Chocolate and Raspberry tarts

I made these recently for a family tea. They're delicious and the filling is rather like a brownie. I found the recipe in my scrapbook, so not sure where it originated.

I bought a pack of shortcrust pastry, but you can make your own.

For the filling you need -  
1 egg, 100g caster sugar, 55g melted butter, 1/2 tspn vanilla extract, 20g cocoa powder, 20g ground almonds, 1/2 tspn instant coffee and a pinch of salt
  • raspberries, crème fraîche and flaked almonds for the top. 

  • Preheat oven 180C/gas4           Grease a 12 hole cupcake tin [or a little tart tin].

Roll pastry out thinly and cut out 12  x 4" or 10cm circles. Press gently into the holes in the tin and put in the fridge while you make the filling.

Beat the egg till thick and frothy with an electric hand beater. Add the sugar and keep on beating till light and fluffy. Pour in the melted butter and vanilla, beating all the while. Fold in the cocoa, ground almonds, coffee and salt  till all the dry ingredients have been mixed in.

Pour the filling into the pastry cases and bake for 25-30 mins. Cool in tin for a few minutes before cooling on a wire rack. 

  1. Before serving, put a blob of cream, a raspberry and some flaked almonds over the top of each tart.

I love these little tarts. There are a lovely mixture of textures - the crunchy pastry, the fudgy chocolate filling, then the soft cream, the raspberry which balances the sweet chocolate filling, and finally a crunch again from the almonds.


A Normandy Apple Tart

Lovely Autumnal look to the trees around here, so thought of making something with apples. I love apple cakes, but having just made 2 for a leaving lunch, thought I'd make a tart. Having yet another sort out in a cupboard, I found a bottle of Calvados with just enough left to put in my tart! Got to be a Normandy Tart with Calvados!

This is yet another recipe I got from my lovely neighbour in France, and I've made it many times for friends and family.

You need: 1 pack of butter puff pastry, 4 medium apples, 160g caster sugar, 50g butter, 1/2 tspn cinnamon, 2 eggs,100ml crème fraîche, 1 tbspn Calvados and some flaked almonds

Preheat oven 210C/gas7                       Grease a tart tin lightly

Peel and core the apples and cut into thick slices.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the apples, 30g of the sugar and the cinnamon.
Cook gently for a few minutes, but be careful they don't stick to the bottom and burn!
Roll the pastry out and line the tart tin. Prick all over with a fork then add the apples. Put in the oven for 15 mins.
Whip the cream and eggs together then add the rest of the sugar and the Calvados. Mix together till smooth.
Take tart out of the oven and pour over the cream mixture. Sprinkle over some flaked almonds and return to the oven for a further 15 mins.

For a special occasion, my neighbour would sprinkle some sugar over the tart and pour over a glass of Calvados then set it alight!
I love the mixture of textures - the crumbly pastry, the soft cream mixture and the caramelised apples. A lovely treat!


Salted Caramel and Walnut Tart

This is a nice easy tart to make, but gives the impression it's luxurious. It's one of my family's favourite desserts.
Here I go reminiscing again, but in France my neighbour over the road had a walnut tree, and gave me carrier bags full of them. Ahhh!  No carrier bags full, but a special offer on walnuts in a supermarket was the incentive for making this tart.

For the shortcrust pastry - 250g flour, 130g butter, 2 tspn sugar, pinch salt and water.
Am not going to tell you how to make pastry!

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                Line a tart tin with the pastry.

For the filling - 250g chopped walnuts, 2 eggs, 400ml crème fraîche, 2 tbspn salted caramel and 2 tbspn soft brown sugar

Beat the eggs with the cream and the caramel. Sprinkle the nuts over the pastry, keeping a few back to decorate afterwards. Pour over the cream mixture and sprinkle on the soft brown sugar.
Bake for 35 mins.
Decorate with some walnuts before serving.

I love this tart. It's rich and has a lovely gooey, crunchy filling which contrasts well with the pastry. I bought a jar of salted caramel, but you could make your own!


Raspberry Bakewell Cake

What to make for a friend coming to tea? I bought some ground and flaked almonds last week so wanted to use them.

I love Bakewell tart, so searched for a recipe with similar flavours and found this one. Couldn't wait to try it as a cake.

