Monday, 29 September 2014

Cranberry Frangipane Tart

I am SO excited to be sharing this recipe with you today.  Baked for a family Sunday lunch the other week, I am already looking forward to the next time I can bake this delicious tart!  I LOVE the flavours, the texture and the overall look of the tart and for me at least, the cranberry paired with the almond flavour couldn't be a better combination!

For me, cranberries are the perfect Summer into Autumn fruit, and they're only just making their way onto the shelves freshly picked.  Sadly the weekend I baked this they weren't ready yet and fresh cranberries weren't anywhere to be found, but frozen ones did the job, and next time I'll definitely try fresh ones just to compare!

I used an Anna Olson recipe for this tart, but adapted the recipe a little as I went, as well as making a bigger tart than she did - which meant some maths to figure out ingredients and how much of everything I would need for the tart pan size I had but everything worked out so I guess my calculations were correct!  I used her Cranberry Frangipane Tart recipe along with her Nut-Crust Tart Shell which was delicious, from her 'Back to Baking' book that I love, but I'll share the recipe how I prepared it :-)

For the Nut-Crust Tart Shell (to fit an 11-inch tart pan) -


1/2 cup ground almonds
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3/8 tsp salt
9 tbsp cold and cubed unsalted butter (1/2 cup + 2 tsp)
2.5 tbsp cold water


1.  In a mixing bowl, mix together the ground almonds, flour, sugar and salt until combined.

2.  Add the butter and using a pastry blender (or fingertips...or food processor) combine with the dry ingredients until it has a sandy, breadcrumb texture.

3.  Add the cold water and mix together with a fork until the dough comes together in a ball.

4.  Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap (cling-film) and chill the dough until it is firm, at least an hour.

5.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

6.  On a lightly floured surface, break the chilled dough into 4 pieces and then push them together, kneading them to soften them slightly (Anna tells me; this will make it easier to roll the dough without cracking it).

7.  Roll out the dough until it is just under 1/4 inch thick and carefully lift it to line an 11-inch, removable-bottom tart pan.  Press the crust into the corners and trim away any excess dough.  Chill the dough for 10 minutes.

8.  Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork, place the tart pan on a baking tray, and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown around the edges, and the pastry is dry in the centre.

9.  Let the tart shell cool and fill it soon after.

When I baked the crust, I was surprised that the edges shrunk lower than how high the actual edges of the pan were.  Next time I try this I will bake it with pie weights to see if that helps it keep it's shape.  

And now, the cranberry frangipane filling!


1 cup ground almonds
1 cup sugar
1 1/8 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 eggs
1 1/2 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/8 tsp almond extract
1/8 ground cinnamon
2 1/4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen - thawed)
1 1/2 tbsp flour (if using frozen)


1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Place the pan containing the crust onto a baking tray.

2.  Mix together the ground almonds and sugar, and add the butter, egg, egg yolk, extracts and cinnamon and mix until evenly blended.

3.  Transfer the almond filling to a bowl.  If using thawed frozen cranberries, toss them with 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour.
4.  Stir the cranberries into the almond filling and scrape the filling into the cooled crust.

5.  Bake on the tray for 50 - 60 minutes, until the filling is set and evenly browned.  Cool to room temperature in the pan before removing the outer ring of the pan.

6.  When fully cooled, carefully transfer the tart onto a serving platter and slice - serving at room temperature. 
I did find that there was some leakage of the tart filling - perhaps my cranberries were too big and I ended up with too much volume in the tart, or maybe it was because of my shrinking tart crust edges that it wouldn't hold as much, but luckily it didn't effect the taste or texture, there was just a little I had t cut off the edge of one section of the tart edge before serving, but no big deal!  I wont add it all next time if I think it may happen again.

My parents will be visiting us in October, and a request was already made on my Instagram sneak peek for a re-bake of this, and I loved it so much I will definitely bake it again for them to try ... and for me and Jonathan to enjoy again as well!!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Baby Sized Baby Shower Swiss Roll

Earlier in September we were thrown a wonderful Peter Rabbit themed baby shower and I was told not to bring anything!... But well, the invite said pot luck and when am I ever going to turn down a chance to bake something new!?
For my birthday I received a swiss roll pan (jelly roll pan) that I had been wanting for a long time.  I've never made one of these myself, but have been thinking about it a while.
I started simply, with a plain sponge, filled with strawberry jam and then, as I wanted to decorate it with some fondant pieces I knew I wanted to make I also covered the swiss roll in a vanilla buttercream.  Here's the recipe, and photos of the finished product!
4 large eggs
4oz golden yellow sugar
4oz self-raising flour
1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Lightly grease a swiss roll pan (or cookie sheet with high edges) and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, leaving the paper hanging over the edges.

2.  Using a stand mixer (or electric beaters), beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl on high speed for 5 minutes, or until light and foamy.

3.  Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in lightly and quickly. 

4.  Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when lightly touched.

5.  While the swiss roll is baking, lay a sheet of parchment paper on a tea towel.

6.  Once baked, turn the sponge out onto the paper, remove the original parchment paper from the bottom of the cake, and starting from a short end, roll up the sponge with the paper, using the tea towel as a guide.  Cool rolled up for at least 30 minutes.

7.  While the cake is cooling prepare your buttercream filling and decorations.  I made enough buttercream for a thin spread inside the roll and a thick spread on the outside.  (12 oz icing sugar, 9oz butter, 1 tbsp milk and 1 tsp vanilla essence beaten together).

8.  When the cake has cooled, and the filling is ready carefully unroll the sponge and spread with buttercream.  Add some spoonfuls of seedless strawberry jam and spread with a palette knife leaving a border at the edge of the cake so it doesn't all fall out of the sides!

9.  Carefully re-roll the sponge, and spread over the buttercream.  Smooth the edges and wipe away any excess on the platter.  I chose to already put the swiss roll on the platter it would be served on - I thought it would be best to decorate this way! 
10.  Add your decorations and enjoy the cake!

I used these great baby shower cookie cutters and used them with fondant.  I love how these imprinted cookie cutters work with fondant (check them out on my Baby Boy Elephant Cupcakes, and Zebra Birthday Cake to see the other times I've done this!)

And the finished product...

But why did I call this post baby sized?!  Well.  MAJOR melting problem.  I was stupid and left the cake out in a sunny car for longer than I should have done and the left hand side of the swiss roll definitely was not a pretty sight.  So, a good chunk had to be cut off but I was persuaded by my wonderful husband that I should still take some of it along.  BOO huge error.. Now, even in the middle of a Canadian Winter I will not be leaving anything buttery in the car!  At least the taste wasn't effected and I'm pretty pleased with how my first swiss roll turned out - now to try out lots of other flavour combinations, I feel like the possibilities are endless with this cake!
Here's a final snap of the dessert table - the fact that my swiss roll was baby sized did NOT matter one bit - just look at the amount of sweets there were, as well as the incredible Peter Rabbit cake and cookies that were made for us :-) 
 ... And now, the countdown is on!  More baby posts coming soon!