salted carmel tart from recipetineats.com

Base:
      •  8 oz  Graham Crackers, 
      • 150 g / 5 oz unsalted butter , melted 
    Caramel:
      • 100 g / 7 tbsp unsalted butter
      • 1 cup / 200g (packed) brown sugar
      • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (395g / 14oz each)
      • 1 3/4 tsp salt (2 ½ – 3 tsp salt flakes)
    Chocolate Ganache Topping:
    • 1/3 cup heavy/thickened cream
    • 150 g / 5 oz dark chocolate melts / chips
    • Sea salt flakes, for topping
    1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Grease and line the base only of a 23cm / 9″ tart tin with a loose base. (Or a springform pan of a similar size)

      Roughly break up biscuits and place in a food processor, then whizz until fine crumbs form. Or do this step with a ziplock bag and rolling pin.
    2. Pour crumbs into a bowl, add melted butter, mix until it looks like wet sand and no dry crumbs remain. Pour into tin, then press firmly into base and sides – use something flat like a cup to assist (refer to video).
    3. Transfer to tray (safe handling), place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, then remove and cool slightly (5 minutes in fridge).
    Caramel:
    1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and whisk to combine – butter may not incorporate fully.

    2. Once it starts bubbling and the sugar is completely melted, pour in the condensed milk, whisking as you go. Whisk constantly until you see steam coming off the caramel (~ 4 minutes), then remove from heat.

    3. Add salt (adjust to taste), then pour the caramel into the tart base.
    4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges of the caramel surface is golden and the surface has a “skin” on it, but the caramel is still soft and the centre jiggles slightly (see video for demo.)
    5. Cool on counter while you make the chocolate.
    Chocolate Ganache:
    1. Place cream and chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Microwave in 2 x 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth.
    2. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken slightly, then pour over the base. Smooth top or make swirls like I did (just wait until the chocolate thickens slightly). Sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
    3. Refrigerate for 1 ½ hours to allow chocolate to set. Then remove and bring to room temperature before slicing to serve. Handle carefully when sliding the tart off the base – or just leave it on to be safe and just remove the sides.

    Recipe Notes

    1. You need about 2 cups once crushed. No need to be exact here, the crumb crust is fairly forgiving so just eyeball the weight based on the whole biscuit packet weight.

    Another biscuit that is terrific to use for a biscuit crust is Digestives which is very popular in the UK/Europe and also quite popular here in Australia. If you use Digestives, reduce the butter to 75g because they are more buttery than Marie Crackers and Graham Crackers.

    Other biscuits: Basically any plain biscuit works great like Arnott’s Arrowroot works great, and even flavoured ones like Gingernut. The dense sticky filling of this tart makes the crumb crust quite strong so it’s fairly forgiving re: biscuit and butter quantities.

    2. STORAGE – This tart keeps SO WELL! It will keep in an airtight container for a week and still taste like it was made yesterday albeit the crust on the edge does soften a bit, but most people wouldn’t even notice (I don’t think). If it’s super hot where you are i.e. the chocolate becomes melty, keep it in the fridge but always bring to room temperature before serving otherwise the caramel won’t be creamy. It also freezes great – again, bring to room temp before serving. I’ve only frozen it for a couple of weeks but see no reason why it wouldn’t keep for sever

    al months.

    3. This is a VERY rich tart. I find that when cut into 12 (so quarters, then each quarter into 3), a slice is too much for me. So I have said that this serves 14 to 16. The nutrition is for 14 servings.

Mom’s Peach Crisp

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4 cups sliced fresh peaches
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Arrange peaches evenly in an 8×8-inch baking dish.
Mix flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl using a pastry cutter until evenly crumbled. Fold oats into flour mixture; sprinkle and press topping into peaches.
Bake in the preheated oven until topping is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  8 servings

Pretzels on the Baking Steel

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12 oz warm water (110ish degrees)
1 T sugar
2 t salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
22 oz AP flour
2 oz butter
6 c water
1/2 c baking soda
pretzel salt (coarse sea salt will work as well)

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Combine water, sugar, salt in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and allow to foam up for about 5 minutes.

3. Add melted butter and flour into mixer, and mix with dough hook for about 4 minutes. The dough will ball up and help clean the sides of the bowl for you, that’s a good sign.

4. Spray a mixing bowl and transfer the dough to that bowl, cover with plastic wrap and proof in a warm environment for up to an hour. You want to see the dough expand a little more than double.

*Chef’s Tip: Spray the top of the dough with pan spray too before wrapping in plastic wrap. This will help you when removing the dough from the bowl and not have any stick to the top.

5. Once your dough has proofed, get it onto a cutting board. At this time, you want to bring water and baking soda to a quick boil to dissolve and turn off. With a bench scraper or knife, portion the dough into 170g for pretzels, 85g for buns. Shape as you wish.

6. Dip your pretzels into the baking soda solution and let sit for about 10-15 seconds. (Traditionally, one would use lye to dip the pretzels in, but we don’t want to poison anyone here). Transfer soaked pretzels onto a baking steel with parchment paper and coat with pretzel salt.

7. Bake for approximately 12 minutes until golden brown and rest for about 3 minutes.

Grab your favorite mustard and dig in, you won’t be disappointed. These didn’t last very long in the test kitchen, believe me.  yields 6 medium pretzels/ 12 buns)

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s Good Eats

 

Soda Crackers from Bernard Clayton

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1 1/2 cups bread or all-purpose flour (I used White Lily all purpose flour)
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/4 tsp. salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 cup hot water (120 – 130 degrees)
1/2 tsp. malt syrup (I used 1/4 tsp. molasses)
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening
2 tbsp. melted butter

In a large bowl mix flour, yeast, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Set aside. In a small bowl mix water, malt syrup and shortening. Stir to blend then add to flour mixture. Mix until well blended then knead for about 4 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic. Add more flour if needed. Put the dough into a butted bowl, flip over to coat all sides of the dough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 18 hours. The longer the better. Roll the dough into a 18″ x 6″ rectangle which is 1/16″ thick. Fold the dough from the short ends, brushing off excess flour, to make 3 layers. Roll again to 1/16″ thickness. Cut into crackers, place on a greased cookie sheet and poke holes in the crackers to prevent them from puffing up. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Bake at 425 for 10-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the crackers with melted butter, sprinkle with salt if desired, then place crackers on a rack to cool.

Variations: For sesame-onion crackers, add to the dough 4 tsp. each sesame seeds and grated onion. For an herb cracker, 4 tsp. each chopped fresh parsley and chives and 1/2 tsp. dried dillweed; also try 4 tsp. caraway seeds or 2 tsp. poppy seeds.