Cherry Pistachio and Almond Tarts


It's been three weeks since my last post! I wish I had a real excuse for my absence, like a vacation or my oven broke or my camera died, but it was really just a lack of time... I'm enjoying summer while I can, you can't blame me for that! Although there is the constant nagging in the back of my mind saying, "You should post something this week! You really should!". 

Whatever, nagging voice, get outta here.


I've been out hiking and riding my motorbike and seeing family and friends and getting sunburned! And working….lots of working. So in between all that, there's been very little time for blog work and I feel a bit guilty. Not guilty enough to do much about it, but still guilty. That, "Ughhh, I should work on that…. but I won't right now" kind of guilty. 



That's not to say that I don't appreciate all you readers out there, though! I check the blog daily and I read every instagram comment and it all just makes my day. I think it's just so super cool that people from all over the world look at my photos of food that I've made in my little kitchen. But sometimes I gotta do other stuff and I don't think you guys will mind if I don't post for a little while. You always know that I'll come back, right? I can't stay away for long.





Sablé Dough 
Recipe adapted from Elements of Dessert

Makes four 2.75 inch tarts

145 g all-purpose flour
350 g cake flour
240 g butter, at room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean
3.5 g salt
180 g icing sugar
35 g almond flour
100 g eggs

Pistachio Almond Cream

125 g almond meal
12 g all-purpose flour
125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125 g icing sugar
75 g eggs

75 g pistachios
20 g honey
10 g neutral tasting oil
20 g water

To finish

Cherries, cut into quarters
Crème chantilly
Chopped pistachios


For the pistachio almond cream, place the pistachios, honey, oil, and water in a food processor and grind until a smooth paste is formed, about 15 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom often. Set aside.

Sift the almond flour into a medium bowl and break up any lumps remaining in the sieve. Add the all-purpose flour and whisk together.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low until the butter is the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted. Sift in the icing sugar and mix on the lowest setting until incorporated, then increase the speed to ow and mix until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add the almond mixture in two additions, pulsing to combine and then mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each one. Scrape down the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have settled there.

Add the egg and mix on low speed until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Fold in the pistachio paste until combined. Transfer to a covered container and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. The almond cream can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

For the sablé, sift the all-purpose and cake flour together.

Cream the butter, salt, icing sugar, and almond flour together on medium speed in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mix. Mix until a homogenous mass is obtained, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer, add the eggs and mix for a few seconds on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Stop the mixer, add the sifted flours, and mix for a few seconds, pulsing the mixer at first to keep the flour in the bowl. Mix just to obtain a homogenous mixture. 

Shape the dough into a flat square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven 325 F.

Roll out the dough to 3mm, then chill again until slightly firm. Line your tart shell by placing a piece of dough on top of each mold. Gently push the dough in with your fingertips until it conforms to the shape of the mold. Make sure that the dough is lined up with the mold. There will be some that protrudes from the rim of the mold. Do not cut it yet. Freeze the tart(s) until the dough hardens.

Once the dough is hard, use a paring knife to trim the excess off the top of the molds. 

Transfer the pistachio almond cream to a piping bag fitted with a circular tip and pipe the cream 3/4th of the way up the tarts. Press quartered cherries in the pistachio almond cream in the design you want.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top are golden brown and the crust is a light golden colour. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Serve with a quenelle of chantilly, chopped pistachios, and a quartered cherry if you desire. 
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Raspberry, Mint, Lime, and White Chocolate Tart


Summer is in full swing here and hopefully everywhere else! That means cold and fresh dinners, sunburns (just me?), and fruit! Fruit everywhere! Pretty much every berry is coming into season right now and it's almost too much for me. I feel like a kid in a candy store! 

A few weeks ago, I came into possession of about 6 lbs of strawberries and then went buck wild with making strawberry everything. So the next few weeks are going to be filled with strawberry recipes. But for now, it's all about these tiny little raspberries and their amigos - lime, mint, and white chocolate. 



I really wanted to capture that fresh and bright taste of mint and lime together in a dessert, while also throwing in some tart raspberries and sweet white chocolate. It's refreshing, light, tangy, tart, sweet, creamy, and crunchy all in the same bite. The other great thing is that you can make all the separate components in advance and then assemble right at the last minute. 




I mean, no one wants to spend more time in a blazing hot kitchen than they have to, especially if you're having a dinner party. You don't want to have the sweat beading on your forehead and your hair sticking to that sweaty forehead and your the back of your shirt wet from the sweat so when people hug you, they get an unpleasantly wet surprise. That's not very becoming for a host. Or for anyone. 

So with this, you can make the components the night/two nights/three nights before, freeze the components separately, then thaw the day of and assemble in ten minutes! No sweaty back hugs!


P.S. Sorry for this post being a couple days later than the usual, but I have been a busy little bee lately. I took a motorcycle course on the weekend and am currently looking into buying a bike! If anyone has any tips for new riders, buying a used sport bike, or anything you think I should know, let me know in the comments!! 



