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Monday, March 19, 2012

Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart

Having a diabetic dad, I find it difficult to choose what desserts to make. I tried using Spenda a lot of times and unfortunately they always turn out bad. Either too pale, to hard, to weird looking, they were just plain horrible. Moreover, it is quite expensive and the output is not always edible. It is a bit stressful for me not knowing what will my dessert project become. So instead of wasting awful lot of money and risk the fact of not enjoying my so few baking moments, I threw caution to the wind and made it the old fashioned way, besides I have no idea if I can make caramel using Splenda.
I wanted to make tart what kind? well... that was debatable. I just wanted to use the new mini tart pans I bought several months ago. Admittedly they are really not considered as mini since they are roughly about 6 inches in diameter. Let's not get too technical here shall we. I knew that I didn't want any crushing of any sort of cookies of any kind since I don't have those on hand. I knew that I have no plans of making a pie dough to line my tart because I'm bad at making pie doughs. What little choice that was left was make some sort of shortcrust dough which personally is more manageable for me, then I suddenly remembered this amazing tart that graced the cover of Savuer Magazine few year ago. Its this amazing chocolate tart with caramel oozing out of it. The crust made this dark chocolate crust reminiscent of our good ol' dunkable cookies. I made two sizes of this 2 six inches tarts and manage to squeeze out 10 miniature tarts by using a mini muffin mold. I love working with this dough since it was very soft and malleable kind of like playing with play doh but smells much nicer. While the crust are baking in the oven, I made the caramel layer. Surprisingly this is where I had trouble. Managed to burn my caramel to a pitched black candy that got stuck at the bottom of my pan and in doing so ruined my supposed to be silicone spatula. It turned to black!!! So not really sure if its safe to use so I opted not to use it anymore. Silly me got way too impatient with my caramel getting color that I set my stove way too high. I didn't realised it until it was too late. Luckily, I barely had a sugar to redo it again, this was my last chance so I patiently waited and wait some more until it started to color and I quickly lower down the heat just to be on the safe side. My patience this time around was awarded with amber color caramel! It looks so good that I want to taste it asap but DON'T because its very HOT! While the caramel is still soft and pourable, pour a thick layer of caramel over the prebaked chocolate crust. Allow to cool so that the caramel would firm up, then pour in a generous layer of dark chocolate. Since the caramel is very sweet a nice 60%-70% chocolate will greatly complements it. A generous sprinkling of fleur de sel finishes off this tart nicely. All in all its an amazing dessert, takes a lot of steps but taste of so chic and sinful that its worth doing again.
CHOCOLATE CARAMEL TART
Adapted from Saveur

For the crust:
* 1 1⁄2 cups flour
* 1⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp. dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
* 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and softened
* 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
* 2 egg yolks, preferably at room temperature
* 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the caramel:
* 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
* 3 tbsp. light corn syrup
* 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
* 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
* 6 tbsp. heavy cream
* 1 tbsp. crème fraîche

For the Ganache:
* 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
* 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
* Gray sea salt for garnish
1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 350˚. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is pale and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Transfer dough to a 9" fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and press dough evenly into bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.
2. Make the caramel: In a 1-qt. saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tbsp. water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, cream, and crème fraîche (the mixture will bubble up) until smooth. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm, 4–5 hours.
3. Make the ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour ganache evenly over tart and refrigerate until set, 4–5 hours. Sprinkle tart with sea salt, slice, and serve chilled.
SERVES 8

3 comments:

  1. ooo, wow. this is a beautiful dish. it looks so rich and lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1:15 PM

    What is creme fraiche?

    ReplyDelete
  3. creme fraiche is a French cream similar to sour cream however it is less sour but has a higher fat content so it has a better mouth feel.

    ReplyDelete