chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Tart

chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tartchocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart

Sometimes you need a luxurious dessert and when that need comes a chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart is the answer.

Can I be honest? This tart was a bit of a pain to make. Or if I’m being actually honest, I just kept messing up and making stupid mistakes. My pastry was impossible to work with and ended up being like a patchwork quilt in the tin. I took my caramel off the hob too early so it didn’t develop the gorgeous amber colour it should. And my ganache split. Like legit turned into an oily goopy mess.

But I managed to make it through, and produce something that I actually really loved!

I mean the combination of chocolate and salted caramel was never gonna be too bad right?

chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart

Chocolate pastry isn’t something I work with too often, so for me some practise is definitely in order. Due to the high fat content in the pastry it is trickier to work with, but if you roll out the pastry between two pieces of baking paper you should be okay! The recipe is a variation on my usual sweet shortcrust and is perfectly buttery and crumbly. Your pastry chilling time is the longest part of the recipe too, as the caramel and ganache are super quick!

Now a chocolate, hazelnut and caramel tart is good. But a chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart? Now thats a winner.

The salted caramel is my go-to recipe. Its foolproof – well, unless you take it off the hob too soon! Doh! Golden syrup, sugar, water, cream and butter is all you need to get a gorgeously rich caramel. With the vanilla and flaked sea salt giving it that winning edge. I find my caramel needs about 10 minutes to get to the perfect consistency and colour, but make sure you watch it! I managed to unstack the dishwasher and half re-fill it in the time, but make sure you swirl the pan every now and then too. No stirring! Just swirling :)

chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart

The final element to the tart is the ganache. Ganache is a simple thing, but when it goes wrong it can look horrendous. If you’ve split ganache before you’ll know what I mean, but the oily/watery ness just looks so grim. It looks bitty too, and if you touch it doesn’t stick to you like chocolate normally would.

To avoid this, don’t overheat your cream!! But if you do overheat it like I did – too busy finishing stacking the dishwasher!! Its not the end. Get out your hand whisk and give it a good beat to try and emulsify the ganache. Or like I did, warm some milk slightly and whisk a little in. Soon you’ll have a smooth and shiny ganache again.

I must add just a little mention to the hazelnuts, which sit between the caramel and ganache! They provide a really welcome texture crunch, and hazelnuts go so well with caramel that it really was a match made in heaven!

I hope you enjoy the chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart and it gives you less stress than it did me! All my taste-testers enjoyed it very much. Even my Dad, who isn’t usually a sweet-tooth! Perhaps its the bitter dark chocolate that helped, or he was just being kind…!

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Tart

Yield: 1 23cm tart

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Tart

Ingredients

    Pastry
  • 160g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 15g ground almonds
  • 35g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
  • 1 large egg yolk
    Salted Caramel
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2tbsp golden syrup
  • 2tbsp water
  • 113ml double cream
  • 2tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • flaked sea salt to taste
    Filling
  • 50-75g finely chopped hazelnuts
    Ganache
  • 340g dark chocolate
  • 295ml double cream
  • 1tsp vanilla
    Decoration
  • cocoa powder to dust

Instructions

  • To make the pastry: Combine the flour, cocoa powder, almonds, icing sugar and salt in a large bowl. Then run in the butter, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and mix together until the dough just starts to come together. If the pastry isn't coming together, add 1tbsp of ice-cold water. Then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead together until it is a uniform dough. Shape into a disc or a rectangle depending on your tart tin and wrap in clingfilm. Then chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Roll out your dough between two pieces of baking paper, until it is big enough to line your tin. Press into the tin, trimming off any excess and return to the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Then bake for 25 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper and return the tart to the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • To make the caramel: Combine the sugar, golden syrup and water in a medium heavy-bottomed pan and place on a medium-high heat. Occasionally swirl the pan so the caramel doesn't catch. Once the caramel starts to deepen in colour (this should take about 10 minutes), remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. The mixture will bubble up so be careful. Add the butter whilst continuing to stir until melted. Finally, add the vanilla and salt to taste. I added about 4 large pinches - but I do like mine quite salty! Leave to cool for a few minutes in the pan, and then pour into the tart shell leaving a little behind for decoration on top. Sprinkle over the crushed hazelnuts and then return the tart to the fridge for 30 minutes. The leftover caramel can be put into a heat-proof bowl, covered with clingfilm and put into the fridge.
  • To make the ganache: Break up the chocolate and place into a heat-proof bowl and set aside. Then heat the cream in a small pan over a medium heat - do not let it boil as your ganache will split! Then pour over the chocolate and stir until it is combined and you are left with a smooth and silky ganache. Pour into the chilled tart case and return to the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Finally, to decorate dust over cocoa powder through a sieve and using a piping bag, pipe the remaining salted caramel in any design you wish.
  • Notes

