I am now a Daring Baker and I have the scars to prove it. My first challenge was this Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart chosen by Veronica and Patricia . The first thing was to make the pastry case. Which I did in my removable base tart pan. All was going smoothly until I removed the pan from the oven. Somewhere between oven and bench my hand ended up in the wrong place and I saw the middle of the pastry case rise up in the air. I could cope with picking up the beans used in the blind baking but there was no way I wanted pastry crumbs all over the kitchen floor. In my attempt to catch the pastry, which I did successfully, the outer ring ended up halfway down my arm between wrist and elbow, leaving a long double lined burn on my inner arm.
The pastry case was rescued with a couple of cracks in the crust. I knew if I used it for the caramel layer I would end up with most of the caramel on the bottom of my oven. Luckily there was plenty of pastry and certainly enough for a second pastry case, this time in a ceramic dish.
Reading the others comments on the special Daring Bakers website, who had been there ahead of me on the caramel making front, I was a bit nervous about the dry caramel method. Using a heavy based saucepan on a heat mat placed over the gas flame I melted the sugar very slowly. I looked away for a moment and it went a little darker than planned. Not a bad thing though as I liked the end result of the caramel layer.
Then wearing my rubber washing up gloves and a long wooden spoon I added the cream which I had heated first. It didn't spit or hiss but quietly blended itself into the caramel. There were a few lumps but they dissolves as I stirred.
The chocolate mousse layer looks a little dark because although the packet said milk chocolate it was more dark than milk.
Finally the toffee layer on the top. This time I watched it carefully as the sugar melted slowly and bubbled to hard caramel perfection.
Personally I didn't like the tart. Far too sweet for me, too many flavours clashing in the pastry, and I didn't like the texture of the chocolate mousse. The men in the house couldn't get enough of it, the nieghbours enjoyed it and I've been craving savoury ever since I ate my slice. I did enjoy the left over toffee though.
The Daring Bakers is the brainchild of Ivonne and Lisa . Thank you Ivonne for inviting me to join this lovely bunch of baking bloggers. And a big thank you to Veronica and Patricia for hosting the August challenge.