Chocolate Oreo Tart

Oreo Chocolate TartIt’s Easter Sunday and I’ve got chocolate on the brain. (Surprise surprise!) In keeping with my recent ‘it has to be quick & easy’ theme, I found this gem of a recipe over at LRF. I already had most of the ingredients in the cupboard and thought it just looked so sexy, I had to try it!

Here is what you will need to serve 8-10.

For the Base

  • 300g Oreos
  • 100g Unsalted Butter

For the Filling

  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 55g Unsalted Butter
  • 190ml Double Cream

For the Decoration

  • 4 Oreos (taken from the 300g already listed)
  • Chocolate Chips

Essential Equipment

  • 4 x 14″ (10 x 35cm) Fluted Loose Bottomed Rectangular Tart Tin
  • Food Processor

Reserving 4 biscuits for decoration, tip the rest of the Oreos into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are formed.

Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan then pour over the the Oreos in the processor. Pulse a few times until it starts to clump together.

Chocolate Oreo TartTip the mixture into the tart tin & press firmly into the base and sides with a metal spoon.

Place into the freezer to firm up whilst we get on with the filling.

Chocolate Oreo TartFinely chop the dark chocolate & cube the butter. Place it all into a large glass bowl and set to one side.

Chocolate Oreo TartPour the cream into a small saucepan and gently bring to the boil. (Don’t continue to let it boil – turn the heat off as soon as it starts to boil.)

Pour over the chocolate and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Chocolate Oreo TartGive the mixture a good stir with a wooden spoon. It should become a bowl of silky smooth chocolate heaven!

Chocolate Oreo TartPour the mixture straight over the prepared base and smooth out with either a spoon or spatula.

Chocolate Oreo TartCut the reserved Oreos in half and press in along the top. Scatter over some chocolate chips to finish and place into the fridge to set for at least an hour before serving. (The ganache filling should become firm enough to slice.)

Chocolate Oreo TartIf it’s actually possible – there are almost too many perks to this recipe! It’s a seriously easy, no bake pudding that takes only 10 minutes to prepare. With it’s super rich and chocolatey filling, it’s not short of indulgence either! And naturally, it’s made even more awesome by containing Oreos.

I would love to try this out with white chocolate instead of dark for a ‘cookies and cream’ style dessert. I imagine it would also be just as good with milk chocolate, if quite a bit sweeter and less rich.

Anyway, I hope your bellies are full to the brim with chocolate and I will catch you all next time!

Enjoy the rest of your long, Bank Holiday weekend.

Miss KitchenMason

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Butterscotch Tart

Butterscotch TartWhen most people think of school dinners, they think of all that horrifically congealed, stodgy cack they were served as a child. Me? I only think of one thing… butterscotch tart. I absolutely adored this pudding when I was in school. Before I left, I  even went as far as to ask a dinner lady for the recipe! It was on this scrappy little bit of paper that got mislaid over the years. I honestly thought it was lost forever & that I would never again taste the amazingness that is butterscotch tart…

Until one day, I was being nosy at my parents house (as you do) and to my surprise, found the scrappy bit of paper with the recipe on it! It was a little on the vague side but nothing I couldn’t work out if I put my mind to it. And believe me, I was very determined.

So without further ado, here is what you will need to make a 20cm/8″ tart.

For the Pastry

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, Cold/Cubed
  • Good pinch of Salt
  • 2 Eggs, Beaten
  • Cold Water

For the Filling

  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 175g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 175g Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Butterscotch Essence/Flavouring
  • 110ml Semi Skimmed Milk

Essential Equipment

  • 20cm/8″ Loose Bottomed Tart Tin

To make the pastry, put the flour, cubed butter & salt into a food processor & blitz briefly until it resembles fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, put the ingredients into a large bowl and rub between fingers & thumbs until the same result is achieved.)

Butterscotch Tart

Butterscotch TartThen add one of the beaten eggs and a little cold water. Blitz again briefly until it just starts to come together to form a dough. (Or mix together with your hands.) Add a little more cold water if you need to but don’t make it too wet.

Butterscotch TartTip the dough out and gently/briefly knead together into a ball. Place into some clingfilm, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Butterscotch TartPreheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C.

