White chocolate and mascarpone tart with pistachio nuts

White chocolate and mascarpone tart with pistachio nuts

Lamingtons & lemon tart
Patricia Niven

As a pastry chef I am very lucky to be looked after in restaurants when I dine out, especially at dessert time. I receive gifts of extra dessert from the house – I guess because they want to see if I polish it off and because there is an unwritten rule of generosity to fellow industry professionals when they dine at each other’s restaurants.

My favourite restaurant in Australia is Café Di Stasio in St Kilda and I have been going there since my arrival over 10 years ago now. My wife, Cath, introduced me to the place as she was a fan, and they have been looking after us very well ever since. They always send out a slice of white chocolate mascarpone tart at the end of our meal and it has become my favourite dessert of all time. This is my attempt at recreating the wonderful flavours and textures.


Quantity Ingredient

Orange sweet tart case

Quantity Ingredient
280g plain flour
90g icing sugar
pinch salt
1/2 orange, finely grated zest
135g cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg
1 egg yolk
melted white chocolate, for brushing

White chocolate, vanilla and mascarpone cream

Quantity Ingredient
340ml thickened cream
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 orange, finely grated zest
1 star anise, grated
120g white chocolate, melted
100g mascarpone


Quantity Ingredient
125g pistachio nuts, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
100g white chocolate shards
1/2 orange, finely grated zest
icing sugar, for dusting


  1. To make the tart case, place the flour, icing sugar, salt, lemon zest and butter in a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low 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. Cover the dough completely with the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill and rest for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 2 mm.
  6. Transfer the dough to a sheet of baking paper, place it on a baking tray and rest it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and use it to line a round 28 cm non-stick tart tin with the pastry. You will have excess pastry, which can be frozen and reused.
  8. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  9. Place the tart in the refrigerator to rest for 20 minutes. Remove the tart from the refrigerator and blind bake it for 20 minutes or until cooked to a golden firm pastry. Remove the baking beans and return the tart to the oven for 2 minutes to dry out.
  10. Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Carefully trim any excess pastry from the tin using a sharp knife. Brush the inside of the tart liberally with melted white chocolate and reserve until needed.
  11. For the white chocolate, vanilla and mascarpone cream, put 200 ml of the cream, the vanilla seeds, orange zest and star anise in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
  12. Bring the cream mixture back to the boil and strain it through a sieve into a bowl containing the melted white chocolate. Leave to sit for 30 seconds before stirring well with a spatula to combine.
  13. Leave to cool for 20 minutes before folding in the mascarpone cream. Leave in a covered container in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes before use.
  14. Remove the cream from the refrigerator and transfer it to a bowl. Add the remaining cream and whisk on medium speed to thickribbons, using either an electric mixer or by hand. Be careful not to over-whip this cream as it can separate quickly. Spread it into the prepared tart base.
  15. To assemble, scatter the nuts and press chocolate shards on top of the cream, standing on end, to cover it generously. Refrigerate the tart for 30 minutes.
  16. Grate over the orange zest, dust with icing sugar and serve.
darren purchese
burch and purchese
sweet studio
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