Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue


 
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue #minitart #peanutbutterganache #chocolatetart
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue #minitart #peanutbutterganache #chocolatetart
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue #minitart #peanutbutterganache #chocolatetart
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue #minitart #peanutbutterganache #chocolatetart
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue #minitart #peanutbutterganache #chocolatetart
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue #minitart #peanutbutterganache #chocolatetart
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue #minitart #peanutbutterganache #chocolatetart

Happy August first! Today marks the start of my birthday month, and a whole lot of travel that I am so excited about! Tonight I go to Long Island to stay at my friend’s house - tomorrow we are driving to North Carolina for a little (big) road trip and I can’t wait!

I wanted to pop on and share these little tarts that I made a while back with you - I had a jar of mixed berry jam from recipe testing for this cake that I wanted to use up, and some brand new tart rings that I wanted to play with, so this was the end product! I made some chocolate sweet pastry cases, then filled them with a little bit of the mixed berry jam, then filled up the pastry case with a fave of mine - a dark chocolate peanut butter tart filling. I then topped the whole thing off with some torched Swiss meringue, which I made to use up some extra whites I had in my fridge. The meringue was a last minute addition and is totally optional, but I love the taste of the toasty meringue, and it stood up so well against the silky chocolate filling and crunchy tart crust. So, so good - I love using the little tart rings, so I can see a lot more mini tarts happening around here in the future!

These are definitely on the time consuming side of things to make, but you can absolutely take a few shortcuts and break up the workload for yourself. You can use store bought jam, and, if you like, you can make the dough ahead of time, and also bake off the pastry cases ahead of time, so you just have to assemble on the day of. With that being said, although these are time consuming, it isn’t a whole lot more work to make 12 of them than it is to make just the one, so they would make a great wee fancy dessert if you needed one to take to a dinner party or something similar.

A few wee tips:

  • I used these De buyer perforated tart rings, which are a total investment but absolutely worth it if you make tarts often. The way that they are made means that there is no need to use baking beans in them. I got six, so made the pastry cases in two batches of six - if you like, you can make these ahead of time and store in an airtight container.

  • If you don’t have the perforated cases, I would use this method for baking the shells.

  • I also baked them on a perforated baking mat - I used this one, which helped loads with having enough airflow underneath the pastry cases to allow them to bake evenly. Parchment works too, you will just want to dock the pastry bottom using a fork to ensure that they don’t puff up too much.

  • If you are making these ahead, do the meringue part just before serving!

  • I piped just a few blobs onto these for photos - cover the whole thing if you like! I love torched meringue so much.

  • I use an industrial blow torch when I am torching things - it makes things so much easier than using a tiny wee blow torch! I got mine from the hardware store

  • The Swiss Meringue is yum, but is a totally optional step!

  • If you want a peanut butter free version, a half batch of this filling will work great!

 

 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue Buttercream

- Makes about 12 3” tarts -

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Method via Topless Baker

Chocolate Sweet Pastry
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160g powdered sugar, sifted
85g eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp salt
50g dutch process cocoa, sifted
400g all-purpose flour, sifted

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Filling
225g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
90g smooth peanut butter
20g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
190g heavy cream

Swiss Meringue
125g egg whites
190g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

To fill: Mixed Berry Jam or jam of your choice (about 1/2 cup) - I used this, but store bought also works great

 

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE SWEET PASTRY

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until combined. Add the egg, and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla bean paste and salt. In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa and flour, and add to the mixing bowl. Mix until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and form into a rough rectangle. Wrap in the plastic wrap, and chill until firm, 3-4 hours, or overnight.

Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough into two pieces, and re-wrap the first piece until needed. Place the second piece onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. I made six shells at a time, so just worked with one piece of dough, but if you are making 12 at once, you can roll both out at once. Roll out to 3mm thickness, adding additional flour onto the dough as needed to prevent sticking. Once the dough is the correct thickness, transfer to the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up - you don’t want it to be solid, but want it cold enough that it doesn’t get sticky when you use it.

Line a baking sheet with a perforated baking mat or parchment paper. Remove the chilled dough from the freezer, and use your tart ring to cut out circles from the dough - these will form the bottoms of your pastry cases. Try and keep all the circles condensed in one part of the dough so you have enough left to make strips to form the sides of the shells - you can re-roll if needed. Place the stamped out circles inside the tart ring on the prepared baking sheet.

