Blessed Christmas everybody!

I’m making a pause in my blog post series on our holiday in Thailand and ringing in some Christmas cheer with a quick recipe to boot if you haven’t quite figured out what to do for dessert tonight. Of course, you can bake this Black Cherries Hazelnut Frangipane Tart even if it’s not Christmas. It’s an any time kind of tart. And any time is always a good time for tarts!

Before that, I was invited by Percolate to sell some festive bakes at their cafe last weekend. I have been working with Percolate the last few months and it’s a cafe I often look forward to baking for simply because A, who runs the place, has such sincerity and love for what he does, and is always encouraging towards me too.

I was extremely touched by his generosity in offering a space, as well as extending his help to sell off any left over bakes that didn’t go before the specified time I was supposed to be there with all takings coming straight back to me. While I did have a few pieces leftover, I have to say that the overall sales was a huge success and the 5 hours we were there just flew by.

A’s regulars were exceptionally supportive with one lady buying my entire Gingerbread Cake with Buttercream and Salted Caramel Glaze before I could even put it on the table.

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This was my Christmas special but I was more than happy to have the whole cake snatched up within seconds.

Another hit was my Cardamom Chocolate Cake with Orange Ganache. I wasn’t quite sure how people would take to cardamom but piece after piece kept flying off the stand.

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Alongside the two cakes were Snickerdoodle Blondies, because cinnamon is a sure-win around Christmas time.

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And specially for those who might subscribe to special dietary requirements were a batch of gluten-free Coconut Flour Walnut Brownies made with coconut sugar, coconut oil and almond milk.

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Upon Flo’s suggestion, I did something with cherries. The initial plan was to make a Cinnamon Chocolate Cherries Tart but I already had something cinnamon, and something chocolatey, so I decided to do a Hazelnut Vanilla Bean Frangipane Tart with Black Cherries and a Hazelnut Crust. Can you tell how much I love using ground hazelnuts over ground almonds?

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I kept a slice for Flo who happily lapped it up for tea.

I also baked two loaf cakes – A Lemony Lemon Cake and an Earl Grey Lavender with Blueberry Loaf.

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And rounding up my Christmas bake sale menu was my Apple, Orange and Sultana Bundt Cake.

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It was a simple set up for me and I had the wonderful help of Flo (who very sweetly woke up with me very early for a Saturday) and my dear parents (who helped lug all the cake stands and plates that I left at their place over).

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It was really heartening having customers pop by and readily purchase my baked goods to have at home or in the cafe itself. Amanda and Alex also surprised us by coming round after breakfast to try some coffee at Percolate (they loved the eggnog coffee and the fruit soda) along with a slice of my lemon cake.

So greatly I have been gifted by strangers and friends alike with their support not just at this bake sale alone, but also throughout this entire year. And so, I gift you with this recipe that is sure to bring even more joy to this festive time of year.

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Cherry Hazelnut Frangipane Tart (Makes 1 8″ Tart)

Crust:
85g Butter
40g Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
95g Plain Flour
25g Ground Hazelnuts
Pinch Salt

  1. Cream butter with sugar.
  2. Add egg yolk.
  3. Add ground hazelnuts, flour and salt until just combined.
  4. Place dough into tart tin and press into the tin to form a crust.
  5. Prick all over the base of the dough with a fork and freeze for 30min.

Vanilla Bean Hazelnut Frangipane:
90g Butter
90g Sugar
2 Eggs
120g Ground Hazelnuts
65g Plain Flour
1/2 Vanilla Pod, Beans scraped out
15 Cherries, Pitted

  1. Preheat oven to 175 deg C.
  2. Cream butter with sugar and vanilla beans.
  3. Add eggs one at a time.
  4. Incorporate ground hazelnuts and flour until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into tart shell and use a spatula to level mixture evenly. It should reach about halfway up the shell.
  6. Press cherries gently into the hazelnut frangipane batter and bake in oven for 30-35min until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from tin.

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May this holiday season be a time spent with people near and dear to you, and may it be filled with laughter and peace, faith, hope and love. XX

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