Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Strawberry Almond Tarts

A little while back I was contacted by Donsuemor to see if I wanted to participate in their Dessert-a-Day challenge in the month of October.  Now, being a newbie blogger, who is only blogging for fun and not trying to make money at it, this was pretty exciting!  Plus, I had already tried their Madeleines, and knew they were delicious........a win-win for me.

I was so excited when I get a box a couple of days later filled with Madeleines and Financiers (French Almond Cakes).  I'm guessing most people have tried Madeleines at one point or another (and if you haven't you are missing out), but have you ever tried a Financier?

No?  Then let me introduce you........

They are delightfully moist and tender almond cakes (in cute little tart shape).  These little bit size treats might surprise you at their intense almond-ness, but they are crazy delicious!  When I was initially figuring out what I was going to do with these I had plans on completely obliterating these to crumbs, then toasting the crumbs and using it as a pie or tart base.  I still will have to try that in the future, but once I tasted the cake-y moistness of these , I couldn't get myself to take that away from them.

Instead I decided to make a little bit-size (ok, maybe two or three bites) Strawberry Almond Tarts.  I have made full-size Strawberry Almond Tarts in the past, and I love that flavor combination.

For my pastry cream, I used a recipe from Dorie Greenspan.  To amp up the vanilla bean flavor I used my Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste, which gives the pastry cream all the beautiful little flecks of vanilla bean.  This pastry cream is a delicious base to use for so many different desserts....it's a great one to have in your arsenal.

I had some amazing strawberries to put on top, but any in-season fruit would be great...peaches, raspberries, blackberries.....

Strawberry Almond Tarts
makes 12 bite-sized tarts

12 financiers (french almond cakes)
pastry cream (recipe below)

Cut stems off of strawberries.  With the cut side down, cut a deep 'x' into the tip of the strawberry, being careful not to cut all the way through the strawberry.  Spread the end slightly.

Using a pastry bag with any type of medium sized start tip, pipe pastry cream around the top of the financier in a circle.  Place a strawberry on top of the pastry cream, then place the tip of the pastry bag inside of the strawberry and fill with pastry cream.

For best appearance, serve these as soon as they are prepared, but they can be stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.


Pastry Cream
adapted from Dorie Greenspan, Baking from My Home to Yours

2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I used the same amount of vanilla bean paste instead)
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.

In a medium sized saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until it is well combined and thick.  Continue to whisk while you pour in 1/4 cup of the hot milk (you are tempering the eggs).  Pour in the remainder of the milk while constantly whisking.  Place the pan over medium heat, and continue to whisk while the mixture comes to a boil.  Continue at a boil while still whisking for another 1 to 2 minutes and then remove from heat.

Whisk in the vanilla extract or paste and let the cream sit for about 5 minutes before whisking in the bits of butter.  Stir until the butter bits are fully incorporated and the cream is shiny and smooth.  Transfer the cream to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.  Place in refrigerator until the cream has completely cooled.

This post is linked to:
Tuesday Talent Show
Tasty Tuesday
Tuesday Tea Party
Crazy Sweet Tuesdays
These Chicks Cooked
Cast Party Wednesday
Bake with Bizzy
Full Plate Thursday
Turning the Table Thursday
Sweet Treats Thursday
Show Off Your Stuff
Friday Favorites
I'm Lovin' It
Fresh Food Friday
Sweet Tooth Friday
Friday Food
Sweets for a Saturday
Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Monday, Mmmmm.....Dessert


  1. These look wonderful! I love anything with almond. Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesdays!

  2. These are so pretty! I like the piping inside the berries.

  3. These look sensational! They belong in a bakery window! I am such a fan of tarts or French looking desserts. Well done.

  4. Hi Kristen,
    Your Strawberry Almond Tarts look so delicate and delicious. What a great party treat for my ladies events. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Oh, these look beautiful! The pastry cream sounds delicious! You did a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  6. These looks so decadent and delicious. (:

  7. YUM! Thanks so much for linking up to Tuesday Talent Show! I would love to have you stop by and link up again tomorrow with more great projects!

  8. Nicely done, Kristen. Financiers are so good, it's really too bad most people don't know about them in the U.S. Thank you for sharing your original entry post at Joy of Desserts.