I love Edibles and Travels, and I love all of you, my readers (in a non-creepy ‘we’ve-never-even-met-how-can-I-love-you’ kind of way).
I wish I could update E&T and post more often, but alas, a busy life of multiple jobs and Uni gets in the way. None-the-less, I suppose it makes getting into the kitchen and baking that much more enjoyable when I don’t have time to do it so often.
Yesterday I had the day off work in the afternoon, so I had a little Ally-time. I went to the gym and then came home and proceeded to undo all the hard work I put in, as you do. I did a little bit of magazine reading, had a bath and just generally took the time out to do the things I enjoy.
Life is so busy and if we could, we’d constantly be doing work because there is always something to do. Sometimes we just need to se ‘no’ and take the time to chill out. I promise, taking a moment to bathe in life’s little blisses makes a whole wad of difference!
Anyway, enough about me pampering myself. I’ve come back with a bang, a delicious and relatively simple recipe from the gorgeous Not Quite Nigella.
Say hello to this Chocolate Salted Caramel Pie with Strawberries. Originally NQN created the recipe as a tart, but I didn’t have tins the right size, so I made a pie! I know, creativity at its best.
This pie is just scrumptious, however, I think I’ve been out of practice a bit too long, because I struggled a bit (read: almost broke down in tears with frustration) with the pastry. Only later did I realise I had such a struggle because I can’t read instructions properly: i.e. I put 3/4 cup of flour in instead of one and 3/4 cups. Oops. Bit of a massive mistake.
Before I realised my error, I thought maybe NQN’s pastry recipe was a little too advanced for me, so I just used this recipe. Either or works I am sure! I’ve written down NQN’s recipe in this post just for consistency.
Ok so without further ado …
180g/6ozs butter, softened
90g/3ozs or 1/2 cup less 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 egg beaten
220g / 1 3/4 cups flour
pinch of salt
Chocolate Salted Caramel Filling
80g/3ozs caster or superfine sugar
80ml/3 fl ozs water
180ml/6ozs pure cream
100g/3.5 ozs dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100g/3.5ozs milk chocolate, roughly chopped
150g/5 ozs butter, cubed, at room temperature (important that the butter is not cold)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Icing or powdered sugar
1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in egg. On the lowest speed add flour and salt and mix until just combined. Mixture will be soft.
2. Using lightly floured hands, pat dough into 3 or more portions and use immediately or seal in plastic wrap and chill or freeze until required.
3. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment until 3mm thick. I find this easiest to use when firmed up in the fridge. Dip a cutter into flour and cut the sizes you require to fit your tin. Transfer gently to tin and line the base and sides. Repair any cracks or holes with extra pastry so you have a perfect shell. Chill for at least 10 minutes before baking.
4. Preheat oven to 160°C (320F) fan bake. Cover the pastry with a piece of baking paper or a double layer of tinfoil that has been lightly sprayed with oil ensuring that it is pressed into the corners.
5. Fill with dried beans, chickpeas, uncooked rice or ceramic baking weights. Bake for 10 minutes, remove paper and beans then bake a further 10-15 minutes until the pastry is completely cooked.
6. Make the caramel ganache by placing the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan. Stir on low heat until the sugar melts and then turn the heat to high and then boil without stirring until you get a caramel.
7. Turn down the heat to low and carefully add the cream-it may spit so be careful, especially if the cream is too cold but it only spits for a few seconds. Then stir the cream and caramel together until any solid pieces of caramel are melted and you have a smooth caramel.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate to the pan, stirring until melted. Then add the cubed butter and salt and stir until butter is fully incorporated. I find it easiest to pour the ganache into a jug and then fill the tarts by pouring. Set in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.
6. Decorate with fresh strawberries and icing sugar.
Such a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful (did I mention beautiful?) little pie. Not only does it look pretty as pie (get it?) it tastes just gorgeous. You’ve got a smooth and rich texture with a pleasingly salty-sweet taste which is complemented by the sweetness and slight tang of strawberries. The pastry is crumbly, sweet and melts blissfully in your mouth.
Just as a little FYI … dipping the strawberries straight into the ganache is just … mind-blowingly delicious. It’s chocolate covered strawberries more decadent and delicious sister. Try it. Seriously.