Yesterday, I threw a friend a bridal shower, and it was a cracking success! (If you ignore the part where it was supposed to be a beautiful vintage style picnic in the woods, before the torrential rain meant it became a picnic in my lounge room! Given people in nearly by suburbs have been evacuated due to flooding though, we have little to complain about.)
There are some things in life I’m not proud of. Not being a maker of my own pastry cases is one of those things. But, before you switch over to another channel, in my defence, I just really can’t justify the time fiddling around with delicate pastry when you can buy relatively good and foolproof pastry cases, all ready to go, from the deli. Especially for fiddly mini tarts.
My Dad always has a go at the people on cooking competition shows who don’t make their own pastry, and I agree. If I was ever to take myself so seriously as to go one one of those shows, I’d pull my socks up – I promise Dad.
I look forward to the days, later in life (when I’m not working full-time and running around like a headless chook most days), when I’ll be able to invest some time in perfecting the art of pastry making. In the meantime, I resort to the pastry case saviour that is my local deli.
Using a cheat like this, has really lengthened my repertoire of quick and easy things to pull out of the hat at the last-minute, which still have wow factor.
So, for the shower, I made:
- the Leek and Goat’s Cheese Mini Quiches I posted about early in the week
…a frozen to oven marvel.
- some Tomato and Goat’s Curd Tarts
… which are really just to simple to post about here: I just put some goat’s curd at the bottom of a savoury pastry case and stuck some halved beautiful heirloom cherry toms on top with some herbs, salt and pepper… simple but, delicious.
- a set of Blueberry babes
…a miniature blueberry cheesecake really. A sweet pastry case filled with triple sec spiked cream-cheese, topped with blueberries and finished with a jelly glaze.
- and finally some Peanut Butter Boys
… feeling entirely inspired by the latest Spoon Fork Bacon recipe of Creamy Peanut Butter Pies, I whipped these up. I didn’t have time to look their recipe up again, but made this from memory and looking back it’s a bit different, but the principle was the same. A sweet pastry case lined with melted chocolate, topped with a peanut butter and cinnamon mascarpone cream and finished with more chocolate.
We had a feast. People brought the most amazing food to share. The groom-to-be made (and dropped off, despite the pouring rain) the most amazing tester wedding cake. It was so romantic. The groom-to-be has made many a tester cake and presented us with one for our engagement party about this time last year – it was a real thrill. I’m certain, that come their big day, they are going to have the most amazing wedding cake in history!
So to the recipes:
A set of Blueberry Babes
a punnet of blueberries
a set of 12 mini sweet pastry cases
150g cream-cheese (at room temperature)
a splash of triple sec (orange flavoured liqueur)
1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar to taste
one sachet of jelly style glaze (I’ve used a red glaze, by Ruf, a german product available in most good delis)
40g caster sugar for the glaze
250mls boiling water for the glaze
Beat together the cream-cheese, liqueur and icing sugar until smooth (if the cream-cheese is soft enough, you should be able to do this quantity by hand). Spoon mixture into sweet pastry cases and smooth down with the back of a teaspoon. Top with blueberries.
Then, whisk together the glaze jelly sachet, the caster sugar and the boiling water until smooth. If you’ve got lumps, don’t worry, just pass it through a sieve.
Carefully pour the glaze mixture with a teaspoon over the tarts, using the back of the teaspoon to coax the mixture over the berries and to the pastry case’s edge.
Leave to set for a few minutes, and then serve to loved ones.
NOTE: This recipe can be done with any berries. It looks particularly beautiful with strawberries, but unfortunately the strawberries at the market yesterday were less than impressive. But luckily these blueberries were sweet and juicy!
Peanut Butter Boys
A big thank you to Spoon Fork Bacon for their frequent inspiration, but in particular for this recipe, which I’ve adapted slightly. I should note, they make their own, amazing looking pastry cases!
a set of 12 sweet pastry cases
150g melted dark chocolate (follow microwave instructions, but be careful not to burn the chocolate)
3 heaped tablespoons of smooth peanut butter (at room temperature)
2 heaped tablespoons of mascarpone (at room temperature)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
a splash of real vanilla
Beat the peanut butter, mascarpone, cinnamon and vanilla together until smooth and well combined. Because the peanut butter is so sticky, I used the mixer for this one, but I think you could probably do it by hand.
Spoon some melted chocolate into the bottom of the pastry case. Top with the peanut butter mixture and smooth the top with the back of a teaspoon or mini pallet knife. Once all the boys have their peanut butter mixture, dip a clean teaspoon into the melted chocolate and drip flick the melted chocolate over the peanut butter boys.
This, seriously, only took me 15 minutes to throw together… but it tasted SO good!
It was so nice to have a day filled with good friends and great food (that didn’t see me slaving in the kitchen for hours on end). I hope you’ve had a good weekend too.