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Neenish Tarts

A bowl of black and white neenish tarts

Most of us have been to an Australian bakery and found ourselves mesmerised by the half-and-half-coloured tarts sitting pretty on display. You guessed it—I’m talking about the iconic Neenish Tarts! But hold on, we’re not just discussing these beauties; we’re making ’em and baking ’em right! 🥳

The Origin Story: A Tart With an Aussie Passport

Legend has it, Neenish Tarts hail from Down Under. Some say they’re as Australian as kangaroos and Vegemite sandwiches, but they’ve found their way into bakeries worldwide! We have so many traditional bakes. How cool is it!🦘

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

It’s Not Just Black & White: The Color Code

Neenish Tarts are a spectacle of two-tone deliciousness. But, they don’t have to be just black and white! Get artsy; Many bakeries do pink and white but why not go wild and try matcha and cream! The sky’s the limit. I remember doing blue and white for a baby shower once. So cute! 👶🍼

Danger Zone: Common Mistakes & How to Dodge ‘Em

  1. Too Runny Filling: Watch the consistency, peeps! The gelatine and butter in this recipe will save you. Make sure you chill before Icing. If your kitchen is hot, take a few out of the fridge at a time so you can keep that icing where it should be.
  2. Uneven Coloring: You must sift your icing and cocoa through a fine sieve to remove any lumps! We want glossy not gritty. Make sure you mix your colours well before you add them to your tart. Hey, if you don’t sift and you have lumps don’t try to remove them, it’s not going to happen. Start again.
  3. Neenish tarts are quite sweet: I mean sugary sweet. I made mine in Patty Pans, and I think one of those is sufficient for me, but now I’m thinking about my Mum; she wouldn’t settle for just one. 😂😊
Neenish Tarts on a white plate.

Mock Cream? Nah, We’re classing it up!

Ah, Mock Cream. The bakery’s secret weapon, usually packed in big buckets filled with questionable ingredients. But here, we’re going full gourmet! Our cream isn’t mocking anyone—it’s the real deal. We’re talking butter, sugar, vanilla, and a smidgen of gelatine to give it that chef’s kiss perfection and stop it from running out of your tart. 😜

What kind would of icing for Neenish Tarts?

If you want a crispy icing on your tarts, resembling the ones from bakeries, I recommend using royal icing. Since you already have an extra egg white from the pastry, you can utilise that. However, if you prefer a softer icing, you may substitute the egg white with milk.

Storage of your Neenish Tarts:

If I were you, I would advise storing these in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Unlike the bakery’s long-lasting, shelf-stable alternative, these are filled with real butter. 😄 It is important to consume them within a week. So there’s a challenge for you right there.

So, ready to take on the Neenish Tarts? I know you are!

a white bowl with a stack of black and white neenish tarts

Neenish Tarts (mini tarts)

5 from 2 votes

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becs-table.com.au
Are Neenish Tarts an Aussie original? I think our Bakeries would say yes.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Afternoon Tea, tart
Cuisine Australian
Servings 22
Method Thermomix and Conventional

Equipment

  • 1 Thermomix or Food Processor

Ingredients
  

For the pastry

  • 130 g plain flour
  • 80 g unsalted butter cubed and cold
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 20-30 gm cold water 20 gm to start. You may not need more
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam for the filling

For the Mock Cream

  • 20 ml boiling water see notes
  • 1 sheet of Gold Gelatine (or 1/2 tsp gelatine powder bloomed in 20 g water)
  • 40 g milk
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 120 g unsalted butter softened
  • 1 pinch flaked salt
  • 5 g (1tsp) vanilla extract

For the icing

  • 150 g icing (powdered sugar) (a heaped cup) Powdered / confectioners sugar for each colour. Sift well as you dont want lumps or grit for a shiny top.
  • 15 gm +/- or reserved egg white
  • 10 gm lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dutch cocoa You will need to add a touch more liquid to loosen up the cocoa, but be careful not to add too much, I used milk. Oh, and sift it. No lumps, please. Lumps are impossible to remove if you've already added liquid 😜
  • Pink food colouring (optional) We used to use gel but I didn't use it for the tarts I made in this post, but you can use whatever colours you like.

Instructions
 

Thermomix Method:

    For the Pastry

    • Add the flour, sugar, and salt into the Thermomix bowl then on top of that, add the chilled butter cubes. Set for 10 seconds/speed 5 This should give you a mix that looks like wet sand.
    • Add the egg yolk and a tablespoon (20g) of water. Set to kneed for 30 seconds. Check the dough consistency; it should hold together when pressed between your fingers. If not, add a touch more cold water and give a quick blitz 5 sec/speed 4
    • Remove the dough, shape it into a flattened disk, wrap in cling film or similar, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

