Number cake recipe. The dough and cream need to be made in advance (!!!). The cream must be chilled in the fridge for a few hours (it will thicken). Baked pastry dough with the chilled lemon cream also need to be chilled for a few hours in the fridge. The tart will soften and be easy to cut into servings.
edible decoration: small meringue kissesmacarons, small cookies, sprinkles
fresh flowersonly for decoration
Make the lemon cream:
Remove the cream cheese from the fridge early enough, to let it warm up to room temperature.
In a small pot, heat the cream until hot (but not boiling), remove from the heat, add the chocolate (broken into small pieces), wait 1 minute, then stir until the chocolate is melted, let cool to room temperature.
Finely grate the lemons.
If the lemons are finely grated (grated on a microplane and not on the small holes of a box grater) - add the lemon zest, cream cheese, and sugar into a bowl, mix with a mixer for a few minutes (with a whisk attachment when using a stand mixer) until fluffy and smooth (it should have no lumps).
If the lemons are not very finely grated (this depends on the grater) - the zest pieces will be noticeable in the cream. Blitz the cream cheese, lemon zest, and sugar in the food processor until smooth (the lemon zest lumps should be as small as possible). Alternatively, you can chop the lemon zest very finely with a knife.
Add the melted and cooled chocolate-heavy cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Whip at the highest speed of the mixer for a few minutes (about 4-5 minutes, using a whisk attachment) until smooth. It should slightly increase its volume (but not much). Be careful not to overmix the cream, otherwise, you will make butter. You can also whip the lemon cream in the food processor.
Whisk in the lemon juice, cover the bowl with plastic foil, and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. The plastic foil should touch the surface of the cream. The cream must be well chilled (!).
Make the pastry dough:
Making the dough by hand: stir the flour with powdered sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt together. Add cold diced butter, rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles a pea-sized crumble, add the cold egg, knead quickly until dough forms a smooth ball (be careful not to over mix it).
If you‘re using a stand mixer (my favorite way): Add all the ingredients (without the egg) to the mixing bowl. Mix at the lowest speed using a paddle-shaped attachment, until large lumps are formed (they can be of different sizes, 0.5-1.5 cm / 1/4-1/2 inch). Add the cold lightly beaten egg and mix until a smooth dough is formed (be careful not to overmix it).
In a food processor: Add all the ingredients (without the egg) to the food processor bowl (with the regular blade attached). Pulse 2-3 times until the butter pieces are the size of large peas (they can be of different sizes). Add the cold lightly beaten egg and pulse until the dough begins to come together (be careful not to overmix it). Transfer the dough pieces onto a work surface, and gather them with your hands, forming a dough ball.
All methods: flatten the dough, wrap in plastic foil, and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
Bake the tart:
After this time, take the dough from the fridge, divide it in half, roll out each part between two pieces of baking paper to a thickness of approx. 3-4 mm. Make the template (a number, letter, or shape) - you can either print it out from a text editor or just draw it with a pencil on a piece of parchment paper, then cut it out. Place the template on top of the dough and cut out the pattern with a knife (roll out and cut the numbers directly on the parchment paper, otherwise it would be difficult to transfer the dough to the baking paper!). It’s also important to roll out the dough evenly to ensure it browns evenly (especially the sides shouldn‘t be thinner than the center of the dough). Try also not to roll it out too thinly - it will be more prone to break (but you can also cover it with cream so don't worry about that).
Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas Mark 4. Place the rolled-out dough in the fridge while the oven is warming up.
Bake the dough for about 12-15 minutes or until golden. After 10 minutes keep an eye on it! The tart dough can quickly brown too much. Take out of the oven and remove from the baking sheet. Allow to cool completely.
Assembling and Decorating:
Fit a piping bag with a round tip (I used a round 11 mm / 0.43 inch tip) and fill it with lemon cream. The cream should be well chilled, otherwise, it won‘t hold its shape for too long.
Prepare a tray on which the tart will lie. Apply a little cream at the bottom of the first pastry crust so that it doesn’t move while piping the cream.
Place the first floor of the cake on the tray. You should now create three rows: cream, raspberries, and cream. Arrange the raspberries (in the middle row) and then pipe two rows of cream. Piped cream should have a similar height as the raspberries and should surround the raspberries from all sides.
Place the second floor of the tart on top of the cream and raspberries (carefully, it’s really fragile!), it's best to carefully slide it off the baking sheet.
Pipe two or three rows of cream on the second floor of the tart.
Decorate as desired - I had fresh raspberries (raspberries should be washed and thoroughly dried), raspberry meringue kisses, fresh flowers (their stems should be wrapped in plastic foil so that they don’t have contact with the cream).
Place the decorated tart in the fridge - it should rest there for at least 3-4 hours. The time needed to soften the shortcrust pastry will depend on the thickness of the dough. It would be best to roll out the dough to a thickness of 3-4 mm / 0.11-0.15 inch and leave for 5 hours in the fridge. The pastry crust should still be crisp but also soft enough to be easily cut into portions.
Calories count = 1 serving (1/6 of the recipe), not including the meringue kisses.