The Pecan Coffee Toffee Tartlets is the third and last recipe of Alexandra Mitsious menu created and photographed for Acanthus, inspired by the colors of the season. This not only tongue-twisting but mouth-watering dessert is guaranteed to take care of your sweet tooth.
Ingredients (makes 4 mini tartlets in tart forms of 8cm bottom diameter)
For the tart base
120g Plant-based butter
30g Brown sugar
40g Pecan nuts
A pinch of sea salt
For the coffee crème patisserie
200g Coconut cream
200g Almond milk
80g Palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 Espresso shots
1 Vanilla pod
3 tbsp Cornstarch
20g Pecan nuts
For the caramel toffee
100g Plant-based butter
100g Brown sugar
100ml Plant-based cream (soya or coconut)
A pinch of sea salt
For the caramel toffee, in a pan melt the butter and the sugar on low heat. Let it cook while stirring on medium heat and until it gets an amber color. Warm up the cream and add it to the caramel while stirring constantly. Finish with a pinch of salt, stir well and set aside.
Preheat your oven at 180°C.
Grease your tartlet tins with a little bit of plant-based butter and put them aside. TIP: The best way to do this is to melt the butter and spread it with the help of a pastry brush.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. In a food processor, finely grind the pecan nuts and add it to the flour mix. Melt the butter and add it gradually to the dry ingredients while mixing with your hands until you get a solid cookie-like dough. If you think your dough is too soft, then add some extra flour (but not more than 200g in total).
Divide the cookie dough equally into the tartlet tins, press and shape the dough with your hands to form a nice tart base and refrigerate for at least 30 min. Then pinch the bottom of the tart with a fork and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 min until the tart base turns golden in color. Let it cool off before you fill it with the cream.
For the coffee crème patisserie, combine the coconut cream, almond milk, sugar and espresso shots in a mixing bowl on low fire. Add the contents of one vanilla pod and mix well until the sugar is well dissolved. The mix should be warm enough but it must not reach a boiling point yet.
Sift in the cornstarch while stirring constantly with the help of a whisk. Bring the mix to boil for a couple of minutes on medium fire, while stirring constantly. When the liquid mix starts turning thick and into a cream, remove from fire and let it cool off for a couple of minutes until it stops steaming. As the cream will cool off, it will thicken up!
For an extra crunchy bite, you can some pecan nut pieces in the creamy filling.
TIP: Most of the times, cornstarch forms lumps if you are working too fast or if your mix temperature is not right. In this case, you could easily fix it by sifting your cream before you use it for your tartlet filling.
When your baked tartlet bases are completely cooled off, pour the coffee cream filling and let it sit for at least 20 min in the refrigerator.
Sprinkle the tartlet tops with pecan nuts. Add the caramel toffee and enjoy with a cup of coffee on a misty Sunday morning!
Recipe and images: Alexandra Mitsiou
Alexandra Mitsiou is a food stylist & scenographer creating concepts & stories around food. She is focusing on an elegant & minimalistic style with the use of natural & sustainable materials to reveal the importance & substance of pure food.