Raspberry, Mint, Lime, and White Chocolate Tart


Sablé Dough 
Recipe adapted from Elements of Dessert

145 g all-purpose flour
350 g cake flour
240 g butter, at room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean
3.5 g salt
180 g icing sugar
35 g almond flour
100 g eggs

Raspberry Cake
Recipe adapted from The Modern Cafe

89 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
79 g eggs
202 g raspberry purée, at room temperature
198 g granulated sugar
180 g all-purpose flour
8 g baking powder
1.5 g vanilla powder

Fresh Mint Pastry Cream

142 g whole milk
115 g heavy cream
5 g fresh mint leaves
50 g sugar
22 g cornstarch
65 g egg yolks
45 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
65 g white chocolate, melted

Lime Streusel
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

100 g all-purpose flour
100 g almond flour
100 g granulated sugar
100 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch dice
zest of 1 lime

Fresh Mint Chantilly

100 g heavy cream
10 g icing sugar
2 g fresh mint leaves, chiffonaded 


To assemble

Fresh raspberries
Icing sugar
Mint leaves



For the sablé, sift the all-purpose and cake flour together.

Cream the butter, salt, icing sugar, and almond flour together on medium speed in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mix. Mix until a homogenous mass is obtained, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer, add the eggs and mix for a few seconds on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Stop the mixer, add the sifted flours, and mix for a few seconds, pulsing the mixer at first to keep the flour in the bowl. Mix just to obtain a homogenous mixture. 

Shape the dough into a flat square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven 325 F.

Roll out the dough to 3mm, then chill again until slightly firm. Line your tart shell by placing a piece of dough on top of each mold. Gently push the dough in with your fingertips until it conforms to the shape of the mold. Make sure that the dough is lined up with the mold. There will be some that protrudes from the rim of the mold. Do not cut it yet. Freeze the tart(s) until the dough hardens.

Once the dough is hard, use a paring knife to trim the excess off the top of the molds. 

Dock the dough with a fork and line with parchment paper and baking weights/dried beans/rice. If the dough is still frozen, bake it; otherwise re-freeze it. Bake until the bottom is dry, but has not developed colour yet, about 10 minutes. Remove the parchment and baking weights form the tart and bake for a further 5 to 7 minutes, until the tarts are very lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Make the raspberry cake. Place a silpat on a half sheet pan and spray the border with non-stick oil spray. Preheat the oven to 320 F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and vanilla powder in a bowl. Set aside.

Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until pale and creamy. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar, beating until combined. Then add the eggs, beating until combined. Slowly add the raspberry purée, scraping down the bowl halfway through.

Fold in the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the sheet pan and use an offset spatula to spread the batter in an even layer.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cake springs back in the middle when you apply gentle pressure with your fingertips. Remove the cake from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Using a circular cookie cutter, cut the raspberry cake into disks that will fit snugly in the bottom of the tarts. 


For the pastry cream, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisk until slightly paler in colour.

Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to just a boil, remove from heat and add the mint leaves. Cover with a lid and let the mixture steep for ten minutes. Strain the mint leaves out and return the milk mixture to medium heat. 

When the milk mixture has come to a boil, slowly pour a small amount into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Continue tempering the yolks with the milk mixture, then transfer all of back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook for another minute, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Whisk in the butter and the white chocolate.

Set the pastry cream over an ice bath to cool. Once it has reached room temperature, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the streusel, combine the flour, almond flour, sugar, and lime zest in a medium bowl. Add the cold butter and use your fingers to break up the butter into pea-sized chunks, making sure it stays cold the entire time. 

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spread the streusel evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes to evenly brown the streusel. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.


For the fresh mint chantilly, combine the heavy cream and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold in the mint leaves. Reserve in the fridge until ready to use.

To assemble, place the disk of raspberry sponge in the tart shells. Pipe the pastry cream into the tart shells, leaving about 1/4 inch of the tart unfilled. Spread the streusel over the pastry cream so that it is flush with the rum of the crust. Place the raspberries on the streusel, starting with the outside and working your way inside. Garnish with a dusting of icing sugar, a quenelle of fresh mint chantilly, and fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately. 



Blood Orange Tarts with Caramel Meringue


I hope everyone had a pretty solid holiday and new year! I hope you managed to fit in some "me" time into all that family time. Despite only having a couple of extra days off work, I squeezed in a good amount of family time and an equally good amount of "me" time. But the break is over and I'm back!


A little recap on my holiday - for Christmas, I received some pretty darn cool gifts. One being this amazing new Dyson vacuum! 22 years old and I'm stoked to unwrap a vacuum. I really should be getting those senior citizen discounts at stores...

I received two new pastry books that I can't wait to start getting through. Some serious inspiration and motivation in there. I need to step up my game!

There was also a new scarf, sweater, and t-shirt from my favourite store, a good amount of chocolate, some nice loose leaf tea, a jar of lavender honey that I can't wait to use in a spring dessert, and a few other bits and bobs. 


New Year's Eve was very uneventful. I made a wonderful beef stew at home, watched a bit of Netflix, and went to bed at 10pm. I was woken up in the middle of the night by loud drunken people outside my building and grumbled something about, "darn young hooligans" and "get off my lawn". 

Just kidding, I don't have a lawn. But I did grumble. 

Seriously, I'm not kidding about that senior citizens discount. 


For the first few days of my holiday break, I didn't think about blogging. Well, I did think about it but it was, "Wow, it's nice to have a break for once and not have to spend most of my weekend making, styling, photographing, editing, writing, etc." But after a few days, I started to miss it. I was thinking of new posts and new techniques and new desserts. 

I've created a beast with this blog, I think. It started out as a cute little pet - easy to maintain, lots of fun, little work. Now, it's grown into an all-consuming monster that I love most of the time and sometimes hate a little bit. My monster needs to be fed hard work, effort, time, and energy. I have to scrounge up those things from somewhere inside me even if I think I'm all out. I'll always find something for my monster. My monster needs me, but I also need my monster. My monster repays me with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and satisfaction. 


