Wednesday 21 June 2017

Caramel Nuts Tartlets


On Father’s Day, the boys hugged and wished their daddy before they were out for their programme.   Since there was no special celebration on Father’s Day, I decided to stay home to bake.  
While I was browsing through the book Okashi Sweet Sweet Treats Made With Love written by a Japanese lady named Keiko Ishida.  These pretty tartlets caught my eye and I decided to make this.  

My boss has bought a few cookbooks for me and this was the latest one from him which I received it on last Friday.  I’m totally into this book.  It’s so pretty and really able to make someone happy and alive by just looking at it.   
I love making sweet snacks on special or rare occasion.  Since it is Father’s Day and it was only hubby and I, so I decided to adore him with these pretty sweetie tartlets. 
My sweet tooth was totally satisfied and I've absolutely no guilt for these sweet treats.   Hubby and I had 5.  The boys had the rest and I kept a special one for my boss!


Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
140g           Unsalted butter at room temperature or softened
70g             Icing (Confectioner’s) sugar
A pinch      Salt
2 tsp           Vanilla extract
40g             Eggs
40g             Ground almond
260g          Pastry flour or top flour

Almond Cream
90g             Unsalted butter, softened
75g             Castor sugar
1 tsp           Vanilla extract
90g             Ground almond
75g             Eggs

Caramel Cream
75g             Castor sugar
10g             Glucose (which is also Light Corn Syrup)
100g           Whipping Cream (35% fat)
50g             Unsalted butter

Assorted Nuts
20g             Hazelnuts
20g             Almond silvers
20g             Walnut
20g             Pistachios

Dried Fruits
6 pcs          Dried Apricots
3 pcs          Dried figs (skipped, reason being I don’t have them in the fridge)
30g             Black raisins (skipped, reason being I don’t have them in the fridge)
30g             Dried cranberries


(1)Prepare sweet short pastry.  Beat butter, icing sugar, salt and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until just completed.  Add egg yolk and beat well.  Add ground almonds and mix well.  Add flour and fold through completely.  Using a bench scraper, mix batter until a smooth dough is formed.  Wrap dough in cling film, then place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 3 hours.

(2)Preheat oven to 180°C.

(3)Unwrap dough and place on a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Roll out to a thickness of 3-5mm.

(4)Using a 9.5cm fluted pastry cutter, cut out 10 rounds from pastry.  Gently press cut dough into 10 round tartlets tins, each 8 x 3 cm.  Prick center with a fork.  [I short cut this step by dividing the dough equally, roll it in round shape and press it directly into the tartlets tin].

(5)Chill dough in the freezer for about 10 mins then bake for 20 mins or the tart shells are light golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Keep oven heated.

(6)Prepare almond cream.  Beat butter and sugar until just combined.  Add vanilla and mix.  Add ground almonds, followed by eggs and mix well.  Do not over mix.  Spoon almond cream into a pipping bag fitted with a 1-cm pipping tip and pipe cream into tart shells, filling them up only halfway.  

(7)Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown in colour.

(8)Prepare caramel cream.  Place sugar and glucose in a saucepan and heat until sugar caramelizes.  Gradually add cream while stirring with a spatula.  Mix until smooth.  Remove from heat and leave to cool slightly.  Add unsalted butter.

(9)Bake assorted nuts in the oven for 20 minutes at 150°C without preheating oven.  

(10)Blanch dried fruit in boiling water, then drain and pat dry.  Cut blanched dried fruits into small cubes.  

(11)Stir toasted nuts and dried fruit into caramel cream.  Spoon mixture onto prepared tart shells and serve.

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