Guys, today is a very special day. Today is my Swissiversary!
That’s right, exactly one year ago today I packed my bags and moved my life from London to Zurich – seriously can’t believe it was a whole year ago!
What a year. Of course there is a LOT I miss about the UK, especially my wonderful family and friends – that can get pretty hard sometimes. BUT I have also started to fall a little bit in love with my cute village just outside Zurich with a farm and a field full of cows next door. I mean, I was never a city girl at heart.
Ok, so my German is still pretty rusty and I’m still getting used to some of the rules here (and the prices!), but hey, you can’t have everything right?!
I am so happy and proud of our journey so far. From one intense day of house hunting before we moved out (which, by the way, was the first time we had even seen Zurich!), moving into our empty apartment and eating off cardboard boxes for the first few weeks and building EVERY SINGLE piece of furniture (if you wanted to do anything, you had to build it first!)… to meeting some amazing people, finally having the time to enjoy the last days of summer sitting down by the lake, exploring a new country and really feeling at home. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I am so so grateful to have had the opportunity to do this.
Anyway, on to the food…
To celebrate my Swissiversary it only seemed right to use one of the things the Swiss are famous for – chocolate. These strawberry chocolate tarts are soooo good. I’m talking rich, creamy chocolate on top and sweet, juicy strawberries underneath, all wrapped up in a gorgeous crumbly, buttery pastry case.
Take them on a picnic, serve them at your next dinner party, make mini versions as after-school treats – so many options; your only regret will be that you didn’t make a bigger batch!
- 225g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 100g butter, chilled
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 400g strawberries, diced
- 1tsp plain flour
- 100ml double cream
- 1tsp white caster sugar
- 25g unsalted butter
- 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
- 20ml whole milk
- Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl
- Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Using your fingertips, gently rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
- Add 2 tbsp cold water and mix with a knife until the mixture comes together as a firm dough
- Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface, then wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes while you make your strawberry filling (see below)
- Once the filling is ready, remove the dough from the fridge and use your hands to pat it into a ball
- Slightly flatten the ball on a lightly floured surface, and use a rolling pin to roll it out to about 5mm thick
- Cut out 6 circles from the pastry about 1.5 inches wider than the diameter of your tart tins (I use ones with a 10cm / 4inch diameter)
- Press each dough circle into a tart tin, using your fingers to shape it into the ridges of the tin. Do not cut off the edges at this stage
- Heat the oven to 180C and fill each pastry case with a sheet of baking paper and baking beans
- Blind bake for 10-15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and cook the pastry for a further 5 mins
- Add a thin layer of the strawberry and flour mixture (see below) to each pastry case, and cook for a final 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the strawberries have softened
- Remove from the oven and carefully trim off the excess pastry from the edges using a small knife
- Leave to cool for 30 mins while you make the chocolate filling (see below) then pour the chocolate to the top of each tart
- Refridgerate for 1-2 hours until the chocolate has set
- Finely cut the strawberries to about half a centimetre in size
- In a bowl, mix the strawberries with the flour then set aside
- In a pan, mix the double cream and sugar and bring it to the boil. As soon as it reaches the boil, remove it from the heat, then stir in the chocolate and butter until combined
- Leave to cool for 2-3 minutes, then add the milk and stir until the mixture is shiny
- Before you rub the butter into the flour, run your hands under a cold tap, then dry thoroughly. This should help to prevent the butter from melting
- You can use a food processor on the pulse setting to make the pastry