Sunday, December 18, 2016

12 Day of Christmas Day 5 - Caramel and Salted Walnut Tarts


As I have been posted some healthier recipes for the past few days of my 12 ays of Christmas recipe bonanza, I thought that it was about time for a treat!

For me Christmas really comes down to two things, breakfast and dessert! Yes I enjoy the ham and turkey and other items on the table for dinner, but what has always excited me is the sweet things (hence the name of this blog!).

For quite a few years my dessert staple was a good baked cheesecake and I still definitely love a good cheesecake, but it is definitely on the heavier side for a dessert and really why miss out on all of the other great desserts around.

These salted caramel and walnut tarts make a great bite-sized dessert, which is perfect to have around at this time of year. You are sure to impress if you bring these along to a gathering, or whip them out when someone comes to call. The caramel is delicious and creamy, while the salt and walnut help to make that tarts a little less sweet (because even I have a limit with sweet!).

Basically these tarts sell themselves, so I will move right along to the recipe!

Enjoy

Ingredients
400g sweet, shortcrust pastry (made with butter is best!)

300ml cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp cornflour

1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp coconut oil (butter will also work)
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease a 12 hole muffin tin (Depending on the size of your tin the recipe may make more or less than 12). Roll out the shortcrust pastry to around 5mm thick. Using a class cookie cutter (I used one the same size as the muffin tin hole to make them a small tart size), cut out circles. Gently press into the muffin tins and prick. Bake blind for 10 minutes or until cooked through.*Leave to cool.

*To bake blind, cover pastry in baking paper and use rice or beans to weight it down. These instructions may help.

While leaving bases to cool make the filling. Place the cream, brown sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Over a low heat, gently heat together until the brown sugar has dissolved. Increase to a medium heat and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes. Whisk the eggs yolks and cornflour with a little milk together. Add to the cream mixture, stirring quickly so the egg doesn't scramble. Continue to cook over a medium heat until the mixture is thick.

For the walnuts toast them in a 180 degree C. oven for around 5 minutes (they should start to smell walnut-y). Place the hot walnuts in a bowl with the honey and coconut oil and mix to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt.

To assemble: Spoon the caramel mixture into the pastry cases and top with walnuts. Leave to cool before serving.

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