Daring Bakers strikes again! When Veronica and Patricia announced that the challenge for August will be a Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart, I'm tingling with excitement! Tarts aren't exactly my forte to be frank with I hate doing tarts, just like pies, I find them too complicated and takes such a long time rolling out the chilled dough and all that work....I got excited with this recipe because as I read it I saw that its a shortbread kind not a Pate Sucre kind, so I didn't need to roll out that much dough!
I made this challenge in stages, first I made the dough, this recipe makes so much dough that even after making two tarts, I still have 1 disk of dough left over. Hmmmmm......maybe I'll turn it into cookies or something :) Anyhow, I blind baked it for 15 minutes and remove the rice(I use rice, instead of beans), and bake it for 5-10 minutes just until the dough changed color. Yeah I know that that step wasn't in the recipe however in past experiences I can't seem to get the bottom dough baked enough when I don't do this step.
The best part I think my favorite part of this challenge was making the caramel layer! I love making caramel the smell is utterly intoxicating! I never seize to amaze me how sugar melts and transforms into this golden liquid. I kept thinking, "Am I doing it right? It seems too liquid to form into layers later, well here goes" I pour the caramel mixture in the prebaked crust and baked it until its set which didn't take much time, around 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the pan.
As I was reading the steps for making the milk chocolate layer, I had this feeling that something would absolutely go wrong and IT SIS GO WRONG! Geez! My whipped cream was so cold that when I mixed it with my cooled melted milk chocolates, I got streaks of chocolate that simply refuses to blend in nicely, so I kept folding and fold and lo and behold I have an over mixed milk chocolate whipped cream! yuck! Its blotchy and can't be piped nicely and I almost gave up! I can't very well throw it out because I don't have any whipped cream left in the fridge, so I did the next best thing. Use it as it is and try to disguise it as much as possible!
I didn't do the caramel candy topping because I fear that the tart would be too sweet as it is. I brought out my Callebaut chocolate and use vegetable peeler and makes tiny shreds of chocolates, dusted it with powdered sugar and voila! the challenge is done! Get your cold glass of milk and let's have a go at it! Enjoy!
Conclusion: I will definitely make this recipe again, its easy and its fun, more importantly it taste good! Next time, I'll do it with Bittersweet Chocolates instead of Milk Chocolates.
Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart
Daring Bakers Challenge #9: August 2007
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
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 minutesRefrigeration 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 sugar1/2 cup water1 tablespoon corn syrupSet 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.
Caramel Fragments: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.