Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Tart or Pudding? You decide.

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.

Thank you Jasmine and Annemarie for a very history filled challenge!
As you may have already guessed, there is much debate on whether or not this dessert is actually a pudding or a tart. Now on the one hand it does have a crust like a tart, but on the other hand the top is rather sponge like and you can put a cream sauce on it. Unfortunately, I myself could not decide due to some, err... oh hell, the thing was so good I didn't really care to decipher if it was more of a tart or pudding. So it looks like you'll just have to make it yourself and decide the great debate: Tart or Pudding?

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding
Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability (I made a strawberry jam, but I think any kind of berry would be good, or even store bought jam if you prefer)
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

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 acclimatised 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. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. 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. (After the jam, I added some chocolate chips.) Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

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. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
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.


Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

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. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. 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.

Annemarie’s notes:• Add another five minutes or more if you're grinding your own almonds or if you're mixing by hand (Heaven help you).

If you enjoyed this, please stop by here and check out everyone else's posts!
Stay tuned for my next baking adventure!
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Anonymous said...

I love that you added chocolate chips to the rich and fruity! Your tart looks amazing! Nice job!

msmeanie said...

I second the love for chocolate chips! I almost can't make a dessert without adding chocolate to it. Fabulous tart! Looks delicious!

Christina said...

Thank you! I can't seem to help myself. I'm always trying to incorporate chocolate into baked goods! Being a woman I feel it's my duty :)

Elle said...

I can see why your hubby scarfed down his looks great. Love the additon of the chocolate.

Candice said...

Ooh, chocolate chips? Now there's a great idea!

rahyan said...

oh, i wish i have the time to make one with chocolate chips too! hehe. i love chocolate everything! thanks for dropping by!!

Lou @ Happy Food said...

Mmmm chocolate chips sounds fantastic, will definitely keep that in mind for the next time I make these tarts. Your's looks gorgeous, congratulations :)

Anonymous said...

Yours looks so delicious and I love the photography near the window!

isa said...

Your tart looks wonderful! Chocolate chips sounds delicious. Nicely done!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Yours turned out beautifully! I also love the idea to add chocolate.

Beth said...

Your pictures are really pretty, especially the first one. Nice job this month!

Just have to mention that I am also a total Francophile, and adore pain or chocolat. Great name for your blog!

Anonymous said...

Great job, love the chocolate chips idea!

ice tea: sugar high said...

the chocolate chip will be a good addition to the tart. Great idea. Great job on the challenge, the tart look fantastic

Christina said...

Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments! I just got back from vacation and I'm really enjoying checking out how everyone else did on the challenge. I love seeing all the delicious pictures!

Anonymous said...

Chocolatte chips are great addition to almost everything, specially to tarts AND puddings ;)

Kathleen said...

The chocolate chips are both inspired and true to your blog's name :)

Great job on the challenge!

Leslie said...

Strawberry jam AND chocolate chips??Oh my...delish!
Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

Anonymous said...

Your tart looks wonderful! I love the addition of choc chips.

CookiePie said...

How fantastic that you added chocolate chips! Lovely tart!!

Christina said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by and commenting :) I'm convinced chocolate chips make the world a much better place :)