    Keep tart refrigerated for best results.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/09/18/chocolate-hazelnut-and-salted-caramel-tart/

    Chocolate-and-biscoff-cupcakes

    Chocolate and Biscoff Buttercream Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Drizzle

    Chocolate-and-biscoff-cupcakesChocolate-and-biscoff-cupcakes

    If you haven’t heard of Biscoff then you must have been living under a rock for the past year. Its my absolute favourite tea-dunking biscuit, and more recently its been transformed into a spread creating untold baking possibilities!

    Now I’m actually a hater of any toast spread thats not butter or jam. Call me boring, but chocolate on bread is just so gross to me! Its up there with chocolate cereal…I know, who am I?! I saw a Milky Way spread in the supermarket the other day and had to walk away in disgust. BUT, biscoff in baking is the ultimate dream combination!

    I’ve made quite a few blondies with biscoff mixed in (must get a recipe up soon!), but this was my first endeavour into a biscoff buttercream. And let me tell you, its a delight!

    Chocolate-and-biscoff-cupcakesChocolate-and-biscoff-cupcakes

    A moist chocolate cupcake, fluffy biscoff buttercream and a salted caramel drizzle to finish, because why not? Salted Caramel makes everything better right?

    The biscoff buttercream is super easy to make, just combine butter and icing sugar for your basic buttercream. Then add the biscoff spread and some milk to get just the right piping consistency. It’s so light and creamy and has just the right amount of yummy caramelised flavour!

    You might know Biscoff as Speculoos, which I think is its American name! In the biscuit aisle you might know it as Lotus and you’ll find the spread with the jams and peanut butters. Even if you haven’t bought it before, you’ll probably have tasted one of the biscuits when you’ve had a cup of tea at a restaurant or even in the hairdressers!

    As I said its my absolute favourite tea-dunking biscuit; it retains the perfect amount of tea in the biccie and the caramelised flavour is amped up a few notches. I genuinely refrain from buying them too often, because I can eat like 3 5 in a row with a cuppa…!

    Chocolate-and-biscoff-cupcakesChocolate-and-biscoff-cupcakes

    The salted caramel drizzle has become my go-to recipe after making it for my Chocolate Layer Cake. It’s a fail-proof recipe and thickens to the perfect consistency. Also, whenever I make salted caramel I ALWAYS use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes. They’re just perfect for caramel, and look really pretty if you’re using them for decoration.

    So there we have it; a quick and easy chocolate cupcake topped with delicious Biscoff buttercream and a salted caramel drizzle. Let me know if you’re a Biscoff fan too!

    Chocolate and Biscoff Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Drizzle

    Yield: 12 Cupcakes

    Ingredients

      Chocolate Cupcake
    • 42g cocoa powder
    • 95g plain flour
    • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 3/4tsp baking powder
    • 1/4tsp salt
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 100g light brown muscovado sugar
    • 80ml vegetable oil
    • 2sp vanilla extract
    • 120ml buttermilk, room temperature
      Biscoff Buttercream
    • 166g unsalted butter, softened
    • 333g icing sugar
    • 200g Biscoff Cookie Butter Spread
    • 30-40ml whole milk
      Salted Caramel Drizzle
    • 75g caster sugar
    • 1tbsp golden syrup
    • 1tbsp water
    • 56.5ml double cream
    • 1tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
    • flaked sea salt to taste
      Decoration
    • 2 Lotus Biscoff biscuits, crushed

    Instructions

  • Firstly, pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C and line muffin tins with 12 cases.
  • Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl until combined, then set aside. In a medium bowl; whisk the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla together until completely smooth. This will take a couple of minutes, and the mixture will turn slightly paler in colour.
  • Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry, and then half of the buttermilk. Whisk gently, only about 5 whisks. Then add the remaining wet ingredients and the buttermilk. Again, whisk until just combined - the batter will be a little thin and lumpy!
  • Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases about two thirds full each and bake for 18-21 minutes.
  • Once baked, put the muffins onto a wire rack to completely cool.
  • For the frosting, beat the butter on a high speed until creamy. Then slowly add the icing sugar, mixing until its thoroughly combined and smooth. Do this in stages, so your kitchen doesn't get entirely covered in sugar!
  • Then add the Biscoff spread to the buttercream and beat until smooth. Finally, add the milk bit by bit, continuing to beat until you achieve the desired consistency. Set aside until ready to use.
  • For the salted caramel drizzle place the sugar, golden syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed pan and stir to combine.
  • Heat over a high heat, occasionally swirling the pan, until it turns a medium gold amber colour - this will take about 10 minutes. Once the caramel starts to deepen in colour, remove the pan from the heat. Slowly and carefully whisk in the cream, the mixture will bubble up so stand clear and keep stirring.
  • Add the butter, whilst continuing to stir until melted. Then add the salt and vanilla to combine, I added around 2 large pinches.
  • Pour into a heat-safe container (a pyrex bowl, jug or a jam jar will do) and set aside to cool and thicken.
  • To assemble, prepare a piping bag with a tip of your choice. I used a 2D/large star tip, and pipe swirls on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle over the crushed Lotus Biscoff biscuits. Pour the salted caramel into a piping bag, and snip off the end. Pipe the caramel over the cupcakes following the lines of the frosting or in any pattern you like.
  • Notes

