It’s nearly Valentines day. I’m not a great one for Valentines day. This is sort of because I don’t really see the fuss. Also, Valentines day also happens to be my boyfriend’s birthday, and, understandably, he is not a great one for Valentines day either.
It’s hard to be a great one for Valentines day as just a one. It’s hard to get into the spirit when someone else is just wishing everyone would stop talking about Valentines day and they could just get on with celebrating their birth in peace.
It’s fine, I totally get it.
To be honest, I’m sort of glad. I find the whole thing a bit much- and a lot of pressure!
So to help all of you who might be freaking out about what to do for that special someone- be it what to cook, where to eat, should you wear sexy underwear, if so, how sexy is acceptable and how sexy is too far… Personally I avoid sexy underwear, because I can’t deal with these sort of big questions.
These tarts are the sexy undies of the pastry world. Sexy but also fun, which is, you know, ideal.
Rich chocolate moussey filling in a crisp pastry case with pretzel praline on top.
Yes pretzels. And caramel. Salted caramel really is all the rage these days, in case you didn’t know. And its super delicious. And its kind of fun. So if you aren’t ready for the sexy knickers, these will go down just as well.
Chocolate Tarts with Salted Caramel Pretzel Praline
For the pastry:
100g plain flour
50g butter, cold
25g icing sugar
splash of cold water
Begin by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar.
Add a splash of cold water to bring it together into a dough. Use just enough to allow it to form a ball- too much and it will turn into a sticky mess.
Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour. While it is resting, make your praline.
For the praline:
100g caster sugar
about 1/2 a small bag of pretzels
Arrange the pretzels in a baking tray on a piece of baking paper.
This looks so beautiful, don’t you think? Let’s see another picture…
Put the caster sugar in a pan over a medium heat and melt. Once it is a golden brown colour, pour it over the pretzels. Be careful because it will be super super hot. Sprinkle with some sea salt if you want extra saltiness, but this is up to you!
Leave it to set for at least an hour, or until it has hardened and set. Then you can break up chunks to decorate your tarts, or just eat it.
Once your dough has rested, you need to blind bake it. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and carefully line a muffin tray.
Cut out circle of dough just big enough to fill the muffin cases. Fill with a piece of baking paper and some baking beans, or, if you don’t have any, dry rice or beans. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
For the filling:
180ml double cream
2 eggs, beaten
Bring the cream and milk to the boil, then add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Allow to cool slightly, then mix in the egg.
Pour the filling into the pastry cases and bake at 100 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
When they are cool, turn out and place a pretzel praline piece on top.
You know you love me!