Cranberry tart with white chocolate

St. Valentine’s Day is coming, and I’m sure that most of you are looking for something special to surprise your second halves with. Believe me, this tart is exactly what you’re looking for! Breathtakingly aromatic and irresistibly mouthwatering, light and energizing, with crunchy almond basis, sweet-sour spicy cranberry filling, and delicious soft as cloud white chocolate cream topping, it will get right to the heart of that very one! Besides, it’s nothing difficult to prepare and the risk of failure is really non-existent. In case of limited leisure time, it’s perfectly normal to cook this tart step-by-step in different days: to bake the tart base and prepare the cream base the day before, and do all the rest on that very day. And I’m sure that you’ll be amazed no less than your love! Go on, and love for everybody!

You’ll need:
100 g butter, chilled and diced
50 g sugar
1 egg
170 g flour
30 g starch
75 g almonds, slightly browned and cooled down
For cranberry filling:
600 g cranberry
50-80 g sugar
1 orange zest and juice
1 tsp Christmas spices
For cream:
150 g heavy whipping cream (no less than 30%)
150 g white chocolate

Preparation:

  1. Put the cream in a sauce pan with thick bottom, and warm it, constantly stirring, until it simmers. When the first bubbles begin to appear, add chocolate and remove the cream from heat.
  2. Stir the cream actively until all the chocolate dissolves. Let it cool down and put it in the fridge for 6-8 hours min.
  3. Put almonds, flour, and starch in a food processor and blend everything together until almost homogeneity.
  4. Add sugar and butter and mix everything until lumps begin to appear.
  5. Take the dough out of the food processor and use your hands to press it evenly into the bottom and sides of a springform cake tin. Put it in the fridge for 30 min.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 190oC.
  7. Take the dough in the tin from the fridge, cover it with parchment paper, and fill it with ceramic baking beans or just common dry beans or peas. Bake it all together for 10 min, then remove the parchment paper with ceramic beans, and bake for 10 min more. Let the tart base cool down.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare cranberry filling. Put cranberry, sugar, and orange juice in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil over low heat. Cook it until half of the berries pop, for approx. 15-20 min. Remove the cranberries from the heat, and add orange zest and spices. Mix thoroughly and let it cool down.
  9. Pour the berry filling in the tart base and level it out.
  10. Take the white chocolate cream out of the fridge and whip it at the highest speed of your mixer until it adds in volume and becomes airy and fluffy.
  11. Use a pastry bag and your favourite nozzle shape to decorate the tart with white chocolate cream. Use some spare cranberries and rosemary or mint to further decorate the tart and express your love.

Bon appetite!

P.S. Almond can be replaced with any other nuts; best browned in the oven. Regulate the amount of sugar in the filling depending on how sour your cranberry is. If you don’t have a special Christmas spices mixture, fell free to replace it with cinnamon, or mix cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom in equal proportions. And in case you don’t have a pastry bag, take any small but firm packet, cut off a tiny bit of one corner, and use it as a one-use pastry bag.

Brussel sprouts-orange salad

Common cabbage is one of the most traditional vegetables in Ukrainian kitchens with a wide variety of ways of cooking it known to each and every housewife. Yet, we often neglect other, sometimes much healthier, types of cabbage, like broccoli, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts, and our choice of recipes including these vegetables is quite limited. Today, I offer you an extremely healthy (really, it’s like a vitamin bomb), energizing, nutritious and truly delectable salad with raw uncooked Brussel sprouts (and yes, it’s perfectly OK to eat them fresh), completely devoid of any bitterness common to cooked Brussel sprouts. Combined with oranges and hazelnuts, these tiny greens will undoubtedly surprise you and will definitely win a place on your table as a side dish or even a main one if combined with some soft salty cheese or smoked meat. So, go on and experiment!

You’ll need:
400 g Brussel sprouts, top leaves removed, finely chopped
½ red onion, peeled, sliced into half-moons
1 orange zest
1 orange segments
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp oil (preferably olive oil)
40 g hazelnuts
Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Put the nuts in a pan and brown them slightly over small heat. Let them cool down, peel them, and divide them into halves.
  2. Put the chopped Brussel sprouts, onion, and orange zest in a deep bowl, salt them, and squash them a little bit. Let them rest for 5 min.
  3. Meanwhile, divide orange into segments and remove the skins.
  4. Add orange segments to the salad.
  5. Mix orange juice (what’s left in a bowl from the segments) with lemon juice and oil. Add it to the salad and mix thoroughly.
  6. Sprinkle the salad with hazelnuts and serve immediately.

Bon appetite!

P.S. Hazelnuts can be replaced with almonds, walnuts, or even poppy seeds.