    Leftover salted caramel can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month.

    Biscoff buttercream recipe adapted from Jane's Patisserie.

    Salted caramel drizzle recipe adapted from StyleSweetCA.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/07/24/chocolate-biscoff-cupcakes-salted-caramel-drizzle/

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    Chocolate? Check.

    Tons of frosting? Check!

    Salted Caramel? CHECK.

    Anyone else already hungry? I know I am, and I’ve eaten at least two slices of this beauty already! Sometimes you just need cake, and with a cocktail party on the cards for the Bank Holiday weekend it was the perfect excuse to try a new recipe.

    This chocolate layer cake with vanilla frosting and salted caramel drizzle is a decadent dream, and inspired by two of my new cake blogging crushes. Firstly, Tessa Huff of Sweet Style CA and Rosie of Rosie’s Dessert Spot – both make insanely beautiful cakes and are definitely worth a follow right now! Go!

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    This was my first attempt at a drip cake, and even though I’ve watched like a bajillion videos and read SO many blog posts on them, I think some more practise will be in order! Getting the right consistency of ‘drip’ and ensuring you add the right amount is trickier than I imagined it would be.

    An excuse to practise by making another cake is hardly a trial though right? I’ve become a little (read ALOT) obsessed with layer cakes at the moment, and can’t stop watching videos of frosting being perfectly smeared onto stacks of cake. So apologies if it gets a little cake heavy round thee parts soon! Though, is an apology for more cake really needed??

    If you make any element of this bake though, go for the salted caramel drizzle. Its the PERFECT recipe, and makes more than you need which came in really handy for our household when my sister brought over brownies!

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    This chocolate layer cake recipe is SUPER moist! Its one of those bakes that needs to be left in the pans for a good 10-15 minutes after taking them out the oven. The sponges are also super bouncy, meaning you have to be delicate in transferring them to your cake stand. But once they’re cooled and encased in light fluffy buttercream they are so delicious – and even better the day after baking!

    This buttercream is so light and fluffy – but you have to be prepared to whip that butter for a good 5 minutes or so to ensure it! You need to whip the butter to the point where it looks like frosting, which is confusing for the mind when you decide to taste it!

    So have I convinced you that you need to try this yet?

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle

    Ingredients

      Cake
    • 312g plain flour
    • 82g cocoa powder
    • 2&1/2tsp baking powder
    • 3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1tsp salt
    • 155ml vegetable oil
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2tsp almond extract
    • 340ml whole milk
    • 227ml hot strong-brewed coffee
      Buttercream
    • 500g unsalted butter
    • 1kg icing sugar
    • 1tbsp vanilla extract
    • 2tbsp whole milk
      Salted Caramel Drizzle
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 2tbsp golden syrup
    • 2tbsp water
    • 113ml double cream
    • 2tbsp unsalted butter
    • flaked sea salt to taste
    • 1tsp vanilla extract

