Fresh Strawberry and Lime Tart

So, confession time: I made this tart over 3 months ago and am only getting around to posting it now. Oops. Luckily I was smart enough to write down the recipe! More or less… It was a bit fragmented, but between that and my memory, I think this recipe was saved.

I love strawberries and I love pastry cream – and so does my mother, so it was great to make this tart for her birthday. To give it that extra little kick of freshness, I added the zest of one lime to the dough of the pastry, which turned out lovely. If I could, I would add lime to just about anything. Perhaps I should start doing that.

Fifteen steps might seem like quite a lot, but this recipe is really not that difficult, as long as you have a bit of patience and enough time. The dough needs to rest for over an hour in total, but in the meantime you can do different things like making the pastry cream or cleaning up your work surface. I’d go for the first one, and avoid the second one as long as possible.

Anyway, enough babbling – onto the recipe!

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Chocolate Brownie and Orange Tart (with hazelnuts)

Back in 2015 I baked an absolutely delicious chocolate brownie and raspberry tart for my birthday. It was a huge success, and not that difficult – despite it having quite a few steps. This tart right here is a variation on that one – I used orange instead of raspberry and added some more hazelnuts to the equation.

It looks a tiny bit less appealing than the raspberry one because the orange coulis almost looks a little green (it isn’t; that’s just the brownie shining through), but it tastes just as delicious – or perhaps even a little better! I adore the combination of orange and chocolate, and the hazelnuts lift it up even more. I roasted these in the oven for a few minutes – that makes them taste even yummier. If you’re not a fan of nuts, however, you can easily leave them out.

I’m still having some trouble getting back into blogging and reading, which bums me out a little. I’m going to keep trying, though! I really love this blog and this community, and I definitely want to keep it all going.

Also, an exciting life update: I found a job! At a book store! It’s only a part time gig as an on call employee person thingy (and not yet enough to live off of) but it’s perfect for me. I had my first couple of days last week and it’s even more fun than I imagined it would be. Perhaps I’ll do a life update post soon to tell you all a bit more about what’s been going on with me post university. But first, let’s get to the recipe!

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Chocolate Brownie and Raspberry Tart

As I mentioned in my Monthly Recap, I celebrated my 22nd birthday this past week, which is more or less the reason why I haven’t posted anything since said recap… That, and the two deadlines I had this week. Those didn’t help either.

Anyway, I’m here now, which is what’s most important! My birthday was a lot of fun, with lovely presents (the complete series of Gilmore Girls being the highlight!) and even lovelier people to celebrate it with. On the 7th of October itself I had dinner at my parents’ together with my grandparents, my aunt and my cousin, and the day after I cooked dinner at my own place for four of my best friends. We ate, we drank, we played Cards Against Humanity – it was great!

That dinner leads me to today’s recipe… I made a chocolate brownie and raspberry tart as the dessert for the dinner with my friends, and it was a huge success! It was absolutely delicious, with the raspberry coulis providing a fresh, tangy flavour to accompany the fudgy, chocolate-y brownie.

This tart was inspired by Tamal’s creation in The Great British Bake-Off during chocolate week, when he made a chocolate tart with raspberry coulis as well. Most recipes for chocolate tarts use a lot of cream or milk, though, and I couldn’t do that for this one, because one of my friends is allergic to milk. So I came up with the brownie idea and it worked splendidly!

I also added some chopped hazelnuts on top, since my parents had a lot of hazelnuts lying around (there’s a hazel tree in the garden) and hazelnuts are great, so why not? I roasted them in the oven and blitzed them up in my tiny food processor. They’re a great addition to this already amazing tart.

One last thing: I took the pictures the next day (when it wasn’t dark outside and I had natural lighting) so that’s why there’s only one piece in the pictures – most of the tart was gone already!

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Forest Fruit Mini-Tarts

Those of you who follow me on Instagram might remember that I bought these adorable little pastry tins a few weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to use them ever since, and last night while I was lying in bed I came up with the idea for a perfect recipe to use them for. Tiny tarts with all sorts of yummy berries! Oh, and pastry cream, because who doesn’t love pastry cream?

I’m pretty darn proud of myself for making these, to be honest. They look absolutely adorable, and they taste even better (if that’s possible). These tartlets are great as a dessert when you’re having friends over for dinner you want to impress. If you don’t want to share them with your friends or family — not to worry! They’re also great with a nice cup of tea. Or as a late lunch, which I may or may not have used one of them for.

The recipe has quite a lot of steps (in comparison to most of my other recipes), but don’t let that scare you away! These are actually quite easy to make, they just take a little bit of time. You can use both fresh or frozen fruit. I still had a bunch of frozen fruit in my freezer, so I just used that. Still delicious! I just can’t stop staring at these pictures, to be honest, which is pretty stupid, because I’ve got the real thing here to be looking at as well. They just look so good!

There’ll be quite a bit of dough leftover probably, but I didn’t want to mess around with “half an egg yolk” kind of measurements, because that’s just annoying. You could use the leftover dough for another little tart, but keep in mind that you most likely won’t have any pastry cream leftover.

I hope these tiny tarts will make you as happy as they made me if you decide to make them!

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Mango Tart (with passionfruit and apricot)

January has always been a busy month in my family, since we’ve got four birthdays to celebrate (my cousin, my grandmother, my father and my aunt). We usually celebrate at least two or three of these birthdays at the same time, because, well, it’s convenient! This year, this celebration took place at my parents’ house, which means I was in charge of the cakes. Because it was my father’s birthday, I asked him what kind of cake he would like. The answer: “Something with mango would be nice.”

So, something with mango it was! I started browsing through some of my baking books (and the good ol’ internet, of course), and eventually came up with this mango tart with passionfruit and an apricot glaze. A pretty tropical choice for January, but it worked really well! Of course, mango is always delicious, no matter the season.

Making the pastry took two tries, since the first one was too dry and crumbled out of the tin when I tried to take out the baking beans… I did some more research and then tried (a slightly modified version of) this pastry by Sorted Food. It worked splendidly! I’m definitely going to use the recipe below for every tart I might make in the future.

This tart was a big success: everybody loved it! The mango worked very well with the mascarpone, and the passionfruit juice added an extra little boost. I’m definitely going to make this one again — in the summer maybe?

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