Here we go again. Yes, it´s Daring Baker time!!!
This month, it´s back to the hardcore business of chocolate, cream and sugar, and I couldn´t be happier. Veronica and Patricia chose a marvelous recipe for a milk chocolate and caramel tart from a book called Sweet and Savory Tarts by Eric Kayser.
I know what you are thinking, “caramel AND milk chocolate, that´s waaay too sweet”. Well, I´m here to tell you otherwise. First of all, let´s think for a second, what´s one of the yummiest airport threats? Toblerone. Yes, Toblerone makes duty free shops and airport waits a bit more bearable (well, that and those cute Lind boxes with a selection of tiny chocolates, but I don´t want to get off topic once again.) The typical Toblerone bar is huge, and is made out of milk chocolate and tiny bits of caramel-covered almonds, so I was convinced this tart would work, especially since it had plenty of cream to balance all the sugar.
But I still needed to make sure the I chose a brand of milk chocolate that wasn´t tooth-aching sweet. So I bought a Cadbury bar and a Milka bar, and set out to engage in the difficult task of tasting both to see which one made more sense in this tart. I´ve always been a huge fan of Milka chocolate, but in this case, it´d have been too sweet and ruined the tart, so Cadbury it was (but don´t worry, the other bar was saved for further testing.)
Now, if you are waiting for a disaster story, this isn´t the Daring Baker´s recipe for you. In fact, I was surprised because it was fairly easy and not time-consuming since the crust is made ahead and the only tricky part is the caramel cream, which required a bit of patience to dissolve the caramel after the cream and the butter were added, but turned out great.
I loved the creamy texture of this tart combined with the crunch of the crust, and so did all my testers… my hips sang in gratitude because it was devoured in under a day so I didn´t get to participate much!
As for the flavor, it was delicious as it was, and I omitted the hazelnuts and the cinnamon in the crust because we were allowed to do so and I didn´t want my little cousins to say they didn´t like the cake, but I´m sure it would be even better with the added complexity (if you do add the cinnamon, use a bit less than what the recipe calls for since other DBs said the cinnamon flavor was a bit too strong.)
So all in all, this was a nice break from the more complex DB recipes, and I got to work on my caramel skills, or lack thereof, so I´m ready to tackle whatever next month brings.
In the meantime, go check out how my fellow Daring Bakers fared this month here and see the recipe after the jump.
Recipe Quantity: One (1) 9″ Square or one (1) 10″ Round tart
Chocolate Shortbread Pastry
Note: The Chocolate Shortbread pastry can make 3 tart shells (I halved the recipe and got 1 10-inch tart and 1 tartelette.)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
To make 3 tart shells: 9 ½ inches (24 cm) square or 10 inches (26 cm round)
- 1 cup (250g ) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 g) confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup (50 g) ground hazelnuts
- 2 level teaspoons (5 g) ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 4 ½ cups (400 g) cake flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons (10 g) cocoa powder
A day ahead
1. In a mixing bowl of a food processor, cream the butter.
2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and the cinnamon, and mix together
3. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing constantly
4. Sift in the flour, the baking powder, and the cocoa powder, and mix well.
5. Form a ball with the dough, cover in plastic wrap, and chill overnight.
Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Baking Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration time: 1 hour
- ½ lb (250 g) chocolate shortbread pastry (see recipe above)
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (250 g) heavy cream (30-40 percent butterfat) or crème fraiche
- ¼ cup (50 g) butter
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 ½ tablespoons (15 g) flour
- 1 ¼ cups (300 g) whipping cream
- ½ lb (250 g) milk chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C).
2. Line the baking pan with the chocolate shortbread pastry and bake blind for 15 minutes.
3. In a saucepan, caramelize 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar using the dry method until it turns a golden caramel color. Incorporate the heavy cream or crème fraiche and then add butter. Mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool.
4. In a mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs with the extra egg yolk, then incorporate the flour.
5. Pour this into the cream-caramel mixture and mix thoroughly.
6. Spread it out in the tart shell and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
7. Prepare the milk chocolate mousse: beat the whipping cream until stiff. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave or in a bain-marie, and fold it gently into the whipped cream.
8. Pour the chocolate mousse over the cooled caramel mixture, smoothing it with a spatula. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.
Alternate Caramel Method:
If you have problems with the dry method, you may use this method.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon corn syrup
Set mixture in a pot over medium-high heat and stir slowly. When the mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring and leave it alone. Wait till desired color is attained .
Proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Melt ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar in a saucepan until it reaches an amber color. Pour it onto waxed paper laid out on a flat surface. Leave to cool. Break it into small fragments and stick them lightly into the top of the tart.