A couple of weeks ago, while reading the NYT online I saw this recipe for a Chocolate/Salted Caramel tart. I thought, how could you go wrong with this combination? I mean, salted caramel, chocolate and hookers (tarts), plus wanting to support the poor failing NYT! I planned on making this the first weekend my crack QC/Taster panel was back home. Tada!!
Unsurprisingly, the recipe posted in the successful, reliable and accurate NYT made an excellent tart. I made two error with this pastry. First I removed it from the tart pan too soon. The shell was still very fragile and I put a thumb through the side.
I used a little foil to dam the flow of caramel and chocolate, plus I tipped it away from the breach so there is a thinner layer on that side of the tart. SAD!
I also poured the chocolate ganache when it was a little too thick. That may have helped plug the leak in the damn dam, but did not have the nice smooth, shiny top I was looking for. I also added some white chocolate ganache in a spiral and cut it through with a clean knife to make the star like pattern.
Hover your mouse over these three pictures to see the caption.
Anyway, here is the recipe. I followed it pretty closely and really wouldn’t change anything, except adding the white chocolate starburst. Oh, I did use sour cream instead of creme fraiche. Any notes are in red below.
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE DOUGH:
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- Optional: water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough is pliable.
- FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING:
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
- Pinch of salt
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
- 3 ½ ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate (70 to 85%), chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Sea salt
- Prepare chocolate dough: In bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Beat until smooth. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until blended.
- Sift flour into dough mixture. Beat on low speed until combined. (Note: next time I will add a little water here to make the dough a little more pliable. I will also rest in in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.) Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch tart pan. (You can use a 9-inch pan, but the crust will be thicker and the caramel may take longer to set in step 4.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line tart with foil, and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, and bake until pastry is dry and set, another 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. The shell is fragile. Be sure to wait until it is cool before handling.
- Prepare caramel filling: In a large saucepan, bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil. Stir or swirl the pan occasionally, until mixture is a medium amber color, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat. Caramel will continue to cook and darken off of the heat. Carefully but quickly whisk in the butter, cream, creme fraiche and salt until smooth (mixture will bubble up). Pour hot caramel into tart, and allow to cool and set, at least 1 hour.
- Prepare chocolate glaze: Place chocolate in a bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Pour glaze over tart, tilting tart for even coverage. (At this point, I piped a spiral of white chocolate ganache on the tart and used a butter knife to cut through the ganache to make the starburst design.) Refrigerate until tart is set, at least one hour, then sprinkle with a few granules of sea salt. Keep refrigerated until serving.