So, this week was supposed to be sticky toffee pudding (don’t worry, it’s coming next week). Then I found out that my lovely friends Rosie and Jim had got engaged! So I had to make them something appropriate to celebrate 🙂 – I’ve been waiting a while for a good enough success to make a ‘success tart’ and this is definitely it! They really loved it, which is wonderful!
I really want to make another one now though, because I feel like there were a few bits I could have improved on. This tart is best made the day before you want to eat it/give it to someone I think, because the custard takes a little while to set, so by the time I had to take it out it was still pretty wobbly in the middle. I also made the mistake of taking the base out of the tin before putting the custard on it. Do not do this. It is a bad idea that leads to collapsing bases. I’m slowly getting the hang of making custard though, which is a positive – making this was slightly out of my comfort zone, and a lot of things could have gone more wrong than they did, so I’m really glad I did it. Once I’d poured the custard into the base, Oli was practically licking out the saucepan, the custard was that good. It’s really rich and buttery, with a nice hint of vanilla.
From the recipe point of view, one thing I love is that you use egg whites in the base and egg yolks in the custard, which means you end up with no egg waste at all. A lot of recipes that involve either whites or yolks normally don’t have any use for the other, and I don’t like that. Anyway, I highly recommend this – I guess it’s not just for successes, because even making it without anything going wrong feels like a success in itself.
Next week, Sticky Toffee Pudding! (for real)
Suksessterte, or Norwegian vanilla cream ‘success tart’ (from Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen)
5 egg whites
200g icing sugar
200g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150ml double cream
100g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
200g butter, cut in 1cm cubes
1 tsp vanilla extract
cocoa powder for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3-4 and lightly oil a 23cm round cake tin.
2. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Add the icing sugar a few spoonfuls at a time and keep whisking until stiff peaks form again. Put the ground almonds in a separate bowl with the baking powder and salt and stir well. Gently fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients until just blended – don’t knock out all the air, but no blobs of egg white.
3. Pour gently into the cake tin, smooth with a spatula and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30-35 mins or until golden and firm to the touch. It may sink slightly after it’s removed from the oven. Leave to cool in the tin whilst you prepare the topping.
4. Bring the double cream to a simmer in a saucepan, stir in the caster sugar and allow to dissolve completely before removing from the heat. Put aside to cool slightly. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a medium, heatproof bowl. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the warm cream into the yolks, then pour in the rest of the cream and stir vigorously to create a smooth, creamy custard.
5. Pour the custard into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. As soon as it has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and place on a cool surface. Gradually incorporate the butter cubes, whisking vigorously as you fold them in. If the mixture cools too much, simply pour into a heatproof bowl, place over a pan of simmering water and keep whisking as you add the butter cubes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, stir in the vanilla extract, then pour the filling into a medium bowl and cover with cling film directly on the surface to stop a skin forming. Once it has cooled slightly, place the filling in the fridge and chill until it is thick and stiff (about an hour or so).
6. Remove from the fridge and beat the filling with a spatula to soften it slightly before spreading on the almond tart base. Smooth the top of the tart and put back in the fridge to chill for at least an hour (preferably several). Serve lightly dusted with cocoa powder.