This tart had a few 'firsts' for me -- it is the first tart I've ever made, first time I've made a pastry cream, and it's the first time I've worked with malted flavoring in a dessert. It was not as hard as I expected a tart to be in terms of assembly, and the mated flavor was a nice taste to work with. I had to go buy a tart pan, but based on the number of tart recipes in this book, I think it will be put to good use! The recipe called for a 9 inch pan, but my store only had 8 or 11 inches, so I went with 8. The proportions were still fine I thought.
The write-up of the recipe mentioned that you would be using a lot of bowls, and they sure were right! It was an involved recipe with many steps, but none were difficult at all. The hardest one for me was probably caramelizing the crispy rice cereal since the recipe was not very clear as to the amount of time it would take. I kept second guessing as I was stirring and stirring and stirring. But, they did eventually caramelize very well and ended up being one of my favorite parts of the dish.
Of course, as I ate it and got to each new layer I kept saying that new layer was my favorite! This tart has a brown sugar crust, a layer of milk chocolate ganache, a crispy layer of the caramelized rice cereal and crushed malt balls. Then, finally, the last layer was a malted diplomat pastry cream decorated with more caramelized crispies and whole malt balls. I definitely thought the highlights were the cream and the tart crust. The diplomat cream was thick and delicious and just malty enough. It was quite easy as well, a nice surprise having never made a pastry cream before. The crust was crunchy, salty and nicely dry. I don't know if the saltiness was my mistake and perhaps I used too much salt, but I liked it. It played very well off the sweetness of the ganache and cream.
Zach thought the ganache was the best part -- smooth and delicious, and it held the crunchy bits perfectly. He really liked the crunchy layer -- the caramelized crispies and the crushed malt balls.
You can check out the tarts of the other group members at BAKED Sunday Mornings!