Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart: Daring Bakers Challenge

My first Daring Baker's Challenge!! How exciting! This month's challenge was hosted by Veronica of Veronica's Test Kitchen and Patricia of Techicolor Kitchen. Thanks! I'm always excited to make a tart of any kind!

This recipe, from Eric Kayser's Sweet and Savory Tarts, started with a hazelnut shortbread crust. This was fairly straightforward, although my dough was very sticky and I had to piece together the edges of the crust. It was blind baked before adding the filling.

The caramel layer turned out beautifully--the best part of this tart in my opinion. The original recipe said to dry melt the sugar but I chose to add a little water and corn syrup. The trick with caramel is to just let it sit and boil without any stirring until it is a deep amber color. The richer the color, the richer the flavor.

After adding the cream and butter, it was so smooth and yummy looking! You can see my reflection on the surface when I took a photo. :) The caramel was then poured into the baked crust and baked until set. It kind of looked like a pumpkin pie.

After cooling, it was topped with a chocolate whipped cream and chilled. This challenge was fairly uncomplicated--a good one for my first! I thought that the tart was ok, but the balance was off. The chocolate mouse was a little overpowering and I didn't care much for the crust. But I liked the caramel layer. Yum--like a candy bar. It's fun being part of a group of food bloggers to share ideas and see others comments. There are some great pictures from this challenge--check out the Daring Bakers blogroll to see them. Continue for Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart recipe.

Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart
adapted from Eric Kayser’s Sweet and Savory tarts

Chocolate Shortbread Pastry

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration: overnight
To make 3 tarts, 9 ½ inches (24 cm) squareor 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 (I omitted this)
2 eggs
4 ½ cups (400 g) cake flour
2 ½ teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
1 ½ tablespoons (10 g) cocoa powder

One day ahead:
1. In a mixing bowl of a food processor, cream the butter. (Next time I'll try my stand mixer.)
2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and the cinnamon (if using), 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. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, form a disc with the dough, and cover in plastic wrap. (Dough was fairly sticky).
6. Chill overnight. (I froze 2 of my crusts at this point.)

The next day:
1. Remove one piece of dough from fridge and let sit about 15 min. (You can begin making caramel filling.)
2. Preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C).
3. Put dough on a piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and roll out to fit 10 inch tart pan. (My dough was very sticky and I ended up pressing it out rather than rolling it.)
4. Over turn dough into tart pan, piecing together if dough rips.
5. Cover bottom of tart with a piece of parchment then top with dried beans to weigh it down. (After baking, my parchment stuck a bit to the tart--I'll leave this out next time.)
6. Put crust in freezer for about 15 min.
7. Place crust on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 min.

Caramel Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 T light corn syrup
1 cup (250 g) heavy cream, slightly warmed
1/4 cup (50 g) butter, cut into pieces
2 whole eggs, room temp.
1 egg yolk, room temp.
2 ½ tablespoons (15 g) flour

1. Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and stir to combine.
2. Place over medium high heat--DO NOT STIR. Mixture will come to a boil--DO NOT STIR.
3. Let caramel become a nice dark amber color--don't rush this. The caramel will have more flavor as the color intensifies.
4. When desired color is attained, remove from heat.
5. Add warmed heavy cream (place briefly in microwave to warm cream a bit first), whisking constantly. Be careful--the mixture will bubble vigorously when you add the cream.
6. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the butter.
7. Set aside to cool.
8. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and egg yolk. Add a little of the flour and whisk. Add remaining flour and whisk until smooth.
9. When caramel has cooled to warm, add flour mixture and whisk until combined.
10. Pour into baked tart crust and bake for 15 min at 325. (I baked mine for 35min.--my caramel was still very giggly after 15min.)
11. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Milk Chocolate Mouse
1 1/4 cups (300 g) whipping cream
1/2 lb (250 g) milk chocolate

1. Beat the whipping cream until stiff.
2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
3. Gently fold chocolate into the cream.
4. Spread over the cooled caramel mixture, smoothing it with a spatula.
5. Chill for one hour before serving.

Caramel Fragments
1/2 cup sugar
2 T water
1/2 T light corn syrup

1. Combine in small saucepan.
2. Place over medium high heat and let it sit and boil--without stirring--until it reached an amber color.
3. Pour it onto waxed paper set on a baking sheet.
4. Allow to cool. Break into small fragments and use to decorate the top of the tart. (***I poured my caramel onto wax paper directly on the counter and it's stuck to the counter!! Ahhh!! I'll have to figure out a way to melt it off. :)


veron said...

What a beautiful tart! I love the shade of your caramel!

Tartelette said...

Congrats on your first challenge! Looks delicious!

Deborah said...

Gorgeous tart!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Rose, that tart is just superb!
And look at the caramel mixture inside the pan, it looks so silky!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers and well done on your first challenge! It looks great!

Ivonne said...

Well done, Rose! Congratulations on completing your first Daring Baker challenge ... you did a great job!

Belinda said...

I wish I had the confidence to be a Daring Baker! Your chocolate caramel tart looks delicious, really lovely. :-)

wmpe said...

Ms. Rose I lived by your words when I made the tart. Thank-you! Your pictures are beautiful and your tart looks yummy. Wendy

Anne said...

I love your beautiful crust :) Your tart looks lovely! well done!

Dharm said...

Lovely! Just lovely! your tart looks superb. Well done Rose!

Sara said...

Good for you! You are much more confident with this that I was. The color of your caramel is perfect!

Brilynn said...

Love that first photo! A successful first challenge!

Peabody said...

Excellent job on your first DB challenge!

The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

Ooo that is a fine looking tart Rose. Yum. Well done and welcome.

Mary said...

Very well done Rose! I'm so glad you decided to join our group.

Pille said...

Beautiful layers!! Well done!

Anne said...

That's beautiful, I love it! Great photos!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Beautiful tart! Well done on your first challenge it looks really good.

Rose said...

Congratulations Rose on your first challenge. You did an excellent job and I love the waves on your mousse. Have a great day.

Lis said...

What a lovely tart, Rose! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.. and very happy you've joined up with the DB's!


Jenny said...

Welcome to the DB!

I've heard both sides - some have said the mousse didn't have enough flavor, and some thought it was too strong. I bet it depended entirely on which chocolate you used.

Aoife said...

Very pretty! I like the ripples across the sea of mousse.

Renz said...

I like how you finished it with a rippled texture on top. One thing I wasn't crazy about with this challenge was the final appearance. You addressed it quite simply but beautifully, so much more attractive than mine was.

Elle said...

Visited a bunch of other DBs, but when I saw your tart, it made me want to have another piece...such a beautiful version of the tart!

Dolores said...

Oh, Rose... what a gorgeous tart. I love the large photograph... and the caramel's a beautiful color; I'd have had a hard time not dipping into it with a spoon!

Katie said...

You tart looks delicious. I like how you got the mousse topping looking so silky with the little peaks.

Inne said...

welcome to the DBs Rose and well done on your first challenge. Your tart looks absolutely perfect!

Andrea said...

Yours looks so lovely, and I really like how you made the rippled texture on top. Beautiful!

Quellia said...

Beautiful work! Your tart looks great, so creamy.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Welcome Rose. You've got a beautiful tart. Wonderful photos.

Amy said...

It looks wonderful! That caramel looks so tasty, I want to dive right in.

Jerry said...


Heather said...

Your tart looks great. I appears that you might have made a few of these before. I am going to have to stay around and check out your other posts.

Chris said...

Great job! Well done.

breadchick said...

Great job on your first challenge!! You did a wonderful job!! And welcome to our group!!!