Maybe I should stop referring to the blog that you are reading as a "monster"... Might not be the best word for it. I love my blog, I really do. But a break was needed.

But now I've returned and it's all about the winter citrus! Mother Nature, perfectly timing the fruit season again. January is like the monday of the months. Everybody is kind of tired and grumpy to be back at work and everything runs a little slowly for a while. That's when bright and cheery blood oranges come into season! Just in time to give you a little boot in the butt when you need it most. Artificial sunshine, you might say.




Blood Orange Tarts with Caramel Meringue

Paté Sucrée

150 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
112 g icing sugar
1 g salt
5 g vanilla extract
50 g eggs
250 g all-purpose flour
20 g cornstarch

Blood Orange Curd

108 g eggs
54 g granulated sugar
108 g freshly squeezed blood orange juice, strained
1 gelatin sheet, bloomed
140 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 orange, zested


Caramel Meringue

250 g granulated sugar
75 g water

100 g egg whites
150 g caramel powder



For the paté sucrée, cream the butter, salt, and icing sugar together on medium speed in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until a homogenous mass is obtained, about 2 minutes.


Stop the mixer, add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix for a few seconds on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Stop the mixer, add the sifted flour, and mix for a few seconds, pulsing the mixer at first to keep the flour in the bowl. Mix just to obtain a homogenous mixture. 

Shape the dough into a flat square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven 325 F.

Roll out the dough to 3mm, then chill again until slightly firm. Line your tart shell by placing a piece of dough on top of each mold. Gently push the dough in with your fingertips until it conforms to the shape of the mold. Make sure that the dough is lined up with the mold. There will be some that protrudes from the rim of the mold. Do not cut it yet. Freeze the tart(s) until the dough hardens.

Once the dough is hard, use a paring knife to trim the excess off the top of the molds. 

Dock the dough with a fork and line with parchment paper and baking weights/dried beans/rice. If the dough is still frozen, bake it; otherwise re-freeze it. Bake until dry, but has not developed colour yet, about 10 minutes. Remove the parchment and baking weights form the tart and bake for a further 5 to 7 minutes, until the tarts are very lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.



For the blood orange curd, wisk the eggs and sugar in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the orange juice. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk slowly, until the mixture begins to simmer. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk gently for 1 to 2 minutes to release steam and cool the curd slightly.

Remove the gelatin from the water, squeeze out excess water, and whisk it into the hot curd. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer. Using a Vitamix or an immersion blender, blend on low speed for a few seconds, then add the butter 2 to 3 pieces at a time, blending until incorporated. Add the zest and blend to incorporate. Let the curd cool to room temperature.

Transfer the curd to a container, place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. The curd can also be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.


For the caramel meringue, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan set over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to high and cook until the colour turns to a light caramel. Pour onto a silpat and let harden.

Once the caramel has hardened, use a food processor to grind the caramel into a powder. Use a fine-mesh sieve to sift the powder. Weigh out the 150 g of caramel powder and put it in the bowl of a stand mixer set over a bain marie. Add the egg whites and whisk to combine. Cook the meringue over the bain marie, whisking constantly, until it reaches 60 C. Transfer to the stand mixer and whip on medium-high until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and holds stiff glossy peaks.

To assemble, transfer the caramel meringue and the orange curd to piping bags. Pipe the curd into the tart shells, then pipe your desired design with the caramel meringue. I made a beehive design, then used a small offset spatula to create the freeform look. 

Using a handheld torch, torch the meringue evenly. Serve immediately.
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Mint Chocolate Tart with Caramelized Cocoa Nibs


Only a few more days until Christmas!!! I have to admit, it really snuck up on me. I know, I know, I was getting ready for Christmas months ago and have been going gung-ho on Christmas recipes since December 1st, but suddenly it's right here! Right in my face, saying "Hey, are you ready? Here I come, ready or not!".

Despite all my Christmas recipes, my decorations, and my tree, I don't know if I'm actually ready for Christmas...


There's a very good reason for why I'm not ready and I've mentioned in a few times in previous posts and I hope I'm not sounding too whiny - but I'm working like cah-raaazy. Every day is a 12 hour work day. Well, sometimes it's not - yesterday was 14 hours. 

So please forgive me because I barely have enough time to microwave leftover mac and cheese and get 6 hours of sleep before I'm off to work again. It's hard to work in Christmas cheer when I'm eating leftovers in a tupperware container over the sink. So glamourous. 


 But Christmas is coming whether Im ready for it or not, so I better get my head in the game. 

If you're feeling a little bit like me or maybe it just doesn't feel like Christmas yet, try out these tarts. They might help. A crisp and buttery crust, a silky dark chocolate custard, topped with a cute little dome of peppermint white chocolate crémeux, and sprinkled with crunchy caramelized cocoa nibs to give a little hint of bitterness to contrast all that sweet. I think I checked all the boxes with this dessert... creamy, crunchy, sweet, bitter, chocolatey. 



Mint Chocolate Tart with Caramelized Cocoa Nibs

Sablé Dough 
Recipe adapted from Elements of Dessert

145 g all-purpose flour
350 g cake flour
240 g butter, at room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean
3.5 g salt
180 g icing sugar
35 g almond flour
100 g eggs


Dark Chocolate Custard
Recipe from Cook with Jamie

242 g heavy cream
106 g whole milk
20 g sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
177 g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

White Chocolate Peppermint Crémeux

40 g egg yolks
166 g heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
73 g white chocolate, finely chopped
2 g peppermint extract
1 gelatin sheet, bloomed


Caramelized Cocoa Nibs

35 g sugar
10 g water
100 g cocoa nibs


For the sablé, sift the all-purpose and cake flour together.

Cream the butter, salt, icing sugar, and almond flour together on medium speed in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mix. Mix until a homogenous mass is obtained, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer, add the eggs and mix for a few seconds on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Stop the mixer, add the sifted flours, and mix for a few seconds, pulsing the mixer at first to keep the flour in the bowl. Mix just to obtain a homogenous mixture. 

Shape the dough into a flat square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven 325 F.

Roll out the dough to 3mm, then chill again until slightly firm. Line your tart shell by placing a piece of dough on top of each mold. Gently push the dough in with your fingertips until it conforms to the shape of the mold. Make sure that the dough is lined up with the mold. There will be some that protrudes from the rim of the mold. Do not cut it yet. Freeze the tart(s) until the dough hardens.

Once the dough is hard, use a paring knife to trim the excess off the top of the molds. 

Dock the dough with a fork and line with parchment paper and baking weights/dried beans/rice. If the dough is still frozen, bake it; otherwise re-freeze it. Bake until dry, but has not developed colour yet, about 10 minutes. Remove the parchment and baking weights form the tart and bake for a further 5 to 7 minutes, until the tarts are very lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the filling, combine the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the pot and heat over medium heat.

Scald the milk mixture, remove from heat, and add the chopped chocolate. Whisk the mixture until the chocolate has melted and cooled slightly. Add the egg and whisk again to incorporated. Transfer to a pitcher or similar vessel.

Place your tart shells in the oven and pull the rack out slightly. Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into your shells and slide the rack back in place, making sure not to spill the filling. 

Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until there is a slight jiggle in the middle of the custard. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

For the white chocolate crémeux, place the heavy cream in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until slightly paler in colour. Place the white chocolate in a large bowl.

Once the cream mixture has just come to a boil, pour a small amount into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the remaining cream into the yolks, then return to the saucepan. Over medium-low heat and stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, cook the anglaise until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. 

Strain with a fine mesh sieve into the bowl with the white chocolate. Let it sit for 30 seconds, then slowly stir to melt the chocolate and emulsify. Add the peppermint extract. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and add to the mixture, stirring to dissolve. Place over an ice bath and cool to room temperature.

Place a 2.75 inch diameter demi sphere silicone mold on a baking sheet. Pour 40 g of white chocolate cremeux into the silicone molds (they will not be full) and freeze until completely frozen.

For the caramelized cocoa nibs, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Dissolve the sugar over low heat, then increase the heat to high. Once the mixture has reached 116 C, add the cocoa nibs and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula. Continue to cook until the sugar caramelizes, about 4 minutes. Spread the cocoa nibs into a baking sheet lined with a silpat and let cool completely. Break up any large clumps of cocoa nibs and reserve in an airtight container.

To assemble, unmold a demi sphere and place it on the chocolate tart. Let the demi sphere thaw in fridge for about 30 minutes. In the space between the edge of the demi sphere and the tart shell, sprinkle caramelized cocoa nibs.


Cranberry Orange Frangipane Tart


Are you an early bird Chirstmas shopper or a last minute frantic Christmas shopper? 

I'm totally an early bird shopper. Big surprise from the girl who was stoked on Christmas in August.



Three years ago, I went out and bought every gift for every person. Like, I physically went out to stores all over town over the course of a few weekends and took the 45 minute packed bus rides with bags and bags of gifts, bumping into people and trying to squeeze my bags through the crowds. 


The year after that, I was busy interning and going to pastry school for 13 hours almost every day so there was barely enough time for sleep, let alone traipsing about town in search of perfect holiday gifts. So, the perfect gifts had to be found online, which wasn't too hard. This year, I'm working 11 hours a day so once again I will turn to my beloved internet. But it's not the same. 

I really enjoy searching out the gifts, buying them and bringing them home myself. It's like hunting and gathering your own food rather than buying it at the store. 



Okay, it's not really like that I guess, but I think you know what I mean. With online shopping, it's just a click of a button and then you've bought something. It's too easy

Now don't get me wrong, without online shopping, everyone would be getting diddly-squat from me this year. I am thankful for online shopping. But I wish I could do the real shopping. Minus the crowds. No one likes the Christmas crowds. 


What spurred me on to write this post was actually coming home last night and seeing a package from Amazon leaning against my door. At first, I was confused. And then I remembered, "Oh yeah, I did buy those gifts a few days ago... Huh." I actually forgot that I had even bought gifts! And there they were! I felt so bad. I think I'm just feeling guilty that I'm not making a big shebang out of getting the gifts for people, like it should be a big event instead of just a click of a button. 

Despite my guilty feelings, I'm still going to enjoy wrapping those gifts this weekend. I'm going to sit on the floor with a mug of tea, surrounded by wrapping, tape, ribbons, string, and scissors. My cat will sit on the wrapping paper and try to eat the tape, ribbons, and string. I'll have the Christmas music radio station playing, the lights on, and the fireplace on (it's gas). And all those silly guilty feelings with vanish. 



