Friday, May 31, 2013

Pink pepper caramel and chocolate ganache mini tarts, a perfect dessert!

An elegant and packed with flavor dessert, a must try

Spring is lingering here in Madrid, sometimes it feels we´re still in November and we´re less than 3 weeks away from summer! So instead of craving for ice-cream and sorbet, I am still in the mood for  chocolate and comforting food!

And as I became addicted to salted caramel, I decided to make a recipe involving my unshakable  addiction that is chocolate and combine it with my rather new one! You can find hundreds of recipes combining these ingredients but I took my time to develop something that it isn't entirely new but has a unique twist to it.
Pink pepper berries, not only look good but also taste great

Few weeks ago I purchased some lovely pink pepper, and they provided me with the twist I wanted for the recipe. The different elements of the recipe came together: spicy caramel that is complemented and softened with a creamy rich chocolate ganache all resting on a bed of buttery pastry dough.

For the dough you need: (enough for 4 small starts)
  • 75 g cold butter
  • 15 g  sugar (flavored with vanilla)
  • 15 g powdered sugar
  • 10 g ground and lightly toasted almonds
  • 140 g flour
  • dash of salt
  • Liquid (about 15 gr, you can either use cold water, milk or cream, I used cream)
The different components of the dessert

Combine all ingredients, but the liquid, in a food processor and mix for less than a minute, you can slowly add the liquid to the rest of ingredients and mix again, or transfer the mixture to a bowl and then slowly add the liquid, mixing (not kneading) until the dough forms a ball.
Flatten the dough into a disk shape, cover it with plastic film and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 min.
Roll the dough to a 1/2 cm thick, put it in the tart molds and blind bake for 10 min (180) remove the weight you are using and then bake for an additional 8 to 10 min, or until edges are golden brown.
Add a twist to the ordinary chocolate tart
Pink pepper Caramel sauce: 
  • 50 g sugar
  • 10 g water
  • 20 g cold butter
  • 1/4 tsp fleur de sel (high quality flaky salt)
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp pink pepper (if you wanted more spicy add one tsp)
  • 100 ml cream
I already explained in details the procedure you need to follow to prepared salted caramel in this post. However, you just need to add the pink peppers at the end, and leave them to infuse their flavor for at least 30 min.

For the chocolate ganache:
  • 90 g dark chocolate (60 %, higher if you really like the bitter chocolate taste)
  • 120 ml cream (35%)
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Different flavors and textures in this special tart
Heat the cream until it simmers than pour over grated or chopped chocolate, stir until well combined and the chocolate well melted. Finally add the syrup which will give the ganache a beautiful shine. You can play around and add any other aroma you like or use small amounts of strong fruity liquors to add punch and taste to your ganache. 

Now that you have everything ready, fill the lower end of the tart of with the spicy salted caramel. Do not be tempted to add more caramel as the tart will be a bit too sweet. Put the tart shells in the fridge to allow the caramel to set. Once set, pour the ganache to the top of the tart, and this is it. Your tart is ready.Let the ganache set in the fridge and enjoy these tarts. 

The crumbly pie dough combined with the spicy and sweet caramel all topped with the creamy and chocolaty ganache make a perfect dessert. 
The different layers of the pie come together to make a perfect dessert

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