Sweet and spicy souvenirs - salted chocolate caramel tartlets

Today's sweet and spicy souvenir comes from E. Dehillerin in Paris. I was looking for some straight sided tart shells and came home with 4 of them. I don't think anyone has ever bought such a small quantity from there because the sales staff kept asking 'is that all?'

But what to make? Well actually I knew exactly what to bake - these little chocolate caramel tartlets based on this recipe by Valli Little.

Instead of chocolate pastry, I decided to make some chocolate flecked pastry by grating about 40 grams of chocolate into my shortcrust pastry recipe. You have to be careful not to overwork the dough or you'll lose the flecks.

My favourite part of the whole process - the caramel. I sprinkled a little bit of pink sea salt over the caramel before topping it with the chocolate custard mixture.

I was going to gussy up this picture but I decided that simple was best, which pretty much sums up my approach to styling.

Here's my almond shortcrust pastry recipe.

¼ cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
¼ cup almond meal
1¼ cups plain flour
110 gm (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
cold water
40 grams of dark chocolate, grated

To make the pastry, combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor and whiz for a few seconds until well combined and free of lumps. Add the cold butter and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and a little cold water and whiz until a soft dough just starts to form around the blade.

Remove the dough from the food processor and gather the pastry into a ball; gently knead in the dark chocolate until just combined. Flatten slightly before wrapping in plastic and placing in the fridge. Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface (I use greaseproof paper) and roll out thinly with a rolling pin. Grease eight 10 cm tartlet tins. Cut out circles of pastry large enough to fit the tart shells. Line the tins with the pastry and trim the edges of the tart tins with a sharp knife. Lightly prick the pastry surface with the tines of a fork and return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.

Line the tart shells with muffin liners and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tart shells are golden then remove paper and weights. Place the tart shells on a wire rack to cool.

How did they taste? YUM!

See you all again next week,


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