Sunday, 27 July 2014

Mini Chocolate "Melkterts" (Wheat Free)

Three updates this week! How I spoil you all.

I don't know what it is with my brothers and I, but there seems to be a family weakness for things South African: they each at a time were going out with a South African, I have a lot of friends who are South African, and theirs is an accent I could listen to all day. Their cuisine is a delightfully bizarre blend of all things European with the local twist applied, through spices and local vegetables.

My next oldest brother was going out with a woman who was a friend of mine in college, and she was originally from Cape Town. She really missed her home land, and would often recreate things she and her family would eat back home when she came around for dinner. Oxtail was her real favourite, spiced to Hell with dried bird's eye chillies, but another was Melktert, or "Milk Tart" as she called it.

Melktert is basically a pastry or biscuit-crumb base filled with a set vanilla scented custard and dusted liberally with ground cinnamon. It is absolutely amazing by itself, but what in this world cannot be improved with chocolate?

I used the same recipe for the bases as I used in my lemon meringue tarts recipe, but instead I made smaller cases using a muffin tin and filled them with a simple set custard, flavoured with cocoa powder.

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts

☒ Gluten (unless you use gluten-free oats)
☒ Refined sugar products
☒ Eggs
☒ Dairy (check italics for alternatives)


For pastry:
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes)  cornflour
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) butter or margarine
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt

For custard filling:
  • 10 fluid ounces (285 millilitres) whole milk
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) vanilla essence
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) butter or leave out


  • Make the pastry according to the lemon meringue tart recipe, and cook into one big case or into little cases. Allow to go cold.
  • In a saucepan, mix all the custard ingredients except the butter and blend into a smooth liquid. Cook over medium heat, mixing continuously with a whisk, until thickened. It will be the consistency of fairy thick custard, almost as thick as a pudding consistency. The longer you cook it the thicker it gets so if you want a really thick custard just keep cooking.
  • Remove from the heat and stir through the butter. This will make the filling richer and shinier.
  • Pour into the pastry and shake to level out. Allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge.
  • If you like, you can dust it with cocoa powder, icing sugar, or ground cinnamon.

As you can see, I cooked my custard quite thickly. I like an almost ganache like consistency with chocolate tarts, but you can set it softer, more like a chilled cheesecake, if you cook it less.

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