I am very excited as this is my first post for the Baked Sunday Mornings baking club. Hooray! We are going to be baking our way through Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito's eye-candy of a cookbook, Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented. I am late to join the group, so I will be trying to catch-up over the next couple of weeks. I am also technically supposed to post on Sunday mornings, but I didn't anticipate that life with three kids would still carry on as normal even though Mommy had to bake and blog :) Anyway, it should be a lot of fun, and I encourage you to join us and get baking.
This week we tackled a whopper of a recipe, the Malted Crispy Tart (p. 71). After reading Matt and Renato's description of malted milk chocolate ganache topped with a light malt flavored pastry cream (diplomat cream as they call it), crunchy caramelized rice crispies and Whopper pieces, all of which is encased in a brown sugar crust, I was taken. I became nostalgic for the malt chocolate flavor I remember so clearly from when I was just a wee lass. Whoppers used to be my movie theater candy of choice back in the day, so I was excited to get started and reminisce a bit.
Let me start right off and say thank goodness this was delicious 'cause it sure was a whole heck of a lot of work! I wasn't joking when I said it was a whopper of a recipe. Perhaps if I had read Matt and Renato's baking tip mentioning all the bowls and steps it required, I would have started last week... I am not totally kidding. With that said though, you should really give this a try. It is quite tasty, and it brought back memories of my childhood. In my opinion, when a recipe can do that, it's a keeper.
This recipe called for a 9" tart pan, but since I was planning to ship these off with my husband in the morning to feed the hungry mob (aka - coworkers), I opted to make mini tarts instead. The brown sugar crust made with a hint of malted milk powder blended up easily in the food processor and pressed well into the pan. If you opt for the mini tarts consider placing pie weights into the cups to prevent puffing while baking.
I think my favorite part of the recipe was the flavor and texture of the caramelized Rice Krispies. They tasted very much like Frosted Flakes, but better. I can see many uses for these little guys. The malted milk chocolate ganache was delicious as well. I love the flavor of a good quality milk chocolate, and the malt powder added just a little something extra... I easily could have licked the bowl clean.
As a side note, if you choose to bake mini tarts you can go halfsies on almost everything but the crust recipe. I had a lot of extra ganache, pastry cream and caramelized Rice Krispies, which I will put to good use later.
Once all the components were made, none of which were too difficult, assembly of the tart commenced! Below is the breakdown on how they were filled. In hind site, I probably would have increased my chocolate to pastry cream ratio... perhaps 2/3 chocolate to 1/3 pastry cream. I also think the addition of a complimentary liquor to the pastry cream would be a nice touch... perhaps rum?
Finally, after all that, we achieved decadent, deliciousness! Again, a whole heck of a lot of work, but definitely worth trying at least once, especially if you are feeling nostalgic for the chocolate malt flavor of your youth.
According to Baked Sunday Morning rules, I cannot publish this recipe for all of you. I can only try to make you drool. I respect this decision and encourage you to go out and by the book, you will not be disappointed, I promise.
Up Next: Fat Tuesdays
Lemon Chiffon Cake