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Chocolate Caramel Tarts

You have to see how gorgeous this tart is!

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Tart Dough
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
For the Caramel Filling
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 pinch of coarse salt
For the Chocolate Ganache Glaze
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

Make the tart dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Sift in flour and cocoa powder, and beat on low speed until just combined. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and form it into a disk; wrap well. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper, roll the tart dough into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle, 3/16 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch round cutter, cut out 24 rounds of dough, and press them into 2 1/4-inch tart pans, trimming away any excess dough. Chill the tart shells in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Line each tart shell with a  a piece of parchment paper, and fill with raw rice or dried lentils. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and its contents, and bake until the pastry looks dry and set, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool. (The tart shells can be made up to 8 hours ahead.)

Make the filling: Place 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan. Add sugar and corn syrup, and cook mixture over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it becomes a dark-amber caramel, about 10 minutes. Carefully whisk in butter, cream, creme fraiche, and a pinch of salt (the mixture will bubble up), whisking until smooth. (The caramel can be made up to 5 days ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.)

Carefully transfer caramel to a glass measuring cup. Divide caramel among tart shells while still warm (or reheat caramel over low heat until it is pourable), and let stand until the caramel is set, at least 45 minutes.

Make the ganache glaze: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour some of the glaze over each of the tarts while still warm. Let the glaze set at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tips/Techniques
On "Martha Bakes," Martha doubled this recipe to make one 9-inch round tart and six 4 1/2-inch round tarts (with 1 cup caramel sauce left over). Alternatively, you could double the chocolate tart dough and make twelve 3 3/4-inch tarts. Martha also used parchment and dried lentils when baking the shells, and she topped her tarts with fleur de sel.

Sara Moulton's French Apple Tart

Again, take a look at this beautiful dessert.  At the end of the recipe there is a link to a video that gives a step by step construction.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
7 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and halved
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apricot jam
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine flour, 8 tbsp. butter, and salt in a food processor and pulse until pea-size crumbles form, about 10 pulses. Drizzle in 3 tbsp. ice-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3—4 pulses. Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Unwrap dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 13″ circle and then transfer to a 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges; chill for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375º. Working with one apple half at a time, thinly slice into sections, keeping slices together. Press sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves. Place 1 fanned apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves. Separate remaining apple slices. Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern. Fill in any gaps with remaining apple. Sprinkle with sugar and then dot with remaining butter. Bake until golden brown, 60—70 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat apricot jam in a small saucepan until warmed and loose; pour through a fine strainer into a small bowl and set aside. Transfer tart to a wire rack; using a pastry brush, brush top of tart with jam. Let cool completely before slicing and serving with whipped cream.

Sole Meuniere

INGREDIENTS

6 (4 to 6-oz.) boneless, skinless filets sole
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup flour
10 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
½ lemon, thinly sliced crosswise

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Season filets on both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate and set aside. Heat 4 tbsp. butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dust filets in flour, shaking off excess, and then place in skillet; cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer filets to warm serving platter or individual plates; sprinkle with parsley.

2. Wipe skillet clean and return to heat with remaining butter; cook, swirling pan, until butter begins to brown. Add lemon slices, cook until heated through, and then pour evenly over filets. Serve immediately with lemon slices.

Trout Meuniere Almondine

1  cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Canola oil, for frying
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 cups flour
4  8-oz. boneless, skinless sea trout, 
  
   redfish, or red snapper filets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, 
  
   to taste
3 cups sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp. minced parsley, for garnish
1 lemon, cut into slices, for serving

1. Heat butter in an 8" skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring, until solids turn dark brown, 20–25 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in vinegar and lemon juice; set sauce aside.

2. Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2"; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. In a shallow dish, whisk together milk and eggs; put flour into another shallow dish. Season fish with salt and pepper. Working with one filet at a time, dip fish in flour, shake off excess, and then dip in egg mixture and shake off excess. Return filets to flour; transfer to a rack over a baking sheet. Working in two batches, fry fish until golden brown, 5–6 minutes, then drain on paper towels. To serve, divide fish between 4 plates; sprinkle almonds on top. Whisk sauce and spoon over fish. Garnish with parsley; serve with lemon slices.

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