Fig, Walnut & Chocolate Tart

My mother has always bought her pie-crust pastry at a French grocery store called Eleclerc, firstly because it’s the best and secondly because it’s a convenient place to go. The pastry there comes wrapped in both plastic and in a thicker paper with recipe ideas for tarts and pies. This recipe here has always been an instant success in our household, mainly because of the delicious hidden chocolate layer, I wonder why?! The original recipe from the pastry packaging uses slices of pears on top, but the type of fruit is really up to you, peaches, cherries, apples, plums… The choice is endless. Hope you enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • pie-crust pastry (230g)
  • 15-20 fresh figs, halved and lightly dusted with 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 100g semisweet chocolate
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 125g ground walnuts
  • 125g caster sugar

 

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. In a bowl, mix together softened butter, ground walnuts and sugar until combined. Add eggs and mix well.
  3. Melt the chocolate on top of a double boiler; add a tablespoon of butter if desired.
  4. Place the lined pastry in your pie dish, then create an even layer of melted chocolate, followed by the walnut layer, and then top it all with fresh figs.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the middle of your oven. Bon appetit!
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Vanilla Pots de Crème with Strawberries

Have you guessed yet that my father really loves strawberries? I made him two small portions of both this recipe and the Strawberry Soufflé recipe for his name’s day this year. So tasty!

Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1 (3-inch) piece vanilla bean, or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • strawberries, to garnish
  • vanilla sugar
  • lime juice
  • a few tbsp Kirsch or similar liqueur

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat 1 3/4 cups of the cream with the vanilla bean (if using), cool. Beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in sugar and salt, the remaining 1/4 cup cream and the vanilla extract (if vanilla bean was not used). Gradually beat in the warm cream. Strain mixture into ramekins.
  2. Place pots in a baking pan. Pour in hot water to depth of 1 inch. Cover the pots with aluminium foil. Bake in a preheated oven (160°C/325°F) for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and chill before serving.
  3. Slice strawberries, add a little vanilla-scented sugar and lime juice, toss to blend.
  4. If desired (and if you still have room in your ramekins), you can upgrade your dessert by making a simple English cream, mixed with simple, crushed cookies. And a few shavings of chocolate on top. 🙂

Please note: This recipe is an adaptation of the following recipe: Vanilla Pots de Crème from Henri-Paul Pellaprat’s work of art, Art culinaire moderne in the English version: The great book of French cuisine / Henri-Paul Pellaprat, edited and introduced by Jerimiah Tower – Rev. ed.

PS: Again, I didn’t have a chance to take a photo (I have three super hungry brothers who can’t bear to wait to eat their dessert haha). The photo is taken from: http://www.two-tarts.com/2013/08/pots-de-creme-with-strawberries.html