Strawberry, pistachio and white chocolate tarts

With Wimbledon underway this summer, now is the time to embrace the best of British with the strawberries that are bang in season. These tarts are individual so you can enjoy all the flavours without having to share with anyone else! I have given the quantities for 4 tarts however some pastry sheets may be slightly larger than others and you may be able to make a couple of extras. The tins used are 10cm in diameter which is the perfect size for one person. Alternatively you could use a larger tin to make one tart. The mascarpone cream can be made the day ahead if you like; simply keep in a covered bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to make the tarts.


Ingredients- makes 4 individual tarts
1 sheet of readymade sweet pastry
200g mascarpone
1 tbsp icing sugar
Zest of half a lemon
20 strawberries of similar size
30g pistachios- roughly chopped
100g white chocolate

1. Start by preheating your oven to 200c/ 180 fan; do check the instructions on the pack of pastry you have bought in case the temperatures are slightly different but this is a rough guide. Line your tart tins and blind bake for 10 minutes. Do this by placing a piece of baking parchment on top of the pastry and adding baking beans, dried beans such as kidney beans or rice to hold it down. Blind baking will ensure you have a cooked through tart case. After the ten minutes, remove the parchment paper and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to make sure that the base cooks well.

2. Remove the tart cases from the oven and allow to cool before filling. In the meantime you can make the mascarpone cream which is speedy and straight forward. Simply take the mascarpone and add the icing sugar and lemon zest; stir well to combine and keep it moving until the mascarpone goes glossy.

3. When the cases are cooled, add a spoonful of the mascarpone cream to each case and use the back of the spoon to smooth it so it is evenly distributed in the bottom of the case. Take the strawberries and halve them lengthways. I placed seven slices around the outer edge of the case so they are slightly overlapped. Odd numbers always end up looking best. I then fit three more slices in the centre of the tart. Take the chopped nuts and sprinkle over the strawberries.

4. Next up goes the melted chocolate. Do this by bringing a pan of water to a gentle boil and place a bowl over the top; ensure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. The chocolate will melt from the steam alone. Take the chocolate bar and separate into pieces and placing in the bowl. Gently stir the chocolate until melted and turn off the heat. I then kept the bowl over the pan so it stayed melted and much easier to drizzle. Take a teaspoon and use it to drizzle the chocolate over each tart. Allow the chocolate to set and refrigerate the tarts until needed. I dare you not to lick the spoon if you have any leftover chocolate!

Strawberry, pistachio and white chocolate tarts- a perfect celebration of juicy strawberries!

Dark chocolate and bacon truffles

Now this is a match made in heaven! The delicate bitterness of the chocolate with the savoury yet sweetness of the bacon makes for a unique truffle. These truffles are great if you use a 70% cocoa dark chocolate so try and use the best chocolate you can find to make an indulgent treat. Of course (if there are any left!) you can dress the truffles up and give as gifts. You could also add a shot of rum or bourbon to pep the truffles up!


Ingredients- makes 25- 30 truffles
6 slices streaky smoked bacon
3 tbsp light brown sugar
250ml double cream
250g chopped dark chocolate
100g cocoa powder for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 220c/ 180 fan. Lay out the slices of streaky bacon and rub 1/2tsp of the sugar onto each slice. I then transfer them to a wire rack placed on a baking tray so any drips of fat can be caught as the bacon cooks, making it easier to clean.

2. Cook the bacon for 10 minutes on each side before removing from the oven and allowing to cool. The sugar on the bacon will caramelise in the oven and the bacon will harden as it cools. Try to resist the temptation to have a nibble! When the bacon is cool finely chop the bacon and set aside.

3. Over a medium heat, add the double cream to a saucepan and heat until it just begins to simmer. Take it off the heat and then stir through the chopped chocolate until combined well.

4. Add the cooled bacon pieces to the chocolate mixture. I then transfer the mixture to a bowl to pop into the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight if you can.

5. When the chocolate is chilled and hardened enough to handle, start rolling the truffles. You can either use a melon baller or scoop the chocolate with a teaspoon before shaping. When you have rolled the truffles, coat them in the cocoa powder to finish. You could also try a nutty coating such as finely chopped hazelnuts if you like. Keep the truffles in the fridge until ready to devour!

There we have it! Indulgent dark chocolate and bacon truffles to test the taste buds of all your friends!