Cranberry Orange Frangipane Tart
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

Pâte Sucrée

187 g all-purpose flour
23 g icing sugar (#1)
47 g icing sugar (#2)
23 g almond meal
112 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
28 g egg


Pastry Cream

22 g egg yolks
18 g sugar
5 g all-purpose flour
45 g whole milk
45 g heavy cream
4 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Orange Almond Cream

73 g almond meal
7 g all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
73 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
73 g icing sugar
44 g eggs
zest of 1 orange


Frangipane

200 g almond cream
100 g pastry cream

Assembly

200 g frozen cranberries



First, make the pâte sucrée. Sift the flour, 23 g of icing sugar (#1) and 23 g of almond meal into a bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-low speed until the butter in the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted. Sift in the 47 g of icing sugar (#2) and pulse to begin to incorporate the sugar, then increase the speed to medium-low and mix for about 1 minute, until the mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. 

Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing for 15 to 30 seconds after each, until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that have settled there. Add the egg and mix on low speed until just combined, 15 to 30 seconds.

Transfer the dough to the work surface. Use the heel of your hand to smear the dough and work it together. Shape into a 3/4 inch thick disk. Wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

Take the dough out about 30 minutes before you intend to use it to soften it and make it easier to roll out. Have a 9 inch fluted tart ring out and ready.

Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough, from the centre outward and keeping the circular shape, until it is 3/4 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. If the dough is too soft, gently transfer to the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Once your dough is the correct size, place your rolling pin at the edge of the disk. Gently fold the dough over the rolling pin and roll up the dough around the pin. Transfer to your tart ring and unroll the dough. Press gently against the sides and into the bottom edges. This dough is very delicate and cracks will happen. Using the dull side of a small paring knife, trim the dough and use the excess to patch up any holes. Try to keep the thickness of the tart even. 

Freeze the dough for 30 minutes.

For the pastry cream, combine the milk and cream in a saucepan. Place over medium heat.

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. 

When the milk mixture has come to a boil, slowly pour a small amount into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Continue tempering the yolks with the milk mixture, then transfer all of back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook for another minute, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl set over an ice bath. After a few minutes, whisk in the butter. 

Let the pastry cream cool completely. Transfer to a covered container and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. The pastry cream can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

For the almond cream, sift the almond flour into a medium bowl and break up any lumps remaining in the sieve. Add the all-purpose flour and cinnamon and whisk together.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low until the butter is the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted. Sift in the icing sugar and mix on the lowest setting until incorporated, then increase the speed to ow and mix until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add the almond mixture in two additions, pulsing to combine and then mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each one. Scrape down the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have settled there.

Add the egg and mix on low speed until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the orange zest and mix on low speed until combined and smooth, about 15 seconds Transfer to a covered container and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. The almond cream can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

For the frangipane, combine the pastry cream and the orange almond cream and stir to combine. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a medium circular tip. 

For assembling the tart, pipe a spiral of frangipane into the unbaked tart shell, starting in the center and continuing until you have reached the edges. Scatter the frozen cranberries evenly over the frangipane and press down gently to keep them in their place.

Place the tart in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. 

Serve at room temperature or cold. Dust with icing sugar immediately before serving.






Lemon Lavender Tarts with Honey Meringue


I know absolutely nothing about building things. 

You can tell me to pipe meringue on 350 individual tarts in a specific pattern, I'll do it. You can tell me to make 5 litres of lemon curd, I'll do it. But you tell me to find the right kind of nails to nail two wooden boards together, I can't do that. I don't know, normal nails? There's different kinds of nails? Big nails?


I've got my mind set of making a nice wooden background so I can finally stop using the back of a painting for my photos. Yep, the wood that has been in the recent photos? Back of a painting. I gotta take it off the wall every time I want to photograph something. It's weird.


So, I thought I'd just make my own! Get some boards, nail them together, stain it, paint it, distress it. Easy, right? That's what I thought. Easy enough, even though I don't know the first thing about anything handyman-esque, I can nail some boards together.


I looked up this special kind of paint that will give me that nice distressed look without too much hassle and ordered it. Mat and I went to Rona to get the other stuff. 

So, on my list, I wrote "wood". What aisle would wood be under? I started walking and looking at what was in each isle. All these words I had never heard of and didn't know what in the world they meant. A whole isle dedicated to light switches, man.... What kind of place was I in?


Wood was under "Building Materials" but it wasn't called wood, it was called S4S, which I still have no idea what it means. After much humming and hawing and Mat wandering into every other aisle to see if there was more wood, I decided on some Douglas Fir...planks? Boards? Whatever. But, they were like 20 feet long. I wanted something like 4 and a half feet. There was a little station with a saw, but could I saw it myself? Did I have to get an employee to do it for me?

Keep in mind, this was at about 7:30pm on a Wednesday and the place was empty. Like, so empty. It didn't close until 9, but I felt like I was holding people up from going home cause there was just no one in there!


I sheepishly asked an employee, "Can... Can I just... cut my own wood? In that aisle? With the saw?". It turned out that, yes, they did trust me enough with a saw to let me handle it without supervision. I've never sawed anything in my life, but I think I did an alright job of it. The key words for the wooden background was "antique" and "distressed" and "worn", so if the planks were uneven, that just adds to the feel. Right?


Found the wood stain easily enough, same with the sandpaper. But then the nails. Mat asked me what kind of nails I needed. I said, "I dunno, big nails?" Real helpful, I am. We ended up measuring the thickness of the wood and figuring out what length we needed to nail the crossboards to the other boards without the nails coming out the other side. Is that right? I hope it is, cause by this point, I've already nailed everything together.

I can't remember the last time I felt that lost and unknowledgeable. I know a little about a lot of things, even if it's just basics, so I usually have some idea of what I'm doing. In Rona, it was like everything I had ever learned was useless. An employee could've told me that I needed a flare-nut wrench and I would've just nodded and gone along with it (I looked up wrenches on Wikipedia to get that name). Mat was just as clueless as I was, so what a pair we made, wandering around Rona looking for "big nails". 


