Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Picnic Bar for Grown Ups

I'm generally not one for the malarkey of Valentine's Day and the gently simmering bain-marie of the whole industry's chocolate, flowers, table for two forced ideals of romance. But I can always get on board with a dessert – one that covers off on all scenarios for those who embrace February 14 to those who just like chocolate, and those of us who will use any excuse for a spot of baking. Enter the Picnic Tart. All inspiration is blatantly taken from the humble Picnic Bar and all things chocolate, caramel and wafer baked into a tart to ensure this is a simple pleasure done as well as it can be. And that's true love.
1 x sheet Careme chocolate pastry
110g excellent quality dark couveture chocolate
1 egg
125ml cream
1 x packet chocolate or vanilla wafers
Salted peanut caramel
395g caramel con leche (or at an absolute pinch caramel top n fill)
½ cup roasted peanuts, roughly crushed
sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 180C.
Lightly grease an 11cm x 33cm loose-bottomed tart pan. Roll pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to 5mm thick then use to line the tart pan. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Combine the peanuts and caramel con leche in a bowl until well combined. Gradually add salt to taste. You want that balance of sweet, salty and fat.
Line the pastry with baking paper and pastry weights or uncooked rice. Blind bake for 10 minutes then remove paper and weights and bake for 5 minutes or until pastry is dry.
Allow to cool then pour in the caramel and cover the base of the tart. Gently push the wafers into the peanut caramel in a horizontal pattern.
Reduce oven heat to 150C.
Heat the cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat until just below boiling. Pour over the chocolate and stir until melted, smooth and completely combined. Add the egg and stir until the mixture starts to thicken and look glossy. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the wafers and caramel – there will be just enough to coat over the top. Place in the oven and cook for 10 – 12 minutes until the chocolate top has slightly puffed and just set. Allow to cool then slice and enjoy.

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