Now that wedding season 2016 is over I couldn't wait to get back to baking and I'm loving the Christmas season. I've always been a little Christmas crazy. To celebrate everything above I've put together a Christmas special combo!
We have an Eggnog Tart, that is best saved for the weekend (or any time in December, it's the holidays!), a very conscious and equally incredible hazelnut chocolate fudge (my favourite), and a favourite cocktail of mine, the Chai infused Old-Fashioned.
Special thanks to the originators of these great recipes, some of which I've slightly tweaked. LCBO for the tart, Texanerin for the fudge and the Artful Desperado for the Old-Fashioned. Also a large thank you to Linen Chest for the always classy kitchenware used for this shoot.
Egg nog tart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 cups whipping cream
4 tbsp bourbon
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp clove powder
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Combine flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl; sift together. Cube the chilled butter, add to the bowl and cut into the butter with your hands until the consistency is like bread crumbs. Add the egg and mix with your hands until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry and fit into a round pastry pan (with a removable bottom). Trim the excess and chill for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven in the meantime to 425 degrees C.
Place the tart on a baking sheet. Weigh the dough with aluminum foil and pie weights so the dough does not rise in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights/aluminum and bake an extra 5 minutes. Note: my dough shrunk on the edges, perhaps it might help if you perforate the dough with a fork before baking.
Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees C.
Combine the whipping cream, bourbon, cinnamon stick and clove powder in a pot over medium heat. Remove right when it begins to boil and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon.
Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Poor cream mixture in with the egg mixture, slowly while whisking constantly (to avoid eggs cooking). Add mixture to tart shell, sprinkle with nutmeg and bake for ~20 minutes. The tart should be set and wobble slightly in the centre.
A Healthier Fudge
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (use paleo/vegan/dairy-free chips)
1/3 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
1/4 hazelnut butter (make your own or buy a jar that is made with only hazelnuts)
4 tbsp of maple syrup. Note: I found these sweet enough so you could put less if desired.
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3/4 cups toasted hazelnuts (skins removed)
Prepare a square 9x9 pan lined with a piece of parchment paper.
In a saucepan, mix everything together except for hazelnuts over low heat, stirring often. Once melted. Remove from heat and stir most of the hazelnuts. Poor into pan. Sprinkle remaining hazelnuts on top.
Let sit for 20 minutes and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
Bourbon, your desired brand
Chai tea (the real whole leaf tea)
1 tsp honey
Rinds from 1 orange
Combine 1 cup of bourbon with a tea bag worth of chai tea to steep for approximately 2-3 hours. Not much longer or it with be too strong / competitive with the bourbon.
Add 2 oz of infused bourbon, honey, 1 piece of orange rind, 2-3 dashes of bitters to you shaker and shake well.
Poor over ice and top with club soda (if/as desired). Garnish with an orange rind. Note: I added cranberry and cinnamon sticks for the photos though this isn’t necessary.