Yes, the Daring Bakers bake well and bake Bakewell Tarts!
Or in my case, Bakewell Tart Bites
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.
This tradicional UK tart has 3 components: a pastry crust, a layer of jam and frangipane (an almond cream). I’m crazy about anything with frangipane (I’m a nuts girl after all) so I love Bakewell Tarts! I used to do it a lot when I was working in a hotel in the UK to serve with the afternoon teas. I can not tell you how many scraps from the borders of the tarts ended up on my hips…
For this DB’s challenge I decided to transform the tart into chocolate covered bites, because everything is better with chocolate, right? My frangipane had hazelnuts besides almonds and as for the jam I’ve used an homemade raspberry curd.
BAKEWELL TART BITES
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
- 30g (1oz) sugar
- 2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
- 110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
- 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
Almond & Hazelnut Frangipane
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. 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.
An inside look
Cook all ingredients on a bain-marie until it thickens and boils for about 5 minutes. Let it cool.
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 acclimatized 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. 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. 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.
For the bites
Cut the cooled tart into squares and dip into semi-sweet chocolate. Decorate with slivered almonds or as you wish.