New Zealand may have stolen the pavlova but I’m happy to steal this recipe for caramel tarts. The pastry is crisp, the caramel thick, the chocolate ganache rich and the hokey pokey an added brilliance. You could choose the skip the hokey pokey and pop on a fresh raspberry.
What is hokey pokey – we call it honeycomb in Australia.
This makes 6 tarts – you can double the mixture if you wish.
For the Pastry:
1 cup plain flour
¼ cup icing sugar
¼ cup ground almonds
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla essence
For the Caramel
½ cup water
2 cups caster sugar
100g butter, cut into small cubes
½ cup sour cream (you can just use thickened cream and a small pinch of salt)
Chocolate Ganache Topping
½ cup cream
100g of dark chocolate pieces
2 Tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat you oven to 180C.
2. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, icing sugar and almonds into a kitchen processor. Blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the yolk and vanilla, blitz again until your dough is formed. Add a tablespoon of cold water if necessary. Roll the dough on a lightly floured bench and line 6 x 8cm tins. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, then bake blind. Cool.
Note: you can buy frozen tart shells at your local supermarket and they are very good! – just in case making your own pastry is one step too far.
3. To make the caramel, place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook the mixture until you have an amber-coloured syrup — about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter and sour cream carefully — it may spit. Cool then spread evenly into your tart cases.
Note: you can buy a can of top and fill – which is caramel in a can! pop it into a bowl and wisk to get rid of lumps – caramel done!
4. For the ganache, bring the cream to a boil then pour over the chocolate pieces and whisk until smooth. Cool before pouring over the caramel.
Note: make the ganache – there is no reasonable substitute.
5. Put a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray. To make the hokey pokey, place the golden syrup and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. Very slowly heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes then add the baking soda. Work quickly stirring then spoon on to your baking paper, spreading until smooth, it will harden within minutes. Break into pieces when cold to serve with the tarts.
Note: a honey comb chocolate bar broken up would be just as good!