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We tried Tesco’s ‘Spooky Salted Caramel Tart’

Halloween seems to last much longer when you have children (and take them to the supermarket regularly). October scarcely begun when we started bringing home pumpkins, skeletons, black cats…and the occasional chocolate Santa, because what is commercialism without variety? At just turned three years old, Ajax is in love with all things Halloween this year and his enthusiasm has started to rub off on his older brother who previously seemed unphased by it. Until now we never really ‘did’ Halloween, so when we saw Tesco’s October magazine I just knew we had to try out the ‘Spooky Salted Caramel Tart’ (or ‘Ghosts’ as Ajax affectionately calls it.) So, if you’re looking for a last-minute party ‘show stopper’ look no further as this ghostly treat promises to impress. Here’s everything you need to know:

 

Ingredients: £7,71

250g bourbon biscuits – £0.36

150g unsalted butter – £1.50

100g dark chocolate – £1.35

100g white chocolate – £1.35

A pinch of sea salt – £1.00

200ml double cream – £1.05

325g caster sugar – £1.10

 

 Other things you might need:

 

Fluted cake tin – not necessarily 100% needed but I wanted the fancy edging, Tesco sell one for £3.50 Weighing scales – Tesco sell a basic set for just £5, perfect for student flats as they’re pretty compact so not taking up too much space.

 

Method:

 

#1: Melt 75g of butter.

#2: Blitz 250g bourbon biscuits into crumbs in a food processor then add the melted butter and pulse to mix. (If you don’t have a food processor and you have the time or patience it is possible to crumb the biscuits in a food bag with a rolling pin/ another heavy instrument of choice…I tested this method in my mother-in-law’s house in 2011- just make sure the bag is properly sealed or you’ll end up with crumbs all over your kitchen!)

#3: Spoon the biscuit butter mix into a fluted 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin, pressing up the sides and into the base with the back of a spoon and leave to chill. You don’t necessarily have to use a fluted tin, any loose bottomed tin would be fin, or if you don’t have a loose-bottomed line with baking paper and leave enough excess over the tin to lift the tart out easily.

(My flattening-with-a-spoon skills require a little work…I was a bit concerned that the biscuit mix would not cover the whole tin and the sides, personally, I would either use a slightly smaller tin or else make a tiny bit extra of the biscuit mix to make covering the area easier.)

 

#5: While that chills make the caramel. Starting with gently heating the remaining 75g of butter and 200ml double cream in a pan over a low heat until the butter has melted. Set aside.

Heat 325g of caster sugar and 125ml of water in a frying pan over a low heat for 10-15 mins or until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat slightly until the liquid is bubbling. Keep cooking mixture starts to turn golden, then watch closely and swirl the mixture (don’t stir) until it is a deep golden colour. (Bottom Left: at the start, just sugar and water. Middle: bubbling away nicely. Bottom right: started to turn a golden colour, time to swirl! Top: deep golden perfection.)

 

#6: Remove from the heat, then carefully stir the cream and butter mixture into the golden caramel – it will splutter and spit, so be very careful! Pour the caramel into the chilled tart case and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

(While that sets for the next two hours I will be nursing a burned tongue with a cold Coca-Cola and ice-cream…maybe don’t taste test your caramel too quickly guys.)

 

#7: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water. Pour over the caramel, then sprinkle the salt over the chocolate. Chill for 1 hour to set. 

 

#8: For a ghostly finish to your tart, put 50g melted white chocolate in a piping bag and pipe 5 circles with pointed ends on top. Pull the tip of a teaspoon through the points to create tails, then make a mouth and eyes with melted dark chocolate. 

This truly was a ‘labour of love’: we started at 09:45 but after waiting for things to chill and set numerous times it wasn’t ready for eating until 14:30. Luckily the boys exercised a great amount of patience! Aside from the timing, it was a really easy treat to make. I didn’t have any piping bags left so we used a spoon to make the ghosts which I don’t think turned out too badly even if I do say so myself! Top tip: If you have any chopsticks or skewers use them to add the eyes/mouth (I used a skewer). The caramel is the most complicated part due to the risk of burning so make sure to watch it really carefully!

 

I didn’t realise until after I had already served up a slice for everybody that I actually completely forgot to add the sea salt! It wasn’t a major disaster however as it still tasted really yummy without it, and we now have a box of organic sea salt in the house which I’m confident we’ll use…eventually…maybe.

 

All photos are Jacqueline’s own

Second year Theology and Religious Studies student at the University of Aberdeen.
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