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If you haven’t followed my instagram (@billy.law) already, then you might have missed out on the little sneak peek of my upcoming cook – “MAN FOOD” which due out in August! And I reckon you are going to love this book. Think bacon, salted caramel, deep fried, chocolate, and did I mention bacon? Yes, even the book cover is covered in bacon!

Apart from bacon, I do have a soft and chewy spot for salted caramel. That sweet, dark brown, glossy toffee caramel with the hint of saltiness from the sea salt flakes, I can simply eat it by the spoonfuls. Despite the salted caramel is dead easy to make, I forbid myself from making them too often at home, as they are irresistibly dangerous with high calories. So I only whip them up for special occasions.

I made these mini chocolate and salted caramel tarts along with the mini lemon meringue tarts for a friend’s 40th birthday. Well I consider him as a friend even though we only met about three times over the last 3 years. I just thought edible gift is a better option for someone who you hardly know, rather than picking up a present from the mall which is probably meaningless to him. But then, I hope my kind gesture didn’t send the wrong impression to him, I was just being a nice person.

 

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Mini Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tarts

120g dark chocolate, 65%

sweet pastry (makes 20-24 mini tarts)
125g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
30g caster sugar
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons chilled water

Salted Caramel
115g caster sugar
1 tablespoon glucose
125ml water
250ml ( 1 cup) heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Method

1. To make the tart cases, put all the ingredients, except the water, into a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then slowly pour water in a steady stream while still pulsing, until it comes together and forms a rough dough. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and gently gather all loose crumbs together to form a smooth firm dough. Flatten the dough into an inch thick , wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

2. To make the salted caramel, put sugar, glucose and water into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Then turn the heat up to high and stop stirring let it boil for about 5 minutes or until the sugar starts to caramelise and turn into toffee. Keep an eye on it, as the sugar changes colour rather quickly. Once it reaches the dark golden colour, pour cream into the hot sugar; be very careful as it will splatter. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon and bring the caramel back to the boil, turn heat to medium and keep stirring for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sea salt flakes, stir until dissolve. Whisk the butter in to caramel one cube at a time. Pour it into a heatproof jug and set aside to cool. Transfer to fridge and let it set overnight.

3. Have a 24 mini muffin tin ready. Roll the chilled pastry on a floured surface to about 2mm thick. Use a 3-inch ring cutter, cut dough into small round discs then line the tin, press down firmly with fingers. Place the tin in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. In the mean time, pre heat oven to 200C. Blind bake the tart cases for 15-20 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove tart cases from the tin and let it rest on a wire rack.

4. Fill piping bag with salted caramel, pipe the caramel into each tart shell about 3/4 full. Place all tarts on a tray and transfer to freezer to let it set.

5. Add chocolate to a heat proof bowl, put bowl inside microwave and zap it for 20 seconds, remove and stir with a dry silver spoon, put the bowl back in the microwave and zap for another 20 seconds. Repeat 3 to 4 times until chocolate has completed melted. Drizzle melted chocolate onto the tart, swirl until the caramel is fully covered.