Tag Archives: chocolate ganache

Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Ganache Tarts

8 Oct

Recently I had an itch for baking. I wanted to make something slightly more challenging than a cake. When I spotted Angela Casley’s Pastry Caramel Tarts recipe, I knew it was the one I was about to try. I have changed a few ingredients and come up with this gorgeous tarts.

Honestly I wasn’t a fan of caramel until I tried some salted caramel. It is unbelievable that a little bit of salt can elevate the tasty to a different level! I used the dark chocolate with 86% cocoa for the ganache. It was really bitter but it cut down the sweetness of the caramel. I think salted caramel and dark chocolate were a good match. If you wish you can use semi-sweet chocolate or milk chocolate instead. These tarts can be served warm or cold, either way they are equally delicious!

Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Ganache Tarts
Makes 6


  • 1 cup flour
  • 75g butter
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp chilled water

Salted Caramel

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 100g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Dark chocolate ganache

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 100g dark chocolate pieces
  1. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, icing sugar and almond meal into a food processor. Blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, lemon juice and water, blitz again until your dough is formed. Add more water if necessary. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour to one hour.
  2. Preheat an oven to 180C. Roll the dough on a lightly floured bench and line 6 x 4 inch tins. Bake blind until they are slightly brown, about 20-30 mins. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
  3. To make the caramel, place the water and sugar in a pot. Cook the mixture until you have an amber-coloured syrup. Whisk in the butter until it is melt. Whisk in cream and salt. Remove it from heat and let it cool down. Spread evenly into the tart cases.
  4. For the ganache, heat up the chocolate and cream together in a double boiler, mix until the chocolate melts. Pour over the caramel when it is cool.img_3411

Tiger cake

13 Oct

It is Samuel’s birthday again, where has the time gone?! Last year I made him the airplane cake, this year I made him a tiger cake since I just learned the animal cake a couple weeks ago. However I didn’t plan it well. I just went along what I felt like. This is a lesson to be learned – always draw out a cake design first! I am not really happy with the mouth, it looks odd. 😦

I swear I remembered the instructor in the Planet Cake class said the chocolate ganache ratio is 1 part chocolate and 2 parts cream. As a result my chocolate ganache was very runny. I added more and more chocolate, it did thicken up but it was still not the right consistency. After the cake was completed, I determined to find out the recipe so I Googled it. I have found the ratio should be 2 parts chocolate and 1 part cream, what a huge mistake!

Well, I still have a lot to learn. Although this is not my best cake ever, I am posting here to keep me motivated. Watch this space. 🙂

Tiger cake

Tiger cake

Planet Cake course – Novelty 101

1 Oct

I have watched the Planet Cake tv show before, their art works were amazing. When I learned that Planet Cake course was coming to NZ I didn’t want to miss out this opportunity, so I signed up the Novelty 101 course. Honestly the cost is expensive, but they provided a cake, tools, materials, lunch and everything we need. When I arrived everything was ready to start.

Each student was given an 8 inch square chocolate cake. We needed to crave it into a balloon shape. It was my first time of craving and sculpting a cake, and my cake was crumbly, therefore it was frustrating and messy. The crumbs covered all my work surface and the floor. 😦 At the end I just molded the crumbs together by pressing and squeezing, it did turn out a smooth balloon shape! And then we covered our cake with chocolate ganache. This is a signature technique of Planet Cake. The ganache sets firmly, this is how they achieve their “famous razor sharp edges”. Back to my course, using this balloon shape we can decorate it into different animals. Most students agreed to make a money. We rolled out the fondant, covered and decorating the cake. While craving is tedious, decorating is the fun part because we used our imagination to make our own monkey, each one was different. My monkey wasn’t perfect (the fondant was dry out and tearing off), but I loved it! 🙂

Is the Planet Cake worth of the money? I’d say if you really enjoy learning and cake decorating, yes it is!

Monkey cake - surprise expression

Monkey cake – surprise expression



My first chocolate cake

23 Sep

I love chocolate but I am not a big fan of chocolate cake, especially chocolate mud cake, therefore I have never bake one before. However when I was planning to make a cake as a gift and I saw this Baker Ella’s recipe, I was so attractive to it that I decided to give it a whirl. Chocolate cake + buttercream + chocolate ganache, oh hell, who can resist it?!

For the cake: I followed the recipe except I put less sugar (this is what I always do for every cake recipe – to cut down the sweetness). Also I baked it in one 9in pan instead of two pans and then cut it in half to fill it. It was really easy to make and the cake turned out nice and moist. I loved the cake recipe! The chocolate morsels I used in the filling were too big, so it was very hard to spread the filling – a mark down for my cake (thumb down).

For the buttercream: I adapted another buttercream recipe which I had already used for a few times. I was pretty confident with my buttercream (thumb up).

For the ganache: I followed the recipe, but it wasn’t thick enough, so I added more chocolate (more than 1 cup) but it still didn’t reach the thickness as what was shown in the Baker Ella’s photos. When I poured the ganache on the cake, it ran all over onto the cake, the cake board, my turntable and the kitchen bench. I had to clean the mess up! Next time I will use less cream and butter. This is another mark down on my cake (thumb down).

The following photo shows the final product (the chocolate surface was reflecting the light and details surrounded in the room, I didn’t take a nice photo). It was ok but not as good as I expected. Anyway I didn’t get to eat the cake, but the feedbacks I got are: it was very sweet (for the adults), but the kids loved it, especially the buttercream!

If you want to indulge yourself with a cake, this is the one!