Monday, July 29, 2013

Love to Bake with The Queen of Tarts

The Queen of Tarts 

Cookies & Tools

The perfect Red Velvet Cupcake  

The event

I have to confess that I am more of a savoury cook than a sweet baker. Don’t get me wrong, a slice of moist dark chocolate cake or a piece of fruit pie with rich vanilla custard can make my palette sing, but when it comes to baking I’m pretty useless…

So when I meet bakers like Tina Bester aka The Queen of Tarts, who elegantly navigates her way around a kitchen while effortlessly working on not one, but three sweet creations at once(!) I become seriously inspired.

The ‘Love to Bake’ event was hosted by Good Housekeeping magazine at L’Ancienne Residence where we were treated to tasty canapés, more cookies from Moir’s than you can imagine and delicious South African bubbly. Tina took the stage and demonstrated how to bake three of her signature desserts: Apple, ginger & caramel tart, Chocolate frangipane & pear tart with almonds and Red velvet cupcakes, using funky bake-ware from the Clicks Love to Bake range.

The smells in the kitchen were intoxicating, and after properly having our taste buds whet we got to taste Tina’s baking creations – YUM! I loved her Apple and ginger tart so much I decided to give it a try, here is the recipe:

Apple, Ginger & Caramel Tart
Makes one big tart

You will need
For the crust:
300g Moir’s Ginger biscuits, crushed (use a food processor for this)
120g butter, melted
6-8 apples, peeled and cored
125ml water
55g castor sugar
40g Moir’s Ginger preserve, thinly sliced
For the Caramel:
130g brown treacle sugar
180ml golden syrup
60g butter, melted
4 eggs
80ml pouring cream

How to make it
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Combine the crushed ginger biscuits and butter in a bowl and mix well.
Pour into a loose-bottomed tart tin and gently press the mixture into it. (Use the back of a spoon.)
Bake it blind for 8 minutes.
In the meantime, peel the apples, cut them in half and core them. Place the cored apples on a flat surface and cut thin lines (about 1cm deep) into the top of the apple halves.
Place them in a pot with the water and castor sugar (add more water if needed) and cook the apples for 8 minutes. Drain them and place them cut side down on the ginger biscuit base.
Dot thin slices of the ginger preserve between the apples.
Combine all the ingredients for the caramel in a bowl and whisk well.
Pour the caramel over the apples, filling the tart shell to the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking on the tart half way through. You might need to cover the edges with foil towards the end of the cooking time so the crust does not overcook.
The tart should have a slight jiggle in the centre.
Serve as is, or with thick cream or ice cream.

    - I halved the recipe and it worked perfectly.
-   - If you can’t find Moir’s ginger preserve, slice about 10cm fresh ginger into thin strips and boil it in the sugar water you cooked the apples in until it starts to caramelise. Allow to cool, and scatter over the tart.
-   - Oil your measuring spoon or cup before adding the syrup, this helps it from sticking.

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