If you’ve been following me for a little while, you know that I love ricotta. It’s a pretty recent obsession, really. Until a few months ago, I don’t think I’ve even eaten ricotta. But in the last couple of months, I have just been ricotta crazy. My little family and I have been indulging in this healthy lemon ricotta blueberry cake and this healthy honey and butterscotch ricotta cake for Father’s Day. Don’t they both just look wonderful? They tasted even better, believe me!
Having a (clearly unbridled) obsession with ricotta, somehow I found myself in possession of another package of ricotta cheese which was about to expire. What’s a girl to do but find another brilliant ricotta recipe?
These ricotta tartlets don’t need refined sugar
Ever since I have laid my hands on the wonderful Women’s Weekly Express: The Complete Collection cookbook, the recipe for the choc-cranberry ricotta tarts has been tagged. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the inclusion of a half a cup of caster sugar.
You may know that I love cooking and baking refined sugar free and love using honey, maple syrup, monkfruit/stevia natural sweetener, rice malt syrup or a mixture of white sugar with stevia, instead of processed white sugar. It gives me a great peace of mind to know that as a family, we’re not consuming great amounts of processed sugar every day. To us, that doesn’t mean depriving ourselves of gorgeous desserts, but rather being smart about what we put into our bodies.
And so, I have tweaked a recipe for these ricotta tartlets a little to substitute rice malt syrup for the caster sugar and the outcome was marvellous. The ricotta mixture is sweet but not overly sweet and it doesn’t really need to be. Don’t forget, you will be mixing in chocolate shards and dried fruit, so don’t despair! It is still a very indulgent treat, just a little healthier.
Healthier but easy and quick
These tartlets are pretty easy to put together. I have used pre-made frozen shortcrust pastry sheets but you can also make your own if you have spare time.
Using frozen pastry sheets definitely cuts down on time – just take them out of the freezer first, when you’re still setting up, and by the time your oven is pre-heated and everything else is prepared, your pastry will be defrosted, soft and pliable.
Another time-saving trick I came up with was to make the tartlets in a muffin tin, rather than on a cookie baking sheet, and I have used a flower cutter instead of a round cutter. This means that I didn’t have to shape the pastry basket before baking (the flower folds into the muffin whole much easier) and using the muffin tin means those little pastry cases can be filled right to the top without spilling the ricotta mixture. Genius, right?
Special occasion treats for every day
I think you will be impressed with the outcome. These ricotta tartlets are so quick and easy to put together but the result could easily be served for guests at the end of a lovely dinner, as part of an afternoon tea or maybe taken on a picnic. Treat yourself to these indulgent tartlets today!
Healthier choc cranberry ricotta tartlets
- 375 g ricotta
- 1/4 cup rice malt syrup
- 1 egg, beaten lightly
- 90 g finely chopped dark chocolate (I used bittersweet dark chocolate chips, like these, bashed into small shards with my rolling pin.)
- 1/3 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
- 1/4 cup sultanas
- 2 sheets shortcrust pastry, defrosted according to instructions
- 1 tbsp milk (optional)
- Defrost your pastry sheets according to instructions.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Spray a muffin tray or two (it makes 12-15) with coconut oil (or any other baking oil) spray.
- Combine ricotta and rice malt syrup until blended.
- Add the egg and mix again until well incorporated.
- Stir in the chocolate, craisins and sultanas.
- Using a flower or round cutter (about 9-11cm in diameter), cut flower/round shapes out of the pastry and push them into the oiled muffin holes.
- Divide the ricotta mixture among the pastry shapes, using about an ice-cream scoop worth of mixture for each pastry round/flower. Leave a 1.5-2.5cm border of pastry peeking out at the top.
- Brush the top of the pastry with milk, if desired (this helps make them more golden – I didn't do it this time).
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the top of the pastry looks golden and the ricotta filling is set.
- Let cool and eat with joy 🙂
This recipe is based on the choc-cranberry ricotta tarts recipe from the Women’s Weekly Express cookbook, which is amazing. I have tweaked the recipe to take out refined sugar and extra chocolate topping, and to make them in a muffin pan which removes the need to shape the pastry rounds before baking.
This recipe makes approximately 12 to 15 tartlets.
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