Chocolate Caramel Tart

Chocolate Caramel Tart

 

 

This is most definitely not for the faint hearted...rich, decadent and indulgent. You think you wouldn't possibly be able to finish it all, yet somehow you do.  This tart was on the cover of Gourmet Traveller a few years ago and it insisted on being made. Since then it has made a few appearances.  If you love chocolate and caramel then this tart is for you.
 
As it was on the cover of their annual French issue it was the perfect dessert for my French bistro themed Supper Club.
 
 
 
 
Chocolate Caramel Tart, from Gourmet Traveller and a fabulous French issue quite some time ago.
 
I have included the recipe for the pastry, which I will get around to making myself one day, however this time round the pastry cases come courtesy of Sabato, whose pastry skills, at this point in time, are far to superior to mine. I need to head over to Hungry and Frozen for some pastry lessons and so can you...just over here.
 
It looks a little trickier than it is, just break it down and plan ahead as it does take a bit of time while you wait for caramel and mousse to set.  That leaves you plenty of time for a cuppa or whatever pottering around takes your fancy.
 
Serves 10
 
Ingredients
 
Shortcrust pastry
240 gm (1¾ cups)  plain flour
60 gm  caster sugar
180 gm  unsalted butter, chilled, coarsely chopped
 
Or you could buy a good quality tart case or little tartlets.
 
Caramel
225 gm (1 cup)  white sugar
80 ml (1/3 cup)  thickened cream
70 gm  butter, coarsely chopped
 
 
 
Chocolate mousse
200 gm  dark chocolate (53% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped - I used Whittaker's Dark Block
4  eggs, separated
185 ml (¾ cup)  thickened cream
2 tbsp  caster sugar
 
Ganache
165gm  dark chocolate (53% cocoa solids) coarsely chopped - I used a mixture of Whittaker's Dark Block and Dark Ghana
60 ml (¼ cup)  pouring cream
40 gm  unsalted butter, softened
 
To serve, whipped cream...am extra indulgence yes, but it does cut the richness of the tart. 
 
The best chocolate!
 
Directions
 
if you are making your own shortcrust pastry, place flour and sugar in a food processor and whizz to combine, add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of chilled water and process until mixture just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
 
Preheat oven to 190C /375F. Roll out pastry to 5mm thick on a lightly floured surface, line a 26cm-diameter tart tin and refrigerate for 1 hour. Blind bake for 20 minutes (see note). You can also  make individual tarts. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin on a wire rack.
 
Or use these and get straight on to the caramel.
 
 
For caramel, firstly don't be afraid!  Just take your time and keep an eye on it and you will be fine. Place the sugar and 250ml of water in a heavy-based saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and cook, brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush if sugar crystals form, until mixture is deep golden, about 10-15 minutes. You really do want quite a deep gold to deliver a real rich caramelly flavour.  Remove from the heat, add the cream and the butter and stir to combine.  Just be careful as the mixture will spit. Pour the caramel into the pastry base or bases if making individual tarts and refrigerate until firm. It will take 1-2 hours.
 
 
Next up chocolate mousse. This would actually be quite lovely as a dessert all on its own.  Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, remove from heat, cool to room temperature, add the egg yolks, stir to combine and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form and set aside. Whisk egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form, gradually add sugar and continue whisking until well combined. Fold a third of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in a third of the cream. Repeat with the remaining egg white and cream until combined, spoon over the cooled caramel, smooth top flush with tart edges and refrigerate until firm, another 2-3 hours.
 
 
For the ganache combine the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until chocolate melts.  Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature and then spread in an even layer over chocolate mousse. Refrigerate until set, about 30-40 minutes. Serve tart with whipped cream.
 
*Note For blind baking, line a pastry-lined tart tin with baking paper, then fill with weights (ceramic, rice and dried beans work best).
 
 
This dessert does look incredibly elegant and it is a little bit of chocolate heaven.  Crisp pastry and then that wonderful layer of caramel, set and almost a little fudge like.  Then rich yet light chocolate mousse and who doesn't like a little ganache.  Adding a little of Whittaker's Dark Ghana, 72% cocoa, to the mix makes it unbelievably rich and delivers that wonderful bitter dark chocolate flavour which just adds another dimension.
 
So if you have a little time give this tart a go, your chocolate loving friends will thank you for it!
 
 
 
This is also my entry for this month's Sweet New Zealand being hosted, this month by Alli, over at Pease Pudding, so if you would like to join in head over there and check it out.
 
 
 
 
If you like this you might like this; Bailey's Chocolate Truffle Cake
 
Bon Appetit!

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