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I made some salted caramel for some chocolate, salted caramel cookies that didn’t turn out too well (but tasted great) so I had plenty of salted caramel left in which I had no idea what to do with it. So onwards with my Googling (how did I live without it) and I found this interesting tart from BBC Good Food. It has all the ingredients for a great tart, crunchy hazelnuts, salted caramel, chocolate and a shortcrust tart. What else would you want?

Putting it shortly, the tart turned out great, with not too much work involved but it does take some time for cooling the salted caramel or the chocolate filling and the pastry itself. So this isn’t a recipe for those a bit short on time.

Have a look at the recipe and see my impressions below!

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Tart (BBC Good Food)
Prep:40 mins
Cook:45 mins – 50 mins plus cooling and chilling
Serves 12

Ingredients
Hazelnut pastry
50g blanched hazelnuts
200g plain flour
1 tbsp icing sugar
140g cold butter, diced
1 egg yolk
flour, for dusting

Salted caramel
75g caster sugar
25g butter
100ml double cream
1 tbsp golden syrup
large pinch sea salt flakes

Chocolate fudge filling
100g dark chocolate (70%)
75g butter
2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
25g caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa

50g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

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Method

1. To make the pastry, whizz the hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground.

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2. Add the flour, icing sugar and butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

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3. Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tbsp cold water, and pulse until the dough comes together. Tip the dough out and flatten into a disc, then wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.

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4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan forced/gas 4. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to line a 23cm loose-bottomed, deep tart tin. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork, then line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.
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5. Bake for 20 mins, then carefully remove the baking beans and parchment and bake for a further 5-10 mins until light golden. Allow to cool.

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6. Meanwhile, make the salted caramel. Tip the sugar into a small pan, add 1-2 tbsp water and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat and cook until the sugar turns to an ambercoloured caramel.
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7. Reduce the heat and add the butter, cream and golden syrup, and stir until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and add the salt.

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8. Allow to cool for a few mins, then spread onto the tart base. Scatter with chopped hazelnuts and set aside.DSC01090-1DSC01094-1

9. For the chocolate filling, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

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10. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk and caster sugar for about 6 mins until thick and pale.

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11. Fold in the melted chocolate and cocoa, then pour into the tart case.

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12. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 mins or until set and the top has formed a crust. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving in slices.

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Mocha Whipped Cream (Joy of Baking)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (35-50 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch processed)
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder or espresso powder
1 cup (240 ml) cold heavy whipping cream

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Method

1. Place your mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes. Place the vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons of sugar, cocoa powder, and instant coffee powder in the cold bowl.
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2. Stir in about 2 tablespoons of the cream to form a thick paste (this will dissolve the cocoa and coffee powder).
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3. Then add the rest of the cream and beat just until stiff peaks form. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups (480 ml) whipped cream.

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Impressions
This chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart is stunning. The salted caramel just oozes out when the tart is still warm, and you have a moist chocolate layer on top and a generous amount of hazelnuts in the middle.

I had leftover full cream so I decided to create my own whipped cream, and I thought of making it coffee/mocha flavoured just for something a bit different and it turned out amazing with the tart. The bitterness of the whipped cream but with a coffee hit with the buttery rich tart works exceptionally well together.

It’s not a particularly thick tart, but I think it works better that way so it doesn’t seem overwhelmingly rich. Overall, I love this recipe, not too sweet as I reduced the sugar for the whipped cream and chocolate filling, and also slightly for the salted caramel too. The salted caramel provides all the necessary sweetness and it really does its work in making it a delicious tart.

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O’Town in Glen Waverley replaced Hakka Tea House this year. O’Town specialises in Penang cuisine, many of my favourite Malaysian dishes have origins in Penang such as Char Kueh Teow, Har Mee and Mee Rebus but of course you can find many of these dishes elsewhere in Malaysia but it’s telling that there are eateries in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor that prides itself on Penang dishes.

O’Town’s decor is very reminiscent of the streets of Penang, with its British influence and Penang’s famous street art replicated on the walls.

O’Town’s Hakka Kon Loh is served with fishball soup and taste wise it was oddly familiar, like a drier Pan Mee because of the mushrooms and crunchy anchovies. It’s subtle in flavour as I did require some sliced chilli to go with it but I was happy with the flavours nonetheless. The soup is pretty much your typical Asian stock soup so nothing really out of the ordinary.

