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Caramel Tart

by Enchanting Temptations (follow)
Dessert (1081)      Baking (674)      Chocolate (537)      Sweet (414)      Party Food (171)      Pastry (93)      Tarts (72)      Caramel (60)     
In my family, caramel tarts are synonymous with special occasions and birthdays as they are a favourite for everyone. Usually, making a caramel tart would involve buying a pre-made pastry case and a tin of caramel, however, I find it sickeningly sweet. I decided to try out a few recipes for caramel and pastry crusts and ended up combining a number of recipes to make this one.

The tart's crust is light, buttery and crunchy and contrasts superbly with the sweet caramel filling to make a delicious and lightly sweet caramel tart.

Preparation Time: 40 mins
Cooking Time: 28 minutes & 3 hours setting time
Makes: 8-12 servings

Sweet Pastry Crust
1 1/2 cups plain flour.
1/8 teaspoon of salt.
1/2 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature.
1/4 cup of granulated sugar.
1 large egg, lightly beaten.

Caramel Filling
2 tins of condensed milk
60 grams of unsalted butter at room temperature
4 tablespoons of brown sugar

Decoration (optional)
200ml of thickened cream
50g of chocolate

Sweet Pastry Crust
Place the butter in a bowl until it's creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Gradually add the lightly beaten egg until it is just incorporated.

Add the flour and salt to the mixture and beat until its combined and forms a ball.

Flatten the ball out to form a disk shape. Try and make sure that it is roughly the size of the tart tin so it's easier to press in later. Wrap the disk in cling wrap and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.

Lightly butter and flour, or spray, the tart tin (preferably a 20-23 cm pan with a removable bottom). Once the pastry has lightly firmed, press evenly into the tin. Again, cover in cling wrap and place in the freezer for 15 minutes

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 205 degrees celsius with the rack placed in the middle of the oven. Take the pastry out of the freezer and prick the base with a form. This will ensure that the crust bakes evenly and without puffing up.

Place the tart tin on a larger tray and bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees celsius and bake for another 15 minutes.

After the 15 minutes, or when the crust is golden brown, remove the tart from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. After 3 minutes, beat an egg white and lightly brush the crust. This will ensure that the crust doesn't become soggy from the caramel filling.

Set aside to cool

Caramel Filling
In a microwavable bowl, combine 1 tin of condensed milk, 30 grams of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.

Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring thoroughly after each minute. Then microwave the mixture in 20 second bursts, stirring after each burst, until the mixture has thickened. This may take five 20 second bursts. Pour into the baked crust and repeat the steps until two batches are made.

Cover in cling wrap and place in the fridge for three hours to set.

Decorations (Optional)
In a heatproof bowl, melt 50 grams of chocolate over simmering water. Set aside to cool for a 3-5 minutes. Fill a piping bag with a small hole tip and pipe over the caramel. This doesn't have to be done neatly or perfectly, it can be done with quick and imprecise movements.

In a medium sized bowl, beat 200ml of thickened cream until soft peaks form. Fill another piping bag with a star shaped tip and pipe rosettes around the outside.

This caramel tart tastes amazing by itself, but it can be served with ice-cream or more whipped cream if desired.

#Party Food
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