I've nailed the boards together and given two coats of stain so far. I'm waiting on the special paint to arrive so I can start the next step. I really hope everything turns out well because I've put a bit of money into this and my hopes are high. I'll keep you guys posted on any further successes or hilarious failures.


Lemon Lavender Tarts with Honey Meringue

Pate Sucrée
Recipe from Bouchon Bakery

375 g all-purpose flour
46 g powdered sugar
94 g powdered sugar
47 g almond flour/meal
225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
56 g eggs


Lemon Lavender Curd
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery

3.6 g silver leaf gelatin (1 1/4 sheets)
216 g eggs
216 g granulated sugar
216 g freshly squeezed lemon juice
280 g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch dice, at room temperature
Zest of 1/2 lemon
3-4 drops lavender oil (taste dependent)

Honey Meringue
150 g good quality honey
100 g egg whites

Lavender flowers to finish (optional)

To start, make the pate sucrée. Place the all-purpose flour in a medium bowl. Sift the 46 g powdered sugar and the almond flour into the bowl; break up any lumps of almond flour remaining in the sieve, add them to the bowl, and whisk to combine.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment an cream on medium-low speed, until the butter is the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted. Sift in the remaining 94 g powdered sugar and pulse to begin to incorporate the sugar, then increase the speed to medium-low and mix for about 1 minute, until the mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, add them to the butter mixture, and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to distribute the seeds evenly.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that have settled there. Add the eggs and mix on low speed until just combined, 15 to 30 seconds.

Transfer the dough to the work surface. Use the heel of your hand to smear the dough and work it together. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a 4-by-6 inch rectangle, about 3/4 inch thick.

Wrap each piece in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, but preferably overnight. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to one month.

Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick, refrigerating the dough if needed. Line your tart shells, trim the excess, and freeze for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 325 F. 

Use a crumpled piece of parchment paper to line the tart shells, then fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights, gently guiding it into the corners of the shells. Place the tart shells on a baking sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the sheet and bake for a further 8 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights, then bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

For the lemon lavender curd, place the gelatin in a bath of ice water to soften.

Whisk the eggs and sugar in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk slowly, until the mixture begins to simmer. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk gently for 1 to 2 minutes to release steam and cool the curd slightly.

Remove the gelatin from the water, squeeze out excess water, and whisk it into the hot curd. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer. Using a Vitamix or an immersion blender, blend on low speed for a few seconds, then add the butter 2 to 3 pieces at a time, blending until incorporated. Add the zest and blend to incorporate. Start by adding a drop or two of the lavender oil to the curd and taste. Continue adding a drop or two at a time, then tasting, until the desired taste is achieved. Different lavender oils have different strengths, so it is better to add a little at first, rather than add too much. Let the curd cool to room temperature.

The curd can be used at this point or transferred to a covered container. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

For the honey meringue, heat the honey in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer onto medium speed and whip the egg whites to medium peaks. When the honey reaches 120 C/248 F, slowly add the honey, pouring it between the side of the bowl and the whisk. The meringue will deflate. Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Although the bowl will still be warm, the meringue should have cooled. If not, continue to whip until it is cool.

To assemble, transfer the honey meringue to a piping bag with a 3/4 inch tip. Gently spoon the lemon curd into the shells. Pipe the meringue onto the curd in any pattern your wish. I chose to do a simple "beehive", then created peaks with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle a few lavender flowers on the top.

Enjoy!


Hazelnut Creme Brûlée Tart


Whenever I think of my travels in Italy, I think of hazelnut gelato. My first trip to Italy was when I was 12 years old and it was just me and my Mama. I think I had gelato two or three times every single day of that trip (thanks Mum!). Most of the time, that gelato was straight up hazelnut.

There were tons of flavours in every gelateria, but hazelnut was just something different. I could've gone for chocolate, stracciatella, nutella, or vanilla (all my favourites), but in the end, hazelnut won me out. Now, every time I eat a hazelnut flavoured dessert, it brings me back to Italy with my Mama.


I wanted to recreate the intense hazelnutty flavour and creamy texture of the hazelnut gelato, but turn it into something different. I wanted a tart, but I wanted a custard, too. Why not both? 

I find that a lot of comfort desserts that I make are the ones that remind me of time spent with family. I think that's the same for most people. Food memories are a huge thing. Some of the best dishes in the top restaurants are made by chefs wanting to recreate that warm fuzzy feeling of sharing a meal with loved ones.



I didn't grow up in a huge dessert making household, so most of my food memories are savoury foods or very simple desserts. One very memorable "dessert" that my Mom made us were pastry cookies. Store bought puff pastry, cut into shapes, and baked. But as a kid, that was amazing! To this day, whenever I eat anything with puff pastry, I think of pastry cookies.

Food memories, man. Powerful stuff. It goes to show that you don't need to create the most elaborate and fancy dessert to create a big impact at the end of a meal. If you create a dessert that brings someone back to a special time in their childhood, you've done something amazing.




Hazelnut Creme Brûlée Tart

Praline paste
300 g hazelnuts
150 g sugar
50 g water

Sweet Dough
150 g butter, at room temperature
112 g icing sugar
1 g salt
5 g vanilla extract
50 g egg
250 g all-purpose flour
20 g cornstarch

Hazelnut creme brûlée
350 g heavy cream
150 g whole milk
45 g praline paste
75 g sugar
1 g salt
100 g egg yolks


First, make the sweet dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and cream together. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and add the salt, vanilla extract, and egg. Mix until combined.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cornstarch. Slowly add to the butter mixture until just incorporated.

