Saturday, March 26, 2011

Baked Sunday Mornings: Malted Crisp Tart

I have  memories from my childhood of special family outings when  my dad would take us to a drive-in where pretty girls wearing flirty short skirts would gracefully roller skate up to my dad’s car  window and they always had lovely, patient smiles showing off their red lipstick and teeth being straightened with braces, and they would suggest menu items which were repeated over and over with singing voices, and I never heard a word they said because I was dreaming about which malt flavor I would order.  There were 5 of us kids and I was the only one who always wanted a malt...the others could never tell the difference between malts and shakes, but I was the oldest, and the wisest, and my tastes were so much more refined and sophisticated, I thought.  And back then luscious dark chocolate had not yet become my favorite flavor, but it was usually black raspberry or boysenberry which I still love, but they can no longer compete with hot fudge malts that I crave from Dairy Queen on a hot summer day...and there is a DQ only a block north of our office building that calls out to me often starting about now.   Adding the malt has not changed...I will gladly pay the extra 20 cents for this flavor booster.

And not too far from here is Joe’s Farm Grill and they have ice cream Sunday’s, and malt is sprinkled on the top always making me extra happy.   If too much of this special powder is added and sinks to the bottom of my cup, that is the bite I savor most.  I've always loved malted milk balls with the chocolatey outside and the melt-in-your mouth inside. 

While reading through the recipes in Baked Explorations, the Malted Crisp Tart caught my attention, but I must admit that after learning about all the steps necessary to finish this tart, I may not have tackled this tart without the "assignment" from Baked Sunday Mornings.

I needed regular of office paperwork breaks today.  I'm getting all our business taxes ready to be reviewed by our CPA, and there is just so much adding up numbers, finding papers and reviewing my work that I can take in one day.  About every two hours I need a break.  I decided to bake the Malted Crisp Tart for my breaks as there are so many little projects that need to be done to complete this special treat  I knew I could break them down and find enjoyment in my day.

Since Hubby and #2 Son both celebrate birthdays this week, I decided to bake two to try now, and one  for an extra dessert during our birthday celebrations.  While I'm making all the mess and stirring items on the stove I figured I might as well just make a little more.

The first project I tackled was to cook the Malted Diplomat Cream (I tripled this part giving me extras to enjoy while I worked through my day... and it is fabulous all by itself.)  The only change I made was to use an immersion blender to make the pudding extra silky smooth, eliminating the need to pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.

For my second break I caramelized the crispies.  This step took longer that I anticipated.  I will probably cut the water amount down just a little next time which will speed up the process  (I cooked over a higher heat than suggested in the recipe and this process still took quite a long time.)

Next I crushed the malt balls for the garnish.  Now I have all my "mix-ins" and garnishes prepared.

Then I made the crust.  This brown sugar crust has several steps and actually covered a few breaks for me.  First I mixed the dough and pressed it into the tart pans.  Then I went back to work while the unbaked crust chilled in the freezer, giving me plenty of time to enter several figures into my computer during the 20 minutes required to get the crust really cold before baking.  (I'm excited to try this crust as I have never made a brown sugar crust with this much looks really good and mixed/pressed nicely.)


Then 20 more minutes to bake the crust, again giving me more work time, and by now, 20 minutes is long enough to sit still.  After the baked crust came out of the oven I stayed in the kitchen to make the chocolate ganache.  Again I made a change, deciding not to use milk chocolate, but a bittersweet chocolate.  With all the diplomat cream, the crust, and other goodies, I really wanted to taste the chocolate...and during tax time I badly need lots of good darker chocolate just for happiness  (and that chocolate-malt flavor is what I really desire) .

 One tart is 10" and one is 9".
The crust cooled quickly and was ready for the ganache after about 10 minutes.  The ganache created a nice layer in the bottom of the crust and while it was still warm, I pressed 1/2 my crispies and the crushed malt balls into the chocolate.  Then back into the fridge to set up.

After about 1/2 hour I was able to assemble the tart.  The ganache had set up and was ready for the diplomat cream which I spooned on top of my "mix-ins".   After adding the cream, I topped my tarts with the remaining crispies and added whole malt balls for a fun garnish.

Back into the fridge.  The assembled tarts need some time to set up, but I must admit that I am worried about the toppings on the wet cream...I'm hoping that they will not get soggy or melt...I'm waiting until tomorrow to slice a piece of my tart for a taste.

When I make these tarts again I will probably make the pudding and crust one day and the other items the next.  There are lots of dirty dishes and lots of parts to this baking project, making it a time consuming dessert.  Tomorrow I'll know for sure if it has been worth all the time and all the dirty dishes.

OK, its tomorrow right now...time to taste!
The verdict?

Four of us tasted this tart today and no worries...the tart crispies and malt pieces did not go soggy.  The tart was terrific...all of us give this tart a thumbs up!  Totally worth all the effort.  This is a masterpiece...would make a very nice gift or individual sizes would be great too.  This is a great dessert!!!



  1. This looks delicious! And, how cute is that photo of the messy, sticky baby hands! Aw!

  2. Great variation, using the dark chocolate. This was a very sweet dessert, but fortunately, my husband and I both have a sweet-tooth. Your tart looks wonderful!

  3. That baby....oooh, I just want to pinch her cheeks!

    Anyway, your tart looks beautiful, too! I'm really impressed that you made two....I thought just one was pretty ambitious! It was worth all the effort though.

  4. Your tart looks perfect! This one was definately worth all of the work and dirty dishes!

  5. Your tart is gorgeous! I'm glad you tried it with bittersweet chocolate, because I thought the chocolate could flavor could have been a bit more prominent... Recently, I tried some dark chocolate malt balls that were delicious, and if I ever get my hands on some again, I'll try them in this recipe with bittersweet ganache!

  6. I'm so glad that Honey liked the tart! I just love your photos, Kris, and your tart looks fabulous. Great idea to use the immersion blender for the pastry cream. This is a perfect brithday dessert and Happy Birthday to your husband and son!

  7. Mmm, your tart looks amazing. You chocolate layer looks perfect!! Great job :)

  8. I love how you recount your childhood preference for malt! It's far less popular in Canada so I go for it whenever the opportunity comes up. Good looking tart!

  9. Beautiful Kris! I made a malted chocolate cake recently & I'd forgotten how great malt & chocolate go together! Your tart came together perfectly!