Friday, March 30, 2007

Coconut & chestnut cream tarts

What a thing means to one person can be totally different to another.

Yesterday we drove to met a friend, who told me her place was "right behind" Target (the name of a store here). So, after we passed Target, I expected to see her house right away; because, right behind is... right behind! Nope! her place only came in sight after we drove a distance of ten soccer fields. Anyway, we had a great time, and a big laugh when she told me, she once asked her husband to buy phyllo sheets, he later brought her back a roll of cling wrap!

So I don't know what will come up to your mind if I tell you these tarts are baked in (disposable) ashtray. Yes they are (photo as follow). I bought the ashtrays at a party store for less than a dollar for 8. Some people may worry about coconut being too rich, or chestnut cream too sweet. For me, their problem probably comes from serving size out of proportion - crust not enough, filling too much, or tart too big. The tart of this size, everything tastes just perfect to me.

I continue using the crust recipe from mini pecan & amaretti tartlets. This crust is flaky, buttery but not over sweet. And the dough is very easy to manage. Flo Braker (the author of the original recipe) likes to use pinch-n-press method, but I always like roll-n-cut (cookie cutter) to place dough into the moulds.

Recipe: (yield 8 tarts)

  • 1 tartlet pastry recipe
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • store-bought chestnut cream (mine 350g, but didn't use it all up)
  • small handful of pine nuts
  • chocolate shavings as garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat oven 350F
  • Roll and cut the dough, place the round dough into the pre-greased and pre-floured trays. Covered and chilled the crust while you preparing the filling.
  • For the filling I just eyeballed the amount: in a mixing bowl, stir to combine coconut and chestnut cream (ration about 2:1), taste to check the sweetness and the consistency (paste-like). Spread filling into each crust, sprinkle some pine nuts, bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. When the tarts are warm to touch, unmould and transfer on a rack to cool completely

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29 comments:

Meeta said...

Lovely and refreshing and what a clever idea using disposable ashtray for tart forms. You are a genius!

Anh said...

Gattina, you are really go sugar high these days! ;) I love tarts and pie a lot. And what attracts me first is the crust, the richer the merrier for me. The filling comes later. I like mine in small portion, too. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Gattina, I would never have thought of mixing coconut and chestnut - I'm sure they taste delicious together!

WindWhisperer said...

That flavor combination sounds very unique and interesting...

Lis said...

Gattina they are lovely. And using the disposable ash trays is hysterical, but it makes perfect sense as well! Also, I've never thought to use a cookie cutter to cut out the dough of any mini tart I've ever made.. so you've taught me two things today, thank you! :D

xoxo

Angie said...

Ooooo.. more tartlets :p You are really spoling us with your buttery sweet creations nowadays.

No upcoming holiday for me, not until August.... so it work, work and more work..

Brilynn said...

You are on a roll with the little pastries!

joey said...

When you said you were going to brine yourself in sugar you weren't kidding! I'm loving all your sweet little tarts :)

The ashtray/tartlet pans are too funny! But also ingenius! :)

Freya and Paul said...

Oooh, Coconut and Chestnut. What a mouthwatering combination!

Asha said...

COCONUT!!! I am sold!!;D

Rose said...

Using disposable ashtray as a mold??? Brilliant!! It gives beautiful and small, cute tarts indeed. And the crust looks so flaky...mmmnmnmnm!!

sher said...

I wonder how many of those I could fit in my mouth all at one time?? :):) They are simply adorable--and delicious, no doubt!

Chris said...

Your tarts! I love all of them. You sure have a way of combining flavors that are unique and wonderful! I don't know how well someone can learn that gift...I think you either have it or you don't. And you do! Thanks for the recipe.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

(sharp intake of breath) Oh lovely, yes so much depends on the portion size doesn't it and we Americans are the worst. I'm always trying to tame myself by repeating "the first bite tastes just like the last bite. the last bite tastes just like the first bite. i'm now having my last bite with the first."
These are truely lovely! What a trick with the ashtrays. Keeping you eyes open is sometimes hard. That is excellent.

Kristen said...

