Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Daring Bakers August Challenge: Eric Kayser's 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.
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.
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.