Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Daring Bakers August Daring Baker Challenge: Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart

Liz is away for a wedding at the moment and has kindly asked me to try and articulate our experience with the tart…

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.


So, all in all it was a lot of fun. We got to hang out in the kitchen together, which is rare these days and my confidence is building in baking.

The recipe is as follows.

½ lb (250 g) chocolate shortbread pastry (see recipe below)
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup thick cream or crème fraiche
¼ cup butter
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2 ½ tablespoons flour
1 ¼ cups whipping cream (to us Aussie’s, that’s thickened)
250 g milk chocolate

Pastry:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons icing sugar
½ cup ground hazelnuts
2 level teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs
4 ½ cups plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder

A day ahead -in a mixing bowl of a food processor, cream the butter.

Add the icing sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and the cinnamon, and mix together.
Add the eggs, one by one, mixing constantly.

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.
Preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C) and take all needed ingredients out of fridge to come to room temperature.

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.

For the 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.

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.

S

41 comments:

Leslie said...

Your tart looks great! Makes me think that I majorly goofed up the mousse (the easiest part....).

Chris said...

Great Challenge #2! I had the same issue with the dough...I had to cut and paste. Great job ladies - Bring on the next challenge!

Dharm said...

Nice, Nice, Nice. I like your thick layers!

Tartelette said...

You guys did a great job! I had a extra body in the kitcehn also but I had to send her off to watch tv...I am bad at sharing my kitcehn space!!
Congrats on another challenge completed!

Morven said...

I like how it looks cut in squares and of course I like how your caramel topping looks like mine. Well done!

Aoife said...

Nice job, guys! I'm intrigued by double cream -- what is it?

Elle said...

The first comment I've made for this challenge. You both did a fantastic job. I'm envious that your caramel worked so easily for you, but thrilled and it looks perfect in all the photos. Great job you two!!

Anh said...

I am glad you like the final product. It looks great. Well-done!

Marce said...

Congrats on the caramel creme, that was definitely the hardest part of the cake, so your confidence should indeed be on the rise.

Dolores said...

The first of the daring baker posts are up! Beautiful layers... I can't *wait* to try this myself when my kitchen woes subside...

Anne said...

I too have the same problem with the dough crust, twas a good thing it went pretty well once baked. Well done :)

Pille said...

Just like you, my pastry and caramel worked like a dream (I used the dry method as well), but I had major issues with the chocolate mousse. I managed to 'churn' the first batch of cream into butter as well, and although the second looked fine, the mousse never really set..

Peabody said...

Well done! Both of those turned out great.

Anne said...

Great job! It really looks tasty :)

Meeta said...

Great looking tart and the layers look simply gorgeous!
Well done!

sher said...

I'm so impressed with how beautiful your layers turned out. Wonderful job!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Lovely tart!

sunita said...

Looks lovely...both of you have done a wonderful job!

Mary said...

Nicely done. I really like the tag team baking effort. I, too, am amazed by the sight of sugar caremelizes.

kellypea said...

I agree that it's fun to do the challenges with someone -- my mom was with me for the bagel challenge bossing me all the way! The last photo really shows those layers...

Deborah said...

They both turned out so wonderfully!

veron said...

Beautiful tarts! dough was the major problem for me too. I had a lot of patch-up work to do.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I think you did a wonderful job here!

And glad to know you succeeded at making caramel, which seems to cause quite a commotion among many of the DBs.

About the whipping cream - I'm not a professional baker, but as far as I know it is supposed to be very cold so you can get it whipped properly.

Anita said...

Cute - I love your presentation! Great job on the tart!

Ivonne said...

Excellent job! Your tart looks great!

Cusinero Ge said...

Very good presentation, and the tart looks delicious! Good job!

KJ said...

You guys did a great job.

I would guess that the cream problem may have arisen from the whipping. Double cream has a much higher fat content (at almost 50%).

steph said...

your tart looks like a winner--especially the caramel layer...mmmm.

when you are whipping cream, definitely use cold cream . you can even chill your whisk and bowl for 15 mins or so first. i'm american, but living in sydney now...the cream situation here was very confusing to me at first, b/c there are many more options here than in the US. after some trial and error, i've found that the ones that have a really high fat content (like double cream) don't whip nicely--they do get like butter. i don't like the thickened creams either b/c they often contain gelatin (this is purely a personal preference since i'm not a big meat eater). there is a “pure cream” made by Pura that comes in a 300ml carboard container. it says 35% minimum milkfat on the side and whips great...also some organic ones, but they are really hard to find(even Macro doesn’t always have them in stock).

sorry for the long rambling comment, and great job on the challenge!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Great job done by both of you - they look good!

Sara said...

Very pretty!

Ilva said...

How lucky you are, baking together like that! Your tart looks so good!

Quellia said...

Nice work ladies!

Jenny said...

I am loving the squares. Nice job!

Lis said...

Me too on the dough - but both of your tarts ended up looking fabulous!

Way to go, gals!

xoxo

Katie said...

Don't worry, my pastry fell to pieces too. I think that was the nature of it. The results look good though.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I love the squares. It is wonderful to see it twice with someone else! Both of yours look so good. Mine just got better.

Inne said...

great job. And nice you managed to bake it together.

Amy said...

Great job gals! It's great you get to bake together. :)

wmpe said...

How fun to share this with a friend. Your tart looks delicious and you are brave to try the dry method. Making caramel is a little like magic - plain sugar turns into a golden wonder. Lovely tart. Wendy

Andrea said...

How lovely, and how much fun that you get to do this together!

breadchick said...

Your "drunken" tart looks wonderful. I think a few glasses of wine always make baking much better!! Great job this month