Thursday, 8 August 2013

Pampered Chef Mini Muffin Pan: Banoffee Tarts, Cinnamon Whirls & Peanut Buttercream Tarts

At 38 weeks + 4 days pregnant I think I've just completed my last bake-a-thon until after my Little Mr arrives. I don't think I have much stamina left for standing for long periods or working in a hot kitchen - mind you, if baby comes late I may well need to bake to keep me occupied and to stop me from pulling my hair out - we'll see. 

This week I've been trying out my newest baking-gadget purchase, and I have to say after some trial and error I'm so pleased with the purchase, and the baking results. 

I went to my first Pampered Chef party a few weeks ago, and decided to purchase a clever little baking kit which consists of a 24 hole mini muffin baking tray, and a little wooden dobber (tart shaper) which you use to press pastry into the tray - making mini pastry cases in an instant with very little work. This kit appealed as its so easy, child friendly and versatile - suitable for baking any number of sweet or savoury tarts, mini cheesecakes, quiches, cakes etc. 

The muffin tray is priced at £20, and the dobber at £7.25 - not cheap, but the quality of the products have really impressed me, and I know its the sort of item I'll still be using in 10 years time. 




You can purchase the items here at The Pampered Chef website.

I had my lovely mum and aunt to stay at the beginning of the week, and wanted to make them a sweet treat which gave me the perfect excuse to try the mini muffin pan for the first time. I decided to make mini banoffe tarts. 

Mini Banoffee Tarts

This was the first recipe I tried in the mini muffin tin and I'd been advised loads of different ways and methods of making them. I used rolos and baked them as advised by one website, only to find they bubbled up out over the pastry and looked dreadful. :-( So in a rescue mission I scraped the rolo out of each one, leaving the cooked banana, and added toffee sauce & a chocolate button to each one instead - I much preferred this method. I also used a whole block (500g) of pastry as advised by a few different websites, and I found the tarts to be a touch too thick for my liking - so I would advise using just half a block of pastry instead. 

Ingredients

1/2 a 500g pack of pre-made shortcrust pastry
24 rolos or toffee sauce
24 slices banana
300ml double cream
24 milk chocolate buttons

Method

1. Cut the block of pastry in half - pop half back in fridge or freeze for use another time. 
Split the pastry you have left in half long ways, then split each half in two - you should now have 4 long rectangles. Split each rectangle in half, and each of those halves into 3 - to get 24 small squares of pastry. 

2. Roll each square of pastry into a ball and pop one into each dip of the mini muffin tray. 

3. Dip the dobber in flour, and then press the dobber down into each ball of pastry until it forms a pastry case. 
mini pastry cases

4. Place a slice of banana in the bottom of each one and bake for 15-20 mins in a medium oven until pastry is lightly golden and firm to touch. 

ready for the oven 

5. While they are warm pour in toffee sauce and top with a chocolate button. Alternatively you could pop a rolo inside each one and the residual heat should melt the toffee/chocolate of the rolo. 

6. Leave to cool. Whip the double cream and place into a piping bag. 

7. Pipe the double cream onto the top and decorate with either more chocolate buttons or some grated chocolate. 

my final tarts: pastry too thick, and rolo 'splodges' down the side of the pastry :-( but lesson learned for next time. 

The main thing is they tasted scrummy, and I've definitely learnt my lesson in terms of how to make the best version of these next time.

Mid-week this week we said farewell to my mum and auntie, and welcomed our friends Danni and Charlie over for a catch up, sleepover and day together today. Danni asked if we could do some baking  as her mums work have a charity bake sale on tomorrow to raise money for Noah's Ark Children's Hospice. Loving any excuse to bake, and always up for helping a deserving cause we set to work deciding what to bake.


After the trial and error of the banoffee tarts I wanted to try using my mini muffin tin again, and after some mooching around on the internet we came up with two yummies we wanted to try. 

Mini Peanut Buttercream Tarts

Ingredients

1 x 500g ready made shortcrust pastry
3 large tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter
140g unsalted butter at room temp
280g icing sugar
2 tbsp semi skimmed milk
24 milk chocolate buttons
24 white chocolate buttons

Method

1. Cut the block of pastry in half - pop half back in fridge or freeze for use another time. 
Split the pastry you have left in half long ways, then split each half in two - you should now have 4 long rectangles. Split each rectangle in half, and each of those halves into 3 - to get 24 small squares of pastry. 