    For the Mock Cream

    • In a small dish, pour some water and add the broken-up gelatine leaves to soak. (Or if using gelatine powder, bloom it in 20g – 30g of cool tap water. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes.
    • Weigh the milk and sugar into the Thermomix bowl—heat for 3 mins/60°C/Speed 1 or until the sugar dissolves.
    • While this is still warm, add the gelatine to the milk and mix on Speed 2 until well mixed and the gelatine has disolved. Mine took 10 seconds.
    • Let the mixture cool before proceeding. Remove the TM lid and allow it to cool for about 15 mins. You have to do this before adding the butter.
    • Add the cold cubes of butter and vanilla to the TM bowl and beat for 20 -30 seconds to soften (30 seconds/speed 5 for me), then add the butterfly and beat until light and creamy. This took 20 seconds /speed 4 after I added the butterfly. I found removing it from the bowl and beating it by hand with a spatula for a few seconds brought this mix together so it was even in consistency. Set this aside. (if you put it in the fridge, you'll have to beat it again before using it)

    For the tart cases

    • Grease and lightly flour 2 x 12-hole patty pan or similar.
    • Roll out the dough to a 2mm thickness. Use a large round cookie cutter to make the discs. Choose one that will fit the tin you've chosen.
    • Gently press each round into the holes, levelling them out. Prick the base of each pastry case, and then return them to the fridge for 15 minutes. While they're in the fridge preheat the oven
    • Preheat your oven to 180℃ (fan-forced)
    • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
    • Spread a small amount of your favourite jam over each cooled tart base.

    For the Icing

    • Weigh the egg white and lemon juice into the TM bowl. Add the butterfly to the TM bowl and whisk till foamy. Just a few seconds speed 3; we're not looking for meringue we just want to break up the albumen.
    • Sift your icing and cocoa. Weigh the icing into the TM bowl and mix gradually, slowly at first and up to speed 3 until combined watch through the hole in the lid. Scrape down and repeat. Remove from the TM bowl, dividing the mix over two bowls. Add cocoa to one (and pink food colouring (optional) to the other). You may need to add a little more liquid to the cocoa as cocoa is a very dry ingredient.
    • Use a spatula to spread the white icing over the whole tart, then set in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before applying the chocolate icing. Mix the chocolate icing a few times so it doesn't set while you're waiting for the white (pink) to set.
    • The texture of the icing is important. It should take 5-6 seconds to smooth out to prevent it from running off the tarts. You can test it while mixing in the bowl.
    • Once the lighter icing is set, you can go ahead and do the chocolate. It's easier than you may think this way. Use the spatula to spread it from the middle of the tart out to the edge.

    Conventional Method:

      For the Pastry

      • Add flour, butter, sugar, and salt to a food processor. Pulse the mixture until it resembles wet sand.
      • Add the egg yolk and pulse again until fully mixed in then add ice water, ½ tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between until the dough starts to clump together.
      • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and bring together by hand until smooth. Form it into a flattened disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

      For the Tart Cases

      • Grease and lightly flour 2 x 12-hole patty pan or similar.
      • Roll out the dough to a 2mm thickness. Use a large round cookie cutter to make the discs. Choose one that will fit for the tin you've chosen.
      • Gently press each round into the holes, levelling them out. Prick the base of each pastry case then return them to the fridge for 15 minutes.
      • Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan-forced)
      • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
      • Spread a small amount of your favourite jam over each cooled tart base.

      For the Mock Cream

      • Gelatine Prep Leaves: Pour cold tap water into a dish, fold the gelatine leaves into 4 or cut into 4 and set them one at a time in the water so each side has a chance to soften. Gelatine Prep Powder: Or for gelatine powder sprinkle the gelatine over 20g – 30g of cool water and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
      • In a saucepan, dissolve sugar in milk over low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove it from the heat, add the gelatine and mix until smooth and the gelatine has melted into the mixture.
      • Allow it to cool to room temp. While that is happening beat the butter and vanilla until fluffy, then slowly add in the cooled milk mix.
      • Layer the mock cream onto the tarts and smooth the tops with a spatula. Pop them in the fridge to set up while you make the icing.

      For the Icing

      • Lightly whisk egg whites and lemon juice together in a bowl. Gradually add icing sugar, whisking until smooth and combined.
      • Split the icing into two bowls. Add cocoa to one and pink food colouring (optional) to the other.
      • Use a spatula to spread the white icing over the whole tart, then set in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before applying the chocolate icing. Mix the chocolate icing a few times so it doesn't set while you're waiting for the white (pink) to set.
      • The texture of the icing is important. It should take 5-6 seconds to smooth out to prevent it from running off the tarts. You can test it while mixing in the bowl.
      • Once the lighter icing is set, you can go ahead and do the chocolate. It's easier than you may think this way. Use the spatula to spread it from the middle of the tart out to the edge.

      Notes

      It will become firm if you refrigerate the mock cream before putting it in your tarts. However, there’s no need to worry about that. Remove it from the fridge, cut it into small pieces, and mix it in the Thermomix to soften it. If you don’t have a Thermomix, you can use a processor or paddle but do not overheat it.  Allow your processor to cool down in between.  Short burst may do the trick. 
      Easy peasy.

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