Crisp, buttery chocolate crust.
Velvety, smooth bittersweet chocolate ganache, sprinkled with just the teensiest bit of flaky sea salt.
Gooey, soft, homemade caramel sandwiched between those two chocolate-y layers.
Are you still standing?!!
If so, you may want to sit, because not only am I here to tease you with the wonders of this tart, but I’m also here to throw a wrench into your Thanksgiving plans and very, very, very strongly suggest that you add this amazing Chocolate Caramel Tart to your menu.
Has the screaming stopped yet? I know, I know, you’re probably swamped—believe me, I get it—in addition to the general craziness, my daughter and I got stuck in the snowstorm and the usually 20 minute ride took almost 4 hours, but who’s griping? Anyway, I also know that if you’re like me, you have your turkey day menu pretty much all planned out and definitely do not need the hassle, extra work or extra tart right now. But after tasting this luscious, caramel-filled confection, I’m here to tell you that you actually do need the hassle…and the tart. Yup, it’s that good!
Think of the yumminess of a Twix bar and then quadruple that! That’s how amazing this tart is. And while you do have to do this in steps, none of them are difficult and you can pretty much make everything ahead of time and then just assemble the tart the day of Thanksgiving (or whenever you are planning to serve this) so you can actually look at it as a time saver! LOL! Give me any argument against it and I’ll find a way to turn it around!!
You start by mixing up the tart dough in the food processor and then pressing it into a tart pan. No rolling or crimping required. And you can make the dough several days ahead, press it into the pan and keep it chilled. When you’re ready to assemble the tart, you simply bake it.
Same goes for the caramel. It literally takes under 15 minutes to put it together and it is out of this world good!! So thick and rich and gooey! After you make it, you can either pour it into the tart shell to let it set up, or pour it into a jar to chill and use up to 5 days later. See how it’s a win-win?
Next comes the chocolate ganache which is nothing more than hot heavy cream mixed with chopped up bittersweet chocolate. Once it’s smooth and creamy, you simply pour it over the caramel, let it sit for a few hours, sprinkle with some flaky sea salt and it’s show time!
And what a performance it is! Guys, when you cut into this, the caramel oozes out to form little puddles on your plate!
The combination of crunchy cookie-like crust, gooey caramel and fudgy, almost chewy ganache…I’m speechless. Which, as you know for me, is a very big thing! Make the tart people. I promise you won’t regret anything about it!!
Have a terrific weekend and I’ll see you next week with maybe one (or two) more holiday treats…as long as I don’t get stuck in any more storms!!!!
Chocolate Caramel Tart
Makes one 10-inch tart
You need a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom for this.
Prep Time for crust: 10 minutes, plus at least 1 hour and up to 3 days chilling time; Bake Time for crust: 25-40 minutes; Cook Time for Caramel: 15 minutes, plus at least 45 minutes, cooling down time; Cook Time for Ganache: 5 minutes. Also tart needs to set for at least 2 hours.
For the Crust
1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (70g) confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (155g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (20g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
For the Caramel
2 cups (400g) sugar
1/2 cup (120g) water
1/4 cup (80g) light corn syrup
1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
1/2 cup (120g) heavy cream
2 tablespoons créme fraiche
For the Ganache
1/2 cup (120g) heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces (100g) really good bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped (I used Lindt 70%)
A pinch or two of flaky sea salt, like Maldon, for topping the tart
To make the crust: use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together on medium-low speed until well combined and smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Sift the flour and cocoa into the bowl and beat on low speed until everything comes together. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Press the dough into the pan using your fingers. Have patience. You will think there is not enough dough but as you work it into the fluted sides, you can then press it with the heel of your hands and fingertips into any uncovered spots along the bottom. If if helps, use the bottom of a glass to press down on the dough to even things out. Once the dough is distributed evenly, about 1/4 inch thick, prick the bottom all over with a fork. Then, cover the tart well with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour and up to 3 days.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325ºF and center rack in oven. Remove tart from fridge and discard plastic wrap. Line the dough with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Then remove the tray from the oven and carefully remove the foil with the weights and return the tart on the tray to the oven. Bake for another 10-15 minutes more or until the tart dough looks completely dry. You will not be baking this again, so do not underbake. Let cool completely on a wire rack. You can definitely make this early in the day to fill later.
To make caramel: Have all ingredients for this ready and prepped. Stir together the sugar, water and corn syrup in a large, heavyweight saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, swirling the pan every now and then and not walking away, until the liquid is a dark amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately add in the butter, cream and créme fraiche—stand back because the mixture will steam and bubble up and whisk well until smooth. Now, you can either pour the caramel directly into the cooled tart shell and let it sit for at least 45 minutes to set up or you can store the caramel in an airtight container, like a mason jar, chill for up to 5 days and reheat before ready to use in either the microwave or over very low heat until it’s warm and pourable.
To make the ganache: Pour the cream into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour over the set caramel in the tart and use a spatula or knife to spread it evenly across the top. Let sit for at least 2 hours.
To unmold tart, carefully remove the sides by placing the pan on a large can or sturdy glass so that the tart pan can fall to the counter or simply press on the bottom of the pan to release the sides. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with the sea salt and serve, cutting thin slices, as this is fairly rich. Store any leftovers at room temperature for a couple of days, but I doubt that it will last that long!
Note: Recipe adapted from Food 52 Genius Desserts by Kristen Miglore. I needed to cook things longer than the original recipe says but I didn’t change any ingredients.