Chocolate-Salted Caramel Tart: A Therapeutic Treat

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and wisdom to know the difference”, the Serenity Prayer by the theologist Reinhold Niebuhr

Currently, I am experiencing this timeless wisdom day in day out. In unprecedented ways, our quarantine lifestyle is testing our endurance and creativity.

I perceive that I can’t change the pandemic status quo and I can’t bring back to life my father whom I lost over two weeks ago,  but I know that I can choose to stay firm, to believe in God’s mercy and have faith that I can grow through this while I go through this.

Those who are following my blog, my IG@cheznermine, or my FB page cheznermine are already aware that cooking and baking are my personal choice as a coping mechanism.

Cooking is a cross between art, passion, and duty. You feed those you love while nurturing your wethering soul with an immeasurable dose of enthusiasm.

This Chocolate-Salted Caramel Tart adapted by Bon Appetit magazine makes me garner compliments that I never dreamed of.

I tweaked the recipe a little by using icing sugar instead of granulated sugar in the crust for a more delicate texture and infused cinnamon and cloves into the crust dough, knowing how marvelously these two warm spices enliven the intensity of the chocolate.

The original Bon Appetit tart is decorated with flaky sea salt but I chose to decorate mine with toasted hazelnuts, which were sprinkled in a crescent shape.

Spread carefully the salted caramel layer with an offset spatula.

The intensity of dark chocolate glaze cuts through the sweetness of the salted caramel layer. The gooey filling of both chocolate glaze and salted caramel can’t find a more glorious vessel than this delicate, slim chocolate crust. The crust shatters in your mouth surrendering to an unexpected hint of sea salt that offsets the sweetness of caramel and sends you, defying the quarantine, a heavenly flavors island.

Making this dessert isn’t daunting as you may think, even its ingredients are omnipresent in the pantry of amateur bakers.

The workload of creating three different components— the chocolate crust, salted caramel layer, and dark chocolate glaze, could be easily broken down.  The assembling of this tart can’t be more fun or simpler.

Don’t let your previous failure in making a tart crust hold you back.  Dare once more, and try the trick that I share in the recipe’s directions below.  It is a game-changer and is worth scrolling down.

Challenge yourself to make this mind-blowing tart this coming week and get ready for the sweetest compliments that will make you blush like never before.

If you like this post please share it and if you hopefully make this tart tag #cheznermine, as I would love to see your own twist of this magnificent tart.


Chocolate-Salted Caramel Tart

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine 

Serves 6-8 people

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks or 170,5 gram) chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons iced water

Filling

  • 1½ cups  sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

Chocolate Glaze or Ganache 

  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate (do not go above 70% cacao), finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2  tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Flaky sea salt

Tools and Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Tart pan 9 inches with removable bottom

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Make the crust.  Sift the cocoa powder, icing sugar, salt, spices, and 1⅔ cups flour in a medium bowl. Add those mixed dry ingredients to the recipient of a food processor. Run the food processor to make sure that the ingredients are well mixed.  Add the chilled cubes of butter and pulse  3 to 4 times until the dough resembles bread crumbs. Add the iced water and pulse again once or two times, until it resembles wet sand. Avoid overworking the dough, at this point, it should not come together as a dough, it should look like wet sand that when you press it between fingers it sticks together.  Transfer the dough to a lined plastic film, brings the crumbs together with your hands to form a disc. Don’t knead it, just bring it together. Wrap and freeze for 3 hours or overnight.  Get the frozen dough out and grate it over the tart pan. Start with the sides, use your fingers’ tips to press the dough shards together to cover the sides and the bottom. Put the tart mold in the freezer for one hour.  Get the frozen tart out, prick the tart with a fork, cover it with foil, and use dry lentils or chickpeas to weigh down the foil.  In a preheated oven at 350° bake the tart for 7 minutes with the foil on. Remove the foil and the baking beads (lentils or rice) and then bake again for another 5 to 7 minutes. Avoid over baking. Let it cool completely, place it in the fridge to harden until the filling and the ganache are ready.
  2. Make the salted caramel filling.  Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon until dissolved. Cook, swirling the pot often but not stirring until mixture turns deep amber. Remove caramel from heat and immediately stir in butter a piece at a time until smooth, be careful; mixture will sputter. Gradually stir in the cream, then add the salt. Transfer caramel to a heatproof container.  Let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Spread the salted caramel into the cooled tart shell, using an offset spatula. Chill until caramel is set, at least 1 hour.

  4. Make the chocolate ganache.  Place chocolate, cream, and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch the water). Stir with a heatproof spatula until ganache is smooth, about 5 minutes. Let it cool it comes to room temperature.
  5. Add the chocolate ganache over the caramel layer. Carefully spread it with an offset spatula and avoid mixing up to the two layers.
  6. Decorate it with nuts and/or sea salt.

NOTES:

  • This tart becomes less time consuming if you make the ganache, salted caramel, and the tart on one day and assemble it on the second day when all the ingredients are at the right temperature.
  • If you are not assembling the tart on the same day I recommend keeping the two fillings on your kitchen counter overnight and not in the fridge. It will be easier to spread them into the crust if they are soft.

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Former diplomat | Travel & Food Writer | Stauch advocate of Culinary Diplomacy. Find more here: https://cheznermine.com/about/

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