Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summerfruit Tart

Ethan's Mum recently moved into a new house and we are going over tonight to have dinner and a look around. From what I've been hearing it's an amazing house; an architectural oddity, (think 4 floors in a 2 storey house), complete with its own apple orchard out the back. I'll definitely be collecting windfalls for pies, tarts and crumbles come Autumn!

So she invited us over for dinner tonight and I said I would bring dessert. So despite the fact it's raining and a little chilly out there I decided to go with a summerfruit tart. This was my favourite dessert growing up, and when we were getting desserts from our local bakery it's the one I'd always go for. The combination of the buttery crust, light creme patisserie with real vanilla beans and the sweet summer fruit was just perfect. 

I have attempted to re-create my childhood with the recipe given to me by Mary, the woman who actually made the tarts in that bakery. I had a bit of a moment when my creme patisserie began to split but I was able to rescue it with a little milk and butter and the end result was light and delicately 
flavoured by the vanilla.

Summerfruit Tart
Makes one 9" tart

Tart Base
  • 180g flour
  • 120g butter, cold and cubed
  • 110g white caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tbsp milk (if necessary)
Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar and mix well, bringing the dough together
If the dough does not come together add the milk and knead until a ball of dough can be formed
Chill for 1 hour

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 9" tart pan.
Roll the chilled dough out to a thickness of about 3mm and transfer it to the tin,
pressing it into the corners and leaving about 2" of overhang.
Snip away some of the excess until there's about 1" left all the way around and prick the dough using a fork
Lay some baking paper inside the dough and pour in some baking beads (dried beans will work fine)
Bake for 20 mins and cool completely before removing it from the tin.

Creme Patisserie
  • 300 mls full cream
  • 200 mls milk
  • 100g white caster sugar
  • 40g cornflour
  • 5 egg yolks
  • vanilla pod
Mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a glass/ metal bowl
Pour the cream and milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add them and the pod into the saucepan.
Heat the milk and cream until just boiling then remove the pod, pour into the egg mixture and whisk.
Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook on a medium heat, whisking constantly until it begins to thicken
Cook for a further 3-5 minutes then remove from the heat and pour into a glass bowl to cool.


When everything is cool then it's time to assemble the tart. For the fruit topping I used kiwis, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, but feel free to mix and match and change it up, this tart is really open to interpretation.

Pour the creme patisserie into the tart shell, spreading it into the crevices and smoothing it out to create an even layer. Then add the fruit on top of the creme, arranging it in either the traditional rings or however you would like. Keep chilled and remove from the fridge 20-30 mins before serving.

  • Some people glaze the tart with apricot jam but I actually don;t like it, I think it makes the tart far too sweet and sticky. But most bakeries do it and it does give the tart a very finished look so it's a bit of a toss up whether you would like to use it or not. 
  • If your creme patisserie starts to split add a little drop more milk while the mix is in the pan and whisk like mad. Then, when the creme is cooked and has been poured into the glass bowl add 1.5 tbsps of butter. This will stabilise the creme and bring it back from the brink.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mini Chocolate Fudge Cake

June is a busy baking month for me, this year especially. Most of my friends' birthdays are this month and with the opening of Kate's Bakes I also have orders and commissions on top of all this; case in point, a double order of flood-iced almond shortbread, a mini chocolate fudge birthday cake and a big strawberries and cream pavlova due tomorrow! Not that I'm complaining mind, it's just really funny because there was about a 2 weeks period of nothing going on; no birthdays, no nothin'. Now everyone decides to have a birthday at the same time :P

This is the first time I've made a mini cake. I toyed with the idea of buying the teeny tiny tins then decided I'd bake one 9" round and cut out the two 4" layers from that. When it's cooled it's going to be filled with chocolate cream and topped with gooey dark chocolate ganache (SO MUCH CHOCOLATE). The cake is moist but light with a delicate crumb. It's perfect for any celebration because the recipe quantities can be easily modified to make any size of cake (I've included the alterations in blue for a full 9" cake in the ingredients)

Mini Chocolate Fudge Cake
Makes one 4" sandwich cake/ one 9" round
  • 90g (175g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp (2tsps)  baking powder
  • 65g (125g) butter
  • 2 (3) eggs
  • 75g (150g) light brown sugar
  • 35g (50g) white caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp (2tbsps) plain yoghurt
  • 150g (225g) plain chocolate
Preheat the oven to 190 C
Melt chocolate over a bain marie
Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition
Stir in chocolate and yoghurt
Sift in flour and fold in, aerating the batter
Pour the mixture into a 9" sandwich tin
Bake for 20-25 mins
Cool for 10 mins in the tins then turn out onto a wire rack