Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart
Last week I promised to make a dessert for dinner at a friend’s house. Continuing with the theme of combining chocolate and salted caramel (not oats…) I decided to make a tart, inspired by millionaire shortbread.
I used Paul Hollywood’s sweet pastry recipe for the base.
165g plain flour
25g ground almonds (I didn’t have any so used 195g flour…seemed to work!)
120g chilled butter cut into cubes
55g caster sugar
I suggest to make the pastry with hands, using fingertips to rub the butter into the flour (and almonds) to form a breadcrumb-like texture. Then stir in the sugar, add the egg and work it into the dough. It’s pretty sticky and messy but be patient with the dough/mixture.
Tip: Make sure you have all the ingredients ready and to hand so you don’t leave doughy fingers all around the kitchen.
Lightly flour a surface area and on it shape the dough into a ball. Flatten it before wrapping it in clingfilm and pop in the fridge. Mr Hollywood says to leave it to chill for at least 3hrs, which I did and it was very firm when it came out of the fridge.
Whilst the dough was chilling, I made the salted caramel sauce so it was cool and thick enough to pour into the pastry base once the pastry has been baked.
200g sugar (brown or caster)
200ml double cream
Tip: Use a heavy bottomed pan and be very careful when making the caramel. It is very hot and when the butter and cream is added it can spit.
Melt the sugar by leaving it in the pan on a high heat. When the edges start to turn into syrup, give the sugar a stir with a wooden spoon. Once it is all melted, add the butter and stir. If it is too hot, stir the mixture off the heat. Once the butter is mixed in, add the cream and do likewise. Once combined, add a pinch or two of salt, give it a final stir and leave to cool.
For the chocolate ganache it was simply a case of melting cream and chocolate together. Melt the two over a gentle heat. Be patient and refrain from stirring too soon – you want the chocolate to have a nice shiny gloss to it. Melting the two over a bain-marie (bowl over a pan of water) is also a good option.
300g dark chocolate
Leave to cool. I made this a little too early and it was a bit too cool and gloopy to pour over the caramel.
With the chilled pastry roll it out on to a floured surface, in a circle about the size of the tin (25cm tin). It’s not easy to do and will fall apart or be a bit sticky. I ended up rolling out as much as I could and piecing the rest of the pastry together in the tin, trying to make it as even as possible. I am no perfectionist though… Leave to cool in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Prick the pastry all over with a fork and cover it with some baking parchment and baking beans. Pop it into the oven to bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and baking beans and brush some whisked-up egg over the pastry before returning the pastry to the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes, until it is golden. Doing this avoids the ‘soggy bottom’ any Great British Bake Off fans will be only too aware of after Mary Berry’s complaints.
Allow the pastry to cool. If you like a nice neat finish take a sharp knife and trim around the the edge of the pastry to make it even.
Pour in the salted caramel mixture and let it settle and set. Put it in the fridge if needed. Then pour on the chocolate ganache. Leave the tart in the fridge to set. I made a little extra caramel (just melted sugar) to flick with a spoon across the top for decoration.
Et voilà! A very gluttonous treat to burn off getting fit for skiing this winter.