Chocolate Tart

I recently spent the Easter weekend with my Mum in Cairns. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, so this year I promised myself and her that I would make an effort to spend more time with her despite the 400 km distance between us.

So like the old days when I still lived at home, when we come together there is usually a lot of food related activities to be had! When I was little we would always be making something in the kitchen, usually baking on the weekends when we had time away from school and work.

Almost like making up for lost time, this weekend we baked up a storm, making two of these delicious chocolate tarts (one for Mum’s great neighbours and one for us) and one very yummy New York Baked Cheesecake, soon to be shared on The Strange Couple.

This tart is super easy and anyone should be able to make it. We did use a food processor but if you’re feeling strong enough you could mix the pastry dough by hand too. The chocolate filling is divine and ridiculously simple to make. You might consider this as the perfect dessert next time you’re entertaining guests (or just want something chocolaty for yourself!).

Prep time – 30 mins, Cooking time – 30 mins + 30 mins setting time, Serves 8-10

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Chocolate Tart

Base

1 ½ cups plain flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ cup icing mixture

180g cold butter – chopped

Filling

½ cup cream

30g butter – chopped

200g dark cooking chocolate – chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, and prepare a tart tin about 34 x 11.5cm with a little butter and flour.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder and icing mixture, place into a food processor with the cold chopped butter. Use the pulse setting to process the mixture until it resembles crumbs. Add about 3 table spoons of iced water and process again in pulses until the mixture comes together to form clumps. Ensure mixture is moist by pinching a bit of the mixture, if it looks too dry add a touch more iced water.
  3. When clumping, remove the dough from the processor onto a flat surface and roll out with a rolling pin to about 5mm thickness and make sure it will be long and wide enough to fit your tin. This recipe should yield more than enough dough to cover the dimensions of the tin.
  4. Lay the pastry into the prepared tin and lay some baking paper on top of the pastry and fill with dried rice or beans and bake for 15 mins, remove the rice or beans from the pastry and bake for a further 15 mins or until the pastry is dry and cooked through. Allow to cool.
  5. For the filling heat the cream, butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate begins to meld. Remove from the heat and stand, stirring often until melted and smooth.
  6. When pastry base is cool, pour in the chocolate mixture and smooth out.
  7. Place tart in the fridge until the chocolate has set.
  8. Serve with fresh cream and berries and enjoy!

~A

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Apple Rose Tartlets

I’ve always admired food that had been made to look like something else. When I discovered just how easy it was to make these tartlets I jumped on the bandwagon!

Impress your guests with this super simple but impressive treat of beautifully rose-shaped apples in crispy sweet puff pastry.

Prep time 10 mins, Cooking time 40-50 mins, Makes 8

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Apple Rose Tartlets

2 sheets puff pastry

2 red apples (red delicious are perfect)

3 tsp apricot jam

4tsp water

½ tsp lemon juice

1tsp Icing sugar (plus extra to dust)

1tsp cinnamon sugar

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  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare the apple by chopping in half and coring, then slice finely as pictured.20160227_200016-01.jpeg
  2. Place sliced apple, 3 tsp water, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and toss, microwave on high for 1 minute or until apple is pliable. Drain liquid.
  3. Cut pastry sheets into four equal strips and lay apple slices as shown below.
  4. Mix remaining water and jam in a bowl then add jam mixture to pastry before folding pastry up and rolling (as pictured). Make sure to pinch the sides and push the apple into the pastry as rolling as it may try to slip out.

  5. Place rosettes into an oiled muffin pan and cook in the oven for approx. 45 minutes (checking from about 40mins onwards).
  6. When cooked dust tartlets with icing and cinnamon sugars and serve.
  7. Enjoy!

~A

Strawberry & Cherry Lemonade Crumble

Think strawberry lemonade in cake form! This delicious Strawberry and Cherry Lemonade Crumble is just that! With a delicious crumble topping that doubles as the base as well, this crumble can be served cool as a slice or warm with ice cream and is sure to be a hit at any social gathering.

It’s simple, effective and delicious; the only hard part is waiting an hour while it cooks!

Makes – 8-10 slices, Prep time – 20 mins, Cooking time – 60 -75 mins, Total time – approx. 3hrs (to allow for cooling before cutting)

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Strawberry & Cherry Lemonade Crumble

Base and Crumble

115g unsalted butter – melted

½ cup raw sugar

¼ cup dark brown sugar – packed

1 ½ cup plain flour

Filling

1 large egg

½ cup sour cream

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbs lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup plain flour

Strawberry and Cherry Layer

1 heaped cup frozen strawberries – chopped

1 heaped cup frozen cherries – chopped

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbs lemon juice

¼ cup plain flour (can use less if mixture is not very runny)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly oil a round fluted flan tin with a loose base, and place onto a large baking tray (makes removing the tin easier due to the loose base).
  2. Create the base and crumble topping.
    1. Melt the butter add the sugars and whisk to combine
    2. Add the flour and stir to combine. When combined the mixture should be crumbly and dry with some larger pieces.
    3. Set aside ¾ cup of crumble mixture.
    4. Place remaining crumble mixture into the pan and using fingers press into the base and sides of the tin until firmly packed and smooth.
    5. Set aside.
  3. Create the filling.
    1. In a bowl crack the egg, add the sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Either whisk by hand or beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
    2. Add the flour and continue to mix until smooth.
    3. Bring back the pan and pour the filling mix onto the base you have just made. Make sure to jiggle the pan and use a spatula to ensure a smooth surface.
    4. Set aside.
  4. Create the strawberry and cherry layer.
    1. In a bowl add all ingredients and toss well to combine.
    2. When using frozen berries there will be a lot of moisture released when they thaw so add in the flour a little at a time stopping when mixture looks thick, but not cakey.
    3. Smooth the fruit layer over the filling and smooth as best you can with a spatula.
  5. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup of crumble mix over the fruit layer. To make larger crumble give the mix a small squeeze before sprinkling over the top.
  6. Bake for 60-75 minutes. This time will depend on your oven and how much liquid is in your fruit mix. Bake until golden brown on top and you can see the fruit starting to bubble through. It is better in this instance to watch from about 45mins, you want to be watching your creation more so than the clock.
  7. When baked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool for a few hours, to speed up this process you can also place into the fridge.
  8. If serving with ice cream, serve hot right out the oven. If wanting to turn it into more of a slice ensure it is fully cooled before cutting as it will likely fall apart!
  9. Enjoy!

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~A