Goodness, it really does feel great to be back online. My apologies for being briefly missing-in-action. Since last weekend I haven’t had any internet access from home, and then last Monday in an attempt to change mobile phone network providers I got shut out entirely which meant that all of Monday I had no internet access nor access to a phone. It was also in the midst of the Sydney storms, which was a bit of a worry. Fortunately being out of reach from anyone was the furthest extent of my problems; flooding, roofs collapsing and cars and homes being swept away in the deluge has been broadcast over the news and it’s so terribly sad to see and hear. Unfortunately it’s forecasted to continue raining this week, but hopefully not to the same scale as last week.
I made this tart a few weeks ago during the Easter long weekend, which was similarly swept with frigid winds and miserable drizzle. I had been invited to dinner, and I naturally offered to provide the dessert for the evening. I remember having asked my host some time ago what her favourite chocolate bar was, and her reply was a Snickers, and so when I saw a recipe for a Nougat, Salted Peanut Caramel and Milk Chocolate Tart from Gourmet Traveller, I knew it would be the appropriate dessert to pack a punch.
And just in case, for future reference, my favourite chocolate bar is a Twix 😉
Essentially the only component of the recipe I’ve copied is for the nougat. The shortcrust pastry I used my own recipe, of which I have made numerous times, and the salted caramel I used the remnants of a delicious jar of Bonne Maman Caramel Spread, but you can also make your own. A recipe for my salted caramel can be found here.
The nougat can be a little hard to handle as it does cool very quickly, so I recommend that you work with haste when spooning it into the tart shells.
To make four individual tarts, you will need:
For the pastry:
- 125g plain flour;
- 62g butter, chilled and cubed;
- 40g icing sugar, sifted;
- 1 egg yolk, chilled.
In a food processor, whizz together the flour, icing sugar and butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk with a teaspoon of cold water before adding it to the food processor, whizzing until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a clean work surface, knead to bring together then form into a flat disc before wrapping in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least two hours.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Lightly grease and line four small springform tart tins (about 12cm in diameter). Cut the dough into quarters, then roll out between two sheets of baking paper. Line the tin, trimming off the excess and prick the centre a couple of times with a fork. Repeat with the other three tins. Top the pastry shells with a small square of baking paper and fill with rice or baking beads.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, then remove the beads and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes until lightly golden. Put to one side to cool completely.
For the salted peanut nougat, you will need:
- 110g honey;
- 1 egg white;
- 180g caster sugar;
- 60g liquid glucose (available from the baking aisle of your supermarket);
- 100g roasted salted peanuts, plus extra for garnish.
Cook the honey in a small saucepan until 108 degrees Celcius on a sugar thermometer and set aside.
Whisk the eggwhite to soft peaks in an electric mixer.
Stir the sugar, glucose and 60ml water in a separate small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook until 155 degrees Celcius on a sugar thermometer. Whisk the honey into the eggwhite in a thin, steady steam, then while whisking on low speed, gradually add the sugar syrup. Keep whisking until fluffy and cooled to room temperature. This will take about five to six minutes.
Stir in the peanuts, then working quickly, spoon the mixture into the tart cases, filling to about halfway up.
If you have any leftover mixture, spoon it into a cake tin lined with baking paper and reserve for another use/eat. Stand until set (about 30 minutes).
Make the caramel sauce or spoon over the ready-made caramel sauce.
For the chocolate ganache:
- 200ml pouring creaml
- 120g milk chocolate, chopped;
- 120g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), chopped.
Place all of the ingredients together in a heat-proof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, ensuring that the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water. Stir until molten, smooth and glossy, before removing from the heat. Allow to cool for five to ten minutes before pouring it carefully over the tops of the tarts. Use a butter knife to help you smooth it out if necessary. I find that the back of a spoon is also very helpful.
Allow to set in the fridge for at least half an hour before garnishing with the remaining salted roasted peanuts.