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Monday, September 27, 2021

Benjamina Ebuehi’s recipe for caramel almond buckwheat tart | The sweet spot

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The sweet almond topping on this tart was inspired by toscakaka, a delightful Swedish almond cake that I fell in love with a few years ago. A buttery mix of brown sugar, toasted almonds and cream comes together to create a shell-like layer that sits on top of a soft, frangipane filling. Buckwheat flour is my go-to when seeking out a gluten-free option for pastry because it’s not too difficult to work with and brings such a nutty, earthy flavour.

Caramel almond buckwheat tart

Prep 45 min

Chill 1 hr 30 min+

Cook 1 hr 10 min

Serves 10-12

For the pastry

185g buckwheat flour

60g icing sugar

¼ tsp fine sea salt

110g unsalted butter

1 egg yolk

For the filling

150g unsalted butter
, softened

115g caster sugar

1½ tsp vanilla bean paste

¼ tsp almond extract

2 large eggs

150g ground almonds

¼ tsp salt

For the topping

80g flaked almonds

50g unsalted butter

50g light muscovado sugar

30ml double cream

½ tsp flaky sea salt

Put the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and pulse briefly until it begins to clump – if the mixture looks dry, add a tablespoon of cold water.

Turn out the pastry on to a lightly floured surface and gently but quickly knead to bring it together. Wrap and chill in the fridge for one to two hours, until firm.

Roll out the dough into a large circle about 3-4mm thick and use to line a 22cm-23cm fluted tart tin. Press the pastry firmly into all the corners and use a sharp knife to trim the excess. Prick the base a few times with a fork, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, until firm.

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Line the pastry case with scrunched-up greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans or rice, and blind bake for 25 minutes. Remove the beans and greaseproof paper and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the edges have browned and the base is cooked through. Set aside while you make the filling.

Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in the ground almonds and salt. Spoon the batter into the pastry case and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the frangipane is just set.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a dry pan for a few minutes until they start to brown, then set aside. Put the butter, sugar, cream and salt in a small saucepan, heat until the butter melts, then bring the mixture to a boil. Tip in the toasted almonds, stir to coat evenly, then simmer for a minute and take off the heat.

Once the tart is out of the oven, carefully spoon the almonds on top, spreading them evenly across the surface. Return to the oven for another eight minutes, then leave to cool completely before slicing and serving with a splash of cold cream.

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