Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' Challenge!

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

As soon as I saw the recipe for this month's challenge, I was really eager to try it! How could you go wrong? There's a shortbread cookie-type crust, a jam(or other yummy) filling, finished off with an almond pudding/paste/sponge cake topping:)

I ended up making tartlets...with 3 different fillings: homemade hazelnut-chocolate spread(think "nutella," a future separate post), homemade strawberry jam, and lemon curd(Dickson's, that I had in my pantry).
The mini tarts were browning sooner than I wanted them to, so I covered them with foil and, as you can tell, I threw the almonds on after they came out of the oven-oops! They would have been good roasted!
Mmmm...the crust looks so a big cookie! My husband absolutely loved these!!! He was eating the frangipane straight from the bowl before it was baked:)
I thoroughly enjoyed them too and so did my daughter:) The consensus was that the fruit fillings were tastier than the chocolate-hazelnut spread(when it was baked the spread was too dry, but it sure was yummy slathered on bread)! These tarts were gobbled up pretty quickly and I will definitely keep the recipe for future baking!

THANKS Jasmine and Annemarie for a great challenge!

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Jasmine’s notes:
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It's a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn't have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
Annemarie’s notes:
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Jasmine’s notes:
• I make this using vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.
• If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of vanilla paste or one teaspoon of vanilla extract for the almond extract


Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Annemarie’s notes:
• Add another five minutes or more if you're grinding your own almonds or if you're mixing by hand (Heaven help you).


  1. Just testing...I received an email which stated that the individual tried to leave a comment a couple of times and it wouldn't work..but it seems to be O.K. now. Thanks for the "heads up" though:)

  2. Looks wonderful! I should have thought to put foil over mine but didn't even think about it. I love your different fillings. I did like the Nutella but having a fruity taste in there was the best.

  3. I LOVE all three fillings, but I must admit, I'm partial to the nutella! Beautiful tarts and frangipane too! Very well done!

  4. Looks great! I will eagerly await your homemade "nutella" post as I was just today musing over that possibility myself!

  5. These were delicious!! I could have eaten a whole one on my own! So very yummy!

  6. Looks beautiful! I love the idea nutella filling:) Nicely done!

  7. You have done well with the bakewell tart! Nice photos too :-)


  8. Great work! Yum Like the way you stacked them up cute!...thanks for dropping by! =)

  9. Ok, I totally admit to eating the frangipan from the bowl as well! It's so yummy! I really love that picture with them stacked, very cute.

  10. You made some beautiful looking tarts. They are sure worth making again!

  11. tartlets are so cute, i need to find a smaller pietin... beautiful work! ^^

  12. Love the tarts! Also welcome to the DB'ers. Hope you enjoy the ride!

  13. Funny, another person on my blogroll also made nutella for this tart. I'm impressed!

    Your tartlets look very tasty! Great job, I'm glad everyone enjoyed them!

  14. Very pretty tarts. I look forward to reading your entry about homemade Nutella!

  15. Wow your tarts are beautiful, I love the color of the well defined layers and the fillings sound really yummy.
    Er... will you post the recipe for the homemade nutella? I love nutella :9
    Thanks for your nice visit and comments on my blog

  16. Thanks, everyone! Yes, I promise I'll post the homemade nutella recipe in a day or two! :)

  17. So glad you and yours liked the challenge.

    Thanks for participting.

  18. Great job on the challenge, love the different jams.

  19. Shame our chocolatey ones ended up dry, the flavours worked so well! Your choco hazelnut spread sounds great, I've been meaning to try out a vegan version cause all the shop bought ones have loads of oil in them, I love how you did all the mini ones too, I love mini deserts :)

  20. Your tarts all look so perfect! I love the cute cut stack!

  21. Beautiful Bakewell tarts! Like so many others, I'm also eager to hear about you homemade Nutella! :)
    Well done!

  22. I like the way you stacked your tarts and nutella bakewell tart sounds sinful.

  23. I can't wait for the hazelnut chocolate spread post! Lovely little tarts.

  24. I love the shot of your stack of tarts and all their different colors of fillings- They all look so delicious!

  25. Glad to see the littles ones (and the adults!) liked the tarts. Very impressed with your own nutella spread!