Every once in a while, I have the urge to declutter and cleanse. Every part of my life- from my make up bag to the pantry as well as the fridge and freezer. There is nothing better than opening your wardrobe to find all your clothes arranged neatly according to color. Or opening the kitchen cupboard and staring in awe at all the jars labeled alphabetically.
Yes, you could say I am rather obsessed with being a clean freak- everything must be orderly and organised. This year, Maryam joined in my spring cleaning spree. Together, we went through her toys and systematically sorted out what she loves to play with and what is currently tossed to one side. As I kept putting more and mroe toys to the 'chairty' pile, every time I turned my head the pile became smaller and smaller.
She would putting the toys back saying she still 'needed' them. In the end, we collectively agreed on what toys she would be giving away to those less fortunate. It was a great activity to do together, to make her realise the importance of charity, of giving, of sharing. Yet, it also made me more conscious of how wasteful we can be.
Perhaps the best part of cleaning sprees is that moment of discovery. When you find hidden money in the sofa, when you stumble upon an outfit that is almost as good as new, when leftover tart dough is unearthed from the depths of your freezer.
And that is exactly how this tart came to be. I had made this tart dough a while back when I made these pear crumble tarts for Mowie's magazine. I decided to top them with smooth and velvety chocolate mousse and a kiss of peanut butter. Then you bite into it and there is a crackling explosion in your mouth. It's the crackle of peanut praline brittle. It was the icing on the cake after a hard day of cleaning.
Me and Maryam quietly ate one each at the end of the day, a twinkle of excitement in both our eyes. She- because she chanced upon a singing stuffed toy in her toy box. I- because I discovered a long lost yellow dress, perfect for spring.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Praline Brittle
200 gms butter, room temperature
100 gms sugar
300- 350 gms all purpose flour
200 ml whipping cream
1 tbs peanut butter
50 gms milk chocolate
100 gms dark chocolate
Peanut praline brittle:
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs water
To make tart bases, cream the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment on your mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Stir in 300 grams of flour. If the mixture doesn't clean the sides of the bowl, keep adding more flour a tablespoon at a time until it does. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Grease your tart bases and roll out the tart dough using minimal flour to a 1/4 inch thickness. Fill the tart bases and cut off any excess (can be stored in the freezer). Pierce the tarts with a fork and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
Place the peanuts on baking paper placed over a baking tray. To make the peanut praline brittle, mix the sugar and water in a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to the boil (do NOT stir but swirl the pan). Boil for a minute and reduce the heat. Simmer mixture until it turns a golden color. Quickly pour the syrup over the peanuts and tilt the tray to coat all the peanuts. Work quickly as the toffee sets very quickly. Refrigerate until completely cool. Place in a food processor and pulse a few times.
To make the mousse, whip the cream to soft peaks. Heat chocolate and peanut butter until melted and fully incorporated over a bain marie (can use a microwave). Cool completely and quickly fold into the whipped cream. Spread into the cooled tart bases and sprinkle with peanut praline brittle. Can serve as is or refrigerate and serve cold.
Makes 6 tarts. Extra dough can be frozen.