2. Roll each square of pastry into a ball and pop one into each dip of the mini muffin tray. 

3. Dip the dobber in flour, and then press the dobber down into each ball of pastry until it forms a pastry case. 
using the dobber to squash the pastry into cases


4. Use a small fork or cocktail stick to prick some holes in the bottom of each pastry case to stop them rising too much when baking. Bake in a medium oven for 15 -20 mins until lightly golden and firm to the touch. 
holes in the bottom of each one

5. While pastry cases are cooking combine the butter, icing sugar, peanut butter and milk in your food mixer until light and fluffy. Place into a piping bag with a large round nozzle. 
Peanut buttercream

6. Leave cases to cool. Once cooled pipe in the peanut buttercream, and pop one of each chocolate button in the top butterfly style to decorate. 

piped and ready to decorate

t'ah d'ah! 


Mini Cinnamon & Pecan Whirls

I found this recipe over on Tanida's 'Sweet Make Me Smile' blog... and I have to say it worked absolutely perfectly! The outcome of the warm, soft, sticky mini pecan and cinnamon bites were insanely tasty & very easy to make. 

Tanida is American and therefore uses cup measurements in her recipe - I handily have some awesome little birdy 'cup' measuring jugs for when I'm using American recipes, but you can use an online converter to covert to grams if needed. 

Ingredients

  • 24 pecan halves
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft 


Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. 
  2. Place a pecan in each muffin cup, top side down.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour + baking powder + salt until combined.
  4. With a rubber spatula, stir in  the whipping cream until just combined. The dough doesn't need to be perfectly smooth. Let the dough rest for 2 - 3 minutes to firm.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sugar + cinnamon and set aside.
  6. On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a rectangle shape about 1/4 inch thick. Use a spatula or your fingers to spread the dough with the soft butter and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

  7.  Cut the rectangle in half long ways. Then starting at one long end, roll the dough tightly to form a long swiss roll shape. Repeat with second half so that you are left with two long swiss roll shapes. Refrigerate both for at least 30 minutes to firm up ready to cut.
  8. Cut the dough rolls each into 12 pieces so that you end up with 24 equal pieces. Place each piece of the dough into the mini muffin pan on top of your pecan halves. 
  9. Bake until a nice dark golden brown color, about 12-15 minutes.


  10. Immediately turn the buns out of the tin to avoid sticking.

  11. Serve warm. (or at least make sure you taste one just when it's hot .. right out from the oven)

    I was so pleased with the tasty outcomes, and me and Danni had loads of fun baking the new recipes. 

    I hope all the people at the bake sale tomorrow enjoy them and I hope they help to raise loads of money for a very worthy cause. 

    If you'd like to donate money to Noah's Ark Children's Hospice then please visit their website here

    Bye for now & happy baking

    Mrs B 

    xxxx

5 comments:

  1. Hey Lucy, I love my Pampered Chef mini-muffin tin - I use it a lot. I always get it out if anyone asks me to bring bakes to a general social event - if there's lots of cakes and muffins to try, one that's just a mouthful is perfect.

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  2. love the blog Lucy, espcecially as you've got the mini muffin pan now - the list of recipes is endless. I've collected quite a few and they're on my website - basically anything that you'd make in a shallow quiche or tart tin can be adapted for the MMP.
    And you're absolutely right, 1/2 pack of pastry is plenty enough for 24. I have friends who've used small pieces of sliced bread, filo pastry, bread dough mix to line the tin. As it's so non-stick you can even make 'crustless quiches', which is great if you're on a diet. Have fun with the pan :)

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  3. Moira, Thank you for your lovely comment - I love the mini muffin pan & know I will use it lots and lots now - especially for parties/xmas etc, and baking with my little one when he arrives & is old enough :-) I'm glad you too find it a useful piece of kit!

    Sue, Thanks for re-assuring me about the 1/2 pack of pastry & thanks for the link on facebook to all the yummy recipes! I cant wait to try out some more.

    Lucy xxx

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  4. Hi Lucy - As a Pampered Chef Consultant, it's really good to read that you love your DMMP!!! The recipes you have posted look amazing, and I can't wait to try the Banoffee one.....and the peanut butter one!!

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  5. Don't waste your money on these pans. they work for a few weeks, but after that you'll be using more and more oil to keep food from sticking. Eventually even the oil won't help. One of the worst kitchen utensils I ever bought. 

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