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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart

Its was my parents anniversary a bit ago and they invited my family to have dinner and share the special day with them.  My mother asked me to prepare a dessert for the evening and I new I had to make something that would knock her socks off. She has a CRAZY sweet tooth and I can thank her for mine! I knew she loved caramel, dark chocolate and sea salt so imagine my utter surprise when I came across a recipe for a dark chocolate salted caramel tart! I mean, it was like the sky parted and I could hear angels singing! I had to make this dessert! Only problem was that I had never made it and would be tasting it for the first time with everyone else.  But I mean come on...with those flavors I knew I had a good chance of being the hero of the night! 

Lucky for me I was mom loooooved it looooved it looooved it, it was ridiculously good, like to good to be true good, like holy crap good, like I'm gona be making this again kinda good!

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart
*slightly adapted from Saveur
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon dutch-process dark cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sugar
6 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
7 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Fleur de Sel for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside. In mixer cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes; mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Transfer dough to a 9" or 11" 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 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook uninterrupted until candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340 degrees. I do not have a candy thermometer and have always made my caramel from sight. Look for the caramel to turn a rich amber color, then immediately remove pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and cream. The mixture will bubble up ferociously, so be careful! It is important that you have not burnt your caramel at this stage. If you suspect you have or if it tastes slightly burnt you will need to begin your caramel again. Pour your caramel over your cooled tart shell and let cool slightly before refrigerating until firm overnight or for at least 5 hours. 

Bring cream to a boil over medium heat. Place chocolate into a bowl and pour your hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes then slowly stir in a circular motion, until smooth and thickened. Poor ganache evenly over tart and spread with a small offset spatula, then refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 5 hours. 

Sprinkle tart with sea salt and serve chilled. It is important that you serve your tart chilled and place it back into the refrigerator if you have not finished the entire tart. Once the tart sits out for awhile the caramel becomes very soft and will start to oooze out between the tart shell and ganache...not that ooozing caramel is a bad thing :)

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