Foodiva's Kitchen: Rosewater Macadamia Mini-Tarts

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rosewater Macadamia Mini-Tarts

"The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All of a summer day: The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts And took them quite away!"

Dodgson
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, ch.11, 'Who Stole the Tarts?'.

Whenever I think of macadamia, I automatically think of Australia and Hawaii. That's because during my younger days, friends or relatives who had travelled to these faraway lands (when I was young, the world seemed bigger) frequently brought us back chocolate-covered macadamia candy as gifts from their trips. As an adult, I learnt that macadamia nuts are actually native to Australia, but were imported to Hawaii where they thrived. They are apparently also now grown in New Caledonia and Indonesia.

When I bought my big bag of macadamia nuts (unshelled....urrghh), I knew I wanted to make tarts with them. The buttery-flavored nuts would be soft enough to cut through with a knife and would be perfect as a tart filling. On its own, though, I felt it wouldn't give enough of a kick and all of you who visit here often would know that I'm all for tastebud-titillation when it comes to anything I bake. Macadamia always tastes heavenly with orange or chocolate but as usual, I resisted the temptation to go with the norm. It was my James Dean-rebel gene exerting its dominance in the kitchen yet again.   


So I think of Rosewater, and flashes of Indian sweets (gulab jamun), Turkish Delight and air bandung (pink rosewater-flavored, sweet drink) cross my mental palate. The possibility of a floral, buttery, nutty-flavored tart seemed more tempting and was definitely more my style. Subtle but memorable. No mere coincidence then that my life is reflected in many of my baked goodies...

Rosewater lending a floral note to the pastry and filling.

When it comes to making an undeniably tasty crust, I like to use the rather nutty, low-gluten and easier-to-digest spelt flour. Although my crust is not butter-less (fat chance!), it is eggless as spelt makes the dough stickier to work with. And I incorporated just enough Rosewater in the dough (as well as the filling) to enable you to detect the floral note as you bite into the tart. I'm partial to eating flowers, what can I say?


Shelling brings me no joy.... but oh, anything for the buttery nut!

Apart from the nailbreaking session with the macadamias, this was probably the one of the easiest tarts I have ever made - and I don't say that lightly because I've made many easy tarts. Cooking and prep times are also minimal, so this is a good one to impress guests for when they drop by darnedly unexpectedly.


The custard filling rises in the oven but falls and wraps itself around the nuts upon cooling.

It's a known fact that incorporating macadamia nuts into a heart healthy diet can reduce cardiovascular disease risks. Macadamia nuts have higher levels of monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil compared with other tree nuts. I had actually piped melted, white chocolate over several of these tarts but I'm not showing you them so that we can all keep to the perception that these mini-tarts are indeed, healthy. ;-)


Rosewater Macadamia Mini-Tarts
Makes: 9 mini-tarts (2½ inches wide)
Ingredients:
Spelt Rosewater Crust
250g spelt flour
125g cold butter, cubed
2 to 3 tablespoons Rosewater*
(*you can get this at Asian culinary stores)

Macadamia Cream Filling
200g whole macadamia nuts, shelled
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 egg
1 ½ tablespoon Rosewater

Method:
1. Make the crust first: in a bowl, rub the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center of the mixture, gradually add Rosewater and knead the flour into a pastry ball.
2. Preheat oven to 180C. Divide dough into 9 balls, take one and press onto the base and sides of a mini-tart pan (1-cm deep) to form the crust. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls. Prick the base of the crust with a fork several times to release hot air while baking.
3. Place tart pans in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
4. In the meantime, prepare the custard cream filling. Whisk the brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, egg and Rosewater for about a minute until well-combined.
5. After 10 minutes, remove the semi-cooked spelt crust from the oven. Arrange a layer of macadamia nuts on the base of each crust and carefully pour the custard cream on top of the nuts, filling it until you just cover all the nuts.
6. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes until custard is just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Mini-tarts can be served warm or cool with ice-cream or whipped cream.



37 comments:

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Macadamia nuts here in North America are a real expensive treat but oh so good. I love the rosewater combo. the tarts looks awesome.

Foodiva said...

Evelyne, macadamias are expensive here too. My big bag of nuts just managed to fill all of these 9 minitarts and not a tart more!

Island Vittles said...

What a royal treat! I love rosewater...Theresa

Victoria said...

