Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chocolate and Caramel Tart

This month's Daring Baker's Challenge was our choice of pies/tarts. Obviously I chose the only pie that contained chocolate. Dessert doesn't count if it doesn't have an element of chocolate! I thought that the chocolate and caramel tart would be easy to make dairy free (which it was), easy to make (it wasn't) and delicious (it wasn't).

This recipe was a pain in the rear from the first step! I started making the pate sablee and it was super simple, but when I made the tart shell, I was left with enough dough for two pies! What a waste! Turns out, it was just what I needed because when I placed the tart shell in the oven it shrank so badly from the tin that it was unusable! Luckily, I was able to roll out the remaining dough and make another tart shell. This time I left the dough hanging over the tin and trimmed it after it was baked.

The second recipe within the recipe is a caramel that is spread over the tart crust. It is a simple recipe, just sugar and cream. I used coconut cream thinking that it would be the same as using real cream, but I was mistaken. The caramel never thickened despite adding margarine, and boiling it for a long time. I chucked that batch and tried again using almond milk. This worked slightly better, but it was still quite thin. I didn't want to make it a third time, so I stuck with the almond milk version. I put it in the fridge after pouring it in the shell hoping that it would set up before the chocolate mixture was poured in.

The chocolate filling was the only portion of the recipe that worked the first time. First you mix some eggs with almond milk and then add a ganache type mixture. For the ganache I heated up some coconut milk and then poured it over semi-sweet chocolate and left it until the chocolate melted. When I combined the egg mixture with the ganache, I had high hopes! It looked and smelled great. I pulled the tart shell out of the fridge and the caramel still hadn't set. I carefully spooned the chocolate on top of the caramel, trying hard not to disturb the caramel to keep the layer intact. That was fruitless, because it all mixed together. Hoping for the best, I shoved it in the oven and waited.
When I took the tart out of the oven it looked great! I waited until it cooled to room temperature and cut myself a slice. It was meh. For all of the trouble of making duplicate recipes after the failures, I wasn't even rewarded with a delicious slice of silky chocolate. It was good, but not worth the trouble or calories.

If you would like the recipe for this tart, you can leave me a comment and I can send it to you. It really isn't even worth the trouble of typing it on here. I wouldn't recommend making it. The recipe was oddly written and was hard to follow in the format that was offered on the Daring Kitchen website. You're better off finding a tart shell recipe, filling recipe and caramel recipe that is tried and true and making your own combo. I guess I have been spoiled by making recipes from Cook's Illustrated- they work every time!

Blog-checking lines: Rachael from was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cinnamon Buns

Every now and then I get a craving for ooey, gooey cinnamon buns just like you can get at the mall. Gone are the days when I can impulse buy a Cinnabon while shopping, but I've found something almost as easy and just as delicious.
One of allrecipes top 20 recipes is called Clone of a Cinnabon is just what I remember from when I was a child and my siblings and I would split a humongous cinnamon bun. I've made this recipe many times with a few modifications to the ingredient list. I haven't attempted the cream cheese icing (obviously), but I suppose you could try it with Toffuti cream cheese.
 It is super easy thanks to the bread machine, and it's the perfect treat!

Clone of a Cinnabon
Bun dough
-1 cup warm almond or soy milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) I microwave it for about 45 seconds in the microwave

-2eggs, room temperature

-1/3 cup margarine, melted

-4 1/2 cups bread flour( I've always used all purpose flour)

-1 teaspoon salt

-1/2 cup white sugar

2- 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
Cinnamon-sugar filling
-1 cupbrown sugar, packed
-2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16x21-inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup margarine and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes