firstly, i would like to offer you all an apology:
a sorry for my silence and for leaving it so long between posts.
i do however have an explanation
(and as far as excuses go, i feel its a pretty good one).
i have, you see, been overseas!
four weeks, four countries and what felt like four seasons.
i have had an absolute ball tripping around the world
and tasting my way through Dubai, Greece, Germany and England.
first stop on our adventure was Dubai:
a hot and eclectic mix of cultures, cuisines and architecture.
in some ways it was exactly what i was expecting, and in others, not at all.
after 3 busy and blistering days i still felt like i hadn’t quite got a handle on the city, but i had eaten some good food and experienced the famous desert heat.
last week in Sydney it was like the Dubai heat had followed me home –
40ºC in sydney in spring? it really was too hot.
inspired by the heat and my memories of Dubai i decided to make something sweet, and for me these date brulee tarts are synonymous with how i found Dubai: exotic, unexpected and slightly scorched on top!
dates have historically played an important role in the middle east both in terms of trade and traditions and in dubai the wide variety and quality of dates available was astounding. one day we visited a specialist date store and were blown away by the beautiful displays of dates, date chocolates and other date related products – the store looked like a cross between an exclusive jeweler and chocolaterie!
the different flavour of the dates was amazing: some were naturally caramelly and smooth, whilst others were dark, chewy and muscat-like.
so, inspired by all this date-love, last week i decided to make some spiced-date brulee tarts.
i soaked the dates in a fragrant mix of brewed chai tea and cardamon pods and let them infuse whilst i whipped up a thick, creamy custard. whilst the custard was cooling i blind baked some tart shells and once they were done i covered the bottom of the shells with a lovely layer of soft sticky date. on top of this the thickened cooled custard was placed and then back in the fridge they went to thoroughly chill. after and hour or so the tarts were ready and all they required was a generous scattering of sugar and a good scorching.
much like my experience of Dubai, these tarts were delicious, rich and just a little too much.