Remove from the mixer, shape into a flat circle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

Take out your disk of sweet dough and let it warm up slightly so it is easier to roll out. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to about 3mm and line your 9 inch tart tin. Refrigerate the dough until firm.

For the praline paste, preheat your oven to 350 F. Place a piece of parchment on a baking sheet and spread your hazelnuts on the sheet in an even layer. Roast the nuts for about 5 to 6 minutes, until they are fragrant and the skins are dark brown. Remove from the oven, let them cool, and rub the skins off using your fingers or a kitchen towel. 

Before you add them to the caramel, warm them in the oven quickly so they are warm to the touch but not roasted further. You want to add warm nuts to the caramel to prevent the caramel from seizing.

Prepare a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet and set it aside close to the stove.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the water over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Gently swirl the pot if you need to, but try to disturb it as little as possible. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high and caramelize the sugar, then add the warm hazelnuts and quickly stir to cover the nuts with caramel, then spread on the silicone baking mat in an even layer. Let them cool completely.

Using a blender or food processor, grind up the caramelized nuts to a paste. Try to get it as fine as possible without breaking your blender/food processor. Store in an airtight container  for up to 2 weeks.

Keep the oven at 350 F. Crumple up a piece of parchment paper and then smooth it back out again. Place it in your tart tin and fill it with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Make sure to press it into the corners of the tart.

Blind bake the tart shell for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven, remove the parchment and beans/rice/weights, and bake for a further 4 to 5 minutes, until the pastry no longer looks wet, but doesn't have any colour.

Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Turn the oven down to 300 F.

For the creme brûlée, combine the cream, milk, and praline paste in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Combine your sugar, salt, and yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until slightly paler in colour.

Slowly temper the cream into the yolks by whisking a small ladleful of cream into the yolks. Slowly add the rest of the cream, whisking vigourously. Strain into a pitcher and skim off any foam.

Place the tart shell in the oven and carefully pour the creme brûlée into the tart shell. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the custard jiggles as one when you move it. Do not overcook it or it will curdle.

Remove from the oven and refrigerate until completely cool, about 2 hours. 

To serve, sprinkle an even layer of sugar and use a handheld torch to caramelize the sugar on the surface. Serve immediately.


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Spiced Tarte Tatin Tarts


Am I putting too many apple recipes on here? Too many 'chai spiced' things? Really, this is only the second chai spiced thing, but the last chai spiced thing was also apple with puff pastry, but it wasn't proper chai. But they're oh so different from each other, I promise. This is crisp and flaky and creamy and a bit crunchy and totally different from the spiced crab apple mini pies


Tarts are like the fancied up version of pies. Pies are homey and cozy and rustic, which is really awesome. But tarts are a little more sophisticated and polished. Tarts are not always as warm and comfy-cozy as pies, but they're awesome in their own way. 


Remember a few posts back when I said I loved taking a traditional dish (like french toast) and twisting it into something new (like french toast macarons)? I did it again. Tarte Tatin is a traditional French dish of puff pastry, caramel, and apples. Basically, you make a caramel, put it in the bottom of a pan, put apples on top, and put puff pastry over top of everything. You bake it, turn it upside down on the plate, and voila - Tarte Tatin. 


This tart is just like a Tarte Tatin. Apples - check, puff pastry - check, and caramel - check. But in different ways. We've got apple spheres, a puff pastry tart shell, and caramel poaching liquid and also caramel whipped cream. Flavours are still there (plus some new flavours) but it's like a brand new dessert!


I'm going to admit that I used store bought puff pastry for this. It pains me to admit that! It pained me even more to actually buy it. It was truly in the essence of time, believe me. The idea for these tarts was last minute and I didn't have hours to prepare puff pastry, even blitz puff pastry. So, please, if you have the time, please please please, make your own puff pastry. Store bought doesn't come close to the goodness of real butter puff pastry. 


Spiced Tarte Tatin Tarts

Apple Spheres
316 g sugar
83 g water #1
50 g lemon juice

166 g water #2
4 green apples
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
3 all spice berries
2 cardamon pods
4 cloves
2 inch stick of lemongrass

Caramel Whipped Cream
120 g sugar
500 mL heavy cream
4 green cardamom pods

Puff Pastry, 1 packet store bought or roughly 400 g homemade


For the apple spheres, peel your apples. Fill a container with cold water and add a splash of lemon juice (not the measured amount of lemon juice and water). Use a 3/4 inch diameter melon baller to scoop out spheres, getting about 5 to 6 per apples. Pop the spheres in the lemon juice and water to keep them from browning. 

Once you have finished, combine the sugar, first amount of water, and lemon juice (the measured amounts) in a saucepan. Cook on medium low heat to dissolve the sugar, then turn up to high to caramelize the sugar. Once you've reached a dark amber, deglaze with the second amount of water. Drain the apple spheres and add to the caramel along with the spices. Bring back to a boil, then turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. 

Store in a plastic container and put another container on top to keep the spheres submerged in the caramel poaching liquid. The apple spheres can be made a day ahead.

For the caramel whipped cream, combine the cardamon and heavy cream in a saucepan. Bring just to a boil, then turn off the heat. 

