Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Celebratory Chocolate

On Monday I finished my mock exams. Exams which caused my left hand (I'm a leftie and proud) to feel like it was going to fall off after all the writing its done. Exams that caused revision which did its best to ruin the Christmas holiday. Exams that made me miss the January sales. Exams that have caused a persistent aching back after being hunched over hours of exam papers. Exams that kept me out of the kitchen. Exams that buried my room under revision lists and guides and files and notes. Everybody knows there's only one way to celebrate the end of exams. Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart.DSCF8304 Ok, maybe that was just me. But it’s a pretty good way to go! The recipe came from one of my top Christmas presents this year – a copy of Rachel Allen’s latest book, Entertaining at Home. I love Rachel Allen and IMG-20110124-00140our house has all her books, but this one was extra special because it was signed! I’m yet to meet the lady herself and the book was won from an auction, but its still exciting. I knew that I wanted to try something special to celebrate exams – something more complicated and different to what I normally make. This tart certainly went there for me! I practised pastry making, caramel making, and tried to improve my resistance around large bowls of melted chocolate. I’d never made caramel before and was extremely nervous but, although it wasn’t completely perfect, it turned out tasty and not at all burnt!DSCF8302 The pastry provides the necessary crunch after all the soft sweetness of the tart fillings. The caramel is the strong sweet kick, with just a hint of salt at the end. The chocolate layer is thick and soft, like a mousse or truffle, but the use of dark chocolate prevents everything becoming too sickly. Perfect. DSCF8299 As you may be able to see from the above picture, I had a slight issue with my caramel layer. Although it tasted divine, my fear of burning it meant I removed it from the heat too early and it was not thick enough (the consistency should be almost like dulce de leche). This meant when the chocolate was poured on top, the caramel in the centre was pushed from underneath and spilled out. In the end this wasn’t too bad as it caramelised the pastry at the top which was delicious, but it’s something to bear in mind. Overall, I was more than pleased with this tart. It was my first baking challenge of 2011, and it was utterly irresistible! Having a slice in my lunchbox every day makes me feel like I’m eating at a fancy restaurant, and makes those exams seem a hundred years ago… You can find the recipe here – enjoy!

11 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks pretty scrumptious nonetheless! congrats.

Cheers,

Rosa

La Table De Nana said...

It looks great to me..so glad you have an autographed copy..Hope you meet her!!

Ash said...

Congrats on finishing your exams! phew eh!!

This tart looks AMAZING and a wee bit sinful!

Antonia said...

Wow! This looks and sounds absolutely divine. Wish I had a slice in my lunchbox.

The Caked Crusader said...

As a fellow proud leftie I wish you luck with your results.
Tart looks great - what a lunch box treat!

Rhiannon Nicole said...

Amazing Lucy!! It looks and sounds delectable and how cool to get an autographed version of the cook book. You certainly deserve this little sweet treat after all of your hard work too :) Congrats on your exams girlfriend!! xo

apparentlyjessy said...

Hmm, I don't know if its my computer or not, but I cant read all your writing, the alignment has gone all weird.
Anyway, I can see the photos, and that this chocolate tart looks delicious, and I really wish I had a slice to dig into right now!

Faith said...

A huge congrats on finishing your exams! It's always such a huge relief to be done, isn't it? This beautiful tart is a fantastic way to celebrate!

Marie said...

Slight issue or not, it looks fab to me! I would love to sink my teeth into all that scrumminess! Yummo!!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

congrats on finishing your exams!

Butter Hearts Sugar said...

I'm pretty sure I'd like to celebrate everyday with a slice of this, it looks super yummy!