COOK

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

February 09, 2015 | STORY BY JENELLE MCCULLOCH | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENELLE MCCULLOCH

I don’t think there could be a better use for the extra-salted caramel sauce sitting in my fridge than smothering it between a rich dark chocolate ganache and a crisp chocolate crust. The salted caramel alone was to die for; there was no way I could let it go to waste. This dessert was quite easy to put together. I made the tart dough the night before and baked and filled it the next day.

 


 

Chocoate Ganache & Tart

 

Ingredients:

Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe below)
Chocolate Tart Dough (I used Martha Stewart’s recipe)
Dark Chocolate Ganache
4 oz dark chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

 

Directions:

I prepared the tart dough the night before and kept it in the fridge overnight. If time permits, let the dough chill in the fridge for at least a half hour before use. Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface and press into a nine-inch tart shell. Poke holes in the shell with a fork and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the tart shell is thoroughly cooked.

Roughly chop the dark chocolate and place in a double boiler with the heavy cream. Whisk until melted and set aside.
Once the tart shell is baked and cooled completely (I left mine to cook for an hour or so), fill the shell with the salted caramel sauce. Top with the chocolate ganache. Place in the fridge until hardened. Or until you can’t resist getting your hands on a slice… Enjoy!

 

Salted Caramel Sauce


Making homemade caramel sauce had always been something so daunting and impossible to me. Cooking with sugar has always seemed like a complicated and cautious process – it became intimidating. This did not mean I would avoid it completely, I accepted the challenge.

I had to find out about what all this fuss about salted caramel was. To my surprise, the process was fairly easy, and the result exceeded my expectations. I can now understand why mastering the process of homemade caramel is a necessity. Unlike sugary, syrupy store-bought versions, this caramel is smooth and rich. I will admit, I am obsessed. I cannot wait for apple season to smother this caramel on every apple dessert I can get my hands on.

I also made this caramel for a batch of cupcakes. I folded about half cup of the caramel into the buttercream and used more for drizzling on top of the cupcakes.

 

Ingredients:

Salted Caramel
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tbsp butter, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sea salt

 

Directions:

Get all of your ingredients measured and set by the stove ready to throw in. Place the sugar in the bottom of a large, heavy bottom pot. (The sugar tends to boil rapidly once you add the butter and cream, so make sure there is enough room in the pot).

This next step is optional, which I did just as a matter of precaution. You can add a 1/4 cup of water to the sugar to ensure even melting. This did not affect my results; it just takes a tad longer for the water to evaporate before it can caramelize. If not, melt the sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the sugar until it melts, but once it is melts, STOP STIRRING.

Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees or dark amber colour. Whisk in your butter until melted. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream while continually whisking. Lastly, whisk in the salt.

Let cool and transfer to a jar for storage. This keeps in the fridge for about a week.

Side note: I will admit that I messed this up the first time I attempted it. I believe it was because I swirled the sugar in the pan after it had melted too much. This caused the sugar to crystallize. And that is not fun to get off the bottom of your pot… The next time I didn’t touch the sugar and let it go until it reached the amber point, and it worked perfectly.

 


Courtesy of therusticspoon.wordpress.com

Recipe by Jenelle McCulloch reprinted with her permission.

 

 

 

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