Friday, 28 June 2013

Salted caramel chocolate tart!

Chocolate... Caramel... Salt in the caramel....

Really, isn't this one of the most beautiful combinations ever?

Salted caramel chocolate tart

recipe adapted from this lovely blog

Cookie Crust:

7,5 oz all purpose flour
1 oz cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2,5 oz confectioner's sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Salted Caramel:
2,25 cups sugar
3/4 cup glucose syrup
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1,5 cups evaporated milk
1,5 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache:
4 oz chocolate
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Preheat the oven to 180oC.
* Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt. 
* In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar. 
* Add in the egg yolks and vanilla, and mix until combined. 
* Little by little, add the dry ingredients until incorporated. The dough may look crumbly, but it should come together easily when you pinch it between your fingers.
* Press the dough out into a tart pan. Prick all over with a fork, and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes. 
* Cover the bottom with cling film, add dry beans and bake for 15 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack. 

* Place the sugar, glucose syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. 
* Stir a  little, then don't stir for the remainder of the cooking process. The sugar first turns clear, then it starts to bubble and darken. 
* Once it looks like caramel, stir in the butter. Be careful, it might sputter. 
* Remove it from the heat and add the milk and vanilla. Be careful!
* Pour the caramel into the crust and place in the fridge for about 3 hours, until set.

(chocolate ganache)
* Heat the milk and pour it over the chopped chocolate. 
* Let it sit for a minute and then stir until smooth. 
* Pour the ganache over the caramel and refrigerate for a few hours until set.

If you want, you can sprinkle some sea salt on top!

The crust is very good. Crumbly, but not soft or hard. Just the way it should be!

Don't you just love the way the caramel oozes?

The salted caramel is essentially a butterscotch, which I had made before, so no surprises there.



Thursday, 27 June 2013

Daring Bakers - June 2013!

Another month, another delicious challenge!

This month it was pies, pies, pies!
The chalenge was hosted by Rachel from pizzarossa and we were asked to make one or all of the four pies Rachel suggested!

I chose to make the Crack Pie, because I had made a salted caramel chocolate tart and pasta flora (as we call it) tart with jam a while ago.

Crack Pie

This is a recipe that you have to make in two parts. First the crust, then the filling and you will see why.

Oat Cookie Crust

125g unsalted butter, room temperature, divided (85gm & 40gm)
70 gm brown sugar, divided (50 gm & 20 gm)
30 gm white sugar
1 large egg
80 gm old-fashioned oats
70 gm all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

* Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 33x22x5cm baking pan with parchment paper and butter it.
* Combine 85 gm of the butter, 50 gm of brown sugar and the white sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
* Add the egg and beat for about 1 minute, until it is light and fluffy.
* Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended.
* Dump the oat mixture into the baking pan and press out evenly to the edges.
* Bake until light golden about 18 - 20 min. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cookie cool completely.
* Using your fingertips, crumble the cookie a into large bowl - there should be no pieces of cookie remaining. Add the remaining (45 gm) butter and (20 gm) brown sugar. Rub in with your fingertips until the mixture is moist and sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
* Transfer cookie crust mixture to a pie dish. Using your fingers, press it evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish.* Prepare the filling.


170 gm white sugar
100 gm brown sugar
8 gm dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
115gm unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
100ml heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting

* Preheat the oven to 180°C. If possible, use bottom-only heat, or the filling may brown too quickly.
* Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt together in a bowl.
* Add melted butter and whisk until blended.
* Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended.
* Pour filling into crust.
* Bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C and continue to bake until filling is brown on top and set around edges but center still jiggles slightly.
* Cool pie completely in pie dish on wire rack. Chill uncovered overnight.
* Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into thin wedges and serve cold.

The cookie baked. It was softer than I thought it would be, but it was ok.
I lined my pie dish with parchment paper. Don't do it. It stuck and I couldn't get the pieces out easily....
Ready for the oven.
Out of the oven. I think I overbaked it...

Slices of heaven!

Now for the comments...
Why had I not heard of this pie before? No, really, why? I was literally going in and out of the kitchen binging on this pie.
I know it is not pretty. G. was skeptical, because he didn't think it would be tasty. He ate half of it...

It is like eating caramel or some sort of candy bar. I think it is my Nr. 2 favorite tart to eat, after my salted caramel one.
I am definately making it again, but I will try to bake it less time, just to see if it will turn out prettier.

Thank you Rachel! The challenge you hosted was great!

By the way, I thought that the crust recipe would make great cookies, just by itself, right?


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Pasta-less lazagna!

I was surfing around on the Internet the other day with nothing specific in mind, just on the general subject of the South Beach Diet.
I saw many recipes and the general idea was that you try to replace carbs, ie. pasta with vegetables, especially courgettes.

One of my very very favourite recipes is, what I call, the Garfield lasagna!!!

So, I decided to give it a twist....

Pasta-less lasagna

courgettes, enough to make layers on the deep dish you will use
mince meat sauce, any kind you like or you can make it yourself
low - fat yellow cheese, again use your favourite
low - fat cream cheese, to your liking

There is really nothing to it. You prepare them the regular way! Just have the ingredients ready and start assembling.

Cut your courgettes thin, I used a mandoline.

Spray a non-stick pan with olive oil and cook the courgettes.

Layer them in your baking dish.

Add a layer of meat sauce.

Then some yellow cheese and some cream cheese (not shown).
Once you have finished layering, bake the lasagna in a preheated 180oC oven for at least 40 minutes.


The layers turned out well and the taste was very good. It could use a little more salt!
There was more liquid than I liked, so next time I will salt the courgettes and let them drain, before I cook them.