Traditionally baked for special celebrations, the Torta tal Marmurat is not always available from local confectionaries. With communion celebrations this month and no doubt many family gatherings, I like the idea of baking something more traditional and a little bit different. This is a simplified version of Renato Briffa’s recipe which I have adapted for a busy home cook. The result is fantastic…. let us know about your results !
You will need a 10 inch tart dish
Heat oven to 160 degrees or gas mark 5
Baking time about 25 – 30 minutes. Prep Time 30 minutes
Ingredients for Sweet Pastry
160 g Flour
50 g Sugar
50 g Butter
5g Baking Powder
3 drops Vanilla Extract
Zest of a quarter of a fresh Lemon
Sieve flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the softened butter cut up into small pieces and rub in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Mix the sugar with water until it has dissolved and mix into the dry ingredients until they bind evenly. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in a cool place for at least 15 minutes.
Ingredients for Marmurat Filling
125 g Pure Ground Almonds
50 g Sweet crumbs from left over cakes or digestive biscuits
2 tablespoons Orange Marmalade
1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
Pinch of Mixed Spice
4 drops Vanilla Extract
20 g Candid Peel preferably orange
To finish : 150 g Dark Chocolate and 80 g Roasted Flaked Almonds
In a large bowl mix the ground almonds, sugar and sweet crumbs. Add sieved cocoa powder, mixed spice, vanilla and candid peel and mix well. Finally add the well beaten egg and mix with wooden spoon until the mixture is even. Test for a dropping consistency and if necessary add another egg.
Grease the tart dish. Open the rested pastry with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Line the dish. Trim the pastry neatly and dock it with a fork. Spread the marmalade on the bottom of the pastry and then fill with the almond mix. Take a spoon and dip in hot water and run over the surface of the filling to achieve a tidy finish. Bake in a hot oven at 160 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes. When baked cool on a wire rack.
To finish off, melt 150g of Dark Chocolate and spread it on the tart. You can either use a palate knife but I like to brush it on with a large pastry brush in several layers. Decorate as desired with Roasted Almonds. Store in an airtight tin. This tart will keep for a few weeks and in fact the flavour will improve.
One little hint, always weigh your liquids on a digital scale, it is far more accurate !
Happy baking ….
Photography: James Bianchi