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caramel tassies

Caramel and Chocolate. What a wonderful combination of rich decadent flavours. Separate them and what do you have? TWO wonderfully rich decadent flavours! My colleague and I set up a challenge for ourselves to pit a caramel dessert up against a chocolate one (sparked when I said “I think I’d choose caramel over chocolate any day.”)

The only rule was the caramel dessert could not contain chocolate and the chocolate dessert must be free of caramel. Already, as a representative for caramel, I felt like I had successfully put myself at a disadvantage. Caramel always tastes best when with chocolate but chocolate can stand on its own.

My colleague chose a worthy foe in a rich Mississippi Mudslide brownie. Me? I went with Caramel Tassies.

mississippi mudslide

How would you vote?

Now that you’ve voted, check out the recipe for the dessert that won in the office.

Caramel Tassies (makes 4 dozen)

My version of Caramel Tassies is actually an amalgam of different recipes. I’ve made this only once prior to this challenge and I believe each time has come out differently. That’s the fun of baking!

Pastry Shell
1 cup butter; softened
2 pkg. cream cheese
2 cups flour

  • Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add in flour until well combined.
  • Cover and place in the fridge until firm; about 30 minutes (as if we ever wait that long, eh?)
  • Roll 1-inch balls of the dough and press into mini cupcake tins, making sure it fills the sides making a cup. Poke bottoms with fork and then bake in 350°F for 15-17 minutes. There’s a chance it might puff a bit. No worries, just gently press the sides with a spoon to reform your perfect little cup. Cool completely.

Caramel Filling
1 pkg. soft caramels (14 oz. bag + extra from an open bag… what? were you expecting exact measurements here?)
¼ cup coconut milk (original recipe called for whipping cream)
Whipping cream (here’s where I had to improvise)

  • Melt down caramels with coconut milk. Whisk together as it cooks. Remove from heat.
  • If mixture is too liquidy, panic and then add some whipping cream and then whisk like mad. Let that mixture cool and that pipe into prepared pastry shells.

Mascarpone Cream Filling
1 cup mascarpone cheese (yes, this is expensive)
2 tbsp. sugar
½ cup heavy cream + 2 tbsp.

  • Beat the mascarpone cheese and sugar together using the whisk attachment. Add the heavy cream and beat until stiff. Fit a piping bag with a large star tip and fill the bag with the filling. Pipe on to the tops of each tassie and enjoy!
  • You will have a lot left over… better start looking for that other recipe you can put this stuff on/in.
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