You are just brilliant... I love your little ashtray tart pans!

eliza said...

you're very resourceful gattina! your tarts came out still great.

Callipygia said...

These looks so tasty- I don't know why I keep imagining that they might taste like winter melon cakes? Also thank you for the chestnut cream source, you seem to access some really good ingredients.

Sushma said...

Astray's...thats a pretty clever idea to have the right shaped Tart...Gattina you are a genius..

I love coconut but have never tried anything with chestnut..should give it a try...I have a sweet tooth and all these yummy recipes are making my mouth water...

-Hugs
Sushma

Peabody said...

Oh your tarts are just looking so good.

Gattina said...

Meeta, oh I'm flattered. Maybe I'm a cheapo, just don't want to buy the regular tray since I know I only make tarts once or twice a ... year :D

Anh, I actually consider dessert as my main meal :D But me too, big wedge just isn't my thing!

Pat, for me coconut is a social butterful!

Windwhisper, coconut still sort of under-explored in the west, I love to find more ways to use this good stuff!

Lis, oh you're sweetie! As long as the size is right, cookie cutter, water glass, lid... anything can use to cut the dough *big hug*

Angie, *hug hug*...

Brilynn, in this catergory, can't join you, I "go home", hehee...

Joey, thanks darling! We just have a moment for sweet stuff :D

Freya, yes they are!

Asha, *lol*

Rose, thank you! The auther didn't mention the crust supposed to be flaky (maybe they're). But everything I made it, it always flaky, and it's the way how I love it :D

Sher, kekeee... I was very tempted to eat 2 at one sitting, but 1 was already totally satisfactory!

Chris, oh thanks for your sweet words! I just don't like keep buying things (except shoese and bags), $ is one thing, get them organized and stored properly... ohhh...noooo!

Tanna, oh my dear! Well said!!! When every bite able to us the ultimate satisfaction, we content, and the brain sends signals to our stomach, 'I'm happy, and I'm full!', then we just don't feel anymore. Big portion is good only if it is a meal, or it is really super good (supreme ingredients and such), but I found it's rare.

Kristen, yes, they are cute aren't they! I don't smoke, so might put them in a good use :D

Eliza, thanks for your compliment!

Calli, thanks sweetie! I haven't tasted winter melon cake, but had tried winter melon candy (oh so sweet and so good). Store-bought jar stuff lost most of the definite taste, but somehow it gives itself a neutral status; it gets along with coconut so well :D
I just bought the cream across a street from my house (from an Italian grocer), less than $3.

Sushma, I'm not sure if China grows chestnut, but this nut was one of the food I grew up with! My mom roasted chestnut every weekend! About coconut, well, you know the best ! *hug*

Peabody, thank you sweetie!

veron said...

These tarts are so cute...and I have a weakness for mini desserts. clever..clever... the way you used the ashtrays!

Sandeepa said...

that was a good one...cling wrap for phyllo dough :)

Your tarts are lovely as always :)

Monisha said...

Cool idea Gattina, who would have thought of using disposable ashtrays..very resourceful. The tarts look rich and delicious. Pass me an ashtray now :)!

Mary said...

I've never thought to use disposable ashtrays as a mini baking tin but it makes total sense! The Asian fusion combination of chestnuts and coconut in a tart would be a perfect ending to any meal.

Kajal said...

Hi Gattina,
You are very creative girl.Very delicious coconut and chestnut cream tarts.
It is good in test to combination of coconut and chestnut. Mouth watering recipe.............
Thanks for sharing.
Have a good day.:)))))))

Seema said...

Gattina, these lovely cream tarts have coconut in them... Oh boy as Asha said I am sold too. Lovely presentation as always

Precious Moments said...

I love chestnut!!!! You are definitely tempting me with these lovelies. Delicious!

momoftwins said...

I tried and loved it..Thanks

Honey Bee said...

I know this is a long time after your post but I just had to comment. I bought three cans of french chestnut cream because I loved marron when I lived in Bxl. Sadly I didn't have any recipes for the chestnut cream. NOW I DO.


Your recipe is most excellent. Thanks for posting it and the lovely photos. Clever idea using a disposable ashtray.

KUDOS!