Friday, July 15, 2011

Learn How to Cheat

I appreciate when amazing chefs can recognize that the masses can't cook as well.  As much as I adore this Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache Tart from Crust bakery...I don't always have the lead time to order them before the impromptu dinners.  In case you do, here's their website.
So, founder and owner, Stephanie was sweet enough to give me a "normal person" tutorial (my words, not hers).  The best part - she understood that people can't always use the professional grade ingredients.  So, we scoured the shelves of our local chain supermarket and walked away with all the ingredients for less than $12.

store bought mini tart shells (our box had 16 count)
half a jar of caramel ice cream topping or 25 caramel square candies
1 - 4.5 ounce large dark chocolate bar
4 oz. of heavy cream
Sea Salt

 How cute are these?  From here on out, I'll give you Stephanie's tutorial so I don't fudge this up...

Place caramel sauce in a sauce pan and boil to reduce until very bubbly, or if using caramel candies melt down with a table spoon of cream.  Let caramel cool by placing in the fridge or letting sit.  Once cool and still pourable, pour in a plastic Ziploc baggie.

Tip: if you place the baggie over a mug, you ensure you won't burn your fingers.

Use the plastic baggie as piping bag and slowly pipe caramel into tart shells 3/4 of the way full.  Refrigerate the tarts filled with caramel until the caramel hardens slightly.  

Pour 4 oz of cream into a small sauce pot until it simmers, turn off heat, add broken up chocolate bar and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. 

Stir chocolate and cream until fully incorporated and shiny. Tap the pot on the counter a few times to get rid of air bubbles.  

Fill another plastic baggie with chocolate and snip a small corner top each tart slowly until it covers about 3/4 of tart, if chocolate is warm it will spread over whole tart.


Refrigerate until firm, and sprinkle with sea salt.

Again, please remember these will taste amazing.  They will not taste as marvelous as made from scratch, but they will look magnificent, melt in your mouth and easily impress your guests in under 35 minutes.  I'm on board.

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