Vanilla Creme-Faiche Panna Cotta Tarts with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream and Dulce de Leche filled Chocolate Choux Puffs
For the Caramel Cream (needs to chill overnight)
2 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt
470 ml cream
Heat sugar, water, and salt in saucepan over medium heat, stirring briefly, until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, until sugar turns a golden amber colour. Remove pan from heat and slowly pour the cream down the sides of pan in a steady stream, whisking constantly (it will splatter). Return pan to the heat and whisk until all the caramelized sugar has dissolved into the cream.
Transfer caramel cream to a mixing bowl and refrigerated overnight.
For the pastry
100g butter, chilled and cubed
200g plain flour, sifted
40g icing sugar, sifted
1 free-range egg, beaten
Rub the butter into the flour in a medium bowl until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar. Add the beaten egg and cut through with a knife until it forms a dough, then press together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
Grease 6 mini fluted tart tins. Unwrap the pastry and roll it out on a floured surface till it is about 3 mm thick. Use a round cutter to cut 6 circles for the tarts and place one in each of the tins. Press into the tin and cut off any excess pastry hanging over the edge. Chill for 15 minutes.
Once chilled, place a cupcake case or piece of baking paper in each tart shell and fill with baking beans. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, remove the baking beans and baking paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool.
For the Panna cotta
1/3-cup crème fraiche (or sour cream)
½ tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
3 tbsp. castor sugar
1 ¼ tsp. powdered gelatin
1 ½ tablespoons cold water
Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat gently until it just starts to simmer, then remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraiche. Leave to cool slightly. While the mixture is cooling, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the surface of the water in a small bowl. Let stand for around 5 minutes. Once it has softened, add the bloomed gelatin to the cream mixture and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let cool slightly before pouring carefully into the 6 pastry tart shells, so that it is filled to about 3 mm from the top. Refrigerate the tarts for at least 2 hours, or until the Panna-cotta is firm.
While they are cooling, make the cream puffs.
For the choux puffs
¼ cup water
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. plain flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 large egg
50g dark chocolate, melted
150g-dulce-de leche, placed into a piping bag with a filling nozzle.
Preheat oven to 200C fan-bake.
Place the water and butter in a medium pot and heat to a rolling boil. Once the butter is fully melted, add the flour all at once and beat over the heat with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan and starts to crust a little on the base of the pan. Remove from the heat and transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and beat for 20 seconds before beating in the egg until homogenous.
Pipe small rounds of the batter (spaced apart) onto a lined baking tray, which should be around the diameter of a 20c coin. Bake for 12 minutes or until the puffs looks golden and feels firm when tapped. Once cooled, dip the tops of each puff into the chocolate and once the chocolate has set (just pop then in the fridge for 5 minutes) fill each one, from the bottom, with the dulce de leche. Set aside.
Place the caramel cream that has chilled overnight into a large bowl and beat with an electric beater until it holds stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a start-tip nozzle.
Arrange 3 choux puffs on top of each tart and pipe over the caramel cream in-between each. Pipe on any left over dulce de leche to fill any spaces and decorate with edible flowers and berries.