I licked the spoon!
Yep, you heard me correctly. I was whisking the toffee caramel together for this little tart and without even thinking, I licked the spoon. Actually, it really wasn't a lick as it was more like eating a spoonful, and God it was good!
What's the problem? I hear you say.
The problem is that this little "habit" was something I stopped myself doing over 2 years ago. In the past, whenever I donned the apron I would find myself mindlessly nibbling at everything I put my hands on, with the end result being me too full to actually eat, and more importantly, enjoy the dish I had just cooked. I would often (without even thinking twice) leave a little of whatever I was making behind on the spoon for me to partake in, or I would find myself accidently breaking something, thinking....oops...I'll just have to eat that.
It took a lot of dedication and many slip ups along the way, but I have mastered the art of tasting what I cook (you always must taste it), without actually "eating" as I cooked. Sounds a bit strange, but gosh it is liberating to know I can bake/cook anything I want, then sit down with a serve of said dish and mindfully enjoy every mouthful, without having already spoiled my appetite (and without adding unnecessary kilos).
Put simply, this tart is wonderful. It may not be easily whipped up in a matter of minutes, but it really doesn't take too long to prepare (especially if you're like me and have your pastry made before hand). It has a lovely crunch from the hazelnuts (not a tooth breaking crunch though), a gooey, creamy stickiness from the thick set caramel and a bottom of buttery chocolate goodness.
Sticky Hazelnut Toffee Tart
(recipe adapted from More Please Cookbook by Valli Little)
1 cup cream | 60g unsalted butter, chopped | ¼ cup (60ml) rice malt syrup (or raw honey) | 1 cup (220g) caster sugar | 250g hazelnuts, roasted, skins removed |
Makes one 25cm tar
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Prepare your chocolate shortcrust pastry tart shell as per the recipe found here.
- Over a low heat in a small sized pot, combine cream and butter and bring to a simmer (just before boiling point), stirring to combine.
- In a separate, larger sized pot, pace syrup and sprinkle caster sugar over the top. Stir gently over a low heat until sugar is completely dissolved, then turn up the heat and bring to a rolling simmer. Allow to simmer (without stirring) until the mixture turns a caramel colour.
- Remove from heat and working quickly, add the cream/butter mixture and whisk to combine (beware that the mixture will froth up in the pot, hence the need for a larger sized pot).
- Place the caramel back over a low heat if you feel harder pieces of toffee have begun to form in the pot.
- Stir in hazelnuts.
- Pour into your tart shell and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before placing in the fridge to firm up completely, ready to slice.