One of the most extraordinary things happened to me last Friday. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how exactly I’m going to tell you about it and I’m not ready to share the news just yet (and no, I’m not pregnant!). I’m taking pictures and preparing the post behind-the-scenes though, and I hope to get this post published at least by the end of this week.
As I’ve been busy with this other post, I realized I hadn’t posted a recipe here in nearly 10 days! This is going to be a short, but sweet post about mini rustic salted chocolate and caramel tarts.
I decided to call these tarts “rustic” because I didn’t use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry shells – I flattened them with my hand (I was feeling too lazy to roll the pastry!) and also because I don’t have flan tins – I stuffed the pastry into a cupcake tin! Both of these situations resulted in a not-so-perfect, or “rustic”, tart shell!
The caramel filling in these tarts isn’t just any caramel – it’s dulce de leche. This is topped with a chocolate ganache, which is then sprinkled lightly with sea salt flakes.
So delicious! You should store these in the refrigerator, but I found that they taste best at room temperature. So let them sit on the counter for 15 minutes or so after taking them out of the refrigerator.
Adapted from Australian Good Taste magazine, July 2010
Makes 6 tarts
380g Dulce de leche (store-bought, or make your own)
150g dark chocolate, finely chopped
80ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream
Sea salt flakes, to sprinkle
190g (1 1/4 cups) plain flour, sifted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
2 tablespoons pure icing sugar, sifted
125g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chilled water
To make pastry, process the flour, cocoa, icing sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the water and process until just combined. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 1 minute or until the dough just comes together. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
Divide the dough into 6 even portions. Roll out 1 portion until 3mm thick. Use a round 12cm-diameter pastry cutter to cut a disc from the dough. Line a 2cm-deep, 8cm (base measurement) fluted flan tin, with removable base, with the pastry disc and trim excess. Repeat with the remaining dough portions, re-rolling the excess pastry if necessary. Place the tins on a baking tray and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat oven to 200C. Cover the pastry cases with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and pastry weights or rice. Bake for 5 minutes or until cooked through and dry to the touch. Set aside to cool completely.
Place 2 tablespoons of dulce de leche in each pastry case. Cover and place in the fridge to chill. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream just to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour over the chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes or until cooled to room temperature. Carefully spread the chocolate mixture over the top of each tart and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.