Sunday, 17 March 2013

Not eating cake and Camembert, Plum Tomato and Caramelised Onion Tart

Last Sunday Andrew turned to me and said: 'Starting tomorrow I'm going to be really healthy. Two weeks of no booze. Reduce the caffeine. Hit the gym. No puddings, no chocolate and no cakes'.

Sitting down beside Andrew I placed my arm around him in a supportive style of gesture and replied, in the most earnest of fashions: 'And I'll support you'.

Just before I launched into a Whitney-inspired rendition of 'I'll Stand by You', Andrew, with somewhat of a mischievousness glint in his eyes said: 'How about you join me- No puddings, no chocolate and no cakes for two weeks?'

After listing all 267 reasons as to why this would be a preposterous idea, starting with 'But I need chocolate because my job can be so hard' and ending with 'I write a bloomin' cake blog you know!', Andrew responded with 'Well, anyway, despite all 267 reasons, I bet you wouldn't be able to give up cake and chocolate for fourteen days'.

Now, thing is, lovely readers, I am a bit competitive. And when I someone says I can't do something I want to jolly well prove I can.

And this is how we've ended up with me savoury baking this weekend. And how I spent 17 minutes explaining to Andrew on Thursday night why a hot chocolate does not count. And how I spent ten minutes starring so longingly at a creme egg in a colleague's hand I didn't take in a word she was saying to me the entire time.

Meanwhile, the theme of this month's Tea Time Treats challenge, hosted alternatively by myself and the lovely Karen from Lavender and Lovage, is French Patisserie. All month I've had visions of presenting to you the most stylish of confections... the perfect pastries... le magnifique macaroon! 

I mean, in all honesty this was most unlikely to happen, with my baking firmly placed in the more 'rustic' category. 

So here's the alternative, a French-inspired Camembert, Tomato and Caramelised Onion Tart. 

For the tart: 
200g flour
100g butter
an egg yolk
a little cold water if needed

For the filling
25g butter
2 onions, finely chopped 
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
150g Camembert thinly sliced
2 Plum tomatoes, sliced and seeds removed
3 large eggs, beaten
150ml double cream
2 tbsps chopped basil

1. For the pastry: put the flour and butter into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can rub the butter into the flour using your fingers
2. Add the egg yolk and enough water and pulse just enough to bring the dough together. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for up to 1 hour to chill. Set the oven at 200C/180C fan/Gas Mark 6.
3. Use the pastry to line a 22cm tart tine, making sure there are no tears or holes and trimming any overhanging pastry
4. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans and bake for twenty minutes before removing the foil and beans and setting aside
5. For the filling: melt the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat, add the onion and fry on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until nicely softened. Add the sugar and vinegar and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelised 
6. Spoon the onions into the pastry case and add alternative slices of tomato and camembert on top. In a bowl mix together the eggs and double cream, add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Pour evenly over the tart
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 160C/140C fan/Gas Mark 3 until set and golden

Baker's notes...

  • For more French themed baking (including cakes!) check out French Month on What Kate Baked
  • As for how the two weeks of no cakes is going...well there was a little blip on Wednesday when I accidently ate a Custard Cream. And yesterday when I had a celebratory Easter Egg because Wales won in triumphant style against England to win the rugby Six Nations 


  1. Its a lovely tart and I so feel your pain, I can only go so long before the cake tins come out. Be strong!

  2. Lovely tart - Mr CC has just looked across and said 'ooh, that looks nice'...but he knows better than to suggest I give up cake!

  3. Mmm camembert is one of my favourite cheeses and the tart looks fabulous. Good luck with the rest of the no cake fortnight. I have no will power when it comes to cakes, biscuits & chocolate but I admire those who do.

  4. This looks delicious! Good luck with avoiding cake and chocolate!! I would fail miserably...

  5. Very attractive tart! I think you're doing really well to only have had a few minor slips, I know I couldn't give up chocolate for two days let alone two weeks. I also understand what you mean about being competitive though - a couple of years ago my brother basically insinuated that I wouldn't be able to run 5k.... about 3 months later I could (and about a week after that I gave up....)

  6. Well, it may not be chocolate or cake, but that's a mighty fine looking tart you've baked there.

  7. Well, I think this looks glorious and *whispers* sometimes I do get a hankering for savoury rather than sweet! Good luck with your two weeks - and celebrating our fantastic six nations win yesterday was absolutely mandatory! :)

  8. I do love a little bit of savoury from time to time, and what a great looking tart.

  9. Good luck! You can do it, easy ;) Tart looks delicious and contains everything I like.

  10. a beautiful beautiful tart... and eating such beautiful things always makes you thin, don't you know?

  11. What a terrible thing for Andrew to do to you, but if you do have to bake something savoury, what a beautiful tart to make. Love all those flavours.

  12. No chocolate?! It's like a miniature Lent in the run up to Easter. If I wasn't allowed to eat sweet treats, I guess I could survive if allowed a slice of this lovely tart :-)

  13. Well, thank goodness you have written the post for the coffee cake since this one. You would have had me worried otherwise. No cake for two weeks - impossible! Men say such silly things ;)

  14. J'adore Le Rustique! And, your tart looks très Ooh la la too Kate! C'est parfait! Karen


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