Once the dough is chilled, place between two pieces of clingfilm and roll out a circle to a thickness of about 2-3mm.

Butterscotch TartPeel off one layer of clingfilm then carefully (cling film side up) lift and drape over the loose bottomed tart tin. Press the pastry down firmly into the base & sides. Try not to trap any air underneath.

Butterscotch TartFold the sides down over the edge of the tin and press to “cut off” the excess pastry.

Butterscotch TartRemove the cling film & excess pastry then pierce all over with a fork.

Butterscotch TartLoosely cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes. This should stop the butter from melting too quickly and, therefore, the sides from shrinking too much.

Scrunch up a large sheet of baking paper (NOT greaseproof paper as that will stick) and place into the tart case. Fill with baking beans or rice and bake in the preheated oven for 15mins.

Remove from the oven, take out the beans & baking paper. Brush the pastry all over with the 2nd beaten egg and pop back into the oven for a further 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before adding the filling.

Butterscotch TartTo make the filling, in a very large saucepan – melt the butter and the sugar together over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Butterscotch TartAdd in the flour and cook, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes. You just need to ‘cook out’ the flour so it doesn’t taste chalky.

Butterscotch TartIf the mixture starts to split & butter leaks out, don’t panic – all is not lost!

Tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add in the salt, vanilla, butterscotch & milk. Beat until smooth and thick. To start with, it will feel like it just won’t come together, but keep going, it will.

If you’re mixture split & you’re having a hard time bringing it together, pop it all into a food processor and blitz on high until smooth and thick. It will be fine I promise.

Butterscotch TartWhen the pastry case is completely cooled, pour the filling in and allow to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to an hour. It should be able to just hold it’s shape when cut.

Butterscotch TartIf memory serves me correctly, the traditional (and my personal favourite) way is to slice & serve with warm custard. Although, custard is definitely something I do NOT remember being nice in school! Steer clear of those horrible powders & premade versions though. Go on, do this tart proud and make some from scratch. There’s nothing better than home made vanilla custard!

With my first bite into this tart, it took me straight back to my school days. I would get so excited when this was on the menu that I would just skip dinner and have two desserts instead! That beautiful, soft & gooey butterscotch filling on a gorgeously golden pastry crust. Just, yes. A thousand times yes!

I hope you enjoyed my nostalgic post this week my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry Tartlets

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsValentines Day is fast approaching and I bet you’re still deciding what to make for that romantic three course meal you’ve been planning. Well don’t panic, I’ve got dessert covered! These beautiful little tartlets are going to seriously wow your partner and they’ll love you forever, I promise!

Here is what you will need to make 6 tartlets. Because lets face it, you’re not going to eat just the one…

For the Gluten Free Pastry

  • 150g Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
  • 50g Gram Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, Cubed
  • 1/2 tsp Caster Sugar
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 tbsp Cold Water

(Alternatively, you can use non gluten free or shop bought pastry.)

For the Filling/Decoration

  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 240ml Double Cream
  • 80g White Chocolate, Roughly Chopped
  • Large Punnet of Raspberries

Equipment

  • 6 x 10cm Loose bottomed tart tins

First we need to make the pastry. In a food processor, add the flours, cubed butter, sugar & salt and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, tip the ingredients in a large bowl and rub between your thumb and forefingers until the same result is achieved.)

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsNow beat the egg with the water and gradually add it to the flour mixture. With normal pastry you would only add enough to just bring the pastry together – but with gluten free, it should be a little wetter/sticky. (This is because gluten free flours soak up more moisture than wheat flours.)

Wrap up in cling film, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C.

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsWhen the pastry is chilled, on a lightly floured surface, roll out to approx 3mm thick and cut out 6 rounds that are large enough to cover the base & sides of your tart tins. Carefully press them into the tins, trim any rough edges then pop back into the fridge to chill again for 10-15 minutes.

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry Tartlets

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsPrick the bases lightly with a fork then scrunch up pieces of baking/parchment paper and place them into the tins. Fill with baking beans and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the paper & beans, then bake for another 5 minutes until golden and cooked. Allow to cool in the tins whilst we get on with the filling.

In a glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, gently heat 60ml of the double cream.

