Toffee Nut Tart

in Desserts

Looking for a new job is scary. Mainly because interviews are scary. You dress up in uncomfortable clothes that you hope make you look “professional,” then march into some unfamiliar office to have a conversation with someone you’ve never met. And not just any conversation, it’s a conversations about your overall skills and value as a person. I normally spend most of the interview trying to make sure that I don’t smile too much, and worried that my armpit stains are going to start to show-an unfortunate side effect of my nervousness is that I begin to sweat profusely. It definitely doesn’t make going to interviews any easier.

So then, after I’ve babbled on to the woman or man sitting in front of me about how I would be happy to mow their lawn on the weekends if they would only give me this job, I get up, walk out, and immediately begin to kick myself for things that I did or didn’t say. It’s brutal, tortuous, and just plain awful. The minute after an interview I need comfort, and can only think of getting home, changing into yoga pants and spending the remainder of the day watching Sex and the City DVDs while drinking iced coffee.

I have similar experiences when it comes to food. Last week I made this, and that was terrifying. Then, I made my first tart shell, which was easy, but I get nervous by new things. When it came to the filling, I knew that I wanted a recipe that was the food equivalent of my old yoga pants. Something that I’ve made a million times before and I know without a doubt I will enjoy. This toffee nut tart is perfect. It is super, super easy to make, always impressive looking, and tastes divine. The filling is light and airy and gives a nice contrast to the crunchy nuts. If you’re going to an interview anytime soon, it would probably be good to have something like this waiting for you at home.

Toffee Nut Tart

Adapted from Quick Recipes

Print this recipe!

1 ½ cups unsalted mixed nuts
½ cup superfine sugar or powdered sugar
½ cup whipping cream, plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 baked tart shell

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the mixed nuts onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Set aside and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, place the superfine sugar in a small saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and turns golden, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and slowly stir in only 2 tablespoons of cream. Stir until the mixture is smooth and well combined and becomes a toffee syrup. Allow to cool slightly.

Beat together the mascarpone cheese, brown sugar, ½ cup of cream and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is runny, continue beating until mixture begins to resemble whipped cream. Pour into the tart shell and smooth out evenly.

Sprinkle the nuts over the cream mixture. Using a spoon, drizzle the toffee syrup over the nuts, zigzagging over the tart. Chill until ready to serve.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina May 8, 2010 at 4:18 am

I love this recipe. The topping looks delicious!

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grace May 9, 2010 at 2:27 pm

oh, i hear ya. interviewing is the bane of my existence right now–the very thought of future ones makes my knees weak and has me considering finding myself a sugar daddy so i’ll never have to work again… :)
awesome tart–i love the pictures and i love the components.

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Joanne May 9, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Interviews are the WORST. For med school, I had to interview with six different people in ONE DAY. There was no time for breathing room. Or hyperventilation room, as the case may be.

I would have much rather been sitting at home. Watching SATC. Digging into this with a fork.

Looks amazing!

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Caroline May 12, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Grace – I think you’re onto something with the sugar daddy thing

Joanne – if I had to do six interviews in one day I would probably just pick another career on the spot. nice work!

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Karenpie May 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Call me a narcissist, but I used to love to interview. Seriously, a chance to sit and talk about myself for an hour – oh wait, I guess that’s why I blog. Har. Har.

Love this recipe! Have you ever used the caramel as the filling and put the nuts in it? Kind of like pecan pie only not so soft. I’m trying to figure that one out. OOOOH! I should try that dulce de leche thingie where you boil the Eagle brand milk to make caramel. Then stir a bunch of toasted nuts in it. No, actually, you should do it and take pictures of it and blog about it then tell everyone that I’m your inspiration. Har. Har again.

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Caroline May 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Karenpie – love the suggestions! I’ll definitely have to give them a try! I’ve never heard of making caramel from Eagle brand milk, is there a link with directions?

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Karenpie May 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm

This is crazy, but the recipe I originally used is no longer on Tasty Kitchen. Sheesh. Fortunately, I remember it and BE WARNED. It’s really difficult. Ready?

Take one can of sweetened, condensed milk and remove the paper wrapper. Do NOT open the can and put it in a pot of water, making sure it’s covered with a couple of inches of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 hours, covered, checking frequently to make sure it’s still submerged in the water. You may have to add more water during the process.

When the 2 hours are up. Turn off the heat, very carefully remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down. Ideally you should let it cool for several hours.

I’m a little skittish with this – constantly checking my water levels and not disturbing it much after cooking. I don’t want a caramel explosion in my kitchen.

When it’s cool, open the can and scrape the contents into a pie crust, or put a couple of dollops on ice cream or in your coffee. Instant caramel.

I found that I needed two cans to fill a 9-inch pie crust.

Let me know what you think!

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Caroline May 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Whoa, I’m gonna have to save this for the next day I’m feeling adventurous, but I’m definitely intrigued!

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Stay-At-Home-Chef June 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm

My mother-in-law recently made this pie for a family gathering. Delicious! Will be attempting to make this myself for my mom’s b-day. Love your site!

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