Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! It's the Small Tarts Have Big Hearts Round-Up!

It's Valentine's Day and not too late to bake some flirty and fetching little tarts for your beloved! The Mini Pie revolutionaries have been busy creating all sorts of tiny tarts, so have a look at these delicious little two-bite tarts! How can you resist?

Thanks to all of our revolutionaries for sending in your gorgeous creations! Once again were amazed by the range and creativity we're seeing.

Our very first entry comes from Sarah, at What Smells So Good, with these delectable-looking Choco - Ginger Mini Tarts made appropriately Valentine's Day-looking with strawberry or cherry preserves. Sarah describes this tart as "spunky, sweet, and just a little fruity, but is easy enough to create that it gets along with pretty much everybody."

Tina of Sweet Designs made these sinfully rich Dark Chocolate Tarts garnished with whipped cream. The filling is decadent and rich, requiring five egg yolks! As Tina's husband said, "Mmmmmm!"

Deeba of Passionate About Baking took our description of slightly naughty topless tarts to heart with these Chocolate Strawberry Tarts. A combination of chocolate, strawberries and Valentine sprinkles, these little tarts look irresistible and we almost expected them to leap up and start dancing the Can-can!

Holly at Phe\mom\enon created these rustic Caramel Cashew Creme Brulee Tartlets, based on a dessert at a favorite restaurant, for her husband's birthday. We think the cashew nut crust and sugary bruleed top is over the top-- in a really good way!

Marija of Palachinka made these stunning White Chocolate and Cranberry Tartlets, garnished with pistachios. Completely topless, these tarts look about as refined and lady-like as you can get! Her perfect-looking shells are made from ground walnuts.

Chris, of Melle Cotte, made these delectable Blackberry Tarts with a chocolate crust. We love the combination of tart barely-sweetened blackberries and the cookie-like crust (I know this because it's the recipe we both used for the last Daring Baker's challenge) modified with cocoa powder.

Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook has been fascinated by face cards ever since she was a child, and particularly by the Queen of Hearts, who clearly needs some sugar in her life. Have a look at Susan's beautiful Almond Cherry Tarts. If these can't make the Queen smile I don't know what will.

Aparna, of My Diverse Kitchen, got creative with a surfeit of grapes nobody was going to eat and created these lovely Cardamon Flavored Grape Mini Pies (though we would argue they are tarts). Even her daughter, who dislikes grapes, gave them a thumbs-up!

Aran, from the very new and very beautiful blog Canelle et Vanille, created a classic flavor pairing with her Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Tarts. We're crazy about slightly naughty look of the tiny droplets of peach jam on the tips of the raspberries.

Ann from Redacted Recipes was in a chocolate-raspberry mood, too. These little White Chcolalate Raspberry Tarts are made up of a rich chocolate pate sucree filled with raspberries and white choclate ganache. A lattice of dark chocolate on top preserves their modesty.

My good friend Manggy of No Special Effects says "I love you" with the food he makes. His original interpretation of a classic Filipino dessert cake into Crema de Fruta Tarts results in these stunning peach and custard beauties. Manggy observes that tarts are shallow, but we think there's a lot of depth of flavor here.

Kaykat, of Cooking from A to Z, sent us these spicy little Chocolate Mousse Tarts with greek Yogurt, which she dressed up with a drizzle of chocolate mixed with a touch of cayenne and cinnamon to heat things up.

Ben from Heights Eats made Lavender Lime Tarts, using the little tartlet pans he won from our first event! Nice to see you back, Ben! The hearts on top were piped on with a Chocolate-Orange ganache. Yum!

The fabulous Helen, of Tartelette, continues with her obsession of all things Herme and whipped up these melt-in-the-mouth Chocolate Coffee Tartelettes. Filled with Chcolate Coffee Ganache and artfully draped in Coffee Whipped Cream, these babies are sure to make you buzz with pleasure.

Alexandra of Addicted Sweet Tooth (another very new and very beautifuk new blog, folks!) made gorgeous tiny little Passion Fruit Tarts. Her almond shortcrust is filled with almond sponge cake and raspberry puree and covered with passion fruit curd, topped with a jelly glaze. Each tart is just 1.75 inches across! Stunning!

Gretchen of Canela & Comino made Valentines for your inner child with these adorable Peanut Butter and Jelly Mini Tarts. After a bit of a hassle with the original crust recipe, Gretchen saved the day by substituting wonton wrappers. Brilliant! Are these not the prettiest PB&J you ever seen?

Christy of Balance made Blueberry-Ginger Tarts and then worried they might be too large for TMPR. We say, "you made them in a muffin tin, so it's fine by us!" Out of a bare larder she managed to create scrumptious tarts with blueberries and fresh ginger and a decidedly low-fat pastry cream. We're impressed!

Shana of Mimi On The Move almost became a turncoat when her pastry crust kept sticking to her fingers but kept at it. Her last-minute improvised concoction of Caramelized Pears with Hazelnut topped with whipped cream and raspberries looks fabulous! We want that recipe Shana!

Baking History delved into her collection of antique recipes and made these wonderful Cinnamon Tartlets. She notes that they may look plain but that they hide a tender almond meringue heart scented with cinnamon. Mmmmmm!

Irene's Confessions Of A Tart is another wonderful new blog and brings us Bartlett Tartlettes. Her frangipane filling is enhanced with pears and pear syrup. Irresistible!

Gail at Pacific Outpost sent us these lovely Fruit and Vanilla Cream Tarts in a cookie-like crust of walnuts, almonds, coconut and dates. The crust alone is making me hungry!

We received one past-the-deadline entry this morning that was too scrumptious-looking to leave out. Cin from A Few of My Favorite Things had a serendipitous meeting with a farmer and scored a bag of black figs, resulting in these mouth-watering Fresh Fig Tarts.

And another late entry from Inge of Vanielje Kitchen with these beautiful Pistachio and Sour Plum Frangepane Tarts. They were just too yummy-looking to deny!

Thanks again so much to all of our participants! Viva la revolucion!

PS/ We're very, very excited about our next event, which is a secret right now, but we'll give you a hint. We've teamed up with one of our favorite food bloggers!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Events of Note

Here are some food blog events featuring our favorite... PIE! Please follow the links and consider entering one of these events with a mini pie!

Kitchen Parade is hosting Pi Day! Recipes For Homemade Pie with submissions due anytime between March 10th and 14th. We approve of any pie-related events and suggest you make 3.14 tiny pies to spread the word about the Mini Pie Revolution!

The next Sugar High Friday is being hosted by Vampituity and is also all about pie. Entries are due February 22nd. Another great opportunity to get more mini pies out there!