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Mini Hazelnut Caramel Tart

Mini Hazelnut Caramel Tart

Photo: Natalie Levin

Whether you like tarts or not, this mini hazelnut caramel tart can’t be ignored. It’s a combination of two French desserts –  Saint Honore and tartelette, and it combines two classical flavors: hazelnut and  caramel.

On a golden buttery crust lays a thin caramel layer and a creamy and fluffy hazelnut cream, and on the sides there are tiny cream puffs filled with praline paste.  It take some time to make it, but it’s worth it!

Mini Hazelnut Caramel Tart

Photo: Natalie Levin



5 from 1 vote
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Mini Hazelnut Caramel Tart

Servings 10 7 cm in diameter mini caramel tarts
Author Natalie

Ingredients

For short crust pastry:

  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams cold butter cut into cubes
  • 40 grams icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tbsp. cold milk as needed

For the crumble (for puffs)

  • 50 grams all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 50 grams cold butter cut into cubes
  • Pinch of salt

For the cream puffs:

  • 125 ml. milk
  • 5 grams sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 50 grams butter
  • 75 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 eggs

For the filling:

  • 200-300 grams praline paste

For the caramel:

  • 150 grams sugar
  • 250 ml. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 25 grams butter

For praline cream (adapted from chef Guillaume Mabilleau):

  • 3 grams gelatin powder
  • 15 ml. water
  • 125 ml. heavy cream
  • 90 grams praline paste
  • 15 grams cocoa butter
  • 250 ml. heavy cream

Decoration:

  • Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Crust: in a food processor with a steel blade put flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and process until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add egg yolk and continue to process just until large clumps of dough form. If the dough is not setting, gradually add a little milk.
  3. Transfer the dough chunks on a lightly floured work surface and form a disc-shape with your hands.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface about 3-4 mm thick and cut out circles about 8-9 cm in diameter. Line the tartelette molds. It is important to create a right angle between the sides and the base of the crust, which will ensure the edges remain high when baking.
  6. Using a fork create holes in the crust of each tartelette. Freeze the tartelette crusts for about 30 minutes before baking.
  7. Preheat oven to 170c degrees.
  8. Blind baking: put a sheet of heat-resistant plastic wrap or baking paper over each tartelette and fill with dry beans or special weights for baking.
  9. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.
  10. Remove the weights and the plastic wrap and continue to bake the crust for about 8-10 minutes or until it is golden brown.
  11. Cool completely at room temperature.
  12. Caramel: in a large skillet put sugar and form a caramel.
  13. At the same time, heat cream and salt in a small saucepan to a simmering point.
  14. When the caramel is ready, pour over the cream and mix carefully.
  15. Cook over medium heat until creamy caramel amber-colored is formed.
  16. Add in the butter and cook together, stirring occasionally, another 1-2 minutes until melted and incorporated.
  17. Pour the hot caramel into the baked tart shells in a thin layer.
  18. Cool for a few minutes in the refrigerator to set.
  19. Crumble (for the cream puffs): in a food processor with a steel blade put flour, sugar, butter and salt and blend at high speed until large chunks of dough form.
  20. Transfer the dough to a work surface and form a disc-shape with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  21. Roll out the dough on a floured surface about 2-3 mm thick and cut out circles about 1-2 cm. Refrigerate until making the cream puffs.
  22. Cream puffs: in a small saucepan put milk, sugar, salt and butter and heat over high heat until mixture boils and bubbles.
  23. When the mixture boils add in the flour all at once and stir well until it is assimilated and a large lump of dough is formed.
  24. Remove from heat and transfer the dough into the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment.
  25. Mix the dough on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until it cools slightly.
  26. Add the eggs one at a time. It is important not to add an egg before the previous one has been assimilated into the dough. The dough is ready to use when it is flexible but stable, and creating a "thread" between two fingers.
  27. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with 1 cm piping tip and pipe small mounds of puffs at intervals on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  28. Place a crumble disc on top of each cream puff and flatten it with your hands.
  29. Preheat oven to 180c degrees.
  30. Bake for 12-18 minutes or until the puffs are golden and set.
  31. Cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled down, create a small hole in the bottom of each cream puff.
  32. Fill the puffs with praline paste generously and refrigerate until assembly.
  33. Praline cream: in a small bowl mix gelatin and water and set aside for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  34. In a medium pot heat 125 ml. of cream to simmering point.
  35. Add in the gelatin and mix well until it melts.
  36. Add praline paste and cocoa butter and mix well until completely melted and smooth.
  37. Grind the mixture using a stick blender, and add in the remaining 250 ml. of cream.
  38. Transfer the mixture to a flat container and chill for about 3-4 hours in the refrigerator until completely cold.
  39. Transfer the cream into a mixer bowl whipping attachment and whip at high speed until stable mousse if formed.
  40. Transfer the cream into a piping bag with a medium serrated piping tip.
  41. Assemble the tartelettes: fill the tartelettes with the praline cream to the top. Arrange three tiny puffs around the margins and pipe some more cream at the center.
  42. Pipe more cream between the puffs.
  43. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar and serve.

Recipe Notes

  • This caramel tart is at its best on the day of preparation, but can be kept in a closed container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
  • Instead of praline paste you can use pistachio puree the same amount. Flavors will vary accordingly.
  • You can make this recipe as one large caramel tart (24 cm in diameter). Baking times will be longer.
Mini Hazelnut Caramel Tart

Photo: Natalie Levin

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