Category Archives: Tarts

Donna Hay’s Raspberry Brownie Tarts

  HP1B1068When Mr Firehouse came home last week and said he wanted something “super chocolately”, I consulted my Pinterest treasure trove of “sweet treats” desserts I would get to one day and found this. It’s originally a Donna Hay recipe and who doesn’t love Aussie Donna?

This week we also bought a deep freeze, to try and unburden our poor refrigerator.  You see, it’s the kind of place where things fall out as soon you open the door. Generally, full, frozen, glass-like things. Now, most of these solid missiles have been relegated to the garage, and our freezer is no longer a cavernous mess where to find one thing, you must pull out all things. These chocolate tarts were part of my attempts to stock the “baked goods” sections of our freezer, along with some sticky date puddings for good measure. Sometimes the need for dessert shouldn’t have to wait. Besides, why conform to this silly notion that vegetables and meat should stock a deep freezer?  Ours has baked goods, ice cream and the bowl for the ice cream maker, lest we run out of ice cream!

I picked this recipe because the blogger did an awesome job taking photos and I thought they were really preeety. Mostly though I love chocolate and I generally eat really chocolatey things with berries. I like to eat my brownies with slices strawberries or add some raspberries to ganache. Why not combine the two? Genius!

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I added some chopped walnuts to about 1/3 of the batter and made these.

Ingredients

  • 200g dark chocolate chopped
  • 60g butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup single cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • handful of frozen raspberries to serve
Directions
Preheat oven to 150C, 300 F. grease and line your selected baking containers, I say this because the original recipe called for 4 10cm/4 inch springform pans, which I’m sure most people have lying around. I used 8 2 inch tart tins and 8 1 inch ones. Ramekins can work, but really I think 12 muffin cups would work perfect.
Place chocolate, butter, sugar and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth
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Place the eggs and flour in a bowl and whisk well until combined
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Whisk in the chocolate mixture until combined. Pour into lightly greased tins lined and top with the raspberries.
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Bake for 20-25 mins or until cooked with tested with a skewer.  I took mine out at the 20 min mark or just a little under. These were not going to be served immediately so I wanted them to maintain some gooeyness on the reheat. Serve the tarts with ice cream or some cream.
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P.S if you own a deep freezer here are some fabulous organisation tips
 http://stuffparentsneed.com/how-to-make-a-chest-freezer-organized-and-functional/
We’re in the process of placing all our goods into canvas bags and having heated discussions about whether we should paint the top of the freezer with chalkboard paint (which we already have) or cover with chalkboard contact(which we need to purchase).
Mr Firehouse just declared in revelatory fashion that
“we do own the appliance”….well duh! I think this might mean that this argument might go my way….paint all the way!
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Filed under Cake, Sweet Treats, Tarts

Leek and Beetroot Tart

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We’re doing Vegetarian  again and I’ve committed to using the last of our farmer’s market haul in the bottom of the fridge. We’ve been left with beetroot and leeks which thankfully go well together.

This is actually a really simple recipe, but I made it complicated for myself by making my own “rough puff pastry”. I didn’t have a choice. You see, here in Seattle no-one makes Pampas. I can’t count on the pack of frozen puff in my freezer, bought in bulk, 10 sheets at a time. The one’s we’ve found are often expensive and not quite the same as the stuff back home.  When I ran into the concept of a ‘rough puff pastry’ a few months ago, I was intrigued. Could we indulge in tarte tatin once again? Would sausage rolls be on the menu regularly? Could we take a box of egg and bacon rolls out on a day trip? I dared not hope. Today I finally tried the recipe and while it’s a heart attack waiting to happen, I can safely say that tarte tatin is back on the menu, albeit occasionally. Wheeee!

Mr Firehouse declared this tart delicious and he’s the one who always says “and we can have those sausages in the freezer…” whenever I suggest a meat free meal.

Ingredients
  • 4 small beetroots roasted
  • 2-3 small leeks cleaned and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • small knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp. of oil
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry or 1/2 quanity of rough puff pastry  (I used this link)

To serve

Parsley Sauce

  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1 green onion (spring onion) finely sliced
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Walnuts and sour cream to dress the tart

A few tips and tricks

Cleaning the leeks

Leeks are notorious for getting grit in between all their millions of layers. The best trick I ever learned was to slice the leek down the middle, but not all the way, and then run water along the cut.The water gets between all the layers and gets rid of all the grit.

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Roasting the beets

I roast the beetroot in the oven wrapped in foil, with the skin on. I cook them until I can place a knife through them. Once cooled, you can easily scrape the skin off with a serrated knife.

