Last week the Daring Bakers posted about this months baking challenge, the "Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart". The tarts look really good and they sounded like they were fun, if challenging to make. I have only recently really got into cooking and I have not done much baking. What baking I have been doing has only had a success ratio of about 50%. Since my baking experience and skills are not the best I have been reluctant to join in the Daring Bakers challenge. But this months challenge looked so good that I wanted to try making it.
Part 1: The Chocolate Shortbread Crust
The original recipe called for enough to make 3 tart shells so I cut the recipe by a factor of four. I had recently tried making a tart shell for another recipe and the dough rose to double its original height taking up half of the shell, so I wanted to make the shell as thin as possible. It was also easier to divide the recipe by 4 rather than by 3. I do not have a mixer or a food processor that is large enough to handle this sort of thing so I did everything by hand. I am not really sure what the purpose of chilling the dough was… When I pulled the dough out of the fridge it was so hard that I could not work with it. I had to wait for it to warm up before I could roll it out. It was a bit tight but I was able to get the dough to fill the tart shell. It baked without any problems though it seemed really light in colour… I was not too worried about the colour as it looked like the shell would work. So far so good!
Part 2: The Caramel Filling
I had never made caramel before and I was not sure about heating sugar in a pan by itself. I was a bit worried that the sugar would burn. There is a second "wet" way of making caramel with corn syrup and water but I thought that I would try the dry way first. If the dry way did not work I could always try it the wet way.
I started heating the sugar and it did not look like anything was happening for a while. After a while I noticed the edges started to melt and bubble. I was worried that the edges would burn while the center was still dry sugar. I had heard that stirring the melting sugar would make it seize so I refrained from doing so. I lifted the pan and turned it in an effort to get the dry sugar to "fall" into the melted sugar. In the end the sugar melted and turned golden without any problems. When I added the cream however the sugar seized… I kept heating it until the seized sugar melted again. I added the butter without incident. The caramel smelled amazing. Two steps down and one to go.
Part 3: The Chocolate Mousse
I was a bit worried about this step as adding warm melted chocolate to whipped cream did not sound like a good idea… I whipped the cream until it formed hard peaks while I waited for the melted chocolate to cool a bit. When I though that the chocolate was cooling down too much I added it to the whipped cream. The whipped cream quickly lost their stiff peaks… I was whipping the cream by hand with a pair of forks and I grew tired and gave up after about 30 minutes with no luck… I did not have any more heavy cream so I decided to just place what I had on tart.
I have since found a better way do the chocolate moosse that I will have to try the next time I make chocolate moose. Melt the chocolate into the cream and put the mixture in the fridge. When the mixture is cool whip it.
I met with some success and I met with some failure. This was the most involved baked dish that I have tried making so far. The tart tasted great even though the mousse did not whip. I enjoyed making the tart and I learned a lot. I think that I might like to try doing this months Daring Bakers challenge.
Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup + 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons hazelnuts (ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 egg (beaten)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 egg white
- 1 + 1/4 tablespoons flour
- Cream the butter in a bowl.
- Mix in the sugar, hazelnuts and cinnamon.
- Beat in the egg.
- Mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a separate bowl.
- Mix the dry and wet mixtures together.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and chill overnight.
- Place the dough into a tart pan and bake in a preheated 3125F oven for 10-20 minutes.
- Heat the sugar in a small sauce pan at medium heat until it melts and turns a golden colour.
- Add the heavy cream and butter.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Mix the eggs and flour.
- Add the egg mixture to the caramel and stir until mixed.
- Bake in a preheated 325F/170C oven for 15 minutes and set aside to cool.
The Chocolate Mousse
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 1/2 ounce milk chocolate
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
- Beat the whipping cream until it forms hard peaks.
- Mix the chocolate into the whipped cream.
- Whip the cream until it forms hard peaks again.
Rolo Cheesecake Bars