salted caramel cheese tarts

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salted caramel cheese tart

I thought I used too much salted caramel sauce for these tarts. I used 3/4 tablespoon for each tart! Sheer madness, thinking back. Quite overwhelmed by the salty sweet taste.

However, my taste testers think they are really quite nice.

Once again, I conclude, anything salty and sweet will win hands down with this group of taste testers. :)

Salted caramel cheese tart

Pâte Sucrée (yields 3 x 10 1/2 inches or 4 x 8 inches crust; from Pierre Herme)

  • 300 grams unsalted butter, softened but cool
  • 190 grams icing sugar
  • 60 grams almond meal
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter with icing sugar until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add in seeds from vanilla bean and beat for a minute.
  3. Add in eggs, one at at time, making sure each is incorporated well.
  4. Sift flour with salt and almond meal.
  5. Turn mixer on low and add in dry ingredients gradually. Once all is poured in, let the mixer run for 10 seconds then stop. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
  6. Divide dough into desired portion. Roll into a ball and wrap with cling wrap. Press into a disc shape. Place in refrigerator overnight.
  7. When ready to make, remove the portion you require from the fridge. I used 290 grams for 10 tarts. On a well floured board, roll out the dough to desired shape. I made mini tarts using the metallic moulds used for making egg tarts. I rolled out the dough and used a cup to cut the dough into circles before pressing the dough lightly into the tart moulds.
  8. Place parchment paper over the dough and fill with baking beads. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beads carefully, then bake tart shells for another 5-8 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Let cool completely before filling.

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 220 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 2 – 2 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 170 grams unsalted butter
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, pour in sugar and water. Let this mixture come to a boil and swirl the pan once a while. Watch the sugar mixture closely to prevent burning. Once mixture turns to golden brown color, turn off the heat and add in the butter. Be careful as the mixture will sizzle and spit.
  2. Whisk the butter into the mixture. Then add  in heavy cream and salt. I added 2 1/2 tsp of sea salt. If you don’t like it that salty, then just add in 2 tsp.
  3. Let the salted caramel cool for 10 minutes then place it in the fridge to thicken up. Store unused salted caramel in an airtight container. It will last for 2 weeks in the fridge.

For cream cheese filling

  • 250 grams cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 50 grams castor sugar
  • 25 grams condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and beat with a paddle attachment until smooth.
  2. Scoop about 2.5 tbsp of filling into each tart shell.
  3. Add 1-2 tsp salted caramel sauce and swirl lightly with a toothpick.
  4. Bake at 180 C for 14 minutes. Cover top of the tarts with aluminum foil about 8-10 minutes into baking.
  5. Let cool completely. Chill in the fridge overnight to set.

 

sourdough bagels

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sourdough bagels

I seldom eat bagels.

My first bagel was purchased at Starbucks. They asked if you wanted a small tub of spreadable cream cheese to go with your bagel. Oh definitely…

Starbuck’s bagel came in a few flavors. I usually ordered cinnamon or plain. Chewy and sometimes a bit tough, they were quite filling and worth the price paid, comparing with all the other options to be had at Starbucks.

So when I made these bagels, I expected the bagels to turn out hard and chewy, probably kind of like eating a rubbery bread.

Sourdough bagels (from Wild Yeast)

  • 349 grams strong bread flour
  • 121 grams cold water
  • 28 grams milk powder
  • 16.4 grams non-diastatic malt powder (I used brown sugar)
  • 10.1 grams salt
  • 301 grams active 100% hydration sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda for water to boil bagels
  1. Add everything except baking soda into the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until a rough dough is formed.
  2. Mix on medium-low speed until a smooth strong rubbery dough is formed.
  3. Turn the dough on an unfloured counter top and knead for a few minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover with cling wrap or a clean towel and leave for 10 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball, cover with cling wrap or a clean towel and leave for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll each piece into a cylinder about 8 inches long. Overlap about 2 inches of the ends and using your palm, lightly seal the ends by rolling the ends with your palm on the counter top. If dough is dry, spritz a bit of water to make for easier handling and to help with sticking the ends together.
  6. Place the bagels on lightly greased baking sheets and proof at room temperature for about 4 hours, until bagels are puffy. I did this at night, with a room temperature range of 27-28 C.
  7. Cover the tray of bagels with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 220 C and put a large pot of water to boil. Prepare baking soda.
  9. Once water is on a rolling boil, add in baking soda. It will fizzle and balloon upwards slightly.
  10. Add 2-3 bagels into the pot for 20 seconds each. If the bagel floats, count off 10 seconds before flipping over for the remaining 10 seconds. Remove bagel using a slotted spoon and cool for 20 seconds on the rack.
  11. Place bagel on a lightly greased and semolina sprinkled baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 24-26 minutes until golden brown. Once bagels are in the oven, turn down temperature to 200 C.
  13. Cool on a wire rack.

These bagels are NOT hard at all. Even after I refrigerated them!

sourdough bagels1

Chewy? Yep, slightly chewier than a normal slice of bread but my jaws didn’t get as much of a workout as I thought they would.

In short, I love sourdough bagels.