Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Mini Caramel Tarts (Bill Granger)

I can't believe that it is now less than a week to Christmas... and only 6 more sleeps to go!

How is your Christmas preparation? Any more shopping or presents wrapping? I hope that I have ticked all in my Christmas checklist... Finger-crossed because I never like any last minute panic!  

Am I ready to celebrate Christmas? Yes, I am. 

Remember that I made Rudolph the red nosed reindeer cake pops last year? I like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and always like to celebrate my Christmas with cute reindeer. This year, I'm baking Rudolph again, not cake pops but sweet caramel Rudolph...

This delicious caramel tart recipe originates from a cookbook by Bill Granger. Being typically Bill Granger, his tarts are the plain and simple kind decorated with just chocolate buttons. Mine are slightly fanciful and Christmas-y... Each of mine has a pair of eyes, antlers, ears, a red nose and a smile. Sweet!

No doubt at all that these caramel tarts made with sugar are sweet! ... and this is the reason why that I baked these for happy kids and a Christmas picnic.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Mini Caramel Tarts Bill Granger
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Mini Caramel Tarts
What are these???  Keep guessing :)
Warning: This tart dough is very soft! Chilling it thoroughly and dusting with lots of flour help.
Chill these in the freezer first before baking!
AMAZED!!! No pie weight or blind-baking is required to bake these! ...and there is minimal shrinkage too! 
Cooking caramel from scratch... I like to use a candy thermometer to avoid burning the sugar.
This spoonful of caramel is for me... Test test... Yum!
Pour caramel into each tart pastry
A tart with eyes, ears, antlers, a red nose and a smile! I've made Rudolph!
christmas caramel tarts Bill Granger
Bye! We are going to a Christmas picnic!

Here's the recipe by Bill Granger
(with my modification and note in blue)

Makes 24
250g plain flour
110g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter
1 egg

chocolate melts (buttons) to decorate

450g caster sugar
185ml cream
40g unsalted butter

Mix the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add the egg and pulse until just combined. Turn out onto a clean work surface and lightly knead together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 20 mins or until firm. Instead of using food processor, I have rubbed butter into flour and sugar mixture by hand and add egg to combine.

Roll out the dough to about 4mm thick and use a cutter to cut out 6 cm (or 8 cm just in case if there is any shrinkage) rounds. Use the pastry to line two 12-hole patty pans or mini muffin tins and place in the freezer for 15-20 mins or until firm. I'm a little kiasu and chilled mine overnight.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (or 180°C fan forced). Bake the tart shells for 15 mins or until golden and I baked mine for 13 mins.

To make filling, put the sugar in a saucepan with 250ml water and boil over high heat for 15 mins or until deeply golden (the candy thermometer will read 350°F). Remove from the heat, then carefully stir in the cream and the butter. Pour into the tart shells and chill for 2 hrs.

Decorate the tarts with chocolate buttons and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Note: Using half of this recipe and a patty pan, I have baked 12 tarts.

How to transform plain caramel tarts to Rudolph:

Pipe melted dark chocolate into small dots for eyes, medium drops for ears and "F" and reverse "F" for antlers. Allow chocolate to set.

Prepare two types of royal icing; a plain white one and a dark chocolate one to assemble Rudolph's face. As I require only 3-4 tbsp of each icing, I prefer to use ready-to-use royal icing which is mentioned in this post  If ready-to-use royal icing option is not available for you, you may like to use this recipe. To make plain white icing, add water into ready-to-use royal icing mixture and mix until it reach your desired consistency. To make chocolate royal icing, add 1-2 tsp of cocoa powder into 1/4 pack of ready-to-use royal icing and mix until it reach your desired consistency.

Using the chocolate royal icing, pipe across the tart and make a small loop to form a smile. Then, pipe dots of chocolate royal icing on area to adhere the antlers and ears. Place the antlers, ears and a mini red M and M accordingly.

Using the white royal icing, pipe two dots at the middle of the tart to form the eyes and place two small dots of chocolate on them to complete the "look" of the eyes.

Here you go... a smiley Rudolph!

Before going off... I like to mention that although these tarts are deliciously good and cute, these chocolate antlers didn't survive well in our summery picnic. For this reason, I would like to suggest using pretzel as antlers as this is definitely a more durable option. Yes that I have thought of this potential problem before but didn't make these tarts using pretzel because my boy said that he prefer chocolate rather pretzel... Not a good idea, son! Hmmm....

