So here we are at our second Daring Bakers Challenge. This one was right up our alley. Caramel and Chocolate. Mm mmm!
August was a crazy month so we both knew we’d be putting this off till the end of the month. I had one weekend free when I knew I could do. I got everything I needed a few days in advance. Then Liz had the brilliant idea that we should do it together as I was flying home the following weekend. Having already bought all the ingredient I tried to think of something else I could create with the ingredients, but I kept worrying that DB members would notice and think I was cheating or something.
On the weekend I had planned to do this my boyfriend, Tony, spent the whole weekend pulling apart his computer, and I have to say, wasn’t great company. So by Sunday, I was itching to make the tart. My original plan was not to tell anyone, but being me, I did.
I followed what all the other DB members struggled with and the consensus was the caramel. I took special note to get extra sugar and how to do the wet method. When it came to the day I thought I’d have a go at the real way, according to the recipe but thought I’d fail. I kept the heat on medium and stirred throughout and was successful! I couldn’t believe it. Me – making caramel the hard way! I even managed it twice. Tony grunted when I tried to explain the sheer beauty of what I had done. I know this is terribly dumb of me, but I never knew sugar did that.
Everything went perfectly for me. Everyone who tasted it loved it.
So, this past weekend I was in Adelaide. I was on a tight schedule but made the tart a priority. Not hard, seeing as it also meant Liz and I got to hang out in the kitchen too.
This baking episode didn’t go so well. I think there may have been a few things that went against us, including a few too many wines before we got started.
Knowing Liz as I do, I tried to hang back and not get too involved. Firstly because, of the 2 of us, she is the whiz with baking etc and secondly, as I know how much it infuriates her when people get involved. I read the recipe, and mentioned what I did the weekend before.
Liz had made the pastry and baked that part before I arrived. I had told her in advance that I had far too much so she should halve it. Liz was unsure where she went wrong, but it didn’t come together nicely, but managed to press it all in and once it baked it was fine.
The caramel went perfectly as well.
Liz used thick/double cream for the mousse. Having followed my strict instructions to have everything out to room temperature I think the cream had gone sour as when Liz whipped the cream within a few seconds it was thick like butter. Maybe that’s just what thick/double cream does… Can anyone advise me?
Unfortunately when Liz got home later that night the mousse part looked like butter. Liz scraped the mousse off and re-did this part with whipping and cream and it worked! Here are her the photos she quickly sent me before she left.
The recipe is as follows.
Add the icing sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and the cinnamon, and mix together.
Sift in the flour, the baking powder, and the cocoa powder, and mix well.
Form a ball with the dough, cover in plastic wrap, and chill overnight.
Line the baking pan with the chocolate shortbread pastry and blind bake for 15 minutes.
In a saucepan, caramelize 1 cup of white sugar using the dry method until it turns a golden caramel colour. Incorporate the double cream or crème fraiche and then add butter. Mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs with the extra egg yolk, and add the the flour.
Pour this into the cream-caramel mixture and mix thoroughly.
Spread it out in the tart shell and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave or in a bain-marie, and fold it gently into the whipped cream.
Pour the chocolate mousse over the cooled caramel mixture, smoothing it with a spatula. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.
Toffee to decorate: melt ½ cup white sugar in a saucepan until it reaches an amber colour. 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.