In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until thick and pale.

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsAdd the hot cream to the egg mixture and stir well. Place the bowl back over the pan of barely simmering water and keep stirring until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsPour the mixture over the white chocolate and leave for 2 minutes to melt. Then stir until smooth and allow to cool.

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsMeanwhile, gently whip the remaining double cream until stiff peaks form. Then carefully fold this into the chocolate mixture.

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsFill each pastry case with the filling and allow to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour. When you are ready to serve, top with fresh raspberries and sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar to finish.

Gluten Free White Chocolate & Raspberry TartletsThese really are beautiful, not only to the eyes but the taste buds too! I have always adored white chocolate and it just works so perfectly together with the sharpness of the raspberries. Plus there’s the added bonus of it being gluten free, so those of you who suffer from coeliac disease need not miss out!

I hope you all have a wonderfully romantic Valentines Day my lovelies.

Until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

Ginger & White Chocolate Tart & ‘John Whaite Bakes’ Competition!

Ginger & White Chocolate TartI spied this recipe in the John Whaite Bakes (GBBO 2012 winner) recipe book a while ago and have wanted to make it ever since. Having still not come up with an excuse to make it, today I thought well sod it. I want to eat it. Isn’t that a good enough excuse?!

Here is what you will need to make this simple yet beautiful dessert. (Serves approx 8-10)

  • 400g Gingernut Biscuits
  • 100g Salted Butter
  • 400g White Chocolate
  • 400g Double Cream*
  • 2 Eggs

Equipment

  • a 10″ loose bottomed flan tin

* FYI 400g of double cream is the same as 400ml.

First things first – preheat your oven to 150°C.

In a food processor, blitz the biscuits along with the butter until you reach a fine crumb/sandy consistency.

Tip the lot into the flan tin and press into the base & sides with the back of a spoon. Pop into the fridge until needed later.

Ginger & White Chocolate TartChop the white chocolate and throw into a large glass bowl.

Gently heat the cream until it starts steaming (right before boiling point) then pour over the chocolate.

Ginger & White Chocolate TartAllow to sit for a minute then, using a whisk, stir the mixture until thick and smooth. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then beat the eggs and mix into the cream.

Ginger & White Chocolate TartSet the prepared base onto a shelf in your oven, then carefully pour the cream filling into it. It’s far easier to do it this way rather than having to move it when full – making it highly likely you will spill some over the edge. (Much like I did!)

Ginger & White Chocolate TartBake for about 35-40 minutes until set. (It will have a slight wobble to it but will feel slightly firm when pressed in the centre.)

Allow to cool completely in the tin before attempting to remove.

Ginger & White Chocolate TartAnd it’s literally as easy as that! Keep this beauty in the fridge until you’re ready to serve with lashings of yet more cream!

In other exciting news, how would you like to get your mitts on a signed copy of John Whaite Bakes?

John Whaite BakesThat’s right. One of you lucky lot will win a copy of John Whaite’s debut recipe book, signed by the man himself!

All you need to do to enter, is leave a comment on this post stating why you should win.

And that’s it!

Competition is open to UK Residents only (sorry everyone else!)

Ends on Sunday 15th December at 2pm. The winner will be announced later than day.

Hope you all enjoyed the post and good luck my lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason

Chocolate Mousse Tart!

I opted for a book called Chocolate Box for this weeks culinary adventure. It’s a book I picked up from Marks & Spencers in the January sales a few years back. I have made a couple of recipes from it before, the most memorable being a brownie based cheesecake which I remember being particularly indulgent! This time I wanted to try something I haven’t made before though. A chocolate mousse tart. It’s worth saying at this point that on the second of three attempts at this recipe… I realised that it must be wrong. Little frustrating to say the least but I think I managed to suss it out into something that’s edible!

