Monday, November 8, 2010

Salty Caramel Macadamia Nut and Chocolate Tart (GF/Non-GF options)

We were invited to a little party last week, and everyone was expected to bring something.
The same week, Israeli online news website ynet published this recipe for an amazing looking tart with macadamia nuts coated in a salty caramel and chocolate. The recipe is for a regular tart with wheat flour.
 For obvious reasons, I needed to make it with a gluten free pie crust. I used the recipe from Elizabeth Barbone's Easy Gluten Free Baking. This pie crust is really amazing. It genuinely tastes delicious and has a lovely texture. It is also very easy to work with the dough, unlike most GF doughs. For a Hebrew version of the GF pie crust, see here.

So here is the recipe both in it's original gluteny version and with the alternative, GF pie crust (which can also be used for many other recipes).

Salty Caramel Macadamia Nut and Chocolate Tart

Gluten free pie crust (for 9 inch/24 cm pie. Double for a larger one or for covered pie): 

* 1/2 cup white rice flour
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 1/4 cup potato starch
* 1.5 tsp white sugar
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup (half US stick) butter, diced.
* 1 large egg
* 1-2 tbsp cold water


1. In a large bowl (or in a food processor) combine all of the dry ingredients. Using a fork (or pulsing in the food processor), combine the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a crumby looking mixture. Add the egg and the water and continue mixing/processing until you get a dough. If the dough is too dry, carefully add water, 1 tbsp at a time, until you get the right consistency.

2. Place the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate for about an hour (I personally didn't find this crucial).

3. Roll the dough out and cover the pie tin with it, or just press globs of dough into the tin until the entire tin is covered at the desired thickness. Make sure not to roll the dough too thin, because it can crack/break very easily in the oven.

4. To pre-bake the pie crust (as needed for this recipe),  preheat the oven to 200 C/425 F. Pierce the pie shell with a fork to prevent rising. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden. Set aside to cool.

Original, Non-GF pie crust from the recipe: 

Ingredients (for 24 cm/9 inch pie): 

* 250 grams (1 3/4 cups) flour
* 70 grams (1/2 cup) ground hazelnuts
* 70 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) confectioners sugar
* 160 grams (about 5.5 oz) butter
* 1 egg


1. In a food processor combine the flour, nuts, sugar and butter to a crumby mixture.

2. Add the egg and continue processing until you get moist doughy crumbs with no trace of the flour.

3. Combine the crumbs into a dough, cover in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

4. Roll the dough out to a thin layer and cover the pie tin with it.

5. Preheat an oven to 180 C (375 F). Pierce the pie shell with a fork. Cover the shell with parchment paper and cover that with dried beans or a pie-weight to prevent rising. Bake for 15 minutes.

6. Remove the weight from the pie shell and bake for another five minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.

The actual pie (identical for both GF and non-GF versions): 

For the salty macadamia nuts: 

* 100 grams (1/2 cup) white sugar
* 100 ml (about 1/3 cup) heavy cream
* 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
* 1/4 tsp sea salt
* 1 cup (100 grams) lightly roasted macadamia nuts

For the chocolate filling: 

* 200 grams (7 ounces) dark chocolate
* 80 grams (about 3 ounces) milk chocolate
* 200 ml (about 2/3 cup) heavy cream
* 1 bottle cap of dark rum (I used light because that's what I had at home)


1. In a medium sized pot on medium heat, melt the sugar carefully into an amber colored (but not too dark!) caramel. You can carefully move the pot from side to side to ensure that all the sugar melts.

2. Add the heavy cream (from the nut ingredients), vanilla and salt (careful! the cream will sizzle, and the caramel may harden. This is ok) and continue cooking for another two minutes, stirring constantly, until you get a thick sauce in which there are no hard bits of caramel (the hardened caramel will melt back into the cream as it heats up).

3. Allow to cool slightly, and then mix in the macadamia nuts, stirring to coat them. (Note: if you allow the nuts to cool too much in the caramel, they will become a hard chunk. Just carefully reheat the pot on a low heat to melt the caramel slightly so that you can spread the nuts on the pie).

4. Place the chocolates into  a bowl. Heat the heavy cream (from the chocolate sauce ingredients) to a simmer. Pour it over the chocolates and stir until the chocolates are melted and you have a smooth cream.

5. Stir the rum into the chocolate. Allow to cool slightly.

6. Build the pie: spread the caramel coated macadamia nuts on the pre-baked pie crust as evenly as you can. (Don't worry, there will be some areas with more nuts than others). Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes (I skipped this step).

7. Carefully pour the chocolate over the nuts, starting from the outside of the pie inwards, coating the pie evenly.

8. Chill the tart in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.


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