I love this tart – a no-fuss, slice-like affair of buttery shortbread layers filled with jam and nuts. Research has revealed no reason why this tart is Belgian, but it brings back vivid childhood memories of my mum, Jocelyn, making it in two enamel plates, throwing them in the oven and then, once cool, covering them with foil to take to a picnic or tennis day. I remember it so clearly when I make the tart now (with a few small alterations) in my own kitchen.
185g butter, softened slightly 150g caster sugar 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract 260g plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 165g mixed berry jam (see Baker’s Tips) 70g (½ cup) unsalted raw peanuts (or nuts of your choice)
Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced).
Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and process to combine, scraping down the side of the bowl if necessary. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and use the pulse butter to process until just combined and a soft dough forms.
Press half of the mixture evenly over the base of an ungreased 23cm tart tin with removable base. Spread evenly with the jam, leaving a 2cm border. Press portions of the remaining dough between your hands to flatten and press over the jam to cover, patching where necessary. Sprinkle with the peanuts and press into the dough.
Place the tart tin on a baking tray and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Leave the tart to cool in the tin and then serve in wedges.
Mum used to make this tart with apricot jam instead of the mixed berry I have used in this recipe but any jam variety works well – fig, blackberry, raspberry - just pick your favourite.
This tart will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
More a slice than a cake, I can’t believe I have only just discovered this gem from the land of the long white cloud. I can completely understand why it features fondly in the childhood memories for anyone who grew up in rural New Zealand!
Biscuit base 100g butter, at room temperature 110g (½ cup) caster sugar 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract 3 egg yolks 225g (1½ cups) plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 320g (1 cup) good-quality raspberry jam
Coconut meringue topping 4 egg whites, at room temperature 220g (1 cup) caster sugar 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence 135g (1½ cups) desiccated coconut 1 tablespoon good-quality raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C). Grease a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with melted butter to grease and line the base and sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit and allowing the paper to overhang the sides.
In an electric stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks until well combined. Sift together the flour and baking powder, add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
Press the biscuit base mixture into the prepared tin to cover evenly. Bake for 10 minutes or until starting to colour (the base won’t be cooked through at this stage). Remove from the oven and spread evenly with the raspberry jam. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites in a large clean, dry mixing bowl on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well on medium-high speed after each addition. Continue to whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy, the sugar has dissolved and a trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the vanilla and then use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold in the coconut until evenly combined. Spread the meringue mixture over the raspberry jam to cover. Dot the 1 tablespoon of jam over the top of the meringue and then use a tooth pick or skewer to swirl it through the meringue mixture.
Return the slice to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and crisp to touch on top. Place on a wire rack and allow the slice to cool in the tin (about 1 hour).
Use the paper to help transfer the slice to a cutting board. Cut into portions to serve.
This slice will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Prep 30min (+1hr cooling time and 1hr chilling)Bake 20minMakes 20 pieces
This has to be the perennial favourite... biscuit base, gooey caramel centre and chocolate topping is a combination made in heaven. This chocolate caramel slice has been given a little makeover with a feather-patterned topping.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 16cm x 26cm (base measurement) shallow slice tin and line the base and sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit.
To make the base, combine the flour, baking powder, desiccated coconut and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add the butter and vanilla and mix well. Crumble evenly over the base of the lined tin and use your hands to press down firmly and cover evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, to make the Caramel Filling, combine the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, golden syrup and butter in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly (do not boil).
Pour the hot caramel immediately over the base and use the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Return the slice to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the caramel has darkened slightly and starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside for 1 hour or until cooled completely.
To make the Chocolate Topping, combine the dark chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the base of the bowl). Stir frequently until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Pour over the cooled slice and use the back of a metal spoon to cover evenly. Tap the tin on the bench to even the topping and to remove any air bubbles. Melt the milk chocolate in the same way as the dark chocolate and butter in a separate small heatproof bowl. Place the slice with the long edge facing you. Use a teaspoon to generously drizzle the milk chocolate widthways across the dark chocolate to form vertical lines. Then use a skewer to run through both the dark and milk chocolate lengthways 5-6 times in alternate directions to form a feather pattern. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or until the chocolate sets.
Use a warm large sharp knife to cut into to serve.
This slice will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.