[Treacle tart and grenadine-marinated blood oranges]

treacle tart

It would probably be an understatement to say that I am messy.

For years, my absolutely organised mum fought with me, not understanding why I had to keep pretty much all of my belongings on my desk, or at worst, around my bed.

For years, I did not understand how – despite being raised by someone so tidy – I would always end up with so much stuff lying on the floor. And then, it struck me. I simply like to have my most cherished possessions close to me. I like to be able to see them at any given time. I like to nest in my own comforting world.

This eureka-moment had no effect on my paradoxical messiness. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m surrounded by two cameras, a photo album, a bowl of edamame beans, and a neat pile of notebooks.

Yes, neat.

As messy as I can be, I have this strange thing with notebooks.
It started at school, where I would always have the prettiest ones; colour-coded, written using the exact same pen, and no ratures. I’ve even been spotted copying out one of my biology class notebooks because it didn’t feel prefect enough.
Then came pâtisserie kitchens and moleskines stained with chocolate. And yet, when you open them, overlooking the smears, you’ll notice only that one felt tip pen touched the pages (ask the guys at the hotel and they will tell you how angry I get if my pen gets stolen).

Now turn the pages, and see that drawing of a square tart filled with a liquorish-like treacle flan, topped with grenadine-marinated oranges and a square of white chocolate.

It’s the starting point of an endless excitement. Making pastries all day is a favourite. Creating pastries all day is the most favourite.

treacle tart large copie

Right now, I’m developing some very fine French pâtisseries for the book I’m working on. But I’m also playing around in the kitchen just for foodbeam. And it feels so nice.
I can’t promise daily recipes here, although I will make my best to come up with new exciting things if I’m not spending my days off exploring London for the best places to eat, or have a bubble tea, or some macarons.

london favourites

Yes, I’m totally keeping tracks of my London favourites there. It’s – almost – all film pretty (I love London, and I love my Pentax ME Super even more).

treacle tart close

Treacle tart et oranges sanguines à la grenadine

I’m calling this treacle tart although it’s really not a genuine treacle tart, but more of a treacle syrup flan encased in a tart shell.

I don’t know about you, but to me treacle has more complex – and yet quite close – flavour than liquorish. And I think it pairs well with acidic fruits like citrus or green apples. Here, I went for blood oranges and decided to enhance their natural sweetness by marinating them overnight in a light grenadine syrup.

And then I topped the whole thing with a square of white chocolate to bring out the creaminess from the flan, and to give the tart a nice shiny finish. You can definitely skip this if you’re not confident about tempering chocolate, although it only takes a few minutes.

Just so you know, I used small square rings (6,5cm-wide) which are quite high (3cm) so I could get more filling than crust. If you’re going to use regular tart rings, you’ll have enough flan to fill four tarts shells. Just adjust the quantity of pâte sucrée (around 300g), marinated oranges, and white chocolate squares (or in this case, circles).

Treacle tart et oranges sanguines à la grenadine

makes two tarts (see note above)

for the tart shell
150g pâte sucrée (see recipe here)

Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, and line two tart square rings. Chill for 30 minutes.
Bake blind using rice or beans for 15 minutes or until just slightly coloured. Set aside.

for the treacle flan
80g double cream
40g treacle syrup
40g golden syrup
one egg

Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C.
Combine all the ingredients into a bowl, mixing until smooth. Divide into the prepared tart shells and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is set.
The flan will rise quite a lot during baking, but will fall as the tart cools.
When the tarts are baked, transfer to a wire rack, and allow to cool at room temperature. The tart will nicely keep in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.

for the marinated oranges
segments from two blood oranges
100g blood orange juice
50g grenadine

Chop the orange segments into 1cm dices, and place into a bowl along with the juice and grenadine. Transfer to a freezing bag, and chill overnight.

for the montage
white chocolate squares, the size of your tart

Place the tart on a plate. Drain the orange segments, gently patting them down. Arrange them on top of the tart, then place a square of white chocolate.