Bébé tarts

Bebe are my go-to impulse buy and guilty pleasure dessert when I’m in Finland. It’s pretty bad. I may have on occasion even taken a taxi straight from the airport to the nearest K-Supermarket to pick some up before doing anything else. One of those nostalgic and conveniently also delicious childhood relics.

In their most traditional form, bebe have pink frosting and a small sprinkling of nonpareils on top. My roommate tells me though that this is not to the American aesthetic of “sophisticated desserts” (but at least it doesn’t come from a can). We invariably now have a saying in my house that “your sprinkles are showing” when you do something on the ungraceful and distinctly Finnish side of things. But in any case, these were for a baking competition at my office, so I thought  I’d try to make them a bit more appealing to the average American architect, and ditched the pink and sprinkles for some chocolate ganache and ginger liquor frosting.

(I ended up taking second place and getting an IKEA gift card that bought me some new sheets :P) (yay sheets!)

Recipe: (translated from here)

Tart shell:
250 g margarine
125 g sugar
4 dlall purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Jam of your choice (I recommend blackberry or apricot)
3 tsp corn starch
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 vanilla bean or (1 tsp vanilla sugar if you have some)
1.5 dl Heavy whipping cream
100 g Butter
liquor of your choice (berry flavors and ginger are good)
water/lemon juice
food coloring (optional)
powdered sugar

  1. Beat together the sugar and margarine, then add the tart base dry ingredients.
  2. Mold this dough into your greased tart cups, keeping in mind that they will rise a little in the oven, don’t make them too thick.
  3. Bake at 175 C for about 10 minutes until they are golden brown (the centers may end up a little lighter depending on your oven/cup availability).
  4. Cool in the cups for about 5-10 minutes then unmould onto a cooling rack.
  5. Fill the bottoms of the cups with a spoonful of jam.
  6. For the filling, heat your cream, sugar and starch on the stove top, making sure not to let it burn (!!!). Stir carefully until thickened a bit, then add your vanilla.
  7. (This varies a bit from the original recipe) Cool your filling down to the point where it won’t completely melt the butter, then beat the butter and cream filling together until it’s a nice thick and even consistency.
  8. Pipe the filling on top of the jam in your cups. If you intend to completely frost your tarts I recommend smoothing the tops with a knife.
  9. For the frosting whisk together a few teaspoons of liquor, water/lemon juice and (few) cup(s) of powdered sugar (add food coloring if you like). The actual amounts aren’t that important in my opinion, just get the clumps out of your powdered sugar and adjust your ratios until you have some frosting the general consistency of an odwalla juice. Don’t worry about it being so watery, it sets quite well provided it has a nice little niche in your tart to harden into and doesn’t run all over the place. Pipe it on top of your tarts, and sprinkle away if you dare. Again, I added some chocolate ganache this time.
  10. Store in a cool place(fridge is ok) after your frosting has set on the counter-top. Will keep well for about 5 days.

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