Happy New Year!
Is it too late to write that now? I suppose it is the 13th January, but it’s my first post of 2016 so it feels apt.
Instead of writing about resolutions and cutting back, turning over new leaves and generally improving oneself, I’ve decided to write about inspiration. I constantly feel inspired to get in the kitchen to create new and exciting recipes and adapt recipes that have caught my attention.
These plum and hazelnut frangipane tarts are the perfect example of a creation that was inspired by so many other sources. The idea for these tarts came about when I first saw these divine Cherry, Pistachio and Almond Tarts by Hint of Vanilla. So much so, I asked for the pastry rings for my birthday (which was in October, so these were a long time in the making).
I always knew that I wanted to make something with frangipane and jam, a lot like a bakewell tart. When I was given some free plums around the same time as Domestic Gothess posted this plum and amaretto jam recipe, I knew this jam had to feature in the tarts. I followed the recipe almost exactly for this jam, the only change I made was to the alcohol, I substituted amaretto for Chambord.
The pastry and the tuiles are from my absolute favourite patisserie book by William Curley. I wanted a pastry recipe I knew I could trust and for my first time of making tuiles I turned to this book. I must admit my tuiles came out a bit soft, I’m not sure if I didn’t bake them for long enough. If anyone has any advice about tuile making do let me know.
The final element for this recipe came from one of my favourite food magazines – Delicious. It was originally a pistachio frangipane recipe by Richard Bertinet, which I changed to hazelnut frangipane. Part of the reason I chose hazelnuts was because I thought it would work better and I also had a bag of hazelnuts in the cupboard already!
Which brings me nicely to another point, I really hate food waste and making these tarts in early January was also an excuse to use up some of the ingredients in my kitchen. The list of things I want to bake is vast, but I get so bored with buying expensive, very specific ingredients, only to use 10 grams of it and leave the rest languishing in the back of my baking cupboard.
I carry out regular checks of all my ingredients, to ensure I don’t go out and buy more of something that I already have, as well as making sure I use things up that are close to date. I specifically buy smaller bags of sugar and flour – even though they often cost more per 100g – to avoid wasting them and I store everything in labelled airtight containers or ziplock bags.
- ***PATE SUCREE***
- 125g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 100g Icing Sugar, sifted
- 50g Egg
- 250g Plain Flour, sifted
- 1g Salt
- ***HAZELNUT FRANGIPANE***
- 100g Chopped, Roasted Hazelnuts
- 200g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 100g Ground Almonds
- 50g Plain Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tbsp Brandy
- ***HAZELNUT TUILE***
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 20ml Milk
- 1g Pectin
- 17g Unsalted Butter
- 15g Plain Flour, sifted
- 15g Hazelnuts, chopped and roasted
- ***TO ASSEMBLE***
- Plum & Chambord Jam
- Mascarpone Cheese
- Maple Syrup
- PATE SUCREE
- Place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft and smooth, add the icing sugar and cream the ingredients together until light and smooth.
- Gradually mix in the eggs making sure they become fully incorporated, add in the flour and salt and mix till it becomes one big mass.
- Turn the pastry out on to a work surface, mix it all together and then shape it into a block, cover with cling-film and refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes to an hour.
- HAZELNUT FRANGIPANE
- Put the chopped hazelnuts in a food processor or mini chopper and blitz until they are fine (don't blend them too much or they'll turn to nut butter).
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment and mix until it is very soft.
- Keep the mixer running, add the sugar, hazelnuts and ground almonds, it will form a thick paste. Add the flour and continue to mix, finally add the eggs and the brandy. Mix until the whole thing combines together and then place the frangipane in a disposable piping bag and chill it in the fridge while you roll out the pastry.
- TO ASSEMBLE THE TARTS
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C Fan, if using pastry rings, line a baking tray with a silicone mat, grease the rings and place them on the mat. If using a loose bottomed tin or tins, grease the tin(s) and place them on a baking tray.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge, warm it a little in your hands and then roll it out on a lightly floured surface, until it's the same thickness as a pound coin or around 3-4mm.
- If using individual tins, cut out pieces of pastry using a knife and lay them over the tins, pressing the pastry into the sides of the tin, using a rolling pin, roll over the top of the tin and then remove the excess pastry from the outside of the tin. Gently press the pastry into the sides of the tin so that it will stay put.
- You will need to roll up the scraps of pastry and re-roll it to get the number of cases you need. If using one large tin, simply roll the pastry out to a thickness of 3-4mm and then lay it over the large greased tin and press it into the sides of the tin, use a rolling pin to remove the excess.
- Place the pastry in the fridge to chill for another 30 mins.
- Take the pastry from the fridge and put a generous amount of jam in the bottom of the pastry case. Spread the jam out evenly and then cut the tip off the disposable piping bag and pipe a layer of frangipane on top of the jam.
- Don't be tempted to overfill the tarts with the frangipane as it puffs up while it bakes, so fill the tarts to just below the pastry - you may find you have some frangipane leftover.
- Bake the tarts for 30 minutes or until golden and puffed up.
- HAZELNUT TUILE
- Place 15g sugar and the pectin in a small bowl and mix together. Put the milk, 35g sugar and butter in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add the flour, mix until fully combined.
- Line a baking tray with a non-stick silicone mat and using a stepped palette knife spread the tuile mixture thinly, sprinkle with the chopped and roasted hazelnuts and then cover with another silicone baking mat. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave to cool and then remove the baking mat and snap the tuile into pieces - this can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
- TO FINISH
- Mix the mascarpone with the maple syrup to taste and then taking a spoon make a quenelle of the mascarpone and top the cooled hazelnut tarts with the mascarpone and place a shard of tuile on the top.
These tarts were topped with maple syrup mascarpone that I attempted to quenelle – it’s much tougher than it looks and something I need to practice. Here’s to an inspirational 2016, I hope to post lots of new recipes, using up familiar ingredients from the blog as well as introducing some new techniques and and flavours.
Thanks for reading.