Bake Off Bake Along: Week 8 - Treacle Rum Nicky Tart

Paul Hollywood's certainly pulling out all the stops this year on the mean bakes. Last week's 'forgotten bakes of the past' was certainly original but there just wasn't anything that cut the mustard for me. So in absolute protest, I made a mash up of the Cumberland rum nicky and a treacle tart. That is a treacle tart, complete with lashings of rum and a lattice topping. Ideal.

Whilst my lattice may not be exactly symmetrical or even formed of even pastry widths, I was pretty chuffed that I actually managed to make such a big tart without a soggy bottom! And even more so that I found an excuse to make a seasonal dessert for the family's Sunday dinner all in the name of GBBO. Even if I may have cheated a little. 

T R E A C L E    T A R T
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food, serves 8

2 packets ready rolled shortcrust pastry 
1 egg, beaten 
350g golden syrup
50ml dark rum
juice and zest of 2 lemons
1tsp ground nutmeg
150g fresh white breadcrumbs

  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a tart tin.
  • Line the tart tin with one roll of pastry, ensuring to gently press into each edge. Prick with a fork to stop from rising during baking. Place in the fridge to cool also whilst making the filling.
  • To make the filling, gently melt the golden syrup over a low heat and remove. Add the rum, lemon zest and juice, nutmeg and breadcrumbs. Pour the filling into the prepared pastry tin and smooth over the top. Brush the top edges of the tart with the beaten egg ready for the lattice top.
  • To make the lattice top, unroll the second roll of shortcrust pastry onto a well floured surface, or just within the baking paper its packaged in. Egg wash the top (do this first before making the lattice, otherwise it'll drip into your filling). Slice inch wide lengths of pastry, ensuring long enough to cover the width of the tart and weave into a lattice pattern over the mixture, egg wash side up. Press down to seal the edges and trim any surplus.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry becomes crisp and golden.
  • Serve warm or cold, with your choice of ice cream, custard or cream. 

Bake Off Bake Along:

Week 1: lemon and raspberry loaf
Week 6: lemon pasteis de nata, egg custard tarts
Week 8: treacle rum nicky tart

Sunday Roasts at The Old Queens Head, Angel

Well and truly diving head first into the Autumn season I've been trotting around town filling as many Sundays as possible with an epic roast dinner. So much so my pals and I even have a Whatsapp group aptly named 'Roast Club / Fight Club'. Trust me, there's many lengthy conversations on gravy alone.

So when an email dropped in my inbox claiming to be offering 'London's best Sunday roast', I could not resist the opportunity to give it a try.

Warm and welcoming, The Old Queen's Head in Angel is the ideal Sunday hang out. Complete with traditional Sunday roasts, burgers, board games, live music, a roaring fire and of course a bloody great selection of Bloody Mary's.

In true Sunday style, we went straight to the traditional roast menu where choices include: 32-day aged longhorn beef with marrow gravy (£15.50); old spot belly pork with crackling (£14.50); roast corn-fed chicken with garlic aioli and smoked gravy (£13.50); and a mushroom wellington served with vegetable gravy (£12.50). All come served with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, seasonal greens and a yorkshire pudding.

We opted for the beef, served gorgeously pink and the pork with an incredibly perfect serving of crackling. Whilst the beef's marrow gravy was a little lacklustre, the pork's was significantly better and I thoroughly enjoyed dunking my yorkshire into the lashings of it.

Which leads me to the yorkshire pudding. Giant in size, homemade, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Need I say anymore?

Alongside, we opted for a side of cauliflower stilton gratin (£4.50). Growing up each Sunday my mother would pile our plates high with dozens of different vegetables claiming to be 'preparing' us for the week ahead. And so, just like my Mumma taught me, I added some extra veg to the pub's generous offerings. But only because it was laden with oozy grilled stilton.

All in all, we enjoyed a generously portioned roast at The Old Queen's Head and would definitely return. Particularly to stick around long enough to catch the live house band from 5pm.

Find out more and take a look at the rest of the menu, here.

Note: I received a complementary meal in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Bake Off Bake Along: Week 6 - Lemon Custard Tarts (Pasteis de Nata)

We'll just skim past the fact that we're on week 6 already and I have been having far too much fun on holiday and weekends away to have done any baking for the other weeks. After a fortnight in Portugal this summer, eating my body weight in pasteis de nata and sagres, I decided to give them a try myself.

That aside, pastry week is one of my least favourite weeks. Particularly as I don't think Paul would accept the use of shop bought pastry. And so, to keep the silver fox happy, I gave a rough puff a go all in the name of 'bake off bake along'. I used this recipe from the BBC for the pastry which was pretty simple to follow. I just struggled with re-rolling some offcuts to get extra tarts from. They lost their layers and ended up more like shortcrust. Otherwise, not too shabby I'd say.

P O R T U G E S E   L E M O N   C U S T A R D   T A R T S   ( P A S T E I S   D E   N A T A)
(Recipe adapted from Paul Hollywood, makes one dozen tarts)

300g rough puff pastry, recipe here or shop bought is fine too
375ml whole milk
zest of 2 lemons
45g plain flour
185ml water
375g caster sugar
7 large egg yolks
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a 12 hole tart / muffin tray.
  2. Make the pastry or roll out a block of shop bought pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Use a 10cm cookie cutter to cut out a dozen discs and fill each of the tart holes gently pressing into each edge. Prick the base of each tart with a fork, cover with individual squares of baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 10 minutes until the pastry starts to firm. Remove from the oven and set aside whilst you make the custard.
  3. In a small pan, heat the milk, lemon zest and flour together whisking continuously for 2-3 minutes until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the sugar and water into a separate pan and gently heat to melt the sugar. Once melted, increase the heat to boil until the syrup reaches 100-110 degrees.
  5. Gradually whisk the syrup into the milk mixture. Add the egg yolks to a large mixing bowl and strain over the milk, whisking continuously. Cover the surface with a layer of cling film and leave to cool. 
  6. Pour the custard into each of the custard cases, about two thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for up to 20 minutes. The pastry should be golden and the custard bubbly, firm and brown.
If you think your tarts are cooked but the pastry hasn't browned enough, dust with a little icing sugar and grill or blow torch the tops until golden. Sneaky trick. 

Bake Off Bake Along:

Week 1: lemon and raspberry loaf
Week 6: lemon pasteis de nata, egg custard tarts
Week 8: treacle rum nicky tart