Ever since my niece's mom bought her the first set in the strawberry shortcake collection I have been promising to bake with her but never got the time. Finally I decided to make time with her this past weekend.
Her set included a plate, mini tart pan and a mini rolling pin all of which she wanted to use. It was tough deciding what tart to make since I didn't want to choose one that would be too difficult or one that she wouldn't eat.
The only tart that they've ever enjoyed is the peppermint fridge tart that is a dessert staple with my family. At first I didn't consider this tart since it's made with a biscuit base which meant that she wouldn't get to use her rolling pin. After much deliberation I decided to make the tart but with a crust that would allow her to use her rolling pin.
I wasn't sure how it would turn out since I've never done it before. I decided to use the caramel/mint chocolate cream topping from the peppermint fridge tart and add a ganache layer at the bottom of the tart.
Because I was baking with Tiana I had to really go slowly doing one thing at a time. For the crust we used a sweet tart dough. I forgot to pack my kitchen scale so I had to do a lot of estimations. I decided to make the dough myself while the kids were out so that I wouldn't be left with a great mess to clean up afterwards.
The dough turned out really soft but I decided to leave it that way so that it could be more crumbly once baked.
We rolled the dough between two sheets of greaseproof paper but because the dough was so soft we had to just break off pieces and line the mini tart pans using our fingers. Surprisingly the crust turned out quite well.
Dontae, her older brother wanted a piece of the action too...
...Meanwhile on the other side of the house little brother Ezekiel was ransacking their rooms and playing dress up. Here he is wearing Tiana's boots.
Tiana was so excited to use her little tart pan.
After we had baked all the crusts we went on to make the ganache. Since it was a peppermint tart I decided to use a combination of dark and mint chocolate for the ganache.
We then whipped the fresh cream. Because it was quite warm in the kitchen I decided to whip the cream in an ice water bath to keep the cream cool. We whipped the cream until it was just a little stiff. I was too afraid to mix it any further - I've had bad experiences with fresh cream.
Once the cream was whipped we grated about 140 grams of mint chocolate over the cream. We used a little garlic/zest grater but Tiana thought that it was part of her baking set so I let her have it.
Next we added a can of caramel treat which is basically caramalised condensed milk. If you can't get your hands on caramel treat then just follow the instructions in my previous peppermint fridge tart post to make your own.
We gently folded the chocolate and caramel into the whipped cream until it was well combined.
By the time we were done with the cream the tart shells were already cool so we assembled the tarts immediately after that. Tiana enjoyed this part but I had to watch her otherwise she would have filled the entire tart with just the ganache since she loves chocolate so much.
We made some for the adult folk as well.
Go here for the recipe.
After filling the base with ganache I topped the tart with lots of the caramel/peppermint whipped cream. By the time the tarts were completed I was so tired that i forgot to take pictures of the finished tarts.
Go here for the recipe.