Friday, May 2, 2008

Teeny Tiny Tarts SCD



Remember the coconut tarts with a chocolate ganache filling? Well I've been thinking about them quite often myself recently, once when my attention started to wander during a food safety course last week, and again standing in the queue at the grocers or whilst cycling through the countryside without another useful thought in my head - my mind just seemed to want to rest wistfully on those tarts as softly as a butterfly visits flowers, drawn back irresistably to the sweetness.

Of course indulging in this wistful pollen collecting is all very well, but a girl needs to keep her mind on the important stuff and get things done, not keep mooning about and visiting the cupboard to stare at the cocoa butter with unrequited longing. Eventually I realised I just had to make the damn things and get it out of my system.

So I made these, but, because I can't have chocolate or cream or agave or coconut right now, I made them different. Blonde. Soothingly custardy without any help from cow or sheep or goat. The crust has more of a crunch than with coconut, but it is not sable or short at all - even though it does look it in the photos, it's just pleasingly crisp.

Now hear me sigh the sound of longing fulfilled and listen for the faint rumbling of wheels as the work train gets up speed......woo-o-woo! I just have to make it past the cupboard.....

Teeny Tiny Almond Tarts (Makes 7)

Almond Crust

5oz almond flour (ground almonds)
1 duck egg white (or extra large hens egg white)
1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
1 dessert spoon runny honey, maple syrup or date syrup

Preheat the oven to 160C

Combine everything in a bowl and smoosh with a spoon until a soft and slightly sticky dough forms. Generously oil or butter 7 holes of a muffin tin.

Divide the dough into seven pieces and roll into balls. Flatten each one so that it is slightly larger than the diameter of the muffin tin hole and press gently into the tin and up the sides. Patch any holes or the tarts will leak.

Bake for approx 8 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Don't let them burn or they will be bitter. Cool for a few minutes in the tin and then gently loosen using a butter knife and twist out of the tins. Cool completely on a rack.

They can now be kept in an airtight container till the next day or frozen for up to a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

Cocoa Butter Custard (dairy free!)

2 oz cocoa butter chopped coarsely
1 duck egg yolk (or extra large hens egg yolk)
2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
4 tbs water
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
1 tsp hazelbutter or white almond butter


bring the water to the boil in your smallest saucepan (a milk pan is ideal). Off the heat, add chopped cocoa butter (or plain chocolate) and leave to melt for a couple of minutes.

Beat together the honey, egg yolk and nut butter in a bowl and set aside.

Bring the cocoa butter mix back up to the boil and pour onto the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.

Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat, whisking constantly until it starts to thicken a little. Take off the heat, plunge the bottom of the pan into cold water, still whisking and then pour evenly into the waiting almond crust cases.

Chill for at least two hours or until set. You can speed this up in the freezer, but don't eat them frozen or they will be icy, not gooey.