said...

J, that matcha tart looks stunning. And I must add, that The des Impressionnistes is also one of my favourite MF teas. You're a girl after my own heart!

9:26 pm, April 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This tart is so fresh, this is a realy good idée ! (I want this pan ;-)

3:29 am, April 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...ouuups : really good IDEA !

3:32 am, April 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. The refinement of the raised raspberry section makes it subtly more beautiful. Did you just bevel the edge free-hand?

11:33 pm, April 27, 2007  
Blogger sooishi said...

"testé et approuvé" i made your tart it was so delicious and pretty!
Thank you very much for the recipe :)

A bientôt

1:52 am, April 28, 2007  
Blogger Altaf said...

I love anything made with matcha green tea. Thanks foe sharing the recipe.

3:19 am, May 01, 2007  
Blogger nikole said...

great post, thank you!

12:47 am, May 03, 2007  
Blogger B&B said...

Hi J!

Both Bjorn and I are avid readers of your blog for quite some time now and we absolutely LOVE your work - the beautiful, rich pictures and gorgeous creations (just like this one)!
And I have to say, I have a soft spot for macarons and financiers. Will definitely try this recipe soon!


2:15 pm, May 03, 2007  
Blogger nini said...

mmm, quelle merveille!!!Dommage que c'est anglais!

5:20 pm, May 03, 2007  
Blogger catalyst0527 said...

I like the combination of raspberries and tart! :)
It looks good and yummy.

11:21 pm, May 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

con esta tarta seguro que liga uno jajaj

6:43 pm, May 04, 2007  
Blogger Rachael Narins said...

Maybe it is just me (or here) but Matcha is the flavor of the month! Crazy stuff. I swear, six months ago, I had never heard of the stuff.

1:10 am, May 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is just stunning. I love the way you adapted the recipe to the ingredients you had at hand. Blending beurre noisette, matcha, and vanilla is inspired. I love the depth browned butter adds to any dessert, especially something as ephemeral as matcha and vanilla. Such a wonderful combination.

3:26 am, May 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ils sont délicieux ces desserts!!

4:21 am, May 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful color of the tart, it simply takes my breath away...maybe some of these days I'd be able to try the recipe :)

4:35 am, May 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the look of the perfect rows of fruit on the tart.


10:01 am, May 12, 2007  
Blogger Chef Jeena said...

Hi there, I like your blog! Nice recipe it looks yummy :) Feel free to visit my blog too :)

Click here for jeenas food recipe blog :-)

11:01 pm, May 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good recipe! Thanks

9:05 pm, May 14, 2007  
Blogger e d b m said...


11:09 am, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Parisbreakfasts said...

Wonderful as ever Joycelyn!
You must be so busy teaching..

3:07 am, May 17, 2007  
Blogger daddy's kitchen angel said...


i was in bangkok last week and came across the eric keyser book and thought of you and bought it (even slightly higher priced than the RP in malaysia and singapore) anyways, i made the tart yesterday, somehow, the texture was not as the one pictured in the book...the color was off (next trial,will add a few drops of green color)so all in all, im upset, will try again..

P/S: where in singapore did u purchase ur rectangular tart tin?

10:15 am, July 05, 2007  
Blogger Pille said...

I cannot believe I missed this one, J!!! I guess I was exhausted about my trip to London and exited about my birthday at that time back in late April:) The cake looks amazing - having got a soft spot for matcha cakes, I can see they go very well with raspberries. Thank you for providing the recipe, too!!

2:06 pm, July 20, 2007  
Blogger Joyti said...

Thank you for putting this lovely tart on your page. I think your blog is wonderful, and the pictures are gorgeous!
Because of this, I went out and purchased Eric Kayser's book. I followed his tart recipe, but since I can't find currants here and now, I substituted for raspberries & jam just as you did. I added a hint of vanilla to the softened jam.

2:07 pm, July 25, 2007  

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