Hello again! Now you may think that in my absence I have been swanning around rubbing shoulders with all sorts of celebrities- I wish! In actual fact I have been locked away in my hot and steamy kitchen baking up a storm on some rather new and exciting (well I think so!) flavours. The wonderful folk over at Hope and Greenwood have been terribly generous in sending me some wonderful gifts of their sweet goodies and I thought it only right try out some of them out in baking.
We all know cupcakes are my love so it’s only fitting that I should start there. Not one but two of varieties of cupcake would be inspired by Hope and Greenwood and feature one of their delightful sugary treats.
First out of the starting blocks is my “Salty Dog” cupcake: vanilla sponge studded with chocolate chips and fudge pieces, hiding a salted caramel centre, topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and finished with a H&G Salt Caramel Fudge piece and caramel drizzle. The oozing caramel centre mixing with the salty/ sweet tang of the fudge piece is a marriage made in confection heaven.
My next cupcake again features the sublime flavour of salted caramel- well, you can never have too much of a good thing can you? The “Caramel Crunch” a decidedly moreish cupcake of vanilla and honeycomb sponge with a duo of chocolate and caramel buttercream frosting, all topped with a golden nugget of Miss Kitty and Mr. G’s best Salt Caramel Honeycomb.
Not wanting to be completely biased towards cupcakes I also added brownies into the mix. The inspiration for my “Raspberry Ruffle” brownies came from the sweet of the same name- an indulgent mix of chocolate, coconut and raspberry. A fruity Bounty bar for all intents. So I combined a rich chocolate and coconut brownie with a luscious raspberry cheesecake swirl topping and studded it with Raspberry Jam Coconut Ice from H&G’s kitchen. Never has a brownie tasted so naughty!
For the piece de résistance I chose to work with a new product recently launched from the confectioners extraordinaire. Hope and Greenwood’s new Almond Brittle with Himalayan Sea salt definitely raises the confectionery bar to a new high. Sweet almonds encased in sugary amber have a delectable crunch and a sprinkling of hand-harvested pink Himalayan rock salt and chilli give an unexpected Wonka-esque tongue tingling sensation. A sweet like this definitely deserved some A-grade treatment. With this in mind I set about and created my Caramelised White Chocolate and Tonka Bean tart, with Almond Brittle fringe. What’s more (and as promised!) I’ve included the recipe. It’s a fabulous dessert whose sophisticated and rich taste belies it’s simplicity. This is sure to become a favourite in my house!
Caramelised White Chocolate & Tonka Bean Tart, with Almond Brittle Fringe
For the base:
200g Ratifia biscuits
100g unsalted butter, cubed
For the filling:
200g White chocolate (min. 30% cocoa butter)
25g unsalted butter
300ml double cream
2 Tonka beans, finely grated
For the decoration:
300ml double cream, whipped
75g Hope & Greenwood Almond Brittle with Himalayan Sea-salt
- Preheat oven to 120C/100C fan.
- Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until beginning to turn to crumbs, then add the butter and whiz again to make the mixture clump.
- Press this mixture into a 23cm / 9 inch loose-bottomed tart tin; press a little up the sides to form a slight ridge.
- Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.
- Break up the chocolate into pieces and put it on baking tray.
- Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and bake, giving it a good stir every 10 mins, until it’s a light golden brown. Take the chocolate out when it is the color of peanut butter. If chocolate should start to look chalky or grainy, give it a good, brisk stir and it should return to normal. Scrape the chocolate into a bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan add the grated tonka beam to the double cream and heat until just under boiling.
- Remove from the heat and add in the caramelised white chocolate and stir until it is fully melted and incorporated.
- Leave to cool for about 10 mins by which time it should start to thicken.
- After the cooling time pour the caramelised white chocolate cream into the crumb base.
- Place in a fridge to set for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
- When set, remove the tart from the fridge and pipe a “fringe” of whipped cream around the edge.
- Break the almond brittle into bite-sized pieces and stud the whipped cream fringe all around.
- Serve and enjoy!
I do hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip to the “Sweet Shop” and feel intrigued enough to try out not only my recipe but also some of the goodies from Hope & Greenwood.
In the meantime,
“Remember Mom’s the word- that’s Mr. Mom’s!”