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Preparation

Preheat your oven to 350 fahrenheit, 180 celsius. In an ovenproof frying pan (it needs to go in the oven to cook the pastry), at least 30cm wide add the butter and the oil. When the butter has melted add the leeks and garlic. As the leeks begin to soften add the thyme and balsamic vinegar and cook for a few minutes until the leeks have some colour on them and then turn the heat off.

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Lay the roasted beetroots on the bed of leeks and arrange them nicely.

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Now lay the puff pastry on top and tuck the edges underneath the leaks making a dome to encase all the yummy goodness.

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If you want you can do an egg wash at this point, but as this will be the bottom of the tart, I don’t think there’s much point. Place the pan straight in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry has risen, crisp and golden.

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Leave the tart to cool. This is super important. Firstly the pan you used is super hot and therefore tricky to invert and secondly, letting it cool lets all the yummy goodness stick to the pastry and hold together better.

Flip the cooled tart onto a board and scatter the walnuts on top.

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I served my tart with the parsley sauce (recipe below)  and a little dollop of sour cream.

For the parsley sauce, simply combine all of the ingredients and stir. So simple, but so good!

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Filed under Snacks and Sides, Tarts, Vegetable Dishes

Mango Tart

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Pastry can be a beast. It was a beast that I waited a long time to conquer. The first time I baked a chocolate ganache tart, 2 hours before the guests arrived it broke! I hadn’t quite mastered the removable base on the tin and the very short, crumbly pastry. I hated it! I hated the rolling, the sticking, the pie weights and the blind baking. The results never looked right and it was hours of work for one measly, shrunk, broken tart. But alas, my favourite dessert is a lemon tart and I had two options….make lemon tart or live without lemon tart. It wasn’t really a choice.

A few months ago I was perusing Pinterest and I came across the amazing unshrinkable pastry shell from Smitten Kitchen. It’s not perfect (that probably has something to do with my pastry skills) but it’s pretty close. It’s crisp, it’s short and it’s the perfect accompaniment to any tart filling. Unfortunately I can no longer whinge and moan to Mr Firehouse about my tarts shrinking and thus I have no excuse to not make them any more.

This tart can be made gluten free as well and for that I’m going to send you over to my lovely friend Nat at Not From a Packet Mix, who has wonderful pictures and instructions for a GF sour cream pastry.

Mango filling

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mango puree
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2.5 tablespoons of butter
  • 2/3 cup of cream
  • ¾ cup of sugar

Instructions

With this recipe it’s best to bake the tart shell all the way through, so blind bake for 10 minutes, remove the weights and then bake until brown and cooked through.
I normally pour the mango puree into a jug and add the lemon juice a little at a time and taste. Mangoes fluctuate so much in tartness that 1/3 cup lemon juice might be way too much. I normally add lemon juice till I’m happy with the sourness and then make up 2/3 cup with water. Or if you’re a mango fiend, go all mango.
In a medium saucepan place all the ingredients for the filling and place on a low heat. Using a whisk stir continuously until the mix thickens to the consistency of a lemon curd. You will get eggy bits, don’t panic, just strain the mixture into the tart shell and bake for another 20 minutes in the oven at 180 celsius (350 fahrenheit).
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The filling should wobble a little in the middle when shaken. Now cool and eat with lots of ice cream.
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Filed under Sweet Treats, Tarts

Lemon-passionfruit Meringue Tart

Ingredients

One tart shell baked through (I used this recipe from my friend Nat’s blog). Of course, if you’re not GF just use plain old normal flour.

Lemon/ passion filling

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup passion fruit pulp (if you don’t have this just use entirely lemon
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  •  2.5 tablespoons of butter
  • 2/3 cup of cream
  • ¾ cup of sugar

Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar

Instructions

With this recipe it’s best to bake the tart shell all the way through, so blind bake for 10 minutes, remove the weights and then bake until brown and cooked through In a medium saucepan place all the ingredients for the lemon filling and place on a low heat. Using a whisk stir continuously until the mix thickens to the consistency of a lemon curd. Pour into the tart shell and bake for another 10 minutes in the oven at 180 celsius (350 fahrenheit). The filling should wobble a little in the middle when shaken. Now cool.
For the meringue place the egg whites in the clean bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Now rain in the sugar until it’s all incorporated. Put your mixer on high and beat for 4 minutes. Rub some of the meringue between your fingers to make sure the sugar has dissolved.  Spoon onto the baked and now cooled tart and use the back of the spoon to make peaks. Bake in the oven at 200 celsius (375 fahrenheit)  for 10 minutes until the meringue is lightly golden. Cool before serving with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

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