I was minding my own business, stirring a rather yummy pot of curry when suddenly I realized my prosciutto was on fire. I stared in amazement at my oven, two pillars of fire burning away merrily from the two slices of prosciutto I had been toasting. Thankfully the sink was nearby and teacups of water hastily thrown doused the flames and sent clouds of smoky steam wafting through my apartment.
Happily the rest of my weekend was not so dramatic. 🙂
I got to have lunch with Mums and dear friends, and Johanna made us this scrumptious strawberry shortcake.
My boss’s adorable Dutch grandmother popped into the office and surprised me with a bouquet of daffodils from her garden, wrapped in paper towel and tucked in a yogurt container. 🙂
I did a lot of resting this weekend – how glorious that was!! – reading good books, taking naps. But I also wanted to be outside so I made myself a cozy little nest on a rickety wood and cast iron bench on my patio. I draped it with blankets and a shiny gold pillow and lay back to journal and watch the sun set through the trees. Bliss. 🙂
I also cooked. 🙂 I haven’t made dessert in a while and simply had to have something sweet on hand this week. 🙂 One of my favorite tarts is Mocha with a buttery cinnamon crust. This weekend I decided to try a gluten-free version and it turned out beautifully! Perhaps because the crust is more akin to shortbread than pastry, the gluten-free flour easily replaces more traditional flours.
The recipe comes from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet, one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. I love this tart crust recipe because there is no tedious cutting in of shortening required, no rolling out or chilling of dough. It literally takes less than five minutes from measuring ingredients to pressing the dough into the pan. The secret is melted butter. It makes a wonderfully crisp tart shell with loads of buttery flavor. The best part is its versatility. Simply add garlic and parsley or onion and rosemary to make a savory crust, or add almond or maple flavoring to make unique bases for sweet fillings.
Mocha Tart with Gluten Free Cinnamon Crust
(Adapted from Bittersweet)
Ingredients for Crust:
8 Tbsp (1 stick) melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour (I used gluten-free)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Ingredients for Filling:
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup heavy cream (I used coconut milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Directions for Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Mix butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in medium bowl. Add flour and cinnamon and mix until just blended. Don’t worry if dough seems too soft.
- Press all of the dough evenly into bottom and sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown.
Directions for Filling:
- While crust is baking, place butter, sugar, cocoa powder and cream in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture is blended, smooth and begins to simmer around edges.
- Remove from heat and stir in espresso powder and vanilla.
- Just before crust is ready, whisk egg thoroughly into hot chocolate mixture.
Directions for Tart:
- Pour filling into hot crust and return to oven. Turn off heat.
- Leave tart in oven until it quivers like tender Jell-O in the center when the pan is nudged, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on a rack.
- Serve the tart warm or at room temperature.