Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Heart-shaped Tart and a Speedy Recovery

My dear friend, I will be starting my 6 months of chemo treatment in 2 days time.  After the surgery, the doctor told me that I had cancer and instantly my body kept shaking even my mind was very clear, thinking how should I deal with this trauma again.  Having had two cancers within three years were not easy to handle. The doctor had been telling us good news all the way until the pathology report had been given.  Those two weeks before and after the surgery were so stressful, worrying that I could be sick again.  I did not know how to tell my husband as I knew he would be very disappointed as he said to me, "Aren't you suffering enough?" I was liked a child telling the doctor that I'd been good all these years and wonder if I could live till 50 years old seeing my kids become adult.  It was a comfort that he said he'd seen a lot of patient like me and they were all well.  I'm grateful that out of this bad luck, my survival chance is still very high. Just because I care of my health and I find this cancer early to save myself.  So here I'm, ready for another battle and learn to be a healthier and happier person.

During the recovery time, many people came to visit me, giving me flowers and leaving comments at this blog.  I could see the love and care from those kind-hearted people. (especially to you, Delynne if you're reading, my friend) I became a more relaxed person and what I really enjoy was to have a good family time watching TV together, waiting my husband came home from work and sat besides him for dinner.  I don't dream about holidays or luxury things as I treasure every moment I'd with my family and live the way as simple as I can.  I hope this type of stress free lifestyle could make me cancer free. I went to see a doctor last week and my blood test show that my health is at it best for years, so thanks for the good diet and stress-free mind!

I made this chocolate tart before I had the surgery.  I decided to have sweet food only for birthdays to maintain a healthier lifestyle. I leave the baking to my children if they want to have some cakes or cookies.  Now I meditate, read books, pray and exercise.

It's a six years of promise for me to make something chocolate out of the BBC magazine for my husband.  He probably has forget about it but I haven't!  When I tidy up my pile of food magazines, this little chocolate recipes book catches my attention and I decide it's time to make my promise!

I haven't made pastry for a while and winter is the best time to make it as the cold weather helps to keep the pastry in shape.  It needs a bit of patience to make the salted caramel as it takes a full attention to keep stirring and waiting for it to thicken. I use less salt for the caramel as I have been using salted butter for the pastry and the chocolate filling. The pastry is crispy and the chocolate custard filling is not too sweet, not over powering the sweetness from the caramel.  It gets too sweet if you add loads of ice-cream as my family do, I prefer to have it with just a little bit of ice-cream or some fresh cream.

I guess it's not too late to make my promise after six years of waiting! And thanks again for those supportive comments and the new likes at my facebook page!

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart
(make 6 small or 1x 20cm tart)


For the pastry:
1 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
100g unsalted butter, cubed (I use salted)
3 egg yolks
2 drops of vanilla extract

For the salt caramel base:
1 cup caster sugar
125g salted butter
1/3 cup thicken cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes (I use 1/3)

For the chocolate filling:
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
100g milk chocolate button
75g unsalted butter (I use salted)


  1. Place the flour, sugar and cocoa in a food processor and process until combined.
  2. Add butter, eggs and vanilla into the dry ingredients and process in a pulse motion until the mixture form a dough.  Shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc shape.  Wrap with cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Meanwhile, make the salted caramel.  Boil sugar and water in a pan on low heat until sugar dissolves.  Stir in butter, turn on heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, (it takes me longer than that, about double of the time) stirring occasionally until it turns to caramel colour.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the cream.  When the mixture stops bubbling, stir in remaining cream and sea salt. Let it cool.
  5. Take the dough out from the fridge.  Divide into 6 equal portions.  Roll out pastry and press onto the tart tins. Chill for another 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the chocolate filling. beat the sugar, egg and egg yolk in a mixing bowl until thick and pale. Melt the chocolate and butter in microwave at medium heat for 30 seconds, then another 20 seconds until they are melted, stir to smooth out the mixture.
  7. Preheat the oven at 200c (180c fan-forced), line pastry with baking paper filled with ceramic beans.  Baked blind for 12 minutes.
  8. Spread 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce over each pastry base, spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of chocolate mixture evenly on top. (I only use half of the caramel and use the other half for ice-cream topping) Bake for another 12 minutes or until the chocolate topping is set, firm to touch. (It takes me longer than 12 minutes) Let cool, remove from the tins and serve with ice-cream and extra caramel sauce.    

Adopted and modified from BBC Australian Good Food Chocolate Classics, August 2009.