Here is what you will need:

  • 85g Digestive Biscuits
  • 85g Amaretti Biscuits
  • 70g Butter
  • 200g Plain/Dark Chocolate
  • 115g Milk Chocolate
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 55g Caster Sugar
  • 2 x Cadburys Flake to decorate

I actually ended up forgetting about the Flakes due to all the unforeseen mishaps with the recipe. So just ate them instead. Which I didn’t mind : D

Now for the therapeutic bit. Get your digestive and amaretti biscuits and bash the crap out of them in a bag with a rolling pin. (Go a little easy though, you don’t want to be getting the hoover out!) Then melt the butter in a pan and add the biscuits. I personally would have added another 10g or so more to the butter as the end result was a little too crumbly for my liking. Press this into a 20 – 23cm spring form pan. I lined mine with greasproof paper but the recipe didn’t say to do this. Use your own judgement on that one. Leave in the fridge until needed.

Next, you need to melt the plain/dark & milk chocolate together in a glass bowl over simmering water and leave to cool.

Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites with electric beaters. When you get to the soft peaks stage, add in the caster sugar & carry on whisking until you get firm peaks. Now is the time when you are “apparently” supposed to put the bowl over your head and if it stays in the bowl it’s ready. Personally, I ain’t risking it. I just do it over the kitchen side… an easily washable surface!

Here is where it all went a bit Pete Tong. The recipe says that, once the melted chocolate is cool, add the 3 egg yolks to it. I tried it the first time… ok, this one was mainly my fault. I added the yolks whilst the chocolate was still a little too warm and the mixture split, looking something like this…

Considering the recipe then says to “pour” this into the egg whites I guessed that something wasn’t quite right! So I rummaged around in my cupboards and managed to scrape together enough chocolate and eggs to try again. So I melted more chocolate… this time leaving it for about half an hour just to be sure. It was practically cold to the touch. So I added 1 egg yolk in caution… and it instantly turned into a thick solid lump. At this point I got a little angry so forgot to take a photo to show you guys! It was basically the same as the above picture though,  just not split. If anyone knows the reason that this happens I would really like to know. I tried googling it but to no avail.

It was at this point I realised that the recipe was definitely wrong. So I thought I would try again, only this time fold the cooled, melted chocolate into the egg whites first and then add the yolks one by one. I was determined not to let this recipe defeat me!

Once everything was well incorporated, I poured the mixture over the prepared base and left in the fridge to set for 8 hours.

To my surprise… somehow, it bloody well worked! 3rd time lucky as they say : D

Although it doesn’t look that pretty or neat, it’s actually not that bad! The topping is smooth and silky in texture but still light and moussy. I did have a mental blip and forgot that I don’t like marzipan and therefore amaretti biscuits wasn’t the smartest of matches to my taste buds… but that aside, it was rather pleasant : D

And if anyone does know why chocolate instantly turns into a solid lump when egg yolks are added I would really appreciate if you could tell me.

It’s going to bug me until I know!

Until next week happy campers.

Miss Kitchen Mason

House Warming Special!

So, I had a family house warming this weekend. I think it went pretty well, out of all the food that I put out (and there was a lot) we were left with 4 BBQ chicken dumsticks & 2 slices of lemon tart. Not bad!

Just in case any of you are planning on hosting anything in need of a buffet, here is a list of everything that I laid out for my guests.

Cheats:

  • Crisps & dips – obviously!
  • Sausage rolls (bought frozen then cooked)
  • Salad items (Prepared by my lovely Mum!)
  • 2 x Quiches & Home made bread rolls (made by my amazing Gran!)

Home Mades:

  • Chicken drumsticks in BBQ marinade
  • Mini muffin pizzas
  • Potato salad
  • Halloumi/bacon rolls
  • French stick platter
  • Malt chocolate cheesecake
  • Lemon tart

Now, no matter what anyone says, you need some cheats. If you tried to do absolutely everything yourself you would dig yourself an early grave! The most important thing is to be able to spend as much time with your guests as possible & be a good host, you can’t do this when you are pulling your hair out in the kitchen!

So I started by marinading the chicken drumsticks the day before the party. I used a bought BBQ spice mix, there is no shame in this! After a few hours in the fridge,  I grilled them in the oven for 20mins each side until the juices ran clear and my kitchen smelt divine. Once they were cooled I simply covered them up, put them in the fridge and crossed it off my “to do” list.

Next came the Malt chocolate cheesecake. I found the recipe on the BBC GoodFood website a while ago and have wanted to try it out for ages! Now was the perfect excuse. First I made the biscuit base as it said in the recipe.

