When you need to make a Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart

chocolate caramel almond tart || cityhippyfarmgirl

There was a birthday coming up and the order had been put in. Something chocolatey. It was a loose request that held lots of possibilities. Cake? Nah. I still hold some reservations on the old chocolate cake front, if I can avoid making one I certainly do.

Now this particular birthday request just had to involve chocolate somewhere along the lines of the dessert. Surely I could put something on the table that could be used in a celebratory, I’ve just turned another wonderful year older kind of thing.

I had a coffee, (it’s when I do my best thinking) and came up with a chocolate caramel tart. Doable, certainly doable I thought. Then I promptly forgot about it.

Fast forward several weeks and the day in question arrived. For lots of reasons I was a little distracted in the lead up to it and didn’t plan it in my usual military precision birthday sugary goodness celebratory fashion. Instead it was a little like… oh what’s in the fridge/cupboard, and can I whack it in to build up this tart?

And so that’s how almond meal ended up in there, (toasted mind you, I’m not a complete hack.) Tart got a thumbs up verdict and there were scrambles for the last tiny wedge.

Seems the unplanned Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart was ok.

chocolate caramel almond tart || cityhippyfarmgirl

Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart

Pastry

150gms softened butter

2 cups plain flour

2 tsp vanilla

1 egg yolk

* if you want your pastry sweet as well add 50gs of icing sugar, I thought there would be enough sugar in the caramel and chocolate layers.

In a processor add flour and butter, process until resembles bread crumbs. Tip mixture out to a bowl and add vanilla and egg yolk. Bring together and give a quick knead until it’s smooth. Roll between two pieces of baking paper, and roll out to about 5mm. Carefully place pastry in greased tart base and bake blind for approximately 25 minutes at 180C. Remove beads (or whatever you used to bake blind with and pop back into the oven for another 5 or so minutes or until golden.

Almond Caramel

1 cup condensed milk

1 knob of butter

2 tbls brown sugar

Put these three ingredients in a pot and stir over medium heat, until it turns to caramel. Don’t leave it, continually stir, should take about 4 minutes. (If you let it get too thick it will be harder to manage.)

In another pot over medium heat add 100g of almond meal, gently toast it. Stirring continuously until light golden. Add this to the caramel.

Add the almond caramel to slightly cooled tart pastry.

Ganache

300mls cream

300g dark chocolate

Bring the cream to a boil and then turn off heat. Drop broken chocolate into the cream and stir until melted through. Allow ganache to cool slightly and then pour over caramel tart. Allow to sit for a few hours before serving.

chocolate caramel almond tart || cityhippyfarmgirl

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Plum Shortcakes

A good bakery is a wonderous thing. You’ll quite often find me, nose pressed against the glass, eyeballs widened, and probably just the hint of drool coming from the side of my mouth. I don’t usually go in, I don’t need to. I like just looking. Seeing what’s on offer, how they have presented different things, and getting ideas for my own baking efforts.

Many moons ago, I lived for awhile in Germany. Twice a week I would head off, cold crisp air on my cheeks. Hands wedged into pockets and music wedged into ears, I would set forth on my two buses to get to a German language class. I loved this time. I loved the German winter, I loved the alone time, I loved being in a different country, I loved learning the language… and I really loved stopping off at a bakery afterwards.

Germany bakeries are a thing of wonderous beauty. So many different types of wonderful breads, and enough sweet goodies for a young Australian gal to do more than a little drooling. Everything I ever ate was delicious. Really delicious. Sure I probably headed for the same kind of things time and time again, but when you are on to a good thing, why stop eh?

So what did I go for? Anthing vaguely fruity/ sour related. Cherry strudel? You betcha. Plum struesel? Yes indeed. They all had my name well and truly written all over them.

So with a German bakery in mind, Plum Shortcakes it was.

Fruity, not crazy sweet, but enough of sugar kick just to say … ja bitte, das ist lecker.

Plum Shortcakes

200g plain flour

100g self raising flour

150g softened butter

150g sugar

2 tsps vanilla

zest of one lemon

2 beaten eggs

plums

Cream the butter and sugar together, add vanilla, eggs and lemon zest. Then fold through flour. Into your tray/s and add halved plums. Bake at 180C until risen, slightly golden, and smells like you can’t wait to eat it any longer (cooking time will depend on the tray you use.)

Chocolate Hazelnut Surprise- Frugal Friday

So, desserts don’t usually make it in to my Frugal Friday posts. But drown me in amaretto if this one isn’t frugal.

Mr Chocolate’s parents were coming over for lunch and my thoughts had been else where. The lunch bit was sorted, but it would be nice if there was a little sweetie something to follow it up with. Now what do I have?

some cooking mistake freezer brownie

some old cream

some sad looking strawberries

oh and some chocolate (50%)

Now I hate tossing food out. I can generally give something a new lease of life well after it has looked it’s best. I like the challenge of it, and it let’s me be a little creative in the kitchen. I was a little nervous with this one though, as it wasn’t just the usual culprits eating it.

Hmmm, thinking cap on, and…

Chocolate Hazelnut Surprise

crumble up some freezer brownie

then whip up

300mls of cream that needed using

add a good shake

 of some hazelnut meal through it (approx 50g)

and

1 tsp vanilla into the whipped cream

and then slowly drizzle some

melted dark chocolate (about 100g- I used 50%)

in as well (don’t over whip it)

layer it with your brownie (or an old chocolate/plain cake you may have hanging around)

add a few

chopped up sad looking strawberries on top and then

drizzle a little more chocolate on

******

So how did it taste?

Delicious.

Did the inlaws suspect anything less than a well planned dessert.

Hell no.

(This is not a recipe. Not really any way. Just use what you have and play. You will probably end up with a lovely tasty surprise.)