Monday, December 28, 2009

holiday baking extravaganza 2009 - chocolate caramel macadamia nut tart

As the title would suggest, I did a rather large amount of baking this holiday season. And most of it within 3 days. I'm going to break it up into three different posts so that it's easier for me to reference later on.

I made the entire meal for our urban family Christmas dinner this year, which included dessert. I chose a chocolate caramel macadamia nut tart I found in the holiday issue of Bon Appetit. It included making your own caramel from sugar and water, so I was a bit nervous seeing that I broke my candy thermometer the last time I tried this. By dropping it on the floor, actually. Didn't even get to use it. :( I digress.

Sir Sous Chef has on his festive holiday hat, stolen from a snowman my dad gave me out of our family's holiday decorations.

The crust starts out in the food processor. This is a weird shot (as if most of my horrible food photography doesn't fall into that category).

Gasp! Is that natural light shining on the butter pieces?

Add some really cold water. Ice cold. Both of my grandmas and my mom have told me this is one of the secrets to good crust.

Gung it all together. Shove it in your tart pan with removable bottom. I LOVE that pan.

Get some foil and some pie weights down.

Bake it. And while it's in the oven, make the ganache. You need some chocolate...

And some warm cream...

Pull the tart out of the oven.

And apply ganache. Liberally.

Add a layer of macadamia nuts. Cover that sucker because you want pieces to stick up through the caramel.

Now it's time for the caramel. Get the sugar and water boiling.

Once it turns a golden amber color, you add the butter and cream. Couldn't take a picture. It turns too fast. Whisk.

Pour the entire caramel mixture onto the tart. Let it soak in and cover all of the space between the nuts.

After it sits and solidifies for awhile (and you get the rest of dinner prep underway), add a drizzle of the ganache.

And without the pan, on a pedestal, with a snowman filled with honey butter in the background...the delicious tart.

It was incredibly good. This tart is salty and sweet and buttery and nutty all at once. We had one small sliver leftover which we gave to the attendee who received the worst white elephant gift. Thus, Theresa walked away with two pieces of tart.

Wow. Looking at these pictures makes me want another piece, and I made this three weeks ago.

Up next... Mark and Joanna bake 80 bajillion treats for Christmas gifts. And try to maintain their sanity in the process.

No comments: