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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caramel-Chocolate Mini Tartlets: Recipe

Let me start off by saying we were the beneficiaries of Mother Nature's whimsy once again here in New York. So with buckets of time on my hands, I did what I enjoy and seem to do well - fiddle around in my kitchen. With more than 8 inches on the ground I was not planning to go anywhere today so I happily tried to find a new baked item to become tonight's dessert. I poured over multiple books but still could not find something I wanted to make, or even adapt, until finally I stumbled over a photo in a cooking magazine. The recipe called for hazelnuts and while I have about 2/3 cup of them on hand (I swear you would be shocked at the strange things I have in the cabinet!), the recipe asked for a full cup - ah-ha! perfect opportunity to change it up.

Wanting the kids to enjoy it, I was even more determined to eliminate the nuts (I had fleetingly imagined substituting the filberts with pecans but then I'd be assured neither child would touch it and I would be left eating these things for days - not part of any diet, mind you).

So the issue is now that I've made so much caramel, I need to make vanilla ice cream just to have something upon which to pour it! (One mustn't waste food in today's day!) Mind you, the caramel will hold for about a week in the refrigerator - just reheat.

Caramel- Chocolate Mini Tartlets
Makes about 30

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small dice
5 tablespoons cold whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup Graham cracker crumbs

Caramel Filling
1 1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons whipping cream

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

For Crusts: Butter 30 metal mini muffin cups. Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and blend using on/off turns until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the 5 tablespoons cream and vanilla and blend again just until mixture begins to clump together. Press 2 teaspoonfuls of dough evenly into the bottom and sides of each mini cup. Pierce crusts all over with fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and freeze the tartlets for 30 minutes before baking. Bake the crusts until golden - about 25 minutes. Cool crusts in the tins for about 10 minutes and then carefully loosen crusts and cool completely on a baking sheet. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of Graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each tartlet.

Next combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a bowl. Allow mixture to boil for 2 minutes (mixture will thicken up and bubble rapidly). Do not stir while boiling. Remove from heat and add cream; stir till smooth. Pour caramel into a heat proof measuring cup and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into each tartlet cup till it nearly reaches the top. Place 2 chips on top of each tartlet and refrigerate for about an hour.

These can be made ahead of time and placed in the fridge but allow them to come to room temp for about an hour before serving.

1 comment:

suriya said...

These would make such an elegant Christmas gift. I love them!

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