It Just Has To Be Delicious

When I saw the good quality chocolate and cream at the Herdsman, I was inspired to make choclate caramel pie again. I made the caramel using the Dulce de Leche method.

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I used Gippsland cream (which is the closest thing to Clotted cream that I have seen in Australia, so thick and luscious) and Hachez 77% chocolate. It is important that the chocolate is a high percentage cocoa because it needs to contrast with the sweet caramel.

1 1/4 cups or 190g of plain flour
1/4 cup or 40g self raising flour
1/4 cup or 50g caster sugar (I use brown sugar and pass it through a sieve)
90g unsalted butter
1 egg
Pinch salt

1. Sieve the flours and sugar into a food mixer.
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2. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the flour/sugar. Start the food mixer and mix until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (you can rub the butter in using your fingers if you like, but I have warm hands, so I use a food mixer).

3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the egg and a pinch of salt. (My photo shows a double quantity which is why there are two eggs). Mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until it comes together, then using your hands, lightly knead and shape it into a round (keep handling to a minimum, and if you have warm hands like me, rinse them in cool water first so that you start off with cool hands).

4. Roll the pastry out into a round and use it to line a flan tin or dish. Put the pastry lined flan dish in the fridge for approx 30 mins if you have time – this will stop it from shrinking away from the edge in the oven.
5. Cut a circle of baking parchment slightly bigger than the middle of the flan dish, and put some ceramic baking beans in the middle. Bake for 10 minutes at 190 deg C, then remove the baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. (The baking beans just stop the middle of the tart case from rising too much, you can get away without using them, but you will need to prick the base with a fork, and you may find it will rise a little).
6. Remove the dish from the oven and leave the pastry to cool to room temperature.

The caramel (dulce de leche method):
1 tin of condensed milk (must be condensed – not evaporated) Check that the tin is in good condition, do not use if dented – the lid must be unopened and not damaged.

1. Using an old saucepan, place the unopened tin of condensed milk in the saucepan, cover with water.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3 hours. You can cover it with a lid to stop the water from evaporating too much. Check it every hour to make sure that the water is not boiling dry – top the water up as necessary.
3. Carefully remove the tin from the water and leave it to cool thoroughly – it can be stored in the fridge until needed. Do not attempt to open it while it is still warm – I have heard stories of some tins exploding when opened, but I have never had a problem – be sensible just in case – cover it with a cloth when opening.

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Regular Caramel:
Use this method if you don’t have condensed milk
300g golden caster sugar
175g butter
200ml double cream

1. Place the sugar in a pan with2 tablespoons water. Heat until it dissolves but do not stir.
2. Boil until amber.
3. Stir in the cream – add a pinch of salt if you like salted caramel.
4. Stir in the butter and simmer for a further 3 minutes.

Chocolate Mousse:
200g good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 1/2 cup (375ml) of whipping cream, whipped with the icing sugar
1. Place the chocolate in a bowl and melt by placing the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (the base of the bowl must not dip into the water) – or use a microwave if you are confident that you can melt it perfectly. Personally I use the saucepan double boiler method – I am not a fan of microwaves.
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2. Cool the mixture for 5 minutes.
3. Fold in half of the whipped cream/icing sugar mixture – it will look claggy at first but keep folding with a spatula, then add the rest and fold again.

To assemble:
When the pastry case is cooled, you can add the caramel to the base of the pastry case. If you like salted caramel you can add a few scant flakes of sea salt on top of the caramel (if you have not already salted it).
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Put the caramel coated pastry case in the fridge so that it is completely cool before adding the mousse. This will help to keep the layers nice and separate.
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Top the cool caramel with the mousse mixture and leave to set in the fridge. 3-4 hours should do it.

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This recipe was inspired by Soda’s beautiful chocolate caramel pie at the North Beach cafe. Sadly Soda is no longer in business:


Comments on: "Chocolate Caramel Pie" (1)

  1. what a tempting combination! that looks terrific

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