Christmas in New Zealand does not include snow and hot cocoa. Inspired by the lush, green sub-tropical climate of Auckland and long Summer days we are making Chocolate pastry Tropical Fruit Mince Tarts, thank you Tracey Sunderland for the recipe. Our Tropical themed dessert table includes these tarts as the stars of the show and other delicious treats. Here is the recipe:

Makes 32 small tarts [7cm]

Christmas mince:

1/2 cup finely sliced sundried cherries

1/2 cup craisens

1/4 cup finely sliced dried pineapple

1/4 cup mixed peel

1/2 cup brown sugar [loosely packed]

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup dark rum

1 large Braeburn apple, peeled and grated

Mix together all the ingredients, stir well to mix and seal in a jar, leave overnight in the fridge or until ready to use.

Pastry:

500g sweet short pastry sheets

4 Tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup balanced slivered almonds

2 Tbsp rum

Defrost pastry overnight in the fridge, leave it at room temperature to soften. Grease a shallow patty tin tray with butter. Preheat the oven to 175 deg C. Add 2 Tbsp cocoa to each sheet of pastry and fold to enclose. Knead the cocoa into the pastry, work quickly and fold it into a flat square. Roll out in even thickness to 2,5mm. Leave it to rest for 5 minutes. Using a 7cm round cutter, cut a couple of rounds at a time and carefully press into the base of the tin. Repeat to fill the tray, then rest in the fridge for 5 minutes. Use a small Christmas shape to cut out stars or hearts for the top of each tart. Add the slivered almonds and extra rum to the fruit mix and stir through. Place a heaped teaspoon of fruit mince into each tart, try to include a little of each ingredient. Top with a mini star or heart. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry springs back once touched. Serve with a touch of icing sugar.

These little tarts are quite addictive! Enjoy!