It's from the BBC Good Food site
The recipe suggests you blend it in a food processor, but as mine is broken, I used an electric hand mixer and it worked fine.  There's ground almonds in the recipe so it's quite a thick batter. You put a layer of the batter into the tin, spread the raspberries over, then spread the rest of the mixture on top.

It's mentioned in the recipe that it's better to use your fingers to spread the mixture on top of the fruit, and this is good advice, as it's impossible to spread with a spoon or spatula!

It has a lovely almond flavour and the fresh raspberries give another texture and aren't sweet. It does feel and taste like a Bakewell tart. My friend loved it, and took a large piece home!


Chocolate Praline Cake with Nougat

I belong to a French Conversation group, and we had a get together last week with coffee and cakes - French recipes. This is one I made many times in France, but not since I've been back in the UK. Praline chocolate and nougat seemed to be more readily available there, or maybe I haven't been looking in the right places!

You need: 60g sr flour and 1 tspn baking powder, 100g praline chocolate, 50g nougat chopped into small pieces, 70g caster sugar, 60g butter 
Preheat oven 180C/gas4          Grease and base line a 24cm cake tin.

Break the chocolate into pieces, add 5 tbspn of water and melt in a microwave. In another small bowl, melt the butter, and in a 3rd bowl beat the eggs and sugar together till fluffy. Fold the flour and baking powder into the batter, then pour in the melted chocolate and butter. Mix together. Add the pieces of nougat and mix again.
Pour into the tin and bake for 35 mins. Cool the cake in the tin .
Serve with ice cream, crème fraîche or a crème anglaise.

Above is the French recipe, but I added a chocolate ganache to the top and some more nougat bits to make it more decadent! I love the crunchy bits of nougat inside the cake which give it another texture. You can't see them in the photo, but they are there. You get a nice hint of nuts from the chocolate and the nougat, and the cake has a nice soft crumb.

I learnt from Phil at asstrongassoup.blogspot.com that August will be the final time for 'We Should Cocoa' on tinandthyme.uk I've joined in with the chocolate challenges in the past, and am sad that there will be no more. There have been some fabulous chocolate recipes in the challenge. So I'm going to join in with the final challenge and submit this cake. Oh dear, I think I've done something wrong and not put in the proper url for this blog!


Moelleux aux Framboises

I haven't done much baking lately. Been too hot, and not much fun baking for one! Friends coming for tea so decided to make something my friend in France used to make - a raspberry moelleux. The word moelleux means smooth or creamy, but it's used as a type of dessert too.

You need: 180g sr flour, 1 tspn baking powder, 400g raspberries, 160g caster sugar, 1 small pot natural yoghurt ,3 eggs, 100ml vegetable oil, icing sugar

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                  Grease a 20cm square tin well and line base.

Beat the eggs and sugar together till fluffy. Add the yoghurt and oil and mix in. Fold in the flour and baking powder gently. Spoon into the tin and cover with the raspberries. Press them down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25 mins. Mark the cake into slices then cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.

The 'cake' is lovely and soft; the centre is smooth and a good contrast to the raspberries. Makes a good dessert with ice cream or a delicious cake with a cuppa.


Goat's Cheese and Courgette Cake

Am not really enjoying this heat or cooking, but I had to make something to take to a helpers' lunch. I bought a bowl of courgettes from the market on a whim, so this was a good way to use them up. It's a bit of a faff having to grate them, but my food processor does it for me. Don't grate them too fine or they'll end up like water! Past experience!

You need:
300g goat's cheese, 5 medium cougettes, 3 eggs, 150g flour, 1 tspn baking powder, 2 tbspn vegetable oil, 120ml milk, 100g grated Gruyère cheese, 2 pinches salt.

Preheat oven 200C/gas6                         Grease a 900g loaf tin.

Wash and grate the courgettes. Chose the goat’s cheese into chunks or slices. In a bowl mix the eggs, cheeses, flour and baking powder, oil and milk. Add the courgettes and salt. Mix well and spoon into the tin.
Bake for about 40 mins then cool on a wire rack.

It makes a change from ham with a green salad! Good cheese flavour and the texture is soft and moist. The Gruyère gives it a subtle cheese boost.