Now you need to cut strips to form the walls - you want to cut a strip that goes around the whole ring, so if you have a 3” ring, your strip will need to be just over 9” to accomodate the circumference. Cut strips that are about 9” long, and about 3/4” thick. Place them inside the tart ring, trimming the length if needed so the ends of the strips sit flush, and pressing down lightly where the edge and the bottom meet. Repeat with the remainder of the tart rings. Chill for 5 minutes, then use a sharp knife to trim off any excess dough that sticks out over the top of the ring.

Transfer the lined tart rings to the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, in order for them to firm up completely. While they are freezing, preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Once the pastry cases are frozen, transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake the pastry cases for 15-16 minutes, or until set. In the first few minutes of the baking, check on them to ensure that the edges are not slipping down - if they are, just gently use your hands to bring them back up.

Remove the pastry cases from the oven, and allow to cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove the cases from the rings, and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

If you have just made six shells, repeat the process to give you 12. If you are making these ahead of time, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use. If the edges are a little rough, they can be filed down with a microplane.

 

DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FILLING

Place the chocolate, peanut butter, butter and salt into a large heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan, and warm over low heat until just shy of a simmer - you should see movement around the edges of the cream. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter, and cover the bowl with a lid or plate. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes, then whisk vigorously to combine. The mixture will look like it has split to begin with but keep whisking - it will come together and go glossy. Use immediately.

ASSEMBLY

Arrange the chocolate pastry cases on a baking sheet. Dollop 2 tsp of mixed berry jam into the bottom of each, smoothing down with an offset spatula if needed.

Fill each pastry case with the chocolate peanut butter filling, shaking the pastry case slightly to level off the mixture, and smoothing with an offset spatula if needed. Repeat until all are full and smooth, then place in the fridge until set, 30 to 60 minutes.

SWISS MERINGUE

Measure the egg whites, granulated sugar and vanilla bean paste into the bowl of a stand mixer or other heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often and watching the edges carefully, until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, and it registers at least 70˚c / 160˚f on a thermometer. 

Carefully transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a french star tip (I used an ateco #866)

Pipe blobs of the swiss meringue onto the top of each tart - I only did a few on each because I liked how it looked, but they would look great totally covered in meringue too. You could also use an offset spatula, dollop it on, then smooth it off. Torch if desired.

Store the tarts in the fridge until ready to serve.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Tarts with Mixed Berry Jam, Chocolate Crust, and Torched Swiss Meringue #minitart #peanutbutterganache #chocolatetart

The Ultimate Easter Macaron Box


 
The ultimate Easter Macaron Box - creme egg macarons, hot cross bun macarons, coconut macarons, chocolate peanut butter macarons and peeps marshmallow macarons make up the most amazing Easter inspired box. This would make an incredible easter gift, and can be customised however you like!
The ultimate Easter Macaron Box - creme egg macarons, hot cross bun macarons, coconut macarons, chocolate peanut butter macarons and peeps marshmallow macarons make up the most amazing Easter inspired box. This would make an incredible easter gift, and can be customised however you like!
The ultimate Easter Macaron Box - creme egg macarons, hot cross bun macarons, coconut macarons, chocolate peanut butter macarons and peeps marshmallow macarons make up the most amazing Easter inspired box. This would make an incredible easter gift, and can be customised however you like!
The ultimate Easter Macaron Box - creme egg macarons, hot cross bun macarons, coconut macarons, chocolate peanut butter macarons and peeps marshmallow macarons make up the most amazing Easter inspired box. This would make an incredible easter gift, and can be customised however you like!
The ultimate Easter Macaron Box - creme egg macarons, hot cross bun macarons, coconut macarons, chocolate peanut butter macarons and peeps marshmallow macarons make up the most amazing Easter inspired box. This would make an incredible easter gift, and can be customised however you like!
The ultimate Easter Macaron Box - creme egg macarons, hot cross bun macarons, coconut macarons, chocolate peanut butter macarons and peeps marshmallow macarons make up the most amazing Easter inspired box. This would make an incredible easter gift, and can be customised however you like!
The ultimate Easter Macaron Box - creme egg macarons, hot cross bun macarons, coconut macarons, chocolate peanut butter macarons and peeps marshmallow macarons make up the most amazing Easter inspired box. This would make an incredible easter gift, and can be customised however you like!

