Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (anti-V Day readers feel free to roll eyes now), and this year I wanted to try baking something for my hubby instead of giving him a traditional gift.
Even though I wasn’t much of a cook growing up, I loved to bake, and still do. Perhaps something to do with making up for a lack of baking in my childhood? Anyway, this time instead of calling on Mum, I decided to contribute a recipe to the family album myself.
My dreamt up dessert would have a hint of Persian flavours, like rosewater and pistachio. It should taste sweet, but not too heavy or rich. And conversely, not too dry (I’m not a fan of dry muffins or sponge cakes). And the biggest item on the checklist? It shouldn’t scream ‘VALENTINE’, but still exude some elegance and romance.
I came across a delicious tart recipe on The Baking Bird that seemed a perfect match. Following a few modifications and taste tests, I came up with my own version. Compared to the original recipe, I use less sugar, and substitute Greek-style yoghurt for heavy cream.
Finally, I wanted a bite-sized dessert, so instead of setting the tart in a rectangular pan, I opted for mini muffin cases. There’s a bit more work involved in dividing up the muffins, but I think it’s worth it. Smaller sizes means you get portion control, and they’re perfect for wrapping individually or in pairs to gift to family and friends.
Triple layer rosewater & pistachio chocolate mini tarts
Adapted from The Baking Bird
Makes 18 mini muffins
100g plain flour
3tbs sweetened cocoa powder
Handful of unsalted pistachios, shelled
80g unsalted butter, room temperature
1tsp vanilla essence
1/2 handful of unsalted pistachios, shelled
1tbs canola oil
100g milk chocolate
120g full-fat Greek yoghurt
100ml coconut milk
1. Chop pistachios and place in clean bowl. Add flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt and whisk ingredients together.
2. Using a food processor, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar and beat for another two minutes. Reduce speed and add vanilla essence, then pistachio and flour mixture. Beat until you reach a dough consistency. Press dough into a disk shape and cover tightly with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 15-20minutes.
3. Remove dough from fridge and divide into 18 mini muffin cases (I used individual silicon cases. A silicon muffin tray also works. If you’re using a regular muffin tray, make sure to grease with butter first). Press dough into the bottom and sides of each case, trim excess dough flush with edges, then refrigerate until firm (about an hour). Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
4. Remove muffin tray from fridge and bake for 20-25minutes.
5. Remove from oven, and reduce temperature to 150 degrees.
6. While still warm, push down in each muffin case to form a deep base (I found it easier using the round end of a small ice cream scooper to do this, rather than with fingers alone). Set aside.
1. Using a food processor, pulse pistachios, sugar and a pinch of salt until mixture begins to come together. Pour in the oil and pulse until mixture becomes smooth.
2. Spoon into the muffin cases, pressing firmly with the bottom of an ice cream scooper, or similar.
1. Roughly chop the chocolate and place in heatproof bowl.
2. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat, removing from the stove before it starts to boil. Pour over chocolate and let stand for a minute.
3. Add yoghurt and whisk until smooth. Note that yoghurt, unlike cream, is likely to curdle in hot temperatures, especially if using low-fat yoghurt. Using full-fat yoghurt, and waiting until the mixture has cooled slightly before adding the yoghurt should help avoid this. Place in fridge for 5 minutes to cool.
4. Once cooled, add egg and rosewater to the mixture and stir.
5. Spoon mixture into muffin cases, filling to the brim.
6. Bake for approximately 30minutes.
7. Prepare garnishes: make chocolate spirals using a vegetable peeler; crush pistachios; or grab some icing sugar. Remove muffins from the oven, and allow to cool before removing individually from the tray or case. Top with your garnish or garnishes of choice.