Happy Baking
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  1. These are too cute.
    I couldn't possibly eat one.
    Well, maybe I could try. ;)

  2. Loved your pretty reindeer tarts. Perfect for Christmas and I am sure you won't have any leftover. Have a happy and blessed Christmas.

  3. Oh Zoe, I know I will never have the patience or know how to make such adorable Rudolphs. Can you send me some, Please...I'm a heart anyway! And, we already know Marion is too!!!

    You did a wonderful job. So creative and I am sure yummy!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  4. Hi Zoe , almost to cute to eat , but give me a couple thanks for sharing :)

  5. Hi Zoe,
    The Rudolphs are so cute!. It'll definitely make the kids happy. You are so creative.

  6. I love these tarts:). My kids will love them. I have set time to make them this weekend. I am a new follower of your blog.

  7. So cute and pretty tart....brings out the Christmas atmosphere.

  8. Whoa..very Christmassy and cute! I'm excited ~ I have got to practice baking more so I can make stuff like these!

  9. Hi, Zoe. Kids will definitely love this tarts. You are so creative!

  10. i like how you put it... 6 more sleeps to go.. hahahha.... good one there

    i haven't been a fan of reindeer meat but your reindeer tart, anytime!! but then again, i'll probably end up admiring it, with eyebrows so knitted (i can kill a fly in between them) going "aiyoh.. so cute"

  11. The cuppies look so X'masy....I'm sure your kids will be delighted!

  12. Oh wow these are so cute! I love the caramel filling.

  13. Zoe you are really rocking in making super yummy bakes.parcel some of these yummy cuties��

  14. Zoe, these tarts are so cute! A sure winner with kids and adults alike :)

  15. Nice work there, Zoe!

    I am feeling the Christmas mood...O

  16. These are too cute! I am impressed at your candy thermometer prowess, too :)

  17. These are so funny!!!!
    Merry Christmas, Zoe

  18. Zoe, you are amazing creative. These tarts are too perfect for the Christmas. :)

  19. Wow.they r so cute. Loved the way you presented the entire post.

  20. Very cute! It helps to have a little one to keep you inspired huh! mine are not too bothered whether I bake or not lol! Merry Xmas to you!

  21. Rudolph looks so cute...truly you have kicked up the Christmas feel with these relishing tarts!

  22. Wow, these tarts are so cute and festive :) I love Rudolph and this looks like such a fun and creative dessert - love them, great job Zoe :)

  23. Oooo Zoe, your reindeer tarts are super cute. I still rmbr your reindeer cake pops from last year... left a lasting impression!

  24. I saw many reindeer cupcakes before but reindeer tart is 1st time. Great job, Zoe!
    They are really cute, adorable and Christmassy!

  25. Hi Zoe,
    Your rudolph tart looks so cute! I would never have the patience or the creativity to make these!
    And with the caramel sounds so yummy!

  26. Ohhh Zoe estàn muy muy lindos y originales para Navidad,hugs,hugs,

  27. These are awesomely cute, too cute to bite in! Blessed christmas to you and your family!

  28. These are such a cute Christmas treat.

  29. These are precious and adorable, Zoe. You can cater a party for me, any time.

  30. this is impressive, zoe! i wouldnt hv guessed that F is the antlers! nice job !

  31. This is best for Christmas! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  32. These are so cute! I do not have the patience to decorate things. Good for you!

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  34. Gosh, that's real cute! Perfect for X'mas, sweetie!

  35. Thanks for sharing some ideas..Kids will surely love that

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  36. I show your tarts to my two young adults and both of them said "sooo cute". Have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

  37. I thought I had all of my Christmas prep out of the way. Until I saw these little tarts! So cute! And something I need to make. Thanks.

  38. These too cute to eat!
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  39. Chocolate and mint is a perfect combination of flavors and these look so cute and festive. Thanks for the recipe.

  40. hi Zoe! this is such a cute Christmas bake!

  41. This is such a brilliant idea!
    Thanks for sharing!

  42. Awesome, they look so cute that I can't wait to make them for my kids. Thank you so much for this !