Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Daring Bakers August Challenge: Eric Kayser's Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tarts

Milk Chocolate and Caramel tarts


Saying that I was reticent about this month’s challenge is an understatement. My fear? The combination of milk chocolate and caramel that I find really odd. To me milk chocolate is just too sweet, and caramel…well it’s sugar!
I was afraid I would end up with something that tastes more like an overly sweet candy than a tart.
Dark chocolate being not allowed, I started to think about other ways to make the tart tastes a little less sweet than it sounds, without having to break my daring baker pledge or being pointed to as a rebel.

Milk Chocolate and Caramel tarts


What I did differently:
First, I divided the recipe in half. Nothing to do with sweetness you might say, but it was to minimize any final bad surprise.
Second, I wanted to have small portions, similar to petits fours, so I went with my mini brioche molds.
Third, I replaced ground hazelnut in the crust by ground walnuts. I find walnuts being bitter than hazelnuts. If it makes any sense!
And finally, I used walnuts halves to decorate my tiny tarts instead of caramel bits.
Overall, everything went smoothly. I tried to use the dry method to making caramel Veronica, but immediately switched to my usual water and sugar method when I saw it drying out. The caramel was a success, smooth with a gorgeous color.
I didn’t expect the pastry to puff that much when baking. My brioche molds being so small, I didn’t have much space left to fill it with the caramel and the milk chocolate mousse. The shortbread pastry was so flaky and melts in your mouth with the exact amount of sweetness, that I couldn’t stop eating it.

Inside


The milk chocolate mousse was surprisingly not as sugary as I imagined it would be! The only mistake that I made is when I finished making the mousse, before even pouring it over the cooled caramel, my daughter woke up from her nap, crying. I had to put the bowl of mousse in the fridge and went to console her. Fifteen minutes later, after wiping her tears and feeding her, I remembered the mousse. It had already set, so when pouring it over the caramel it looked more like a puree than a mousse.
Despite some bumps here and there, my hubby and I enjoyed these tarts very much. We shared most of them with his co-workers who just went crazy for them.
Now the combination of milk chocolate and caramel makes more sense to me, thanks to Patricia and Vero. But when it comes to chocolate nibbling, I am a dark chocolate girl through and through.
You can head to Patricia's and Veronica's blogs for the recipe.

43 comments:

The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

I like the way you decorated them! Good idea. And brilliant idea on the walnuts rather than hazelnuts. Yum! Well done. Everyone at my work went nuts too.

Anh said...

Rose, I was tempted to use walnut, too. But hazelnut is still nice. :)

h, and I love the look of your tarts. Very cute.

Baking Soda said...

You gotta love the little ones! Very nice. I had a secret -not so secret anymore hehe- idea to use the filling in a walnut based tart.
Caramel & walnut = gorgeous!

Meeta said...

Oh they look so adorable. I too cut mine in smaller bite sizes as this was a sweet and heavy tart. You did a fantastic job Rose! Well done!

Dharm said...

They look so cute and yummy! Well done Rose

Peabody said...

I love that you used brioche molds...good thinking. Makes for some great looking tarts.

Kelly-Jane said...

I agree your brioche moulds make for lovely baby tarts :) Well done.

marion said...

whaow ! So good looking little pastries ... I'm happy you've won against your ... "préjugés" :) It seems irresistible ! congratulations :)

Anne said...

Lovely bakes as always. they are so cute :)

Shayne said...

Rose I am getting so excited to join daring baker next month.

These look like they were rich and yummy and I understand having to send baked goods to work with Hubby I do that too.

Shayne

Patricia Scarpin said...

Your mini versions of the tart are beautiful, Rose!
I liked the crust a lot, too, I will bake the rest of it (which I froze) as cookies.

Marce said...

Lovely work, Rose! They look very classy in their mini brioche molds.

Deborah said...

Great idea using the mini brioche molds - they look great!!

kellypea said...

I knew this would be fabulous looking with nuts on top. I need to try that next time. And I'm loving those little tart pans you used. Gorgeous!

Brilynn said...

The pastry definitely puffed more than I thought it would too, I found that to be a disadvantage for the little tart because I couldn't fit as much filling in.

Leann said...

I love how the mini tarts turned out! That would be so perfect for an Hors D'Hoeuvres party. Lovely!!!

Claude-Olivier said...

et bien, cela a l'air drolement tentant ces petites choses...très jolis présentation aussi, bravo! biz

Dolores said...

I love the modifications you made... especially the brioche pans. What a clever way to present single-serving tarts.

Anita said...

They are such cute little guys! I want to pop them one after the other!

Andrea said...

Your tarts are adorable! Great little finger foods! :-)

Ivonne said...

Your tarts are just beautiful! Well done!

Lydia said...

I love the little tarts -- and I love that each of the Daring Bakers has done some just a bit different with the same recipe.

Rose said...

Hello Rose! I'm Rose too and this was my first challenge. Beautiful blog! :)

Tartelette said...

I was so close to using my mini brioche molds, that would have been funny...instead I rememberd the stack of minis I had in my baking box. They look divine. Great job!!

Sara said...

Your mini tarts are so adorable!

Amy said...

Great job! Your mini tarts are so cute!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

They look beautiful. Perfect bite sized pieces!

Rose said...

- Thanks everyone for your sweet comments. The daring group had thaught me a lot and I really enjoy being part of it. So thank you and thank you.

Quellia said...

How wonderful your little tarts look!

marias23 said...

Such adorable tartlets! I should've made the cute, small versions too *pouts*

Hilda said...

J'adore la version miniature. Si j'avais eu des moules mini chez ma soeur je pense que j'aurai fait des tartelettes individuelles aussi. C'est tres joli, mais comme toi je prefere le chocolat noir.

Jenny said...

I had a mousse/fridge mishap too, but your brioche tarts still look lovely!

Lis said...

Awww Rose your wee tarts are just adorable! I'm so glad you liked them.. I was pleasantly surprised too, to find the tart wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be. =)

Well done, sweetie!

xoxo

Nora B. said...

Rose, I think that this is an excellent way to lessen the sweetness of the filling. Your tartlets look beautiful.

Aoife said...

Walnuts for hazelnuts -- genius! Very cute petit fours.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Rose these are totally lovely. Awesome! I was surprise that these did not overwhelm me with sugar sweetness! And i really liked the cinnamon.

Elle said...

Great little tarts and nicely decorated, too. I was wondering how the crust worked with very small tarts. More like a cookie I guess, but very, very nice.

Inne said...

Your little tartlets look incredibly adorable Rose. Great idea to substitute walnuts.

Mary said...

Your miniature tarts are so cute. I think you were clever to use walnuts.

Jerry said...

I love your mini tarts and your decoration!

Chris said...

I, too, love the minis. Yum!

wmpe said...

I love your photo of the little mini tarts lined up on the bench!!! The cut-away looks awesome too. I prefer dark chocolate, too, but I did like this milk chocolate mousse. I didn't find it too sugary though I thought it might be when I tasted all the components separately. Wendy

breadchick said...

Excellent Job Rose! Glad you decided to overcome your aversion to milk chocolate for this challenge.