The monthly calendar. I am sure all families have one – and they take lots of different forms. Years ago when I started the family calendar in the office (a big white board calendar where I write down different events/appointments), I had no idea that it would be something the girls would look forward to each and every month. At the end of the month, they start asking me when I am going to do the calendar for the next month. They always want to help also – I write the appointments and events down in different colors – and will draw little pictures when it is really a special day (like their birthdays). I love working on it when they are in bed – so when they see it the next morning, they are super excited. I guess I never really thought about it – but it tells them what they have to look forward to for the entire month. I often find them in the office studying the calendar – which I never do, since my phone tells me exactly where I need to be at all times. Good thing for technology… This month is exceptionally busy – in fact this week, we had something going on every night. Ugh. Am I ever going to be able to cook again??
A while ago I posted these…and it has taken me all this time to show you what they were used for. Yes, life is really that busy. Every year my temple has an auction, and for the past several years, I have offered to bake something for the Dessert Dash. The first year I really went crazy – and made a Tower of Treats – it took me a few weekends to make all of the treats for that special tower. After that, I tried to find something very fancy, but that was doable in one day. This year I did it – not only did it only take one day – I swear it only took a couple of hours. I remember actually sitting down that Saturday…that may have been the last Saturday I did indeed sit before going to bed.
I knew I was going to make the chocolate-almond toffee – but I was looking for just the perfect dessert to go with it. The dessert I was trying to find was this amazing chocolate caramel pie that we had at Mama’s Fish House in Maui – I swear it was one of the best desserts I have ever had (ok, I have had a lot of really good desserts – but this definitely ranks high). I found this recipe in Bon Appetit, and although it wasn’t completely the same – it sounded delicious. The caramel came out beautifully – and that chocolate over the top – WOW. I really wished I was going to the auction so I could buy this baby. Unfortunately I don’t know the lucky people who ended up with this – but I am sure it was worth it. Let’s hope anyway… So – if you are as busy as I am this month, but need to make something really special – here it is. Hey – Mother’s Day is coming up – what a perfect excuse!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground fleur-de-sel or fine sea salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 5 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- raspberries for garnish
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Butter 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add 1/2 cup butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolks; process until moist clumps form. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack while preparing caramel filling.
For Caramel Filling:
Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until mixture is deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Add butter and stir over low heat until caramel is completely smooth. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; stir in salt. Cool 10 minutes. Pour warm caramel into crust. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 45 minutes.
Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Let stand until slightly cooled but still pourable, about 10 minutes. Pour ganache evenly over caramel filling. Refrigerate tart uncovered until chocolate is firm, about 2 hours.
Do ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Top with raspberries before serving.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Chocolate-Caramel Tart with Raspberries