Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Caramel Tarts

I have always had a weakness for caramel. My husband also has a weakness for caramel. If we go out for coffee, I can guarantee that he will always, always, always get a piece of chocolate caramel slice or, heaven forbid they don't have any, then the next closest caramelly, gooey cake he can spot. However, chocolate comes a close second for him, and he is easily pleased, so he is never left wanting for any length of time.

I came home from work one day to find a recipe for Caramel Pecan Slice surreptiously placed on the kitchen bench where he knew I would find it. No prizes for subtlety, that's for sure. First off, he gets brownie points for showing an interest in my passion (even if it ultimately rewards him lol). Secondly, he scored a few more points for actually finding the recipe and recognising it as something worth making. If it is not part of a car mag or Repco mailer, he is unlikely to deem it as anything important! Apparently it came in his health insurance invoice, which is kind of ironic given the ingredients in it....this recipe is more likely to induce cardiac disease than prevent it!!

So the plan was that I would make this today for him. However, while I was having my morning coffee, my daughter thrust a Foodtown magazine under my nose and begged me to make the Caramel Tarts that were so wantonly displaying themselves on Page 78. What sort of mother would I be if I turned her down, so Caramel Tarts it was and the Caramel Pecan Slice will just have to wait until later in the week.

Well, they were very easy to make. I even thought about cheating and using store bought pastry, but didn't have any. However, in as much time it would have taken pre-made pastry to defrost, I had this pastry whipped up in the food processor and resting in the fridge. The caramel sauce was easy peasy to make and I made sure there was enough left over for a quality control check ;-)

The recipe uses 2 Texas muffin tins. I only had one, so used a normal muffin tin and just cut the pastry a bit smaller. I cooked them for a couple of minutes less as well. The testing panel rated them 10 out of 10 and I must agree they were pretty D-I-V-I-N-E!!! (We actually served them with a scoop of ice cream as well).

Caramel Tarts
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
125g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsps iced water

395g can sweetened condensed milk
75g butter
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsps golden syrup
3-4 tbsps flaked almonds to decorate

To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and process for 20-30 seconds until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk, vanilla essence and water and pulse until mixture comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the caramel, put all the ingredients in a saucepan (except almonds!) and stir over a medium heat until combined.

When ready to bake, spray 2 Texan muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray (or whatever size muffin pans you have). preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 2-3 mm thick. Using a 9cm cutter, cut 12 rounds from the pastry and press them gently into the bottom of the muffin pans. The pastry should come up the sides about 1cm. If using smaller pans, adjust the size of the rounds accordingly.

Spoon the caramel into the pastry shells, filling almost to the top. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake in the lower part of the oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden. they may need a shorter cooking time if using smaller pans. Cool for 10 mins before lifting out onto a cooling rack.

Source: Foodtown magazine, June/July 2008


Kelly said...

These sound and look so good. I love it when I have all of the ingredients handy! Thanks for the recipe.

Deborah said...

I am a caramel lover as well, and these look divine!! Now I wish I could get my husband to suggest recipes - I always try to get him involved, but he's more interested in just eating what I make instead of choosing out what to make!

Tammy said...

yum, these looks great. I love anything caramel as well!

Linda F said...

Those look absolutely lovely and SOOOOO cool that they are on Foodgawker!!!!! Well done!!!

n.o.e said...

My word, these look scrumptious! I love reading along with your culinary adventures. I've received a nifty blog award that I'd like to pass on to you. Check out my blog for details.

Marie said...

Oh gosh those tarts look fabulous! They just went onto my MUST do list!!