I’ve got plans for 2010. I think I will start by wearing obnoxiously bright tights as much as possible. I will make bagels and carmel candies and macarons and force them on my friends. I will get bangs and not be mad at them. (I promise.) I will also be sure incorporate tarts at the end of as many meals as possible. And this is my start. My tart start to 2010.
Can you believe this is like a mature candy bar? It’s deliciously chocolaty with a caramel crunch and the crust resembles shortbread. This is a crowd pleaser for sure, for adults and kids alike.
Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart
Recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours
sweet tart shell –
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 stick + 1 T very cold unsalted butter (9 tablespoons), cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- Scant 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 T light corn syrup
- 2 T salted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup + 2 T heavy cream
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), cut into 4 pieces at room temperature
- Make tart shell. Place flour, powdered sugar and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together. Scatter butter pieces over the dry ingredients and using your hands gently rub the butter into the dry ingredients. (You can use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for these steps too.) Break up egg yolk in a small bowl with a fork and drizzle it into the bowl mixing until it looks like coarse crumbs. Pour onto a clean surface and squeeze the dough together. It will be crumbly, but will stay together when squeezed. Place dough in a buttered 9-inch tart pan, pressing the crumbs together and up the sides as evenly as possible. Don’t press too hard, or it’ll lose it’s crumbly texture when eaten. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since the crust is frozen, it can be baked without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes, rotating half way through. Remove from the oven and using the back of a spoon press any bubbles in the crust down. Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack until ready to fill.
- Make the caramel. (Because you have to work quickly when making the carmel, measure out all the ingredients in advance and have them ready. Also have a heatproof bowl at hand to hold the caramel when it’s finished, but still toasty.) Bring (scant 1/2 cup) heavy cream to a boil. Turn off heat, and set aside. Put a medium, nonstick skillet over a medium heat and sprinkle in about 3 tablespoons of the sugar. When it melts, stir it with a wooden spoon or a fork and sprinkle over another 3 tablespoons. When that sugar is melted, add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. The sugar in the pan may have already started to turn caramel colored, and that’s fine. Stir in the corn syrup and a boil the syrup until it reaches a deep caramel color. It may begin to smoke, but that’s totally normal.
- Stand back from the skillet and stir in the butter and salt, if you’re using it. The carmel will bubble furiously and may spatter, so make sure you’re a safe distance from the action. When the butter is in, add the warm cream. The carmel will start to bubble like crazy. Lower the heat just a little and let the caramel boil for just 2 minutes. (If you want to check the temperature, it should be at 226 degrees F.) Pour caramel into the heatproof bowl and set it aside while you make the ganache.
- Make ganache. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and have a whisk or rubber spatula at hand. Bring the (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) heavy cream to a boil, then pour half of it over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Working with the whisk or spatula, very gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at the center and working to the outside edges in larger circles. Pour in the remainder of the cream and blend it into the chocolate using the same circular motion. When the ganache is smooth and shiny, stir in the butter piece by piece. Don’t stir the ganache any more than you must to blend the ingredients since the less you work it, the darker, smoother and silkier it will be.
- Cover the ganache with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface of the chocolate to create an airtight seal. Set aside at room temperature for the moment.
- Assemble the tart. Using a small spatula, stir the peanuts into the caramel. If the caramel has cooled too much to stir, gently warm it in the microwave for 3 second intervals until it can be stirred easily and then spread easily. Also, taste the carmel and add salt if you’d like a more salty sweet taste to the tart. Spread the caramel + peanut mixture over the tart shell and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set the caramel. Pour the ganache over the carmel mixture, jiggling the pan to smooth the top. If it’s too thick to pour, follow the same directions as above for warming the caramel.
- Refrigerate the tart for 30 minutes, no longer, then keep it at room temperature until serving time.
P.S. This tart firms up and is better the day after, so it’s a perfect make ahead dessert!