Chocolate-dulce de leche tart

Chocolate-dulce de leche tart.

Need I say more? Probably not, but I will.

One of my favourite cookbook authors is David Lebovitz. I have been an avid reader of his blog for many years, own all his cookbooks and almost exclusively used his Paris Pastry app when planning our visit to Paris last year.

He brought out a new cookbook recently called My Paris Kitchen. It is stunningly beautiful and I love the stories that go with each recipe. He also wrote a very insightful blog post about the making of the book. You should read that post and then go and buy the book.

And then you should make this tart.

The first time I flicked through the book, I saw the photo for this tart and decided instantly that I had to make it. Luckily I had a jar of dulce de leche tucked away in the pantry. Past me was looking after future me. If you can’t find dulce de leche, you could try making your own. I’ve never made it, but if I was going to, I’d probably go with the oven method – I’ve heard too many horror stories about cans exploding to try the stovetop method. I make enough enough mess in the kitchen as it is! I’d also like to try this recipe one day in the very near future using this salted caramel filling.

There were a couple of times I wasn’t convinced that this recipe was going to turn out, but it did and it was spectacular. In the end, it was relatively easy, and, had I not made scrambled eggs along the way, would’ve been much quicker!

This recipe makes one 9-inch or 23cm tart.

Chocolate pastry

Ingredients

  • 85g salted butter at room temperature
  • 35g icing sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 140g plain flour
  • 35g dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel

Filling

Ingredients

  • 230g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 310ml full fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 240g dulce de leche
  • Fleur de sel

Method:

Start by making the pastry. Beat the butter and icing sugar using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer (if you are lucky enough to have one) until smooth. Add the egg yolk and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and flour and then add it to the butter mixture, mixing until the dough just comes together. Take the dough out, shape it into a disk and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Roll the dough out and place it in your tart tin. There is *just* enough pastry here to fill the tin. I was convinced there wasn’t going to be enough. Unless you have perfect rolling skills (which I don’t), you may need to trim part of the dough off in some areas and fill the gaps around the edges. Press together firmly so it all joins together well. Sprinkle the salt over the bottom of the tin and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

At this point you can turn the oven on to heat to 200°c.

Line the chilled pastry with aluminium foil and cover with pie weights/rice/dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the weights and bake for a further five minutes until set. (Yes, a little bit broke off the side of mine)

Tart Shell

Whilst the pastry is still warm, spread the dulce de leche over the bottom in an even layer. If you have a very thick dulce de leche, leave it on the hot base for a minute or two before you start to spread it as the heat will help soften it a bit.

Dulce de leche

Decrease the oven temperature to 150°c.

Now start the filling. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove from the heat and set a mesh strainer (lined with muslin if you have it) over the top.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and set aside. Heat the milk in a saucepan to warm, but not boiling, and very slowly start to whisk into the egg mixture, roughly a tablespoon at a time to begin with. If you’ve ever made ice cream before, the process here should be familiar.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens slightly. Be careful here as this step is quite quick and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs and have to start this part again!

Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate, add the vanilla and stir well until nice and smooth.

Place the tart tin on a baking sheet lined with foil and slowly pour in the chocolate mixture. Try and pour it from a few spots, otherwise it will make a bit of a crater in the dulce de leche. Smooth the top and sprinkle it generously with fleur de sel.

Filled tart

Now the instructions say to “bake for 20 minutes, turn heat off and leave the tart in the oven with the door closed to glide to a finish for 25 minutes more”. After the 20 minutes it was still runny so I gave it another 10 or so minutes before turning the oven off. It was still wobbly at this point, but not runny. When I did take it out it was still fairly wobbly and I was convinced that when I cut into it, it would be a huge runny mess. But, as it started to cool, it started to set. And by the time we were ready to eat it, the chocolate mousse/custard was perfectly set and the dulce de leche was perfectly oozy.

Here’s the money shot to prove it 😉

Chocolate - dulce de leche tart

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Lime buttermilk bundt cake

By some people’s standards, my 40+ cookbook collection is pretty meagre. I’ve tried really hard to only buy books that I know I will actually use, but after flicking through once or twice, I’m guilty of leaving many of them on the shelf, having never cooked a single recipe from them.

So I’ve kind of made a deal with myself to have cooked at least one recipe from each book before the end of the year. In theory this should be easy, but I’m not sure how the reality will go. I’ll let you know in about 10 months time.

I bought the Country Women’s Association (CWA) of New South Wales Jam Drops and Marble Cake book a while ago, and one of the first recipes that caught my eye was the lime and buttermilk cake. I picked up some beautiful Myrtleford cultured butter and buttermilk from The Butter Factory at a Victorian Farmers’ Market with the sole intention of finally making this cake.

I decided to finally also use the bundt pan I bought *several* months ago but hadn’t used once! The result was a beautifully textured cake that tasted great. It was lovely and crunchy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. I’m sure the CWA ladies wouldn’t approve of my use of the bundt tin, but I’ve never really been one to follow the rules!

Lime Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Lime Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (the original recipe had just one tablespoon, but I think it could do with a bit more)
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 300g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Method

Heat oven to 180°C (350°F) non fan-forced and grease either an eight inch tin or an 8-10 cup bundt pan – this one from Nordic Ware was my choice.

Cream the butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Add and beat in egg yolks one at a time until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mix in lime zest.

Stir in half of the flour, half of the buttermilk and half of the lime juice. Stir in the remaining flour, buttermilk and lime juice.

Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold in about half of the egg whites into the mixture then fold in the remainder – it will mix in better. Spread into the prepared tin.

Lime Buttermilk Bundt in Process

Bake for 50-60 minutes, turning halfway through and checking with a cake tester after 50 minutes. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Icing

If you wish, you can make a thin icing to drizzle over the cake. To add to the lime flavour, I used lime juice instead of water. Sift one cup of icing sugar and add either one tablespoon of lime juice or hot water and mix. Slowly add up to one more tablespoon of either juice or water to get your desired consistency and dribble or spread over the cake, depending on the shape.

Lime Buttermilk Bundt Cake Close Up