26 July 2012

strawberry custard tart

With strawberries smelling so sweet and fresh and in season in Queensland at the moment I wanted to make something that would show off their ruby red colour and gorgeous flavour. This custard tart was a random find in one of the recent Coles magazines but it definitely met the mark of what I was looking for.





Strawberry Custard Tart


1 1/2 cups plain flour
125g cold butter, chopped
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsp iced water
500g strawberries, halved and hulled
cream to serve

250g mascarpone
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup cream

Place flour and butter into a food processor and process until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add in the almond meal and water and process until the dough comes together. 
Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper to fit the base of a loose bottomed flan tin. Chill for 20-30mins.
Preheat the oven to 180c. Line the pastry case with a sheet of baking paper and fill with weights/rice/beans and blind bake for 15mins. Remove paper and weights and cook for a further 15mins or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool. 
Combine the mascarpone, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and whisk well until smooth. Gradually add the cream whisking contantly. Pour the filling into the tart case and bake for 25mins, until set and lightly golden. 
Allow to cool before topping with strawberries. Enjoy as is or with a drizzle of cream.

21 July 2012

melting moments

I love melting moments, they are my choice companion with my takeaway coffees that I rarely have (which is probably a good thing). After watching Julia bake these on an episode of Masterchef, finding her recipe in the Woman's Day magazine and having some amazing passionfruit melting moments at Hunter Valley Cookies on a recent trip, they were the first thing I wanted to bake after returning home from my holiday. The jam could be made and enjoyed separately on scones or toast and the butter cream on top of some cupcakes. If you wanted you could also stir some passionfruit through the butter cream to make a filling similar to the one I enjoyed in the Hunter.


Please note I was a little too generous with the filling, half of this amount would be enough.


180g butter, softened
1/2 cup custard powder
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

vanilla butter cream
100g butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup icing sugar

raspberry jam
250g fresh or frozen raspberries
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp gelatine
1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 180c, line two baking trays with baking paper. Beat butter for 2 minutes. Add sifted custard powder and icing sugar and beat until well combined. Sift flour and baking powder into the dough and mix well to combine. Roll the dough into 24 even balls before placing evenly spaced on the prepared trays and pressing with a fork to slightly flatten and leave an indent. Bake for 15-20mins or until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the trays for 5mins before cooling completely on a wire rack.

vanilla butter cream
Beat butter and vanilla together until smooth. Sift in icing sugar and beat until mixture is a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle.

raspberry jam
In a small saucepan combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. Cook for 20mins on medium heat, stirring regularly and watching closely to ensure the jam doesn't stick and burn to the bottom of the pot. In a small bowl mix the gelatine and water together. Remove the jam from the heat and stir through gelatine before transferring to a heat proof bowl and cooling in the fridge.

To assemble place a spoonful of the cooled jam on the base of half of the biscuits. Pipe the butter cream in a circle onto the base of the remaining biscuits. If you are feeling lazy like I was the day that I made these you can spoon them on like you did the jam. Sandwich pairs together and enjoy.