Definitely a nut I don't utilize very often, but they really are a treat!! I love the addition of rosewater. Great always thinking outside the box :)

Foodiva said...

Theresa, yes, rosewater can be pretty addictive as a flavoring. In fact, my bottle is nearly finished as I've used quite a lot of it in my baking lately!

Foodiva said...

Victoria, I admit this was the first time I've ever baked using macadamia nuts. Usually, I just snack on them but this time, I decided to blow my budget and throw all caution to the wind! And it certainly paid off ;-).

Baking Barrister said...

That's a really interesting combination. I can't imagine how it would taste.

Also, I, too, think of Hawaii when I think of macadamia nuts. We don't really eat them on the mainland.

Sandra said...

Okay now we talking..well your blog always talking to me:)) silly! This is so cute, some things are just better in a small packages:))
Delicious, and so so beautiful!

A little bit of everything said...

Thanks for the info on macadamia nuts Maya, i knew so little about them.
love your tartlets. they look so cute. thanks for sharing the recipe.
hope you'll have a wonderful Wednesday

Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit said...

I am in love with roses right now. I'd never cooked with them or rose water until last weekend... these look fantastic!

Jill Colonna said...

Gorgeous photos and great idea marrying the rosewater with macadamia! Not only scrumptious but easy too? That's my kind of cooking!

Carolyn said...

I am not sure if I like my nuts floral, because I have never had them that way. But you certainly tempt me to try it! Gorgeous and creative, as always!

Foodiva said...

Sandra, I'm glad our blogs constantly talk to each other. It's really cute, the way you have articulated this connection in your own adorable way!

Foodiva said...

Roxana, before I researched it, I knew little about the health benefits of macadamia nuts too. They all just seem to be covered in chocolate whenever someone has given them as gifts to us!

Foodiva said...

Leanne, with Valentine's Day just round the corner, not only can you receive (or give) roses, you can now eat them too...well not literally, but you know what I mean!

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Jill. I may have a lazy gene that tends to influence me towards uncomplicated ways in the kitchen!

Foodiva said...

Carolyn, stick with me for a while longer and your taste palate will stretch right out to the horizon. That's not as scary as it sounds, I promise!

Belinda @zomppa said...

What an incredible flavor profile. I'll steal these away.

lena said...

this will surely impress your guests! i havent tried anything on rosewater but this simply sounds amazing!

Michael Toa said...

I always think of Hawaii as well when thinking about macadamia nuts (shame I've never been).
The tart looks so delicious and gorgeous photos too.
I've just contacted Victoria as well to join the bread pudding club. How exciting! I am easily amused.

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

i can only imagine how lovely this must be. i am so intrigue by the combo of macadamia and rosewater. thanks for sharing this Maya..have a great day.

Trix said...

Well, if you have to shell all of the macadamia nuts as far as I am concerned you have worked out enough to eat all of the tarts yourself!! I love that you used rosewater - I ave lately become addicted to rose syrup in keffir for breakfast, and I know I would love this. Not too sweet - just right.

Foodiva said...

Belinda, steal away! All good things must be shared. :-)

Foodiva said...

Lena, thank you!

Foodiva said...

Michael, yaaaay...great to have you with us next month! I can't wait for your creation. Btw, I've never been to Hawaii too :-(

Foodiva said...

BBKitchendiaries, that's so sweet of you, thank you!

Tiffany said...

You must have the patience of a saint! I can't believe you shelled the macadamia nuts by hand!!!!!!

Foodiva said...

Trix, rose syrup in keffir? For breakfast? I must really try that myself!

Foodiva said...

Tiffany, haha.. By the time I finished shelling the whole bag of nuts, I was far from feeling saintly!

Amy Bakes Everything said...

Hoooo - I could eat every single one of those! Gorgeous! Great recipe!

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

These mini tarts look great! I know I'll enjoy these tarts as I love macadamias.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow Those macadamia tartlets must have tasted heavenly!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Those are such lovely tarts. But unshelled macadamia nuts are so hard to shell...

Joy said...

Hmmm this looks so good.

Angela FRS said...

Those are soooo beautiful. Lovely idea.

Koci said...

Oooh these tarts look so lovely! They sound delicious, and I love that you drizzled some of them with white chocolate--I would've done the same! :D

Magic of Spice said...

Macadamia are my favorite nuts...This is such a gorgeous tart, I love the shape the nuts have created :)

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