Archives for the month of: June, 2012

Just a random assortment of some of my favorite ingredients so far this year…

homemade ricotta

 

about to be candied lemon peel

 

candied lemon peel
(this went on top of a lemon tart with bourbon maple syrup)

 

the perfect spring pizza toppings

 

fresh from that morning’s farmers market
(asparagus, garlic greens, fresh ladysmith cheese on a baguette)

 

sea salt, lime juice & zest and dark, dark chocolate
(yup, these are going into a dark chocolate batch of brownies)

It may be trendy, but it’s trendy for a reason and I’m a sucker for any combo of chocolate, caramel & salt. The proof is the latest string of desserts I’ve made that are all variations of the triple threat.

The funny part is that as a kid I was so against salt being in anything sweet, that I wouldn’t even put the salt into the chocolate chip cookie dough. Guess I’m making up for it now…

First, the sweet, but not too rich, perfect finger food: chocolate caramel shortbread bars.

It’s like making ganache, but with caramel instead of cream. Who knew?

Then the chocolate caramel goes on top of the brown sugar shortbread layer.

Chill, cut, a generous sprinkle of sea salt, perfect!

Add in a bit of savory and some wine and it’s the perfect spread for an afternoon of girl talk in the garden.

 

Next up, salted caramel chocolate chip bars – simple, gooey decadence.

Adding the caramel to the bottom layer of chocolate chip cookie dough.

A little more cookie dough on top.
(my pan was bigger than the recipe was meant for, but it all worked out just fine).

It was almost disaster when I dropped the pan on the way to the potluck. But the caramel kept the bars locked into the pan.
Yum!!

While I loved the first two and they’re perfect for potlucks or parties, nothing tops my new favorite (and sure fire crowd pleaser), the salted caramel chocolate tart.

This was the first dessert I’d ever dared to attempt caramel for (luckily the recipe had very specific directions) and now I’m hooked (obviously).

Every layer of this tart is amazing. The chocolate crust is my new favorite tart crust. And the caramel that fills it is definitely my favorite caramel recipe. I was afraid I’d over cooked it the second time, but it actually worked even better to counter the sweet chocolate.

Some bittersweet chocolate ganache and some sea salt to top it off.
While each layer is pretty simple, they do all need to chill for a few hours so it’s a lengthy process, but more than worth it.

It tasted even better as the final course of a beach-side feast.