Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Bonnie!

Bonnie’s 22nd birthday party was last night. She had a tea party (and by “tea”, I mean alcohol served in teacups), and my contribution to the festivities was some little jam tarts.

358. Jam Tarts

These tarts appear in the Feeding Babies and Small Children chapter, as part of the Cooking-with-Children–slash-Children’s-Party-Food section. And once you’ve made pastry a zillion times before (thank-you Nigella), they’re a total breeze.

You just make the pastry using Nigella’s freezer-processor-ball-fridge method, with flour, butter, yogurt and water. I used half butter, half vegetable shortening because I didn’t have enough butter. Then simply roll out the pastry, cut it into crinkly circles, and line mini-tartlet tins with it. As for the jam inside, Nigella says to use super-cheap strawberry jam, “the sort without one iota of fruit in it”, and to heat it with a bit of water before spooning it into the waiting cases.

jam tarts

They take 15 minutes to bake at 210C, and boom boom, they’re done!

jam tarts

I let them cool, and transported them to Bonnie’s place in little plastic takeaway containers with a piece of greaseproof paper in between each layer.

Bonnie had heaps of delicious little treats...

Mmm... mini toasts

Food - scones, jam, pikelets, biscuits...

Food and teacups

Here's a closeup of the jam tarts on a pretty plate.

Bonnie with jam tart

I thought they were pretty good. The pastry was nice and flaky, and the tarts were the perfect size - one small, sweet mouthful. Bonnie’s mum really seemed to like them; she declared them “the best jam tarts I’ve ever eaten”. Yay! Bonnie’s mum rocks.

And as I seem to be in the mood for immodesty, I may as well mention that this afternoon’s baking session didn’t only involve the jam tarts. It was more of a hot and heavy hardcore baking session.

You see, I finally found yeast at a deli this morning, which meant I was finally able to make Nigella’s basic white loaf (Basics etc. chapter). And, seeing as I don’t know the meaning of “enough is enough”, I also got to work on a South African Jewish sweet cinnamon babka. That one isn’t even in How to Eat - I saw it when I was browsing through Falling Cloudberries at Borders the other day, and just had to have it. Besides, you can’t buy fresh yeast in single-use portions, so you may as well bake a lot of bread at once before the yeast dies.

Stay tuned to both my blogs for pictures and descriptions of both breads. I’m not really used to all this yeast cookery and kneading - such tiring work. My wrists are killing…

1 comment:

Ange said...

I love jam tarts, have not tried my own as yet. And weird fact, beleive it or not my old netball team was actually called the Jam Tarts!