August 27, 2011

Mini Walnut Tarlets

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I hardly bake tarts; and here, you see me posting two tarts in a row! Well, since I seldom baked tarts, I thought I'd make more tart shells at one go on the day when I baked the milky fruit tarts. I doubled the tart shell recipe that you see in my fruit tart post, and managed to make extra 12 mini and 3 medium size (those standard egg tart size) tart shells, which I stored in the fridge and baked them a few days later.

I had earlier eyed on the caramel nut tartlets by "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida. It looked so tempting for a nut lover like me. The steps however, were more tedious -- involves poping the tarts into the oven twice, and making of two creams - almond and caramel cream. However after a long, tiring day at work, I decided to tweak another simpler pine nut tart recipe, and made a walnut tart instead. That's how baking has become so restricted for me because of my work. But I can't blame anyone or anything. It is my job and I'm getting paid for it while baking is still a hobby.

I didn't regret making the walnut tart because it was a really delicious tart that I couldn't help but devour the entire tart when I'd restricted myself to only eat half of it! Best of all, I get to used up all the nuts I had in my pantry and the whipping cream left from the strawberry milk tart. This is definitely worth making if you love nuts. :)

Recipe for Tart Shell (sweet shortcrust pastry) -- Please refer to the milky fruit tart recipe

All the steps remains the same, except that you've got to cut out little rounds of pastry with round pastry cutter or cut out a portion and pressed it into the tart tin. Bake for 10 minutes (instead of 20 minutes), removed from the oven, remove the weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the tart turns light brown.

Recipe for filling:

50g castor sugar
30g ground almonds
1 egg
1 egg yolk
140g double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
70g pine nuts

To assemble:

  1. Prepare sweet shortcrust pastry (baked in advance).

  2. Prepare filling: Mix sugar and ground almonds together. Add egg, egg yolk, cream and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Do not over-mix.

  3. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius. Spread nutella over the base. Pour filling in, then spread nuts evenly on top.

  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tart is golden brown. remove from heat and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from: "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida

The original recipe is a pine nut tart recipe. I replaced pine nuts with walnuts, and strawberry jam with nutella. I was lucky that this tart turned out successful, for I made a huge blunder. For a moment, I thought that I should pour in the egg-cream mixture and baked it with the shell together. So, after I almost filled up all the tiny tins with the mixture, I realised that nope, the recipe requires that the shell has to be baked in advance. Oh gosh! Worried that the tart will not bake well, and because I had pricked holes in advance on the prepared tart, I scooped off the mixture again, sent into the oven to bake for 10 minutes, removed from the oven, topped it with the egg-cream mixture and baked for another 20 minutes. Phew! everything turned out fine, much to my delight. hehe. I love it, the texture of a moist creamy centre with crunchy nuts on top!
I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Janine of Not the Kitchen Sink! This is the first time I am submitting two entries to Aspiring Bakers ;)

August 9, 2011

Not a cake this time but a milky fruit tart!

Yes yes... it's not a cake this time round. I made a tart! If you notice from the sidebar category of my blog, you could see that I hardly bake tarts, in fact there's only three tart posts! Somehow tarts don't fall in my "to-bake" list. I still prefer cakes, whether making it or eating it. If they do appear, then very likely, it is for someone than for myself. Haa, I don't know either why I don't like tarts, probably it's the rolling of pastry dough and lining over the tart shell that appears intimidating to me. Usually when the dough gets softened, it gets so difficult to line on to the tart tin with breaking.

I made this milky fruit tart to bring to my sisters' gathering, to celebrate a belated birthday for Xian. Instead of baking a cake, I decided to bake a tart for her since I'm always worried about cake melting during the journey to our meet-up venue; and I know she love pastry tarts too. :)

Dailydelicious's strawberry milk tart caught my eye and I love the white chocolate fillings that she used. It's kind of a white chocolate ganache. I don't know about my friends, but as a personal preference, I don't really like pastry cream which tasted too sweet and "eggy" for me. For the tart shell, I chosed the sweet tart dough by "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida.

I missed out last month's Aspiring Baker's on swiss rolls though I did bake a swiss roll last month. Coincidentally this month's challenge Aspiring Baker #10 - Easy as Pies (including all tarts, quiches, etc) came just in time for me. Hence I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Janine of Not the Kitchen Sink!;)

Here's the recipe for the sweet short pastry:

  • 70g unsalted butter

  • 35g icing sugar

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 20g ground almonds

  • 130g cake flour, sifted


  1. Beat butter, icing sugar, salt and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until just combined.

  2. Add eggs and mix well. Add ground almonds and mix well.

  3. Add flour and fold through completely. Using a scraper, mix batter until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap dough with a cling film, then place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 3 hours. (i only let it rest for 1 hour, probably that's why my dough is more difficult to be rolled).

  4. Unwrap dough and place on a non-stick baking mat . Cover surface with cling film and roll to a thickness of about 3-5mm. Remove non-stick baking mat and place dough (with cling film still intact) into the tart tin and gently press it into the tin without stretching it. Remove and discard cling film.

  5. Roll the rolling pin over the top pf the tin to remove excess dough. Prick dough with a fork, then let dough rest for about 5 minutes in the freezer before baking.

  6. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius. Line tart tin with parchment paper. Place baking weights or rice into tart tin and bake for 20 minutes. Remove weights when pastry just begins to change colour around the edges, then continue baking until light brown, about 10 minutes more.

Recipe adapted from: "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida

Makes one 20 / 22-cm tart tin with fluted edges. I used 18-cm tart tin and two additional smaller tart tin.

The pistachios not only visually enhance the lovely tart, it adds a nice nutty crunch to sweet and tarty taste. The combination is heavenly!

Made two extras for my mum and hubby. :)

The white chocolate cream filling with speckles of vanilla seeds from the vanilla extract. I thought it looks better without the speckles.

I learnt from Dailydelicious that we could make the glaze from our usual fruit jam without having to buy the gel. Please refer to her blog for the white chocolate cream and strawberry glaze recipe. :)

Do try this lovely tart! I'm sure all ladies will love this! ;)