I am so, SO excited for Easter baking season. I think it might be my actual favourite - I spent today making dark chocolate cardamom hot cross buns and a carrot cake sheet cake, but I still have a bunch more recipes lined up that I can’t wait to share with you!

Jase and I couldn’t let the best baking season go by without a macaron box, and I think we really knocked it out of the park this time. We brought back our first mac recipe we shared - the creme egg mac, and then filled the box with a whole bunch of other Easter inspired flavours. I am totally obsessed with how this box came out, and I hope that you give some of the recipes a try! I am particularly excited by how the chocolate peanut butter and peeps macarons came out - this was our first time piping marshmallow into macarons, and I certainly don’t think that it will be our last.

We’ve come full circle with our macaron recipes - this is the 13th that we have shared! It was so fun to see how much we have learnt along the way, and it’s super satisfying to see how consistently we can make macs now. It goes to show that to get good at something, practice is really the best way to master a skill. Trial and error, and working out what works and what doesn’t work for you seems to be the best way. Everyone works out their own wee way of making things. This way works best for us, and has worked for a bunch of others, but it may require some wee tweaks to get it to suit you- don’t be afraid to play around and see what is best! xx

Here’s what we ended up with:

  • Creme Egg Macarons - Speckled shell filled with a Creme Egg chocolate ganache

  • Hot Cross Bun Macaron - Vanilla bean shell filled with a spiced German buttercream

  • Coconut Macaron - Vanilla bean shell filled with a coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaron - Chocolate shell filled with peanut butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Peeps Macaron - Sugared Vanilla bean shell filled with a vanilla bean marshmallow and rolled in sanding sugar

A few wee tips:

  • I have added the base recipe we use for the shells down below, then at the end I have put the variations in food colouring or finishing that we did to make each shell ‘flavour’ (they are all vanilla bean flavour, except for the chocolate, and I have added in a note, or you can just refer to this recipe. The filling recipes and assembly instructions will be underneath the shell recipe.

  • Everything I have learnt along the way about making macarons is in the notes of this post - I update it whenever I have something to add. I suggest giving it a good read through before you start if you are new to macs!

  • We used this box to make this cookie box - Rich cut me little dividers on the laser cutter, but the craft wood is soft enough that you can use a craft knife and a ruler. We then just taped the dividers in.

  • We made all the shells except for the chocolate ones on one day (we could have done them all on the one day, we just got lazy), the mini egg ganache, and the pastry cream for the Hot Cross Bun German buttercream, and then the following day made the remainder of the fillings, filled the macarons, and filled and shot the box. If you break up your workload, and prep your ingredients before you start (having enough sheet pans is important), it isn’t too much work!

  • We worked it so that we could re-use some of the fillings - we made one larger batch of swiss meringue buttercream (double what is listed below, so 4 sticks of butter), then split it, and added the coconut to half and the peanut butter to the remaining half. This made the filling process super easy as we didn’t need to make five fillings from scratch

  • In terms of work flow, we were able to start the next batch of shells soon after piping out the previous ones. Like I mentioned before, this only works if you have lots of sheet pans!

  • If you are colouring one batch of batter two different colours, mix it part of the way, then split the batter into separate bowls (half a batch of batter weighs 420g), then add the gel food colouring and finish the mixing process. For example we split a batch and coloured half for the creme egg macs, and half for the peeps macs, then did the same with the coconut macs and the hot cross bun macs. We made one bigger batch of the chocolate shells as the cocoa powder has to be mixed in with the ground almond mixture.

  • Store all the shells in an airtight container until ready to fill.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Macarons

- Makes about 30 Macarons -

Macaron Shell Recipe from I love Macarons, with adaptations from Fox and Crane 

Note: this is the base recipe for every shell we made in the box, except the chocolate shells. For Chocolate shells, reduce the powdered sugar to 270g, and add in 20g dark dutch process or black cocoa with the powdered sugar mix. There is a recipe here.

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

 

- PROCESS -

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add gel food colouring, if using, a few drops at a time, until the desired colour is reached. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. 

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth.

