Category Archives: Tarts

Long time no…

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Ok, so it’s been AGES since I’ve blogged. I just wasn’t feelin’ it! ¬†But, while I was gone I still baked and sometimes I actually remembered to take pictures.

I’ve been doing some digging into DIY detergents and body products and makeup and wow. It really is amazing how much you can do with baking soda, coconut oil and beeswax! I don’t wear makeup and I never really did use skin products, other than a moisturizer here and there… So even though I want to make my own mascara I have to remind myself that I haven’t worn it in too long to remember, so why now? I just like to make new stuff ūüôā

I think I’m going to make a Links section and post some good resources in there.


So,¬†here is¬†what I made for Valentine’s Day. They were pretty divine. I love raspberries and dark chocolate together. ¬†I wasn’t entirely happy with the pastry I used, some of the shells were too thick and¬†kinda dry. I want to find something a little more delicate.

I actually can’t remember where I got this recipe from, and writing this 5 months after leaves my memories wanting. So, We’ll just go through the basics!

Chocolate Raspberry Mini Tarts

1 bag frozen strawberries Рor about 2 cups
granulated sugar
corn starch
8oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup whipping cream

For the crust I’m going to try this next time:¬†Pate Brisee¬†from my favourite Joy of Baking! But if you have your own recipe, go for it. Just keep the crust very thin as it overtakes the tart otherwise. ¬†I started by measuring out equal bits of dough. I cut it down after the first batch came out too thick. Bake as per recipe, but keep an eye on them.

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Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and bring cream just to a boil.  Pour over chocolate and let stand for a few minutes before stirring the cream into the chocolate.

Set aside to cool, but not too much. Keep it soft so you can drop little blobs.

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Thaw your raspberries for a few minutes in a fine mesh strainer.  Place the strainer over a bowl and begin to smush the berries through. Make a mash and use a flat-ish spoon or a spatula to help. It will take a little while, but I like the texture of doing it this way. You will end up with basically only seeds left in the strainer.

raspberries

Stir in 2 tsp of cornstarch.  If it needs to be thicker, add 1 tsp at a time until it is a little gooey.

Add sugar to taste – as sweet as you like (or not). It will also depend on your raspberries.

Set aside.

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Once you have your pastry baked, wait for them to cool and then fill them with a spoonful or two of raspberry sauce and then top with the soft chocolate. I like the random melty look, but you could whip the ganache and pipe it out, too, if you want a more uniform look.

I dropped on the lip sprinkles since it was that day and they looked so cute!

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Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tart

For Christmas dinner dessert I asked my parents what they would like me to bake…

I neglected to take a picture of the finished product though! ūüė¶ Here is the almost finished tart.

ganache

It is a super easy recipe and so very tasty. I made it in the summer the first time with the raspberries from our garden. I had to use frozen raspberries this time, and I sort of goofed while creating the syrup, but it still tasted amazing.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz biscotti
5-6 tbsp melted butter

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar

10 oz semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Take your biscotti and break it into chunks (or use the mini ones) and put it in the food processor.  Pulse until finely ground.

8oz biscotti

Transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter. Press this into and up the sides of a tart pan.

crust

I was lacking a tart pan, this being a spur of the moment bake and not in my own kitchen, so I used a glass pie plate. Worked fine, but doesn’t look as nice.

Bake @ 350¬į for 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before adding filling.

Place raspberries (thawed) into the food processor and process until broken apart – don’t process too much or you will end up¬†pulverizing¬†them and get more of a paste rather than a juice.

raspberries

Put the berries into a mesh strainer and place over a bowl. Press the raspberries to extract the juices. Add sugar to taste. You need 1/3 cup of this syrup.

My mom put the extra sauce into her yogurt the next morning. Apparently it was pretty tasty.

raspberry paste

Place chopped chocolate into a stainless steel bowl.

Heat cream in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil and immediately pour over chopped chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes before stirring until smooth.

chocolate

Stir in the raspberry syrup.

Pour filling into baked, cooled crust. Smooth the top with an offset spatula (or just wiggle it a little until it all evens out). Cool, then cover and refrigerate over night.

not quite smooth...

Merry Christmas ūüėÄ

Mo Tarts

As previously mentioned, at my office we do a Movember Bakesale to help raise money.¬† Last year, my coworker¬†Brittany did the whole thing herself and until this year I didn’t even think about how much work that must have been.¬† So, as my dream of mustache cookies came closer, I talked to her about splitting the month and each taking two weeks so neither of us was overrun with orders… She was definitely happy to have help!

I did the mustache cookies for my¬†first week and then had the decision of what to make for the second week¬†and how to make it mustachy… and easy. (Did i mention¬†I made over 200 mustache cookies and spent almost¬†2 whole days on them?)

storebought crust practice batch

So this time i decided to make tarts. easier? oddly enough, yes. even when I decided to make the crust from scratch too. I just couldn’t bring myself to use storebought crust. I made the practise batch with the storebought crust (pic above), and there was just something not quite homebaked enough about the whole tart… So when i found out i didn’t have as many orders as I had had for the cookies, it solidified the decision.

I used a pretty standard pumpkin pie recipe I’ve had for a while – no idea where it came from. I will admit to using the Joy of Baking pumpkin pie crust, since my ‘usual’ pie crust recipe has been failing me lately. or maybe I have been failing it… i ‚̧ joyofbaking.com. ūüôā

crust:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1″ pieces
1/8 c up to 1/4 cup ice water

Place the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse just to combine.

Add the butter pieces and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal Рthis should take about 15-20 seconds.  Add about 1/8th of a cup of the ice water (about 2 tbsp) and pulse for another 10-15 seconds until the dough just holds together when pinched.

Turn dough clean flat surface and make into a disc, wrap with plastic and put in the fridge for 30 mins,  up to an hour.

Remove from fridge and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8″ – 3/16″ thickness and use tart shells as a guide to cut the dough to size. Keep an extra 1/4″ around to allow for a nice crust edge after dough is pressed into tart shell.

filling:

2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup pumpkin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 cup milk
bottle of real maple syrup

Combine sugar, spices and salt in a large bowl.  Add pumpkin and lightly beaten eggs, stir to combine. Add vanilla.  Pour in cream and milk slowly, mixing thoroughly.

maple:

1/2 tbsp maple syrup per tart

Fill each tart shell with approximately 1/2 tbsp maple syrup.  Add filling and top with pastry shape (if using)

Place on a baking sheet and bake @ 350¬įF for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool completely before adding maple sugar icing.

To make the maple sugar icing I took ¬†room temperature unsalted butter, added maple syrup and brown sugar until I liked what i tasted, then I just piped it on using a star tip. ¬†I also didn’t whip it, but I would imagine it would be wonderful if you did…

Did you notice the adorable tiny pastry mustaches on the tops? yup. adorable. Those were made of puff pastry (store bought – one of my original ideas what to make puff pastry shells – bad…), and since the tart shell idea failed, I had lots of thawed puff pastry. ¬†My friend Jane took it upon herself to make tiny mustache cookie cutters out of a pop can! (and people say i have patience…). ¬†They worked great and in return she got almost an entire sheet of tiny, puff pastry mustaches to snack on!! ( and I did not, at all, snack on the scrap pastry nor did i dip it in the leftover icing…)

aren't they frelling adorably tiny?!

All in all, they were pretty tasty. Not quite sure what, if anything, I would do to tweak them… If anyone tries these I’d love to hear feedback.