The best homemade caramel tarts

This is one of my Mum’s recipes and is a long time family favourite, delicious homemade mini caramel tarts.

Sweets & Desserts by Leigh Ross

Making caramel tarts is so easy!

I never understood why people say caramel is so fiddley to make, until I realised how other people make it. This is a quick recipe that makes enough caramel for 2 dozen mini tarts.

Condensed milk caramel

For me caramel made with condensed milk tastes better than caramel made with brown sugar, butter and cream. It’s not as sweet and is much, much creamier. It is also a breeze to make because it’s all cooked in its tin and there are no hours labouring over the stove stirring.

What you need

  • 1 tin of condensed milk
  • 2 dozen tarts cases (see note below)
  • Creme fraîche or whipped cream
  • Dark chocolate (finely grated for garnish)

What to do

  1. Fill a medium sized pot half way with water and pop your tin of condensed milk in the pot.
  2. Boil with the lid on for a minimum of two hours, preferably three hours.
    It’s really important to check the water levels to make sure the pot doesn’t boil dry. If left in a dry pot long enough the tin explodes open and caramel is very difficult to clean off the ceiling, benches, splash boards and well it goes everywhere (just ask my Mum 🙂 )
  3. Remove the tin from the pot with a tea towel and allow to cool.
    If you try to open the tin before it cools down, the pressure in the tin squirts very warm caramel all over the place and it can burn.
  4. Place a piping bag with a star nozzle and stretch it over a large glass or container (this makes it much easier to fill). With a spatula, fill the piping bag with the cooled caramel.
  5. Pipe the caramel into the tart cases. It’s easier to do when it’s still slightly warm.
  6. Top filled tarts with a small dollop of creme fraiche (or whipped cream) and grate a small bit of dark chocolate over the top.
    I find the creme fraiche and dark chocolate cut through some of the sweetness of the caramel.

Tart cases

  • I try to make my own tart cases because nice mini tart cases can be hard to find and will set you back between $1 – 2.50 per case (and frankly homemade ones taste nicer). Making your own cases is really easy with either homemade shortcrust pastry or premade pastry from the freezer section at your supermarket. Here are a few tips for taking the fiddliness out of making them.
  • Get a packet of Arnotts Honey Snap biscuits, place them over the tops of a muffin tin and heat in a hot oven (200ºC) for a few minutes until soft. Once soft, take a dessert spoon and gently indent the centers of the biscuits to make shallow tart cases. Let them cool and you’ve got some quick and easy cases. We used to use Ginger Snaps which were phenomenal with the caramel but Arnotts stopped making them. Personally I find the Honey Snaps too sweet.
  • You can buy really yummy cases from Simon’s Deli in Chapel Hill (it’s in the shopping complex on Moggill Road just past the Lexus dealership).
  • Woolies and Coles sometimes have mini sweet and savoury cases. I found them to be quite floury…but they’re ok if you’re in a bind.