The Foodie Blogroll

Fig, Pecan and Walnut Bread + Raspberry Fig Tarts + Sweet Potato Butter Tarts

Fig, Pecan and Walnut Bread

Recipe adapted from here

I found this recipe for a healthy, fig and walnut bread, I decided to change it around a little bit though and instead of using ground almond I used ground pecan. I really liked this bread because it was incredibly simple to make, I'm not even sure if I really want to call it a bread. I liked the crunch of this from the figs, and the texture that the walnuts gave. The only thing that I didn't like however is that there was too much oil required and I found that before I ate this I would pat it with a paper towel to decrease the oil residue. It was good though for something so simple, with so few ingredients, I enjoyed it. Jordan however found it to be bland and thought that it needed more crunch, his favourite part of this was the crispy edges. He found that the cake itself it's like he was searching for something that just wasn't coming, which I sort of agree with, but I knew the flavours that were going into this and wasn't expecting THAT much from it since they aren't my favourite flavours apart from the fig, so I made a very very tiny version of it, nonetheless I still enjoyed it.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp + 1 tsp sweet dried figs 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup walnut halves
  • 6 tbsp ground pecan
  • 3/4 large egg
  • 2.5 tbsp + 1/2 tsp grapeseed
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp cider vinegar

Directions:

Grease and line a deep sided 8" diameter cake tin - or a 1lb loaf tin. Pre-heat the oven to 160C fan assisted (175 without)

Place figs and water in a small saucepan and simmer until most of the water is absorbed - there should just be a bit of moisture left in the bottom.

Blitz the figs in a food processor until they form a coarse paste. Add ground pecans and process again till damp crumbs form. Add walnuts and process again briefly until they are coarsely chopped. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl beat the eggs with an electric hand whisk until frothy. Still beating, slowly drizzle in the oil in a thin stream and continue beating until the eggs are pale, thick and doubled in volume.

Sprinkle bicarb and vinegar over the eggs and beat briefly to distribute evenly.

Tip nut mix onto the eggs and fold in thoroughly with a metal spoon until the nuts are evenly distributed - there will still be quite a lot of egg apparent, but don't worry.

Scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes - or until firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. Give the loaf more time to bake and maybe turn the temperature down if it browns too fast. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to three days - or slice and freeze for up to two weeks.

Raspberry Fig Tarts

This was something I just came up with spurr of the moment. I was really in the mood to make tarts, and as odd as this is going to sound had a dream I was eating strawberry fig tarts, but since I was out of strawberries I went for raspberries. This was a very good combination, the taste was great, and the colour, I mean check out that reddish-purpley hue, so beautiful! The crust of the tart I was really afraid of, I wanted it to be more like a shortbread so I changed around my shortbread recipe a bit and tried it out. It worked but they are very fragile which is a down side. This is a nice replacement for your typical tart, it's still hearty and tasty just with far less calories and fat, different but still good :)

Crust Ingredients:

  • 10 tbsp rice flour
  • 2 1/4 tbsp egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 320 degrees F

Combine everything in a bowl and combine with a spoon until a soft-sticky dough forms. Spray or line 8 holes of a muffin tin.

Divide the amongst each of the holes. Mine was ultra crumbly, even though it was sticky, so I pushed down really hard, then pushed up the sides as high as it could go.

Baked for 6-8 minutes, until the edges start to turn a golden brown. Cool for a few minutes in the tin, then gently loosen using a butter knife and twist out of the tins.

Cool completely on a rack.

Either store them in an airtight container or freeze them until you want to use them.

Ingredients for Tart Filling:

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 9 dried figs - chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions:

Over medium heat, mix your ingredients in a sauce pan. Combine until a jam like consistency starts to form about 8 minutes.

Pour into tarts, and voila, it's as simple as that!


Sweet Potato Butter Tarts

Recipe taken from here for the crostatine

Recipe adapted from here for the sweet potato filling

I made these tarts on a whim. I was really in the mood for some Thanksgiving baking, I mean, fall flavours plus the spices that accompany them are what I look forward to about the fall the most. I decided to try sweet potato since I had suggested making a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving and everyone in the house seemed opposed to that idea, so I figured why not still try it out but do it in smaller quantities just in case it isn't that successful. This was an errr... difficult dessert - people either really liked it or they didn't care for it all. I'm not sure maybe I didn't pick a good recipe? Perhaps I shall try again, and try to convince those people to change their minds ;) we'll see.

Crostatine

Ingredients - Yield 12 tartlettes

  • 125 gr flour
  • 75 gr butter, soft
  • 50 gr sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

Sift flour onto a clean surface and make a hole where you will put the soft butter, the sugar, the vanilla and the yolk.

Lightly work the dough by hand until the ingredients are well mixed but making sure not to work it for too long or the dough will "burn" and it will become unusable.

Wrap the dough into plastic paper and let it rest for about an hour in a cold, dry place (I actually place it in the fridge sometimes).

Roll out the dough and with a cookie cutter or a glass cut 12 rounds that you will place in the mini muffin pan to give them the shape of small tarts. Punch the bottom of the tartlettes with a fork and then fill in with your favorite filling.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges of the tartlettes only start to become brown. It is important to not over bake the dough or the tartlettes will be very hard and dry once cooled down.

Cool completely at room temperature before trying to take the tartelettes out of pan or they will break.

Sweet Potato Raisin Tarts Filling

Pierce each sweet potato a few times with a fork, place in a pie plate with two tablespoons water, cover loosely with wax paper, and microwave at high five minutes or until tender.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato*
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup raisings
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • 1 egg white

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.Combine sweet potato, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, stirring well.

Combine raisins, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, rum extract and egg white, stirring well.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon sweet potato mixture into each phyllo shell, spreading to edges. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon raisin mixture over sweet potato mixture. Place filled shells on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Enjoy your beautiful desserts with a nice cup of tea or coffee, or anything else really ;)

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