Originally published on April 2, 2013; canada.com
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 2 oranges
½ cup sour cream
7 tbsp butter, melted
melted chocolate and candied orange, to decorate (optional)
2. Grease and line a 6-8 cup muffin pan with butter and baking parchment.
3. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla, orange zest, sour cream and melted butter in another bowl, then carefully fold into the dry ingredients without overmixing until the mixture just comes together.
5. Fill the prepared muffin cups to about three-quarters full and bake for about 20 minutes.
6. We sometimes drizzle melted chocolate on top when the muffins have cooled and a slice of candied orange if available.
butter, for greasing
1 quantity Basic Pastry Dough*
all-purpose flour, for dusting
for the filling:
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
6 ¼ cups light cream
2 egg yolks
½ tsp salt
pinch of grated nutmeg
2 ¼ cups grated cheddar cheese
2 heads broccoli, blanched, drained and broken into small florets
2 handfuls shredded spinach
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
ground black pepper
2. Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface and cut 12 rounds to fit the prepared tart pans. Ease them into the tart pans and trim off any excess dough. Let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then line the pastry shells with foil or wax paper and fill with dried beans, pie weights or rice.
4. Bake blind for 30-35 minutes, until the base is light, golden and dry. Remove from the oven, take out the weights and lining and let cool.
5. To make the filling, beat together the mustard, cream, eggs, egg yolks, salt, nutmeg and pepper to taste in a bowl.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
7. Divide the cheese among the pastry shells. Mix the broccoli florets and spinach together and divide the mixture among the pastry shells. Cover with the egg mixture and top each tart with a generous sprinkling of chives. (The green of the broccoli florets and spinach must stick out so the impression is of lots of greens).
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until set and golden.
9. Remove from the oven and serve immediately or let cool.
makes 12 x 3 ¼ – 4 inch individual tarts
1 tsp salt
1 generous cup unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
½ – 1 cup water
2. Make a well in the middle and add the egg yolk and ½ cup water.
3. Mix vigorously with a fork until almost all the flour is incorporated, then add a little more water and bring the dough together with your fingers, using as little water as possible. The dough should just come together naturally without force, and be soft but firm and not sticky.
4. Shape into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
makes 3 x 11-inch tarts or 12 x 3 ¼ – 4 inch individual tarts
2 ½ cups vegetable stock
1 tsp shoyu
1 tsp sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper
½ head broccoli, cut into florets, blanched and drained
¾ cup cooked peas
4 scallions, very thinly sliced
4 shiitake or other mushroom, thinly sliced
handful of spinach or other tender greens
1 carrot, sliced into rounds, blanched and drained
chopped fresh herbs, to garnish
2. Add the stock, shoyu, sugar and cayenne pepper. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
3. Strain the mixture into a pitcher. Divide the vegetables among four heatproof bowls or cups.
4. Pour water into the base of a steamer or dutch oven to a depth of about 1 ½ inches and heat. Put the cups into the steamer and fill with the egg mixture. Cover the steamer with a dish towel and lid. If using a dutch oven, cover each cup with plastic wrap and put the lid on.
5. Steam over high heat for about 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and continue steaming for an additional 20 minutes, until a cocktail stick or toothpick inserted into the custard comes out clean. If there are still traces of the mixture, steam the custards for a little longer and test again.
6. Garnish with chopped herbs of your choice and serve immediately.