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, make a dry caramel from the sugar. Put a small amount of the sugar in the saucepan and turn the heat on to medium high. Once the sugar starts to caramelize, add a small amount of sugar. Once that has dissolved, add a little more sugar. Keep doing this until you've used all the sugar and it has all dissolved and caramelized. Slowly add the cardamon infused cream (including the pods), being careful as it will bubble up and release steam. Let it cool slightly, transfer to a clean bowl or container, and put a piece of plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool, preferably overnight.

For the puff pastry shells, preheat the oven to 400 F. Roll out your puff pastry to about 2mm thick. If you are using tartlet tins, line those. I used a muffin tin. Using a round cutter that is bigger than your muffin tin, cut out rounds of puff dough and dock the dough with a fork. If the dough starts to warm and get sticky, put it in the freezer for 5 minutes. Once the tins are lined with the dough, crumple up a small piece of aluminum foil and gently press into the moulds and fill with weights, uncooked rice, or beans. Do this for all your tart shells.

Freeze the lined tins for about 10 minutes to harden up. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, then remove the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes, then gently remove the aluminum foil and weights. Bake for a further 6 to 7 minutes, until they are golden brown on the outside. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

Pour the caramel whipped cream into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks forms. Transfer to a piping tip with a small round tip.

Drain the apple spheres from the poaching liquid and reserve.

To assemble, pipe the tart shell full of caramel whipped cream, then top with your desired amount of apple spheres. Garnish with shards of caramel, spun sugar, or any other decoration of your choice. Serve immediately. 

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Dark Chocolate Orange Tarts with Orange Scented Sablé


There are some recipes that you always keep around, no matter where you go or what you do. It's your go-to recipe, the one that works, is easy, and tastes amazing. You've made it so many times that you don't even need to look at the recipe anymore. You can change it up to fit the occasion or the dish and it's still just as stellar as ever.

This chocolate custard tart recipe is one of my ultimate go-to recipes.


The original recipe was actually the third recipe ever posted on this blog. Looking back at the photos, I cringe a little. It's amazing to think that it's been almost been a year and a half since I started this blog. It's a very strange feeling for me. I'm a little embarrassed because, if we're being honest, those photos sucked. My technique was not that great, either. I had good intentions, but the execution wasn't exactly spot on.


But hey, that's what learning is all about. You make mistakes, you grow, you improve, you make more mistakes, rinse and repeat. I'm really proud of myself for starting this blog up, especially recently. It's amazing to look back and see how far I've come in terms of skill in baking as well as skill in photography. If someone showed me these photos a year and a half ago and told me that I was the photographer, I would never have believed it. 


You learn as you go. Our whole lives are based on learning as you go. You master the basics, then find little ways to improve on them over time. You learn what doesn't work, too. Making mistakes is an essential way to learn to do anything and everything. Don't ever beat yourself up about making mistakes, you know? I'm not really one to be preaching about that because let me tell you, I get angry when things don't work out. Just ask my boyfriend. If I'm in a bad mood, the first thing he asks is, "Did it not turn out right?". He knows me all too well.


To all you bakers out there, whether you're just starting out or you could school me in a second, keep on trucking. Keep on making those mistakes and keep on learning. That's the only way you're ever going to get better.


Dark Chocolate Orange Tarts with Orange Scented Sablé

Orange Scented Sablé Dough 
Recipe adapted from Elements of Dessert

145 g all-purpose flour
350 g cake flour
240 g butter, at room temperature
1/2 orange, zested
1/2 vanilla bean
3.5 g salt
180 g icing sugar
35 g almond flour
100 g eggs

Dark Chocolate and Orange Custard
Recipe adapted from Cook with Jamie

242 g heavy cream
106 g whole milk
20 g sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1 orange, zested
177 g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Dehydrated Blood Orange Slices

2 blood oranges or other citrus fruit
3 tablespoons icing sugar


For the sablé, sift the all-purpose and cake flour together.

Cream the butter, orange zest, salt, icing sugar, and almond flour together on medium speed in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mix. Mix until a homogenous mass is obtained, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer, add the eggs and mix for a few seconds on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Stop the mixer, add the sifted flours, and mix for a few seconds, pulsing the mixer at first to keep the flour in the bowl. Mix just to obtain a homogenous mixture. 

Shape the dough into a flat square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven 325 F.

Roll out the dough to 3mm, then chill again until slightly firm. Line your tart shell(s) by placing a piece of dough on top of each mold. Gently push the dough in with your fingertips until it conforms to the shape of the mold. Make sure that the dough is lined up with the hold. There will be some that protrudes from the rim of the mold. Do not cut it yet. Freeze the tart(s) until the dough hardens.

Once the dough is hard, use a paring knife to trim the excess off the top of the molds.

Dock the dough with a fork and, if the dough is still frozen, bake it; otherwise re-freeze it. Bake until dry, but has not developed colour yet, about 10 minutes.

For the filling, combine the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the pot and heat over medium heat.

Scald the milk mixture, remove from heat, and add the chopped chocolate. Whisk the mixture until the chocolate has melted and cooled slightly. Add the egg and whisk again to incorporated. Transfer to a pitcher or similar vessel.

Place your tart shell(s) in the oven and pull the rack out slightly. Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into your shell(s) and slide the rack back in place, making sure not to spill the filling. 

Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until there is a slight jiggle in the middle of the custard. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

For the dehydrated blood orange slices, turn the oven down to 200 F. Slice your oranges to 1/8th of an inch thickness using a very sharp knife or a mandolin. Lay them on a silicone baking mat and dust a light coating of icing sugar over each one. 

Bake for 2 1/2 hours until the slices are dry. Cool on the sheet and then transfer to an airtight container.