I love chocolate and caramel, but chocolate and salted caramel? I DIE. My church choir had a potluck after one of our recent concerts, and I decided that instead of bringing my usual napkins, I would attempt to bake! Those of you who know me in real life probably know how much of a disaster this could potentially be, but I found a pretty foolproof recipe at Sweetapolita and got really brave. The recipe was originally published by Saveur and all of the measurements were metric, so that’s why some of these amounts might seem a little bizarre, but trust the recipe!
It’s kind of a three-phase process, so I’ll break it down phase-by-phase.
Phase 1: Crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon dutch-process cocoa powder (as you can tell, I used something generic)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened (I zapped it for 30 seconds in the microwave and let it sit while I got my act together)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
2) Using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is pale and fluffy. WARNING: lower the beaters in *prior to* turning them on. Otherwise, you’ll have to add an additional step to clean the powdered sugar off of the counters, floor, and your hair . Mix in egg yolks and vanilla.
3) Mix in dry ingredients.
4) Transfer dough to a 9″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (like this one from Crate & Barrel). Press dough evenly into bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a track and let cool.
Phase 2: Caramel
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 7 tablespoons heavy cream
[measuring cups - Anthropologie]
1) In a small heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook undisrupted until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340 degrees F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, the mixture should be a rich amber color. If you’re like me, you’ll want to buy a candy thermometer.
[candy/oil thermometer - Williams-Sonoma]
2) Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter + cream (mixture will bubble, so cuidado and don’t stick your face in it!) If your caramel is too dark/burnt, throw it out and start again. You’ll thank me later.
3) Pour the caramel into the cooled tart shell and let cool slightly. Refrigerate until firm (4-5 hours). FYI this makes a CRAPLOAD of caramel, so do not fret if it looks like it’s going to pull a Mount Vesuvius (in its active days) over the edge of the tart pan. It’ll settle in.
Phase 3: Ganache
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (to expedite the melting process)
- Fleur de Sel for garnish – I used Balinese Sea Salt, but I’d recommend any giant grain sea salt to make it pretty!
1) Bring heavy cream to almost boil (translation: get it really hot) in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into medium bowl and pour in hot cream. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.
2) Pour ganache evenly over tart. I had to spread it out with a spatula. Refrigerate 4-5 hours (I did it overnight). Sprinkle tart with sea salt. Slice. Eat. Get diabetes.
Enjoy! This tart is amazing with coffee, and best when it’s chilled.