Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mothers Day...

I'm not technically a mom yet, but give me about 7 weeks and I will be. ;) My husband got me the PBK diaper bag I wanted for my first (almost) mother's day. Yes, I picked out my own gift. I personally see nothing wrong with that! It's a win-win situation for everyone.

For my mom, I wanted to make a dessert she would enjoy. We are all going to my grandmothers to hang out and have pizza so none of the mom's have to cook. I thought something sweet would be nice so I started thinking about some of my mom's favorite things. She loves chocolate turtles. You know, the chocolate, pecan and caramel candies? I found a recipe for a Chocolate Turtle Tart and knew I'd hit the jackpot. It sounds exactly like something she would like. This would also allow me to use my new cast iron pan I purchased several weeks ago if I made it into tartlettes. Of course you can only make 6 with that pan, so I also used a muffin tin.

The tartlettes in the muffin tins turned out better than the cast iron pan. I think it needs to be seasoned more thoroughly because they stuck and didn't come out near as pretty as I wanted.

I also had a hard time with the caramel. It was a lot harder to make than than I thought. Overall they came out ok though. Not as pretty as I'd envisioned, but Taylor ate 3 for dessert after dinner tonight and he said they were excellent! At least they tasted good even if they weren't as pretty as I would have liked.

This is what the cast iron pan produced. If you look closely on the left side you can see where I had to destroy it to get it out of the pan. I tried to camouflage it as best I could. :)

Chocolate Turtle Tart


Serving Size: 16
Preparation Time: 4:00

For the crust:
3 2/3 cups pecans, halves or whole, to be processed in Cuisinart.
1 1/4 cups sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
1 pound fine semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups heavy cream

For the Caramel Sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup crushed pecans (garnish)

Crust: In a food processor blend pecans and sugar together, add melted butter in a steady stream until combined well. Turn out mixture into a 12' tart shell pan with removable bottom. Press into 1/8" thickness on bottom and 3/8" for sides. Bake at 350 for approx. 20-25 min. or till toasted then cool.

Filling: Bring cream to a boil and pour over coarsely chopped chocolate. Mix until chocolate is melted and mixture is combined well. Pour onto cooled crust and refrigerate for 3 hours. May be stored over night.

Sauce: In a heavy sauce pan, heat and melt the butter, add the sugar and cook until medium brown not burnt. Remove from the heat and add the heavy whipping cream, be ready for it to boil up quickly and be ready with a utensil to stir it. Mix thoroughly until mixture turns a rich golden color, it will darkens lightly as it continues to cook with its own retained heat off of the burner. That is the reason you do not bring the butter-sugar mixture to the color you want to end up with but you stop short of that color since it will darken. If you bring the sugar-butter mixture to the color you want to finish with you will end up with a burnt caramel. This can happen, and you may find that you toss out the first attempt and the second try will be perfect. Straining the caramel through a small strainer will create a smoother texture of caramel but is not necessary.

To Serve: Drizzle warm, not hot, sauce over thin slices of tart, garnish optional with chocolate curl or pecan half.


Jackie said...

These look really good! Hope you all had a wonderful mothers day and enjoyed these treats!

That Girl said...

To be fair, caramel is ridiculously difficult. or so I've heard. Which has kept me from making it...