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

-FLAVOUR / COLOUR VARIATIONS -

  • For Creme egg shells, tint the shells with grey/blue gel colouring (we used ‘ash’ by americolor and a tiny drop of black), then splatter with watered down black gel food colouring using a paintbrush after the shells have baked. Fill with Creme egg ganache (recipe follows)

  • For Hot Cross Bun shells, tint the shells with brown food colouring (we used ‘chocolate brown' by americolor), then fill with spiced German Buttercream (recipe follows)

  • For the Coconut shells, tint the shells with yellow food colouring (we used ‘lemon yellow’ by americolor), then fill with coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe follows)

  • For the Chocolate shells, add 20g dark dutch process or black cocoa to the powdered sugar mix - see the note above, or there is a recipe here. Fill with peanut butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe follows)

  • For the Peeps shells, tint the shells bright pink (we used ‘deep pink’ by americolor), and dust with pink sanding sugar once piped. Fill with vanilla bean marshmallow (recipe follows)

  • If you would like to add a cross to the hot cross bun macarons, you can make one out of powdered sugar and milk. Sift 100g powdered sugar into a bowl, then add milk until you form a thick paste. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, and pipe crosses on half the shells (do this before you fill them).

 

 

Creme egg ganache

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

12 regular sized cadbury creme eggs (35g each, 420g total), chopped
90g (6 Tbsp) Heavy Cream
30g (2 Tbsp) unsalted butter
100g milk chocolate

- PROCESS -

Place all of the ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the bowl does not touch the water. Stir with a whisk or spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a container, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the filling. Refrigerate for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the ganache has firmed up to a piping consistency. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.

Pair each macaron shell with another of a similar size. Pipe a circle of buttercream on one half, and then sandwich with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Spiced German Buttercream

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

110g dark brown sugar
12g (1 1/2 Tbsp) cornstarch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
190g whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice or mixed spice
340g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

- PROCESS -

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch, then whisk in the egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice / mixed spice. Heat to to just shy of a simmer.  Remove from the heat.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath. Stir frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Store in an airtight container until ready to use, or if using immediately, transfer to a piping bag fitted with large french star tip.

Pair up the macaron shells, and a round of buttercream on one half. Top with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Coconut Swiss Meringue buttercream

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

60g egg whites
100g granulated sugar
pinch of salt
225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
100g coconut threads or flakes, blitzed in a food processor until finely chopped
Sprinkles to finish (we used ‘hangin’ with my peeps’ by sprinkle pop)

- PROCESS -

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Add the blitzed coconut and mix to combine. Fit a piping bag with a large round tip, and fill the bag with the buttercream.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a round of buttercream on one half of each pair. Top with the second shell. Smooth any buttercream that is sticking over the edges with your finger, then roll the macarons in sprinkles so that the sprinkles stick to the buttercream. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue buttercream

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

60g egg whites
100g granulated sugar
pinch of salt
225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
150g smooth/creamy peanut butter (processed peanut butter is best, natural may seize your buttercream)

- PROCESS -

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste and peanut butter. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Fit a piping bag with a small french star tip, and fill the bag with the buttercream.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a round of buttercream blobs on one half of each pair. Top with the second shell. Smooth any buttercream that is sticking over the edges with your finger, then roll the macarons in sprinkles so that the sprinkles stick to the buttercream. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Marshmallow

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

Note - make sure you have everything ready to go before you make the marshmallow, as you will have to work quite quickly once it is whipped. Pair up the shells and have the piping bag ready. Extra marshmallow can be cured in a greased loaf pan.

14g (2 packets) powdered gelatine
76g cold water
103g liquid honey
76g water
265g sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Bright Pink gel food colour (we used ‘deep pink’ by americolor)
Pink Sanding sugar to finish (optional)

- PROCESS -

Fit a large piping bag with a round tip. Fit the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. In the mixing bowl, combine the cold water and gelatin and mix well with a fork, and leave to bloom while you prepare the sugar syrup.

In a medium pot, combine the water, honey, vanilla, and sugar. Heat over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the syrup reaches 240˚f /120˚c, then remove from the heat and leave to cool to 210˚f /100˚c.