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The Chicken Satay’s here aren’t grilled, instead its deep fried. So it has this crispiness to it, however it isn’t quite the same as the smokiness of a grilled satay stick. The peanut sauce is pleasant, with a wonderful nutty aroma I preferred it to the actual satay to be honest. That’s not to say it’s a bad satay dish, just different.

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O’Town’s Nasi Lemak comes with a very tasty Chicken Curry. I loved the creaminess of it, yet not overpowering with the spices. A good balance of ingredients. The sambal is nothing really to run home about but definitely above average.

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When ordering the Assam Laksa we were worried they would use sardines instead of other fish, luckily our worries were squashed as they use small fishes but definitely not sardines. Sardines give off a very strong fishy flavour which, more often than not, overpowers the Laksa flavours. Here the Assam Laksa has a lighter soup base taste but it’s one of the better Assam Laksa’s around.

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The Ice Teh Tarik is not bad a bit light as I actually prefer a stronger “Teh” flavour. When talking to one of the staff, it appears that initially the Teh Tarik here did indeed have a stronger tea taste to it but people complained (what!). In any case, the staff mentioned you can request for a stronger Teh Tarik if that’s to your liking.

Impressions
O’Town makes a mark in Glen Waverley, adding to the Malaysian restaurant scene and yet all have slightly different styles of Malaysian dishes due to their local origins (e.g Penang, Malacca, KL, Sarawak). The food here is on average pretty good, but nothing came across as amazing from the dishes we tried.

O' Town on Urbanspoon

O’Town
19 Railway Parade N
Glen Waverley VIC 3150

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Because my attempts at making macarons had been less than fruitful, I decided to try doing it the easy way and just buy one of those Macaron-mixes. With Adriano Zumbo’s macarons being quite famously known, I was quite excited to try his Salted Caramel pack and going off the instructions it seemed pretty straight forward without the need for Italian meringue or Swiss meringue fuss.

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Adriano Zumbo – Salted Caramel Macarons (DIY)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 36 minutes
Serves: 15

Ingredients
Shells
¼ cup (62 ml) water
Baking paper
Baking trays

Filling
1 ½ tbsp. (30 g) soft salted butter
¼ tsp sea salt flakes (optional)

Zumbo Pack
Almond Meal
Egg White Mix
Caramel
Stencil and Piping Bags (x2)

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Method

Shells
1. Preheat oven to 160C (140C fan forced). Trim baking paper to fit baking trays.

2. Using the ring provided, trace inner circles on the back of the baking paper, leaving 2cm gap between each.

3. In a small bowl, whip meringue mix and water with an electric mixer on medium speed, until it begins to thicken, increase to maximum speed for 4 minutes or until very stiff.

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4. Sift almond base over meringue (pushing through any lumps). Combine thoroughly with a spatula.

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5. Using the electric mixer, pulse for a second then check beaters. Batter should slide very slowly off the beaters. Only pulse again if still too thick (Do not over-pulse)

6. Transfer mix to piping bag, cut off the tip and pipe onto baking paper. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. (Makes at least 40 shells)

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7. Bake trays one at a time for 14-18 minutes. Macarons are done when the ‘feet’ have just set. Slide baking paper onto a bench to cool completely. Carefully peel off shells and sort the best 30 shells into matching pairs.

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Filling
1. In a bowl, beat caramel filling and soft butter on low speed using an electric mixer until combined. Beat on high for 2 minutes. If using, stir through salt flakes. Transfer mix to remaining piping bag. Pipe onto one macaron shell and sandwich together.

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Impressions

The macarons come out beautifully with ‘feet’! What a joyous feeling that is and relatively easy to do. I think the key thing with the macarons is just knowing what the stiff mixture looks like (it isn’t as stiff as a normal meringue would be though)

The macaron shells have just enough air, and also slightly chewy. The filling although ridiculously rich with sugar and butter is delicious and smooth. If you want to make macarons the easy way, I think this will suit you just fine. However, if you like to be a bit creative and go beyond the standard flavours, trying to do it the traditional way would be the way to go.

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