Recipe ReDux Berry, Date & Nut Mini Tarts by guest expert – Hannah Gilbert APDKitchen Klinic — By Emma Stirling on June 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm
When the theme for this month’s Recipe ReDux was unveiled…small bites to celebrate a big event…..I was very happy to handball the post to our June Sub of the Month. She’s already shown her deft hand at cooking on our Facebook page. And when she ooohed and ahhhed over the theme I knew we were in for a real treat. While the theme may be mini, we have to say a huge Happy 1st Birthday Recipe ReDux from the Scoop Nutrition team. We are a very proud member of your family today.
Though a dietitian, I have a bit of a love affair with both baking and desserts. Despite these feelings, I really felt the pressure with this challenge…I wanted something different, something out of the ordinary. I didn’t want to settle for your run of the mill macaroon, mini lemon meringue pie or truffle. So I searched far and wide for the perfect mini, decadent bite of delicious goodness. Have I got your sweet tooth attention?
“OK, just a bite”
Cooking (and baking!) in the home has become mainstream following the success of cooking shows MasterChef Australia and My Kitchen Rules. We are now conquering the croquembouche, and mastering the multilayered v8 cake (not the vegetable juice) with the guidance of Adriano Zumbo, the almighty patissier from Balmain, Sydney. Zumbo aims to ‘caramelise the nation’ and it certainly seems that he is well on his way.
But as a dietitian I know that less is more, especially when it comes to desserts. And that’s why I love my mini me creations. There is a lot to love about small pockets of perfection; they are pretty to the eye but deliver a big taste to satisfy the most discriminating sweet tooth. But, just be careful, as they aren’t completely guilt free. Remember that five mini tarts is certainly not a low-kilojoule dessert! Aim to split a platter with friends or family and pad out the perfect portions with fresh fruit. This is a clever tip to trick your mind into thinking you are eating a satisfying volume of dessert, when really half of the delicious bite is filled with low kilojoule, nutrient-rich fruit. Or you could simply get new glasses?
Trust the Japanese
Over the last century Japan has done us proud in the culinary dietetics domain. The Japanese are responsible for the unearthing of thiamin in 1910, the flavour umami and expansion of sushi train, sashimi and edamame across the globe. But ‘weight-loss glasses’…oh yes indeedy. Researchers are developing glasses that aim to ‘trick’ the brain by changing the size of the food in the visual field, without magnifying your hand size. So in essence, the wearer is given the impression that they are eating a food which is far bigger to how it exists in reality. In turn our brain is meant to respond with “Wow thanks, I’m full and supremely satisfied now.” Hmmmmmmm. While we wait for that one, you can get baking with me.
Berry, Date & Nut Mini Tarts
The beautiful combination of ground nuts and dates are the perfect Redux for buttery pastry. And that tangy lemon and berry filling..a match made in heaven. Best enjoyed at a dinner party amidst your nearest and dearest. Make sure you save one or two for later…Shhh don’t tell.
Makes 22 tarts
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
- 1 ¼ cups dried dates
- 1 tbsp water
- Mini tart tin
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for one hour
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 5 tbsp water
- Fresh berries
- Mint leaves
- Tart filling: Combine cashews, caster sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and water in food processor and blend with the S blade until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate
- Tart case: Combine almonds, dates and water in food processer and process until a fine texture forms. Take a teaspoon of the combined mixture, roll into a ball and place in mini tart tin. Using the round end of a rolling pin, gently press the centre of the ball, pushing mixture towards the sides of the tin. Repeat until tin tray is fill. Place filled tin in the freezer for 2-3 hours. Remove from the freezer and run a knife around each tart case to lift each out onto a serving platter.
- Place a teaspoon of filling into each tart case. Top each tart with berries and garnish with fresh mint leaves
Wow thanks Hannah! I knew you wouldn’t disappoint! They look fantastic. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below lovely readers. Do you have a favourite dessert bite? What about a favourite restaurant or dessert bar? How do you do dessert the portion controlled way?