Turn the mixer on to medium, and mix for a few seconds to help break up the bloomed gelatin. With the mixer running, VERY carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixer. Turn the speed up to high, and whip for 5-7 minutes, until the marshmallow has doubled in volume, has turned white, and holds somewhat of a peak when you stop the mixer and lift out the whisk. While the marshmallow is mixing, add pink gel food colouring as desired. Transfer to the piping bag.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a round of marshmallow on one half of each pair. Top with the second shell. Press down lightly, then carefully sprinkle the exposed marshmallow with pink sanding sugar. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

The ultimate Easter Macaron Box - creme egg macarons, hot cross bun macarons, coconut macarons, chocolate peanut butter macarons and peeps marshmallow macarons make up the most amazing Easter inspired box. This would make an incredible easter gift, and can be customised however you like!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream


 
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter

I'm gonna start this post off by apologising. I've been sitting on this recipe for far longer than is fair. You need this recipe in your life. It's a Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, which is topped with a Peanut Butter Whipped Cream. Sounds like a mouthful? Wait until you have the actual thing in your mouth. 

I made this a month or so ago to take to a friend's house. I always get excited when we go places for dinner, not because we have no friends (maybe that too? It's the little things, lol), but because it gives me an excuse to make something super elaborate and actually have people there to eat it! As per usual I was put on dessert duty, and i've been wanting to try a chocolate peanut butter tart for a long time, so here we are. 

This was insanely easy to make, everyone went back for thirds, and it was just as amazing the next day. A chocolate tart like this is a great wee recipe to have up your sleeve - it is super easy to prepare in advance, and always, always a crowd pleaser. You could leave out the peanut butter and hit it with a big dollop of whipped cream, or just leave it as is, and sprinkle a little salt over the top to have a plain chocolate tart. The possibilities are endless. You should make it. It's crazy easy, but you're going to look super fancy. Promise. 

A few wee tips:

  • The crust for this is a graham cracker crust, made into a 'chocolate' crust by adding some cocoa. I have a brown butter graham cracker situation here too if that's more your jam. 
  • This can absolutely be made ahead by at least a day - but add the peanut butter whipped cream on the day that you serve. 
  • Good quality chocolate really makes a difference here. I usually go for something about 70% cocoa solids, but if you wanted a slightly more mellow chocolate taste, milk chocolate would work great too.
  • Good quality peanut butter also makes this taste extra yum - go for something that is just peanuts and salt. I used Pic's in this - a brand from my hometown in NZ! You can get it on Amazon too. 
  • If you're in a place where Graham Crackers aren't easy to find, digestive biscuits work great. 
  • I used an ateco #866 tip on the top of this. French star tips are my secret weapon - I have a bunch of them and highly recommend!
 

 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream 

- Makes one 9" tart, serves 10-12 people -

Peanut Butter Whipped Cream from "The Fearless Baker"

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
2 sleeves (290g) graham crackers or similar biscuit
1/4 cup (35 grams) cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
135g unsalted butter, melted

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Filling
550g good quality dark chocolate
180g smooth peanut butter
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
380g heavy cream

Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
135g (1/2 cup) smooth peanut butter
25g  (2 Tbsp) Granulated Sugar
121g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Place all the ingredients except for the butter in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the graham crackers resemble crumbs and the mixture is well combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the melted butter.

Evenly press the crust into a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Use a glass or measuring cup to help you press it against the sides of the pan. Place the pan onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes, then allow to cool completely. 

DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FILLING

Place the chocolate, peanut butter, butter and salt into a large heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan, and warm over low heat until just shy of a simmer - you should see movement around the edges of the cream. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter, and cover the bowl with a lid or plate. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes, then whisk vigorously to combine. The mixture will look like it has split to begin with but keep whisking - it will come together and go glossy.

Pour the chocolate filling into the cooled crust. Place in the fridge for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the filling has set completely.

PEANUT BUTTER WHIPPED CREAM

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the peanut butter and sugar on medium - high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and continue whipping until the mixture reaches medium peaks. Watch carefully to ensure you do not split the cream. Scrape down the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a french star tip. Pipe blobs of peanut butter cream over the surface of the tart.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut with a slightly warmed knife. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream - a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with a silky dark chocolate peanut butter filling and finished with a creamy peanut butter whipped cream. Everyone needs a recipe like this up their sleeve to wow their friends. Easy to make ahead, and always a crowd pleaser. #chocolatetart #peanutbuttertart #chocolate #peanutbutter