They say that necessity is the mother of invention.
I had a completely different recipe planned for today. Little chocolate orange creations. But . . . I tweaked the recipe slightly, not imagining any majorly disastrous results. It was such a small modification. Unfortunately, for whatever reason – either the recipe tweak or the lack of mini muffin cases – they well and truly stuck to the pan. The tops came off, the bottoms remained where they were.
I considered scooping them out as best I could and putting them into mini muffin cases, for photography purposes. A little bit of smoke and mirrors. But they still didn’t look right.
Making them again wasn’t an option either because I had run out of one of the flours I had used in the original recipe. And all of this was compounded by the fact that this was the only recipe I was going to post this week (tipple thursday excluded). The weekend was full of other Christmas related goings-on and I only had time to make one thing. And that was now staring at me in a rather dishevelled state from the mini muffin pan.
Last Christmas I swore I was going to start preparations for this Christmas in October. Well, October arrived and (unusually for me) Christmas was the last thing on my mind. I pushed it to one side and told myself that I would have plenty of time come December. What was the hurry?
Next year I am definitely doing Christmas recipes in October. For sure. I am. I really, really am. I have learnt my lesson. I am going to write it in my new diary and underline it several times. Several million times. And I will write it on every page so that I can not ignore it. In ten months time I will be in complete Christmas mode once again.
Please feel free to remind me of my resolution this time next year, when there has been a repeat performance of the above.
But back to the weekend . . . with time very definitely not on my side and the setting of the sun only a couple of hours away, therefore meaning the disappearance of what little natural light there was to take photos in, I had to come up with something that was more or less instant to make.
I feel I should make a disclaimer now – no, these tarts can not be made in an instant. Apologies if I gave you that impression for even the merest second. You see, I had just put an order of mince pies in the oven. I had some left over pastry and some left over frangipane filling. After the bouncing around of various ideas of what I could make and photograph in the next hour, most of which were discounted because a) I didn’t like the sound of it, b) I was missing an ingredient, or c) the chocolate wouldn’t set in time, it was suggested that I could add some cocoa powder to the frangipane, use the pastry and add some chopped pear to make some chocolate pear tarts.
Eh, voila! An almost instant make for me, given I was using left overs. Unfortunately you will need to make the component parts.
Sorry. They are very tasty though.
Now all I have to decide is whether I attempt the chocolate orange recipe again this coming weekend!
Chocolate Pear Tarts
For the Pastry:
- 100g rice flour
- 50g gram / garbanzo bean flour
- 2 tbsp polenta (fine ground cornmeal)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 75g butter, cold and cubed (plus a little extra, softened, for greasing the tin)
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- zest and juice of an orange
- 1 egg yolk
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces.
For the Chocolate Frangipane:
- 50g butter, softened
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 50g ground almonds
- 20g cocoa powder
- 1 – 2 tbsp milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Grease the cavities of the tin with a little butter.
- Using either a stand mixer or your hands, place the flours, polenta and ground cinnamon in a bowl. Add the butter and mix (or rub between your finger-tips) until it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the sugar, xanthan gum and the orange zest and mix.
- Add the egg yolk followed by the orange juice, gradually adding it until the mixture starts to form a dough. Using your hands, bring the dough together in the bowl, adding more liquid a little at a time if needed (if you run out of juice, use water instead) until it forms a ball. It should feel quite moist.
- Make the frangipane by creaming together the butter and sugar in a small bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg then mix in the ground almonds and cocoa powder. It should have the same consistency as cake batter. If it is too stiff, add a little milk. Set aside.
- Roll the dough out between two pieces of cling-film until it is approximately 5mm thick (do this is two batches if it is easier). Using a round fluted cutter, cut out the bases for the tarts and place in the tray. Gather the pieces of dough together and re-roll as required, until you have used as much of the dough as possible.
- Place a few pieces of the chopped pear in the bottom of each tart and then top with a teaspoon of the frangipane mix.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown all over.
- Allow the tarts to cool for 10 minutes in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar to serve (optional).
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2014
Adapted from my Frangipane Mince Pie recipe.
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