August 29, 2007

Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart

Recipe from "Sweet and Savory Tarts" by Eric Kayser



For the Daring Bakers




The August challenge for the Daring Bakers' Group helped me overcome my fear of caramel. I am amazed at how easy it is to make! I have all kinds of ideas for caramel sauce for homemade ice cream. When I read Veron's recipe earlier in the month, I went into a panic after reading "use the dry method." Luckily Veron posted a wet version and I read every ones' extremely helpful comments on how they worked through the recipe. I especially appreciated Rose's comments on how to let the cream come to room temperature. I only burned one batch of sugar. Once it starts browning it browns fast. I used Morvan's suggestion and used two Silpats to roll the dough out -- it rolled out in a snap. I wish the recipe said how thick to roll the dough. I guessed and then ended up carving some away after it came out of the oven.



I let the caramel cool slightly then added the room temperature cream. I didn't know what temperature the butter should be so I let it come to room temperature then put it back in the fridge for a quick chill and my caramel seized a little on the bottom but I just reheated it and it was fine. Very delicious. I cooked it for 22 minutes like Veron said and it came out solid. I used Valhrona milk chocolate and it was divine. I folded it ever so slowly into my whipped cream so I would not deflate the mousse.

I really enjoyed playing with caramel for the decorative pieces. I just poured it out on my Silpat and it was like magic.

The tart tasted rich. It is not a two piece type dessert! I enjoyed all the flavors together, even the cinnamon. I read a few bakers did not enjoy the cinnamon so I tried a couple bites without the crust and thought the cinnamon added to the flavors giving a balance to the super rich caramel and the fluffy mousse.


By the way, hazelnuts are extremely hard to find in Arizona. I thought they would be a staple at gourmet food shops but not so. I finally found some at Trader Joes.

36 comments:

Meeta said...

Fantastic! I love the decoration. A great job!

Deborah said...

Wonderful decoration!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I think you did a wonderful job! And I'm also glad you felt OK about making caramel, isn't it wonderful to accomplish things we don't feel 100% secure about?

kellypea said...

Hah! I, too, expect to find hazelnuts at TJ's, but not this time =(. I enjoyed the cinnamon as well, but am a big fan of it anyway. And I agree that playing with the topping was fun. Nice job!

Tartelette said...

Great job! Glad you overcame your fear of caramel!

veron said...

This looks fantastic. Like you, I am overcoming my fear of caramel. We just have to face it head on!

Ivonne said...

Here's to overcoming the fear of caramel in a grand way! Your tart is gorgeous!

Elle said...

Gorgeous tart and your photos of the process are drool worthy for sure. I especially like that the one for the mousse really illustrates how careful you were not to deflate the cream. Great post!

Dharm said...

Very nicely done Wendy! I love the decorations too. Now you can make ALL sorts of caramel stuff - starting with caramel custard!!! :)

Brilynn said...

I'm still not over my fear of caramel, but I keep trying, well done!

Mary said...

Your tart turned out great. And now you can have homemade caramel anytime you want too! :)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I love your decoration too. Looks beautiful.

Sara said...

Very pretty!

marias23 said...

TJ's is so awesome! I got my hazelnuts there too :) Anyway, I love the caramel art you created. Very chic indeed!

Jenny said...

Love the final picture of your tart. Good job!

Connie said...

trader joes knows nuts, that's for sure! pretty decoration!

Peabody said...

I would be lost without my TJ's. Great job on your tart.

Lis said...

Another fabulous job, Wendy!

Your tart is gorgeous - and I'm so happy you found some answers and advice from other members =)

xoxo

Chelsea said...

Love your photos and the finished tart is amazing with the caramel art! How on earth did you do that? Mine was just a puddle!

Aoife said...

Both chocolate curls and caramel pieces in the decorations -- what ambition! Nice job!

KJ said...

I had no idea that hazelnuts were such a specialty item in the US. Whole and ground hazelnuts are a standard supermarket product here in Australia. You learn something new every day.

Anyway, I think you did a great job. i was scared of the dry caramel thing too. It's all about the learning.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

How very smart to "test" the fillings and decide the cinnamon was a good compliment. I was beginning to think I was the only one who liked it.
Great tart!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

I'm glad you overcame your fear of caramel to make this tart! It looks gorgeous. I found my hazelnuts at TJ's as well, after failed attempts to find them at Whole Foods and a few other places in the area.

Inne said...

such pretty decoration!

Quellia said...

Lovely work! You did a great job.

Tara said...

Your tart looks gorgeous, love the decorations!! Well done.

Amy said...

I got my hazelnuts at TJs too! Love that store. I'm glad you overcame your fear of caramel, it looks great!

Barbara said...

I really enjoyed working with the caramel decoration too. Yours looks great.

Leslie said...

That looks great!!!!!! And it makes me think that I need a second silpat....

BTW - have you tried looking for hazelnuts under the name 'filberts'? I didn't realize they were one and the same until a little while ago, and now feel obliged to share this new knowledge. :)

Rachel said...

This tart really looks great! Is it something you've wanted to make for awhile? Maybe we can make something fun and daring while I'm there... :)

Chris said...

Great Job!

Nazca said...

I see you made a stab at the decoration... tut ;-)

PS Yep, I know the Nazca lines, it's where I stole this alias from. i've been there a couple of times. Pretty wondrous :-D

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Looks absolutely beautiful! Especially your decorations!

Andrea said...

Your tart turned out perfect, and the decorations really add to it. And Trader Joe's is the only place I buy hazelnuts!

Dolores said...

The learning environment that the daring baker team promotes is one of my favorite aspects of participating. I'm pleased you were able to learn from the advice of others. Gorgeous tart!

breadchick said...

Great Job!! And you overcame your fear of caramel too!!