[Caramel and milk chocolate peanut tarts]

If you’re anything like me, you might have already experienced that subtle feeling of awkwardness which precedes the very first kiss you’re about to give to this new someone you quite like. And quite obviously, you can never forget the right-after-feeling as well.

Exciting. Electrifying. Paralysing.

I must confess I feel the exact same way when I come up with a new pâtisserie. A couple of Mondays ago, I explored the realm of tarts (oh yes, here they come again; somehow, I seem to think I’m no tart-lover and yet I find myself making tarts after tarts with just the right amount of anticipation and happiness).

At first, I wanted a milk chocolate ganache encased in a delicate pâte sucrée shell, and topped with caramelised pecan.

Real bad.

But apparently my need faded when I saw the 3.50€ price-tag for a small bag of less than two hundred grams of the much-adored pecans.

Peanuts felt like a not-so-bad idea. So did caramel. And more evidently, milk chocolate. But as delicious as it sounded, it seemed too easy.

Vanilla bean mini-marshmallows. Consistent. And downright perfect. For everything. This tart being no exception.

So here came the now famous tarte aux cacahuètes, caramel et chocolat au lait; as in, caramel and milk chocolate peanut tarts.

ps. I was quite thrilled when I found out that Pierre Hermé made a similar tart for a class he gave at Ferrandi.

Tarte aux cacahuètes, caramel et chocolat au lait

I’m not sure what I love most about this tart. The crisp peanut pâte sucrée. The melt-in-your-mouth caramel crème brulée. The crunchy and slightly salty peanuts. The smooth milk chocolate ganache. Or the fluffly vanilla marshmallows.

I guess, I’m really happy with how those five components turned out together.

The pâte sucrée has a delicate taste of peanuts, and the necessary crispness. I chose to rolled it finely and bake it until it turned into a golden brown hue, because I loved the aroma of roasted peanuts; and this smells just like them.

I added peanuts to the caramel crème brulée to make things super*peanuty, plus to add some crunch.

As for the ganache and marshmallows. Well, I suppose you all know how heavenly they are.

Tarte aux cacahuètes, caramel et chocolat au lait

makes eight 8cm tartlets

for the crust
Use half this recipe, just. Just make sure to substitute the ground almonds with ground roasted and salted peanuts.
Bake blind at 180°C for 15 minutes before pouring the caramel crème brulée into the fonds de tarte.

for the caramel crème brulée
100g caster sugar, plus an extra tsp
125g double cream
25g butter
one egg
one egg yolk
1 heaped tablespoon flour

8 tbsp of roasted and salted peanuts

Lower the oven temperature to 150°C.
Place 100g of sugar in a saucepan and caramelise until it turns golden brown. Wisk in the ouble cream in three batches and bring to a rolling boil until possible pieces of siezed caramel have melted back in. Mix in the butter and set aside to cool down slightly.
In a bowl, beat the eggs with the extra sugar and the flour. Pour the caramelm mixture over this and mix until combined.
Arrange a tbsp of peanuts into each parbaked shells. Pipe the caramel crème brûlée over the peanuts and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until just set.

Remove to a wire rack and set aside until cool.

for the milk chocolate ganache
150g double cream
200g milk chocolate

Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chopped chocolate in three batches. Mix until smooth and pipe over the caramel crème brûlée.

for the vanilla bean marshmallows
Make this recipe, and cut the marshmallows into tiny 1x1cm cubes. Arrange on top of the tarts.