Caramel & Macadamia Nut with White Chocolate Tarts
Caramel & Macademia Nut White Chocolate Tarts ~ This is a delectable little bite of caramel goodness mixed in with the nutty and salty crunch of macadamia nuts. To top off the tartlets is a mousse like buttercream dollop of white chocolate frosting.
The idea for these little tarts are from a catering company in Orange County called 24 Carrots. They catered a lunch event at my company last week and these were one of the desserts. I ate the first one quickly for pleasure and then the second one I ate much slower.
The second was for tasting. I made a few mental notes to take home so that I could recreate it in my kitchen. As you can see from the recipe it really wasn’t that hard to do. This is really delicious and makes for such a nice little finger dessert.
To short-cut the recipe I used pre-made tart shells from here. For the topping I used a Swiss meringue buttercream base instead of a more traditional whip cream topping because it lent a nice mousse-like texture without being too light against the caramel and nut filling. The original tarts from 24 Carrots uses a much lighter topping, that I found disappeared before it could compliment the caramel and macadamia filling.
A few notes:
- I don’t recommend using store bought caramel sauce as it tends to be overly sweet and tends to be too thin for these recipe.
- For those that are regular readers, I often recommend taking the caramel to a dark amber stage before adding the cream and butter, but for this recipe the caramel is ready at medium amber. This will make for a more nuetral flavor caramel so that the macadamia nuts won’t be overpowered.
- I reccomend using roasted and salted macadamia nuts as its more flavorful. I bought mine at Trader Joes.
- Tarts can be fully assembled a day ahead.
Caramel & Macademia with White Chocolate Tarts
Makes 2 dozen two inch tartlets
- 24 two inch tartlets, premade or homemade
- 3 tablespoons confectioner sugar
Caramel and macadamia tart filling
- ¾ cup Macadamia nut, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup homemade caramel sauce (recipe follows)
White chocolate buttercream
- 3 oz white chocolate, melted
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
To make caramel and macadamia tart filling:
1. Coarsely chop macadamia nuts and fold into caramel sauce.
To make white chocolate buttercream:
1. Place white chocolate and heavy cream in a heat proof bowl over simmering water and stir to melt; set aside
1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.
2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer)until mixture cools and doubles in volume and forms soft medium peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add cooled white chocolate and mix to combine.
1. Dust tart shells with confectioner sugar. Place one tablespoon of caramel and macadamia tart filling in shell and then pipe white chocolate buttercream on top.
Homemade Caramel Sauce (click here for a step-by-step picture tutorial)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoon butter
- ¼ c heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place sugar and water into a saucepan over medium low heat and stir the until sugar has dissolved. Dissolve any crystals forming on the side with a wet pastry brush.
- Once sugar has dissolved increase heat to high.
- At this point do not stir the mixture directly. Now and then, using the handle, give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving. The mixture will start to bubble after a minute or so.
- After 3-4 minutes the mixture will turn from a light amber to medium amber. Add the butter and heavy cream at this point. The mixture will bubble wildly. Whisk to combine (bubbles will subside upon cooling). Set aside to cool completely.