Date night desserts

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Bring date night to a sweet end with a dessert that’s perfect for sharing with a special someone. CW food writer Libby Kimber shares two date night desserts with something for everyone.

Romanian raspberry buttermilk tart

This is an edited extract from Black Sea by Caroline Eden, published by Quadrille Books, RRP $39.99 and is available in stores nationally. Photographer: Ola O Smit 2018.

Serves: 6-8

For the pastry

  • 200g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 20g (scant 1/4 cup) ground almonds
  • 110g (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 50g (scant 1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp cold water

For the buttermilk filling

  • 284ml (scant 1 1/4 cups) buttermilk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 60g (5 Tbsp) soft brown sugar
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
  • 270g raspberries
  • Sprig of mint, to garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, ground almonds and diced butter. Process until you have fine crumbs, then add the sugar and mix briefly again.

Next, add the egg yolk and water and pulse until you have something resembling wet sand. Take the mixture and knead gently on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes, until you have a dough. Then chill it in the fridge, wrapped in cling film, for at least 30 minutes.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to fit a 23cm loose-based tart tin, leaving at least a spare 2.5cm, in case of shrinkage. (The dough is really delicate, so if you struggle rolling it out, try flouring a sheet of baking paper and rolling out on that and then lifting and lowering the rolled out pastry into the tin that way.) Prick the base with a fork to avoid air bubbles. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans/dried chickpeas and blind bake for 15 minutes before removing the parchment and beans and cooking for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Once out of the oven, run a sharp knife along the edge, trimming the excess if it didn’t fall off on its own during the bake.

For the filling, very gently heat the buttermilk until warm, taking good care that it doesn’t boil or it will curdle. Next, quickly whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla with the warm buttermilk. Place your raspberries in the tart and slowly pour the filling over. Bake for around 30–40 minutes until the filling is golden and cooked through. Serve cool, with the fresh mint sprig placed in the centre of the tart, if you like.


Peanut butter melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding

This is an edited extract from 15 Minute Vegan on a Budget by Katy Beskow, published by Hardie Grant Books $29.99 and is available in stores nationally. Photographer: Dan Jones.

Serves: 4 (generously)

For the peanut butter filling

  • 3 rounded Tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 100ml (scant 1/2 cup) hot water

For the chocolate pudding

  • 4 Tbsp self-raising flour
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil

Start by making the peanut butter filling. Use a fork to whisk together the peanut butter and hot water until combined and smooth.

For the chocolate pudding, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, and sugar in a small, heatproof bowl. Spoon in the oil with 6 tablespoons of cold water and stir until combined.

Spoon out 1 rounded tablespoon of the cake mixture and pour the peanut butter filling into the resultant hole.

Smooth over the removed cake mixture, covering any visible peanut butter.

Cook in an 850W microwave for 3 minutes, then allow to stand for 1 minute. Serve hot with a generous scoop of vegan ice cream.

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