It’s been a grey and icy weekend here in Bristol. I have been out with YakTrax over my boots to grip into the ice, I am getting too unsteady on my feet to slide and skid, though I have fond memories of setting up iceslides on the street when I was younger and more bendy. We have played briefly in the park, wandered down through the wood, kicked a few snowballs into the air to be blown to smithereens by jumping poodles, inspected a magnificent seated snowman hanging out on a bench in Quarry Park, and climbed over small saplings brought down by the weight of snow on their branches.
It is very quiet though, I have seen the neighbours but that is about it. So what better way to spend a few spare hours than to imagine you are baking with a friend? I suggested to Heidi @ Steps On the Journey that we have a go at TheLittleLoaf’s Chocolate Frangipane Tarts. I was seduced by TheLittleLoaf’s lovely writing and her gorgeous photography as I have been many times before, but usually I look, bookmark and say “I must make this” and then I forget. I am very forgetful.
The recipe we did can be found in its beautiful entirety on by cliicking here. I am just going to include some pictures and notes from making it before they are all gone!
This is a really clear recipe. I don’t have tartlet tins with loose bottoms, which I realised when I read the recipe properly this morning, so I improvised with these tins which worked fine.
I used all the pastry and filling and made 4 4” tarts which are bigger than they look and hold a lot of filling and 6 little flat 3 “ tarts which are more like a small flat jam tart. The hour in the freezer was the time out crunching across the icy wastes of suburban Bristol with the poodles. Brian commented that we could just have left them in the garden!
I needed to adjust the baking temperatures to accommodate the different sizes, the big ones took a bit longer and the small ones less time, but I didn’t burn anything and I think they are cooked OK.
I wasn’t going to skate up to Waitrose to see if they had fresh cherries on a Sunday, so I carefully peeled some segments of clementines to try and stay true to the spirit of the recipe with a fresh fruit on the top. They look a bit 1970s don’t they?
I also finally used this little chocolate microwave melting pot thing that I got from Lakeland and it worked beautifully and I got a lot less chocolate over me than I do usually when I melt chocolate.
The fiddly part for me is always working with pastry, it really isn’t my strong point, but chilling it helps, and freezing it definltely stopped it shrinking while it baked, so I have learnt a useful tip there.
Anyway these are rich and delicious and everything a dark chocolate-almond loving person could want in a tea time treat! Thank you Little Loaf for the recipe! I need to get better at presentation but I was so relieved they didn’t fall apart with their thin and delicate pastry that I was perfectly content with the results. And here is Heidi’s post, an almost simultaneous broadcast! Hee hee! I love blogging at times like this :)