Chocolate Tart

There’s something rewarding about making things at home that you would normally just pick up from a restaurant or bakery. That feeling that you’ve accomplished something so simple, yet so great. That’s how I felt when I made this chocolate tart. Once the crust came out of the oven dozens of ideas popped into my head. Fruit tarts, cream tarts, custard tarts, peanut butter tarts, caramel tarts. I could go on forever, but i’ll get to the recipe instead so you can have your moment too.

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It’s also a win win because it’s a flourless tart.

For the crust

1/2 cup almond meal(or 1/2 cup almonds finely ground)

1 cup rolled oats

3-4 T melted butter

1 egg

1 T sugar

For the filling

1/2 cup dark chocolate

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup milk

1/2 espresso powder

1/2 t vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350F

I didn’t have almond meal so I just ground almonds until they were pretty fine, and then added the oatmeal, melted butter, egg and sugar. Mix everything together. Then grease a tart tin or a cupcake pan (depending on if you want to make one big tart or 12 individual ones). Press the mixture into the tin and slightly up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes if you’re using the cupcake pan, and 25-30 minutes if you’re making one big tart. The basic idea is to get it golden brown. Once the crust is baked let it cool completely.

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For the filling you can use a double boiler or just a saucepan on very low heat. Melt the dark chocolate, turn off the heat and whisk in the cream and milk. Once the mixture is smooth whisk in the vanilla and espresso powder. Then just pour the mixture into the cooled crust, refrigerate for a few hours, then top with deliciously fresh fruit, or just some whipped cream.

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Penne Alfredo

Everyone needs a basic Alfredo recipe in their repertoire, and this recipe is basic and delicious, and can be taken over the top with some extra cheese. You can make this with any pasta, but I love penne, and fettuccini for that matter, but penne is what I had at the time, and what’s not to love about the cylindrical pasta?!

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Here’s what you’ll need

1 box penne/fettuccini, prepared according to the box

3 Tblspn olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 bunch spinach leaves, chopped

1 cup cream

1 cup Montery jack cheese, shredded (you can use any other cheese)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/2 cup parmesan, shredded

whole milk*

In a pan sauté the garlic in the olive oil. After a couple of minutes add the spinach. Once the spinach has completely wilted down, add the cream. Once it starts to warm through add the seasoning. Taste and see if anything else is needed. Then add the shredded Montery Jack and Parmesan. Once the sauce starts to bubble around the edges add the boiled pasta. If the sauce is too thick thin it out with some whole milk. Just mix the pasta till it’s coated, and it’s done!

I sometimes make this with grilled chicken, or instead of using spinach I add blanched broccoli in with the pasta. You can serve with this with shrimp on top as well! It’s a great as a side and can be made into a main with some additions.

Croissant Pudding

Oh my word was this delicious! there is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of croissant pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Nothing. I’m thinking of putting this in the breakfast mix as well!

Here’s what you’ll need for a medium sized dish

6 mini croissants (or 3 big ones)

6 slices of white bread

6 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 Tblspn vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

2 cups milk

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Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a medium sized baking dish. Cut the croissants and bread into cubes and place in the dish. In a bowl whisk the eggs and sugars. If you want you can just use white sugar, but using the brown sugar gives the pudding a butterscotch flavour. Once the eggs and sugar are completely mixed, add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and milk. Whisk until everything is combined and pour over the bread and croissant cubes. Let the mixture soak into the bread and press down to get the top pieces coated. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and you will have a house full of happy people!

This recipe can easily be made smaller. Just half all the ingredients. You can also use all bread if you want!

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