    Instructions

  • For the Cake:
  • Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease and line three 8" baking pans.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Then set aside until needed.
  • Using a hand mixer beat together the oil and sugar for about two minutes. With the mixer still running, add the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and almond extract ensuring you scrape down the sides to incorporate all the mixture.
  • On a low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Again, ensure you scrape down the sides to incorporate all the mixture.
  • Remaining on a low speed, stream in the coffee until just combined.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the three prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the sponges bounce back.
  • Let them cool on a wire rack in the pans for at least 10-15 minutes, before removing them from the pans to completely cool.
  • For the salted caramel:
  • While the cakes are cooling begin making the salted caramel drizzle by placing the sugar, golden syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed pan and stir to combine.
  • Heat over a high heat, occasionally swirling the pan, until it turns a medium gold amber colour - this will take about 10 minutes. Once the caramel starts to deepen in colour, remove the pan from the heat. Slowly and carefully whisk in the cream, the mixture will bubble up so stand clear and keep stirring.
  • Add the butter, whilst continuing to stir until melted. Then add the salt and vanilla to combine, I added around 4 large pinches.
  • Pour into a heat-safe container (a pyrex bowl, jug or a jam jar will do) and set aside to cool and thicken.
  • For the frosting:
  • Put the unsalted butter into a large bowl and using a hand mixer beat for a good 6 minutes, until it is super creamy. Then slowly add the icing sugar in batches, beating continually with the hand mixer until all incorporated.
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract, and continue beating with the hand mixer until it is super light and fluffy.
  • For the assembly, place one sponge onto your cake stand and using a palette knife spread a layer of frosting on top. Repeat this with the next two layers.
  • Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream, and then using a cake scraper or a palette knife drag it around the cake to achieve a smooth finish, removing any excess buttercream.
  • Finally, pour the salted caramel over the top of the cake, coaxing it to slowly drip over the sides.
  • Notes

    Excess Buttercream - As you scrape the cake to achieve a smooth finish, you will undoubtedly remove alot of the buttercream. Rather than wasting this, you can place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Once you're ready to use the buttercream again, place in the fridge overnight to defrost completely.

    Adapted from StyleSweetCA's London Fog Cake.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/05/30/chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle/

    Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cupcakes

    Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cupcakes

     

     

     

    Salted Caramel & Chocolate CupcakesSalted Caramel & Chocolate CupcakesSalted Caramel & Chocolate CupcakesSalted Caramel & Chocolate Cupcakes

    I’m finally back in the blogging world – huzzah!! What with moving, having no internet for a month and the craziness of the festive period; blogging has had to take a back seat! I’m back with a good un’ though in the form of Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cupcakes – I mean, is there a better combination??

    This is such a decadent treat, its perfect for the over-indulging that’s bound to happen this Christmas. It’s also really simple to make whilst still looking pretty professional – the perfect treat to serve your guests!

    The chocolate cupcakes are deliciously rich and very chocolatey considering the small amount of cocoa powder. The buttermilk keeps the cake nice and moist even though it is on the slightly denser side. I found they baked perfectly to time too!

    But the frosting, now thats the real star of the show. Its’s just so damn good. I had to restrain myself from eating it out of the bowl!! Its deliciously thick, and so salty – its basically what dreams are made of. Its really simple to make, and if you start making it while the cupcakes are still in the oven the 15 minute cool time doesn’t seem long at all!

    I added about 2-3 additional tablespoons of double cream to thin the frosting a little when mixing, so I could pipe it onto the cupcakes. Its a pretty versatile recipe and you can make it as thin/thick or salty as you want!

    For the decorations I used Lily O’Brien’s Salted Caramel Chocolates and they were amazing!! Though a tadge expensive I admit…the pretty packaging drew me in!

    Anyway, I think I’ve said the word caramel enough now…on with the recipe!

    Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 Cupcakes

    Ingredients

      Cupcake
    • 42g cocoa powder
    • 95g plain flour
    • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 3/4tsp baking powder
    • 1/4tsp salt
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 100g packed light brown sugar
    • 80ml vegetable oil
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 120ml buttermilk, room temperature
      Frosting
    • 115g salted butter
    • 200g packed dark brown sugar
    • 80ml double cream
    • 1/2tsp salt
    • 240-360g icing sugar
    • Decoration!
    • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
    • Salted Caramel Chocolates

    Instructions

  • Firstly, pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C and line muffin tins with 12 cases.
  • Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl until combined, then set aside. In a medium bowl; whisk the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla together until completely smooth.
  • Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry, and then half of the buttermilk. Whisk gently, only about 5 whisks. Then add the remaining wet ingredients and the buttermilk. Again, whisk until just combined - the batter will be a little thin!
  • Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases about two thirds full each and bake for 18-21 minutes.
  • Once baked, put the muffins onto a wire rack to completely cool.
  • For the frosting, melt the butter in a small pan. Once melted add the sugar and cream, stirring constantly over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the salt, and allow the caramel to bubble for three minutes full minutes. The remove from the heat, and allow to slightly cool - roughly around 15 minutes. Do not place in the fridge!
  • Using a hand mixer, beat the powdered sugar in a few cups at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Add a little more cream if you'd like the frosting thinner, and add more salt if desired.
  • Pipe the frosting onto your cooled cupcakes and add sea salt flakes/chocolate decorations as you wish!
  • Notes

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2015/12/20/salted-caramel-chocolate-cupcakes/