Friday, October 19, 2012

Blueberry-Almond Frangipane Tart

There's one thing I make simply for the fact that I love to eat it, and it's this. I don't do it because I love to make it, because trust me, this pretty thing takes a bit of work - and that's AFTER I simplified the process. But, alas, all that hard work does pay off.

I find myself obsessed with anything that involves frangipane. It's earthy, luxurious and so delicious. I created this variation on my favorite fruit tart, and baked blueberries into the frangipane so they released all of their delicious juices into the almond scented custard. Oh my gosh, it was, divine, simply put. With some more fresh blueberries on top, it really was perfect.

Blueberry-Almond Frangipane Tart
Yields: 2 9" tarts
Original frangipane recipe here.

For the crust:
1 package dry mix sugar cookie dough
+ the ingredients needed to make it, according to the package
 For the frangipane:
8 tbsn. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup almond meal or ground almonds
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. almond extract

3 cups fresh blueberries, 1 cup set aside
1/2 cup slivered almonds

First, prepare the frangipane filing. Combine the butter and sugar in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the ground almonds and pulse to blend. Add the cornstarch and pulse. Mix in the egg, egg yolk and almond extract. Scrape into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using. Before spreading into the tart crust, make sure to bring back to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare the sugar cookie mix according to the directions on the package. Divide the dough among two 9" tart pans with removable bottoms. Spread evenly along the entire surface and up the sides (don't worry if it looks thin - it will puff up during baking). Divide the frangipane among the two tarts and spread evenly on top of the sugar cookie base. Sprinkle each tart with 1 cup of fresh blueberries each, pressing slightly so that they are semi-submerged into the frangipane. Sprinkle the edges of the tart with the slivered almonds. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the edges are just barely golden and puffed up, while the blueberries have released some of their juices. Set aside to cool a bit. Sprinkle the remaining fresh berries on top of each tart. You can glaze the tart with some melted preserves if you wish or dress it up with some powdered sugar, but I thought it was perfectly beautiful as is.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Items in the Shop!

hello all!

just wanted to show you some new things in the shop that i'm totally in love with.

enjoy! xxxooo.

mercer in graphite & navy . heavy brass chain contrasted against oversized glass crystals

mercer in graphite . oversized mirrored glass beads contrasted against heavy brass chain

mercer in adventurine stone . semi-precious adventurine stone contrasted against heavy brass chain

l'argent in brass . heavy brass chain secured on delicate thin brass chain

angkor . statement drop earrings made of gold tubes and semi-precious black quartz

l'or . a tiered, double stranded necklace featuring two golden curved bars

adonia . wire wrapped gold plated charm on gold plated chain

unmei . a lariat necklace made of gold plated chain and gold plated charms

aisling in smoke . a sparkling grey glass bead wrapped in brass wire

ancla in rain . oversized glass beads on gold plated chain

milieu in light green opal, rose gold, silver and gold . micro bead and chain rings 

elan . earrings hand forged with mirrored silver glass beads wrapped in brass wire

perse . semi-precious citrine stone on gold plated earring backings

tre . super thin gold-plated tiered satellite chain with mini graphite bead detailing

l'argent in gold . oversized gold curb chain with double stranded gold plated chain

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Smores Tartlettes

For someone who primarily bakes, I'm not much of a sweets eater. If my life depended on the choice between sweet versus savory, I'd choose savory hands down. I love salt so much so that I used to just moisten my fingers, dip them in salt, and then proceed to lick it off my fingers. So... basically, when I get kidney stones, I'll know exactly why and who to blame.
When I made these smores tartlettes, I wasn't expecting to love them much. When I do enjoy sweets, I usually prefer ones on the less sweet side. These, filled with a rich chocolate ganache and topped with toasty marshmallows seemed like they would be much too rich for my own taste, which is why I chose to make them as a present for someone else. But as I tasted these teeny little tartlettes, I was surprised by how much I was drawn to them. They're actually the perfect treat! I love when I prove myself wrong.
Smores Tartlettes
Yields: 10 mini tarts
Original recipe here.

For the crust:
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tbsn. unsalted butter

For the filling:
5 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsn. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
pinch of salt (I used fleur de sell)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

mini marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well blended and crumbly. Transfer the mixture to the mini tart pans and use your fingers to press the graham crackers into the pan. Bake until set and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and butter until warm and the butter is melted. Stir to combine and pour the hot milk mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for several minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the salt and vanilla and let cool completely. Pour into the mini crusts and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours. Right before serving, press a layer of mini marshmallows into the chilled ganache. Use a blow torch to toast the marshmallows until golden brown.