Mini Treacle Tarts are a little bite-sized version of traditional British dessert, a pastry case filled with breadcrumbs and sweet golden treacle, ground almonds, cream, and egg. They are so sweet and delicious, ideal for afternoon tea and make the perfect alternative to Christmas mince pies.
This recipe comes from a delightful book called The British Larder, A Cookbook for all Seasons, written by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel
When this weighty tome thumped through my letterbox (actually, it wouldn’t go through my letterbox, the postie delivered it right into my hands) I was somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer size and weight of the book, but I was soon engrossed in the excellent writing and sensational recipes.
About the Author
Gavroche. Blimey, this is a serious chef, how on earth am I going to make anything from a book by such a high powered chef?
written essay on the foods available in that month. Read carefully as there are some little gems of recipes hidden amongst the prose. The book is also generously illustrated with stunning
photographs taken my Madalane herself (RESPECT!)
Pastilles (yes, pastilles as in ‘sweets’).
Who is it for?
source of techniques. I think The British Larder could act in the same way for a cook who is keen to learn and would like to create ambitious dishes. It is also good for those of us who would like a reminder and some fresh inspiration to cook seasonally.
Ease of use
This is an expensive book, even with online discount prices, but I think it is good value for money and likely to become a new classic for British cooks, chefs, and foodies.
The British Larder, A Cookbook for all Seasons, written by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel Absolute Press (An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing) RRP £30, Online Price £19.20
I was provided with a copy of The British Larder by Absolute Press/Bloomsbury Publishing, I was not required to write a positive review and my opinions are my own.
I thought about making one of the imaginative and ambitious dishes that I’ve described, but in the end, I decided to choose a classic Treacle Tart to show you just how detailed and well written these recipes are, to the extent that I felt very comfortable adapting the ingredients to make some mini tarts.
The Mini Treacle Tarts can be served warm with cream as dessert or cold and dusted with icing sugar for an afternoon tea treat.
These bite-sized Mini Tarts are ideal for afternoon tea or as an alternative to Christmas mince pies recipe adapted from “My Famous Treacle Tart” from The British Larder
- 90 g unsalted butter softened
- 30 g caster sugar
- 1/2 vanilla pod split in half length ways and seeds scraped out (optional)
- 1 pinch of table salt
- 1 eggs beaten
- 150 g plain flour
- 50 g day-old sourdough bread crusts removed (weight given is for crustless bread)
- 1/2 egg
- 60 ml double cream
- 150 g golden syrup
- 40 g clear honey
- 1/2 lemon finely grated zest and juice
- 30 g ground almonds
Put the butter, sugar, vanilla seeds, if using, and the salt into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat together until fluffy and pale in colour. Slowly add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour over the creamed mixture, then slowly mix in the flour until the pastry comes together, being careful not to over mix. (If you prefer, the pastry can be made by hand without a mixer, using a wooden spoon to beat and combine the ingredients, as directed.)
Turn the pastry on to a lightly floured work surface, but do not knead the pastry, just push it together. This recipe makes about 600g pastry and you can either use it all or freeze some to use at a later date. It's unwise to make this recipe in a smaller quantity and you can easily freeze half of it (or as much as you have leftover) to use another time
Wrap the pastry in cling film (either wrap it as one piece or divide it into two pieces and wrap each piece separately) and then leave it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling out. (I like to shape the pastry into flat even square (s) so that they fit comfortably into my fridge or freezer.) Freeze the pastry you are not using an use within 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before use.
The breadcrumb mixture is prepared then chilled overnight in the fridge, so you will need to start this recipe a day in advance (See Cook's Notes)
Whizz the sourdough bread in a food processor to make fine breadcrumbs. Set aside. Whisk the egg and cream together in a small saucepan, just enough to make them runnier and easier to mix. Remove from the heat. Whisk the warmed golden syrup and honey and lemon zest and juice into the egg mixture, then stir in the ground almonds and breadcrumbs. Cover and leave the mixture to rest in the fridge overnight.
The following day, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 2mm thickness and use it to line a (loose-bottomed, if you like) 35 x 10 x 2.5cm fluted oblong flan tin (leaving a slight overhang of pastry). Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 160C/Gas Mark 3.
Whisk the chilled breadcrumb mixture and pour it into the chilled pastry case. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until lightly set and golden - the tart will still have a gentle wobble in the centre but his will firm up once cooled.
Remove from the oven to a wire rack and leave the tart to cool completely in the tin. Once cold, trim the overhanging pastry from the top edges of the tart with a small serrated knife, then carefully remove the tart from the tin and cut it into slices. Serve with whipped Chantilly cream, creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.
Use fresh bread that is a day old, cut the crusts off and the inside of the loaf only. You can use regular white bread for the recipe, but I prefer sourdough as it gives the tart that extra special taste. Do not use dried breadcrumbs.
Be patient when making this tart and follow the recipe - leave the breadcrumb mixture to rest overnight in the fridge, do not overcook the tarts, and leave it to cool completely before cutting and eating.
Lots of people I meet don’t like dried fruit, so I made these as an alternative to mince pies and they loved them! . I was a little disappointed with the vanilla seeds in the pastry as I didn’t feel that there was a real hit of vanilla, so would boost it with vanilla sugar. Great idea though. The pastry is very soft even after a night in the fridge and not particularly easy to work with, I think I prefer my standard recipe but might try adding vanilla. The Treacle Tart mixture is a real triumph, easy to make and tastes very good indeed.