Sweet and salty.

Salted chocolate tartsSo I own a cupcake business and I think that’s given me a good reputation to people like, “Damn, this girl can bake”. And it’s funny, because people think I bake all. the time. and that my house is always overflowing with goodies. But sadly, no, this is not the case (as you might have already guessed since I only have one other baking post as of today). Aside from my business, I don’t bake all too often at home. Shocked? You shouldn’t be. Baking does get expensive – all those ingredients add up! And the worst part? Contrary to pretty much everyone’s belief, it hardly gets eaten. I always end up bringing treats to work and such because either a) it doesn’t get eaten or b) I will eat the whole pan. They are both terrible outcomes.

…which is why I love it when there is a something that is worth celebrating. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Halloween. Christmas. Thanksgiving. IT GIVES ME A REASON TO BAKE! YES!!! So, in celebration of my friend Aaron’s 31st birthday, I baked up some sea salted chocolate tarts with oat-almond crust. *happy dance* Thanks for being born, Aaron!

Ah, the classic sweet and salty combination. Chocolate-covered pretzels, kettle corn, maple bacon, and the Bee Sting donut from Cartem’s (parmesan cheese and black pepper on top of a honey donut)… Love love love sweet and salty foods together. It’s like yin and yang yet in perfect harmony. These chocolate tarts are no exception. The crust is delicate and crumbly, a hint of sweetness with a hit of salt, and the chocolate ganache centre? Perfect with a glass of red wine. Need I say more?

I was so excited to make these. And surprisingly, they turned out to be a little bit time consuming and difficult annoying to make. Just a tad. But it worked out in the end! My tip would be to seriously and crazily grease your pans like no tomorrow — it’ll save you a headache. And if you are having trouble getting them out of the pan, just try to rotate them and you should be able to pop them out. The crust is very delicate — quite similar in texture to graham cracker crust (but much, much better for you). Don’t be afraid!
Salted chocolate tarts Salted chocolate tarts Salted chocolate tarts Salted chocolate tartsSea salted chocolate tarts with oat-almond crust

What you’ll need:
– 2 cups quick-cooking oats
– 1 1/2 cups roasted almonds (mine were salted)
– 3 tbsp sugar
– 1/2 cup butter, melted
– 1 (10oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips
– 1 (170mL) can heavy cream
– 1 tbsp coarse sea salt

What you’ll need to do:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a food processor, grind oats until it resembles a rough flour. Set aside.
2. Throw the almonds into the food processor and blend until it is sand-like in texture. Don’t blend too long or it will become almond butter.
3. Put the oats, almonds, sugar and butter in the food processor and pulse until it becomes a crumbly “dough” that, when pressed together, will stick. Press dough into two muffin tins (large or minis – I did one of each) and bake for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Cool, and set aside.
4. Place your chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream until bubbles form along the sides. Pour cream over chocolate chips and leave it for 2 minutes. Stir to mix and to ensure that all chocolate is melted. If it is still clumpy, melt the chocolate mixture over a double broiler (or a pot of simmering water) until completed melted.
5. Spoon the the chocolate ganahce into cooled crust cups. Let chill for 5 minutes in the fridge and sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of each one.
6. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 24 large tarts or 48 mini tarts.

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