Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
Basically this is ‘my’ tart. The one that I have made more times than any other. The one that I am most confident in, and the one that I have spend more time developing the recipe than any other. This is the signature of Trish.
My journey with this tart started way back in 2002 when I used to make Chocolate Caramel Slice, a cheat of this tart really, which was easy and something I could cook with my eyes closed in 1 hour flat without fail. It used condensed milk instead of a pure caramel and a biscuit base rather than pastry. It is very much loved by my family, and some even prefer it to this tart, but once you learn to make pure caramel, nothing tastes as good.
My first attempt of this tart was for my Cheese Room Xmas party in 2008. It took all day long and I was so proud by the end that it had worked. The only problem was that while making this caramel, for the first time, a bit of hot toffee squirted up and onto my thumb burning it extremely badly. It ended up being a second degree burns and it took a very very long time to heal, but now is a war scar I say, which I quite like as it has a story to it, but it just shows you the dangers of hot toffee.
Now I am much more aware and can see how the toffee is progressing so I am ready for the addition of butter, cream and salt. I do have to say that if you want salted caramel DO NOT BE SCARED to put a lot of salt it, you need to otherwise you will not get the desired result.
The second most important thing, after the caramel, is the pastry. I sourced this recipe from a great source who you could not fault, none other than Adriano Zumbo himself. Long story, if you want to now ask me, but he gave me the recipe and it is faultless every single time. MY tip? Once you make the pastry put it in glad wrap and flatten it out in a similar shape to your pan. It will make it easier to roll out after. For help on rolling it out thin, look at my link to ‘perfect pastry’. Now I use this recipe for most of my tarts as it is so easy and tastes great!
Ganache! OH how I love thee. The only thing I can say is INVEST in good quality chocolate as you can taste the difference. For this instance I was using 57% single origin chocolate from Trinidad and Tobago and it was so fruity and bright in flavour. mmmmm If you think I sound crazy please go and do a chocolate tasting course and then come back to me.
The final product. There is nothing left to say but eat quickly as it will ooze everywhere. (if you did not want it to ooze so much though, once you have made the caramel continue to cook it over a very low heat for another 20 minutes and it will thicken up)
1 1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup water
135g unsalted butter
110ml pure cream
2tbsp sea salt
265g Valrhona Dark chocolate (between 55-75% cocao)
100mL pure cream
65g unsalted butter
1. Prepare the pastry and blind bake. Cool.
2. For the caramel, over low heat mix the water and sugar in a pot and then let it simmer away until it goes through all the sugar stages and finally starts to turn brown. At this stage do not take your eye off it as it is so easy to burn.
3. Once it starts to turn a rich golden brown take it off the heat and mix in the cream, butter and salt. Be careful as it will splatter, but mix thoroughly until it is all combined. Put it back on the heat for 2 more minutes. At this stage if you want the caramel to be gooey, take it off, otherwise for a firmer caramel leave it on for another 20 minutes.
4. Pour the caramel into the cooled tart shell. Refrigerate for 5 hours at least.
5. For the ganache, heat the cream over a double boiler until just warm then add the chocolate in and mix until combined. Add the butter and watch the shine really come up now. Cool it slightly and then pour it over your ‘firm’ caramel’ (N.B. If the caramel is not set the chocolate will push through and end up underneath the caramel)
6. Leave the ganache to set for at least 2 hours and then serve and devour in one sitting. I would not expect it to last for 2 anyways.