Decadent Desserts Class with Tina Bacon

About a month ago I had the opportunity to attend a baking class called Decadent Desserts at Well Seasoned. The class was put on by Tina Bacon, owner and founder of the Pink Spatula. Tina is a fantastic pastry chef and creates the most amazing hand crafted marshmallows I've ever tasted (peanut butter ripple marshmallows anyone?!! - try that in a s'more!!). Check our her website for beautiful photos of her dessert offerings and where to find her hand crafted marshmallows.

During the class we made Individual German Chocolate Cakes (pictured above), oreos (pictured below), burnt sugar ganache mini tarts, and butterscotch pots de creme topped with dark chocolate pudding. It was an ambitious evening full of delicious, calorie-laden treats, handy tips and great recipes. Tina kindly allowed me to share the recipe for the burnt sugar ganache mini tarts with you (thanks Tina!!). I made them at home again yesterday to make sure the recipe turned out as well under my hand as Tina's professional hand and sure enough, it was a slam dunk!! Delicious and addictive. :)

First step for these delicious little guys is to make the miniature sweet tart dough (makes about 32 mini tarts):

Miniature Sweet Tart Dough
Recipe by Tina Bacon

  • 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups (12 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 5 1/2 tbsp (2 1/3 oz) sugar
  1. Cut butter into small cubes and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl stir together egg and vanilla with a fork.
  3. Measure flour, sugar and salt into a food processor bowl. Pulse together a few times to combine. Add butter and pulse till it's the size of rice. While still pulsing, slowly pour egg/ vanilla mixture through tube and mix just till it begins to form a dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead a couple times to form a smooth dough.
  4. Portion all of the dough first using a 1 1/2 - 2 tsp measure. Next, roll all the dough into balls and place in a miniature muffin pan (see photo below). Form into tart shells using either a tart tamper or your fingers to form a thin, even crust.
  5. Bake in 350F oven for about 10 minutes or till edges are golden. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes, then place tart shells on a rack to cool completely. Store airtight. Can be frozen.

Burnt sugar ganache tartlets made by Tina in her class
 Next up, make the burnt sugar ganache. Please note that I have adapted this recipe slightly - it originally called to make the caramel using the dry method, but having had a couple of really bad experiences in the past with this method, I opted instead to use the wet method. :)

Burnt Sugar Ganache
Recipe from Tina Bacon (Tina adapted the recipe from Pierre Herme's Faubourg Pave)

  • 1 3/4 cups (305g) chopped dark chocolate
  • scant 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tsp unsalted butter
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • scant 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. Place sugar in a pile in the middle of a saucepan. Carefully pour water in around the pile of sugar. Over medium high heat, gently and carefully stir the water and sugar mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring. Let it bubble until it reaches a nice golden brown colour and remove from heat. Stir in first amount of butter and salt until melted. Add cream (careful - it will bubble like crazy and puff up), stirring well. Return to a boil, remove from heat.
  2. Pour half of caramel over chocolate, stir to create ganache. Stir in remaining caramel till smooth. Set aside to cool till only slightly warm, about 10 minutes. Beat butter till malleable. Gently stir small amounts at a time into ganache with a wooden spoon till smooth. Don't use a whisk for this part - you don't want to incorporate air into this mixture.

Adding butter to the flour for the pastry dough
 To assemble your tarts - pour burnt sugar ganache into each tart until full. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Allow to set up. Enjoy!

Dough balls waiting to be formed into tart shells

Baked tart shells (my at home attempt)

Burnt sugar ganache tarts (my at home attempt)
This was a fantastic class and I would highly recommend attending any of Tina's baking classes at well seasoned. You'll learn a lot and get to sample loads of delicious food along the way (remember, calories don't count on cooking class nights).

This post has been linked up with Whatcha Baking Wednesdays over at Cajun Sugar Pie.

Happy Baking my Friends!

1 comment:

  1. These look fabulous! The baking lessons sound so enjoyable!