One of the creations for the Wine and Dessert Social was the Caramel Tart… though I knew it would be great… I never made such before nor did I know of a recipe for it… Oh my goodness… why on earth did I suggest this to the client? Will I have to create a recipe? Oh boy!
The recipe search began… finally I found something called exactly what I was looking for, in Sherry Yard’s “the Secrets of Baking” book, called CARAMEL CUSTARD TARTS. Oh my goodness, how cool is that! Well it was cool until I read over the recipe and realized it was actually 4 different recipes that would make up this one little mini Caramel Custard Tart. Really?! Yes really. For about a week I put off making it totally intimidated by the complexity and also the difficulty working with sugar. Caramel is made from “cooking” sugar and just a few degrees off you either have a beautiful soft caramel or a hard brittle.
OK, procrastination time is over. It’s Thursday evening after a long day at work and I began recipe #1 Master Caramel – obeyed the recipe by taking the sugar to 350˚ there was smoke everywhere and a terrible burning smell. Well I thought somehow the burnt smell and taste would disappear so I continued on to recipe #2 Creamy Caramel Sauce using crème fraiche (first time I ever used that!)… still the burnt taste was there stronger than ever but surely something will change so I went on the recipe #3 Caramel Custard and poured it in the tart shell which is recipe #4…. oh no! This is bad… really gross! So about $50 goes down the drain. I’m rather determined so the next night I do it all over again, step-by-step but this time I brought the caramel to 325˚ and continued on through the recipes. This time it was A L O T better but that burnt taste remained and then I did a test – the finished product did not “WOW” me. When I do all that and I don’t fall over because of the deliciousness in my mouth… it is not worth it and will not be served to anyone.
Just one more day and still these tarts that I’ve “sold” are yet to be created… Ok the 4-recipe Caramel Custard Tart is not working from Sherry Yard’s book. So on to the internet I go… amazing what can be found there. I find a very simple recipe and though it was late my sweet Mom was game to help. My Mom is simply the best – washes all the dishes as I work. In about 5 minutes this recipe was made, so simple and the taste I was looking for. It was about 7 ingredients, all of which are in my kitchen at all times. The 4-in-1 recipe called for ingredients that I never worked with, had to use all sorts of odd kitchen tools…. I quickly remember the saying “simplicity is best” LOL 🙂
The new internet Caramel recipe was good but it wasn’t amazing… I read through many more cookbooks just to see what chefs had to say and I came up with the idea of some how including heavy cream into the caramel….. oooohhhhh my goodness… something happened! That was it… the Caramel Tart has been created! It was hit #1 at the Wine and Dessert Social. Was it worth it? I’ll say “Yes” a million times. What I learned from making caramel three times was – what to do, what not to do and best of all determination to keep going until the best has been accomplished. Now and forever there is a new item I can offer… the CARAMEL TART!
Keep It “Caramel” Sweet,