Sablé dough has two clear hallmarks: its crunchy texture and its pronounced buttery flavor. Paco Torreblanca also underlines his versatility as a third characteristic, “since this ‘cookie’ acts as a base for countless cakes, as a container in the case of the so-called tartlets, and as a pastry to accompany a cup of tea or coffee”.
It is a dough or pastry that adds character and embodies the classic idea of our patisserie, since “it is that crunchy and earthy component that forces us to bite and chew. And that, in addition, hides a touch of salt that makes us salivate ”, he adds. Hence the popular chef decided to dedicate a chapter to it in his latest book, Radix, dedicated to timeless and essential pastry. A book that reclaims pastry that does not need to be fashionable, that is above trends and social networks, and that shows the value of simplicity and optimization.
Starting with the sablé, it presents tartlets as interesting as this Roots, a baked chocolate tartlet included in so good #23 and a cover by Radix, which incorporates almond and chocolate baked cream. In this type of preparation, Torreblanca affirms that “baking the sablé properly is essential. Every time we wish to fill a sablé tart with an almond cream, soufflé creams, or other fillings that need baking in the oven, we should first pre-cook it. This is what is known as ‘blind baking’. Then we leave to cool, fill and finish cooking ”.
It is one of the many creations that star in his latest book whose intention is to return to the origins of traditional pastry but with a clearly contemporary attitude. The result makes you salivate, transmits a certain nostalgia but maintains the sensitivity and avant-garde tone to which the master pastry chef is accustomed.
Roots with vanilla sablé dough and baked almond and chocolate cream
Vanilla sablé dough
- 500 g cake flour (1)
- 125 g confectioners’ sugar (2)
- 2 g salt (3)
- 1 u vanilla bean, scraped (4)
- 250 g butter (5)
- 60 g eggs (6)
Sift 1 and 2 and place in the bowl of a mixer together with 3, 4 and 5. Mix with the paddle until a sandy texture is obtained. Finally add 6 and mix until the dough is formed, being careful not to work it excessively. Roll out, wrap in plastic and reserve in the refrigerator at 4ºC for 12 to 24 hours. Laminate and cut to the desired size. Bake at 150ºC in a fan-assisted oven for 30 minutes or in a deck oven for 40 minutes.
NOTE: Baking the sablé properly is essential to obtain a good result in this type of tarts. Every time we wish to fill a sablé tart with an almond cream, soufflé creams or other fillings that need baking in the oven, we should first pre-cook it. This is what is known as ‘blind baking’. Then we leave to cool, fill and finish cooking. My friend Frédéric Bau explained to me an interesting alternative when it comes to cooking the sablés: baking them at 150°C for about 30 minutes, instead of at 170°C for 20 minutes. In this way, the sugars are caramelized even more, and the butter acquires a more delicate hazelnut-like flavor and a more durable crispiness. When baking chocolate, pistachio or coffee sablés, I recommend cooking a small piece of plain sablé on the same tray. In this way, when we see that the plain sablé acquires that characteristic golden color, we will know that the other flavors are ready.
Baked almond cream
- 1000 g butter, softened (1)
- 1000 g confectioners’ sugar (2)
- 825 g eggs (3)
- 1000 g almond powder (4)
- 200 g flour (5)
Slightly cream 1 and 2. Gradually mix in 3 (make sure they are not cold or the mixture will curdle). Finally mix with 4 and 5, previously sifted.
Baked chocolate cream
- 150 g milk (1)
- 150 g cream, 32% fat (2)
- 55 g eggs (3)
- 160 g Guanaja couverture, 70% cocoa (4)
- 40 g Guanaja Lactée couverture, 41% cocoa (5)
Combine 1 and 2 in a food processor, heat up and mix with 3. Pasteurize the mixture to 85ºC. Add 4 and 5 and process very well until a very smooth cream is obtained. Allow to cool down to 50ºC and fill the previously pre-baked sablé tartelette.
NOTE: In order to obtain a softer chocolate cream, cook the cream in the food processor for 10 minutes before filling the sablé. Personally, I like to add a bit of salt and Sichuan pepper to the cream to provide it with an interesting touch.
Arrange a gastronorm pan with cocoa powder. On top of it, pipe some long, thin strips of tempered dark couverture with the help of a pastry bag fitted with a thin tip. Toss the strips in the cocoa using a fork. Allow to crystallize and pass through a strainer to remove the excess cocoa.
Bake the vanilla sablé tartelette at 150ºC for approximately 20 minutes in a fan-assisted oven.Fill with the almond cream and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Finally add the baked chocolate cream and bake again for 10 minutes. Allow to cool down and either decorate or serve chilled with no decoration.