Turkish Delight Tart
I am not immune to the “white sugar is the devil” brouhaha surrounding our food media of late. I’m not a disbeliever, but I’m certainly no believer. Because in that world I can’t have Turkish delight. And I much prefer my world, where I envisage lying in a hospital bed in some exotic locale (read infection free) watching MadMen and Game of Thrones on repeat from my bed which has several liposuction tubes attached to each of my thighs while I snack on sandwiches made of Turkish delight (the posh stuff) lovingly sandwiched between two slices of Fry’s (the not so posh coated in chocolate stuff) Turkish delight. You see, that other world has nuts and grains and whatever other few food groups you are allowed whereas my world has Donald Draper. And Turkish delight.
And Donald Draper.
I digress, this tart embraces the delight of all that is Turkish with the incorporation of those wondrous spices and dates with, you guessed it, Turkish delight. If you blind bake the base sufficiently, the tart is just as good served on day three as it is fresh from the oven. Enjoy.
Sweet short crust pastry
150g plain flour
100g caster sugar
100g butter, softened, cubed
100g butter, softened
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cardamom
vanilla bean, seeded and scraped
135 g almond meal
130g dates, softened in water, finely chopped
100g pistachios, shelled, roughly chopped
130g Turkish delight, chopped, frozen
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Prepare the shortcrust pastry by sifting the flour into a bowl. Add the salt and caster sugar and stir briefly to combine. Add the butter and using your fingertips massage the butter into the flour until a course crumb consistency is achieved. Add the egg and continue mixing with your hands until a smooth dough forms, being careful not to overwork. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to 3mm thick. Refrigerate and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Bring to room temperature then line a 13 x 35cm rectangular tart tin (or 23cm round tin). Trim excess pastry and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Line the pastry with baking paper and pastry weights and blind bake for 10- 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
Beat the butter, sugars, spices and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer until pale. Add the eggs, beating briefly to combine then gently stir through the almond meal and softened dates. Scoop the mix into the pastry shell and spread across the base until even. Gently push the pistachios and pieces of Turkish delight into the frangipane mix.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, turning half way through. If you are concerned the tart is browning too rapidly, cover with foil and continue cooking, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.
Earl Grey Tea Bundt Cakes
It is rare that more than 24 hours can go by without a bit of baking going on in my kitchen. A pie. A loaf. Or a cake. What it is will depend on how I am feeling, the weather outside, and most likely what ingredients I can find in the fridge. Baking has a solidarity, it is a therapeutic zen state, particularly any form of cake making which I find an incredibly calming type of cooking. And Bundt cakes are one of my favourite go to baked goods – it is based on a kind and forgiving butter style cake, and what’s best the beautiful shape of the tin does all the decorating for you. Here several cups of tea are infused – making this the cake equivalent of the ultimate zen state.
6 teaspoons Earl Grey tea (or use 6 tea bags)
120g butter, unsalted
225g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3 free-range eggs
250g plain flour, low protein, sifted
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 12-hole bundt tin and set aside.
Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. As the milk begins to simmer, add the tea and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 30 – 40 minutes to allow the tea to infuse.
Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla bean seeds and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the mixture is incorporated. Sift over the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Strain the milk over the flour, then gently incorporate the flour and milk into the mixture, being careful not to overwork the batter.
Carefully spoon mixture into the bundt tin, filling each one two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
I also had to show you this really cute video from Spoonful - a delightful zine dedicated to happiness - now if that isn't a brilliant premise for a publication I don't know what is.