Nanaimo Bar Tart


Well, another original recipe. This recipe came about quite suddenly. Paul and I had been talking about tortes and tarts, and my mind just started wandering when Paul went to work.

I wondered if a Nanaimo Bar Tart could possibly work, and started thinking…. I took a shortbread recipe for the crust, and changed it up a bit, as well as using the custard powder and turning it into a thick custard, topping it off with a smooth chocolate topping.


I threw it all in the fridge to set up. That was the hard part – waiting for it to set to make sure that everything tasted good and worked together. However, the waiting and experimentation paid off, because WOW did taste good!

The tart turned out very good, but very rich, and already I’m cursing the slightly-bigger-than-normal piece that I cut for myself and finished with gusto because it was just THAT good. Either way, if you are a Nanaimo Bar fan, then this tart should be right up your alley!

Enjoy an original recipe! 🙂

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8-9 inch tart

For the tart shell:

1 c. butter
1¼ c. flour
¾c. coconut
½ c. sugar
¼ c. cocoa

For the custard layer:

¼ c. plus 1 tbsp. custard powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. sugar
2½ c. milk

For the chocolate layer:

½ c. butter
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium microwave safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Add in the flour, coconut, sugar, and cocoa. Mix together until combined, and press into the tart pan and up the sides, trying to make as uniform and even as possible.

Bake the tart shell in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, and set aside to cool while making the filling.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the custard powder and sugar, then gradually pour in the vanilla and milk while whisking to create a cohesive sauce with no lumps. Whisk over a medium heat until a full boil and the custard thickens, whisking frequently. Once the custard thickens, pour into the cooled tart shell and let thicken and cool.

In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate chips and melt on short bursts, combining until smooth.

Once the custard has thickened more, and formed a skin on top, pour the chocolate over top of the tart and even out, being careful not to mix the custard into the chocolate.

Let cool and set completely, in the fridge or on a wire rack, then slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator.

Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

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I have been feeling in the mood for a simple, quick dessert that wouldn’t require much time or effort. Paul made us a fabulous roast lamb dinner, and I wanted to make a dessert that 1) didn’t take up a lot of time in the kitchen, and 2) would complement the delicious meal without overpowering it. This tart was just perfect. It’s an extremely simple recipe, that takes maybe 20-30 minutes from start to finish, including the time it takes to set up between layers in the fridge.

A simple, no-bake tart was the perfect solution to the great dinner. Yes, you heard me correctly. It is a no-bake dessert. So simple, but so worth it. An easy, chocolate graham cracker crust, topped with a peanut butter ganache, finished off with a chocolate ganache. That’s it. I used two bowls, a tart pan, a whisk, a spatula, and of course, measuring cups. Simple.
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Considering it is Paul’s birthday coming up (be sure to come back and see his birthday cake choice!), and he didn’t want the usual order of peanut butter and chocolate (he just wanted it jazzed up a bit instead of just the two flavours… you’ll understand when you see it!), I decided to make something peanut butter and chocolate a little in advance.

This tart was just the thing we needed, and it was the perfect end to an absolutely fantastic meal. Rich, and chocolatey, without being achingly sweet. The peanut butter helps balance it out. Delish. Try this out. If you have got a bit of time, and don’t want to turn on the oven, this is a fantastic alternative to a rich cake. I feel like Life, Love, and Sugar, the original blog I got the recipe from, is my go-to girl for anything peanut butter and chocolate. She’s definitely got the corner on rich and satisfying desserts, and I urge you to check her out. I have quite a few new pins from her blog (Amaretto or Smores Cheesecake anyone?) that I am dying to try. Like I said, I think she is my dessert soul-sister, and I didn’t realize how AWESOME she is. Check her out. My photos are nowhere near as beautiful as hers are (it’s my lack of professional camera), but this is a spectacular recipe to try.

Anyways, enough with the food-blogger promotion! We are all trying to grab a reader’s attention, and all food blogs deserve a little respect and love, and my way of doing that is telling you where I get the recipes I follow. No higher praise than food bloggers referencing other food bloggers’ recipes, in my opinion!
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Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch tart

1½ c. Oreo cookie crumbs
4 tbsp. melted butter
6 oz. Reese’s peanut butter chips
1 c. heavy cream, divided
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, halved or quartered

Place oreo crumbs in a medium bowl and add melted butter. Mix until evenly combined and press firmly into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and set aside.

Place peanut butter chips in a small bowl. In a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, pour ½ cup of the cream in the measuring cup, and microwave 45 seconds-1 minute, until cream is boiling. Pour cream over peanut butter chips, let sit about 30 seconds, then whisk together until smooth. Pour mixture into the formed tart shell and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate about 10 minutes, until set.

Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, pour the remaining ½ cup of cream and microwave 45 seconds-1 minute, again until cream is boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips, and let sit about 30 seconds, then whisk together until smooth. Pour the chocolate ganache over the set peanut butter ganache, and spread into an even layer.

Chop the mini Reese’s cups into quarters or halves (whichever you prefer), and sprinkle over the top of the chocolate ganache. Refrigerate until completely set, about 1 hour. Slice and serve.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I am posting this scrumptious treat! Paul and I do not actually celebrate Valentine’s Day (being in the restaurant industry, you usually have to work on days like that, instead of being able to celebrate anything), and we much prefer understated declarations of romance, instead of going over the top.

I have wanted to make a tart for a while now. I have two full size tart pans, as well as a set of four smaller pans, and they still have not been used! Finally, I broke out the tart pans, and found a tempting recipe to make. On my Pinterest board, I have quite the collection of desserts, and a small collection of tarts. While I do have a bag of frozen strawberries in my freezer, and was extremely tempted to make a strawberry tart, I chose to make something decidedly more extravagant and indulgent.

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I found the recipe here, and the best part is that it involves homemade salted caramel. Anything that involves homemade salted caramel must be good, right? Add a luscious chocolate ganache, a dusting of salt, and a crisp cookie crust, and helloo, lovely.

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Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch tart

For the crust:

10 tbsp. butter, softened
½ c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt

For the caramel:

½ c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
5 tbsp. water
Pinch of sea salt

For the ganache:

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Pinch of sea salt
2 c. heavy cream

For the tart shell, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix until just incorporated. Add in the flour and salt, and mix just until the dough comes together, on low speed. Scrape the dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thick round. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan, trimming the excess dough. Place the shell in the freezer until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake shell for 30 minutes. Remove the parchment paper, and bake for 10 minutes more. Allow to cool while you make the filling.

For the caramel, bring the cream to a boil and then turn off the heat. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar with 5 tbsp. of water and cook, stirring over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 4 minutes, until it reaches 374°F, swirling the pan as needed. Do not stir the caramel! Only swirl the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the hot cream. Stir until smooth. Add the salt, and whisk again.

Pour the caramel into the tart shell so that the bottom is evenly covered, and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to pour in the ganache.

For the ganache, place the chocolate and salt in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes. Whisk the chocolate into the cream until they are melted together. Pour the ganache into the tart shell, and allow to set at room temperature. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving.

Slice into wedges and serve.