Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart
I reckon it’s time for a rich decadent chocolate dessert. This salted chocolate caramel tart is rather quite special: the interesting contrast of sweet and salty, the smooth bittersweet dark chocolate ganache, the gooey caramel, and the crumbly buttery chocolate crust. Imagine popping one of these in your mouth. So good!
The recipe below is for one large tart. But I made 36 tiny ones instead, using cookie cutter to cut rounds to line the holes of a mini muffin pan. I have added additional steps to the recipe below which are not mention in the original recipe, such as resting the pastry and blind baking the tart shell to reduce shrinkage. I have also allowed the caramel to cool down slightly before pouring it into the tart shell as a precautionary step to avoid soggy bottom. Nobody likes shrinkage and soggy bottom (heh heh). Decorating the tartlets with roasted hazelnuts is totally optional but a generous sprinkle of flaked sea salt is a must.
Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart
(Adapted from Brooklyn's Marlow & Sons via Saveur)
Makes one 22cm diameter tart or 36 tiny ones
Note: Measuring cups and spoons below are based on American measurements
190 grams (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
25 grams (1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
140 grams (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
60 grams (1/2 cup) icing sugar
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
300 grams (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
3 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons water
85 grams (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
1/2 cup heavy cream
115 grams (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Sea salt for garnish
To make chocolate crust:
Combine flour, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Use an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Mix in yolks and vanilla extract, and continue to beat until fully combined. Add in dry ingredients, and beat on low speed until just combined. Form dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until large enough to line tart tin. Lift pastry into tin, ease into base and side. Trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate 30 minutes. (At this stage, I usually like to cover the pastry with plastic wrap and freeze it overnight. I find that baking the pastry when it’s completely frozen helps minimize shrinkage.)
Preheat the oven to 200 degree celcius (or 180 degree celcius fan-forced). Place tart tin on baking tray. Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and pour in dried beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes until cook through. Remove paper and beans/rice. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes to crisp. Transfer to a rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the caramel:
In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 170 degrees celcius (I didn't bother with the thermometer. I removed the pan from the heat once the sugar syrup becomes a medium amber colour). Remove pan from heat and carefully add in butter, cream, and crème fraîche (the mixture will bubble up). Whisk mixture until smooth. Allow caramel to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and refrigerate until firm, 4–5 hours.
To make the ganache:
Bring cream to a boil. 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.