Next I made the fillings… and of course, licked the bowls & spoons after I had layered them on top of the biscuit base! The first layer is a malt drink & milk chocolate flavoured layer & the top layer is white chocolate flavour.

Once I had finished layering this mass of deliciousness I decorated the top with Maltesers & left it in the fridge until it was time for the grand unveiling the next day. And what an unveiling it was. There were several that didn’t believe that I had even made it & a few that kept asking for seconds & thirds! I was rather chuffed to say the least! Definitely one I will be making again.

After I had made the cheesecake for the chocolate lovers I thought i’d be a good host and make a ‘non chocolate’ pud for those strange folks that aren’t too fond of the cocoa bean. I decided on one I have made a couple of times before & has always gone down a treat. Heston Blumenthal’s Lemon Tart. I will put my hands up here and admit that, this time, I didn’t make the pastry as I normally would. I quite like my hair where it is and didn’t want to take on a really silly amount of work. The recipe I would usually use is Rachel Allens shortcrust pastry. I kid you not, it is the easiest thing in the world to make! Simply change a pinch of salt for a pinch of sugar if you are making a sweet pastry. The tart is another thing I made in advance and kept in the fridge until the night of the party.

At this point I realised that my guests may like to eat something other than puddings so cracked on with the nibbles on the morning of the party. First I boiled a 1kg bag of baby potatoes (all chopped to roughly the same size)  for the potato salad to allow them time to cool before adding the dressing. Later in the day I actually ran out of time (shock horror!) as my guests started arriving. So my wonderful other half made the dressing for me. The ingredients he used are as follows:

  • 2 x Cloves garlic , chopped finely
  • 1tsp Mustard (he used Maille Honey Mustard)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 5 tbsp Mayo
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 2 tsp White wine vinegar
  • Dried chives

This potato salad is a firm household favourite and pretty much always gets made when we need to do a buffet of sorts. The next thing I prepared was the Halloumi/bacon rolls from BBC GoodFood. These babies were unexpectedly delicious. They were so simple to make to! All you do is get a 10 pack of bacon rashers ( I used smoked back bacon which worked really well) and a 250g pack of halloumi. Don’t get the low fat crap, if you are going to do something wrong, do it right! Cut each bacon strip in half (to make 20 strips) and cut the halloumi block into 20 pieces. Then sprinkle the bacon with chives & pepper (Do NOT use salt, bacon and halloumi are both naturally very salty.) & roll ’em up!

Pop in the oven at 200°C for about 15 mins or until the bacon starts to go crispy, then wait for the yummy noises from your guests!

After these were done I got to work on the mini muffin pizzas & the french stick platter. The mini muffin pizzas are really easy to make & a mega crowd pleaser! My brother came to the party quite late & only managed to get one, then spent the rest of the night telling me how much he wanted another mini muffin pizza! All you have to do is get some packs of muffins & cut them in half. Spread a teaspoonful of creamed tomatoes or passata on top along with a generous amount of grated mozzarella cheese. Then top with whatever you want. I left some as cheese & tomato, some I topped with ham & the rest I topped with Pork.

Put them in the middle of the oven, at whatever temperature you happen to have your oven at for other party food, until the cheese is golden & bubbling on top. Lip-smackingly-yummy!

The french stick platter is probably the prettiest looking food at the table in my opinion. It’s really easy to make but can be a little fiddly, messy & time consuming. I got the idea from the Philidelphia App but changed it slightly to suit my tastes. I got a large french baguette, cut it in half, length ways, then spread Philidelphia cheese over the top and cut into smaller pieces. I then took single basil leafs and placed them in the corners of each piece, followed alternately by cherry tomatoes & Parma ham.

I then laid them neatly on a circular tray as above and that was that. My buffet was complete. And it went down far better than I could have hoped for! Not a bad first attempt at a house party me thinks.

Let me know what you think. Is there is any way you would adapt the recipes I used? What are your favourite buffet recipes? Have you got any neat time saving tricks or cheats for buffets? Maybe between us all we can compile the best buffet in the world!

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As always, thanks so much for reading. Can’t wait to read your comments.

Miss Kitchen Mason