Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart
Updated: Feb 27, 2019
This elegant tart may look like it took all day to make, but each of the three steps actually only require a total of about 20 minutes of work. I love that it is barely sweet and perfectly balanced. It is quite rich and can serve a lot of people because you only need a small slice. Rather than a difficult-to-work-with pastry crust, this cookie dough crust comes together in seconds and presses in easily to the pan like play-dough. The caramel layer requires the most attention, but it is only a few ingredients and requires no special equipment. The ganache, as always, comes together in 5 minutes.
Ingredients for the crust (adapted from Alison Roman Dining In):
3/4 cup (98g) all purpose flour
4 tablespoons cocoa powder, natural or dutch process (Hershey's dark brand is my favorite for this because it is SO dark)
4 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, melted
Ingredients for the caramel filling (adapted from Bon Appétit):
1 and 1/2 cup (200g) white sugar
Pinch cream of tartar (don't leave it out, it keeps it from crystallizing so you don't need corn syrup)
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Kosher salt to taste
Ingredients for the ganache topping (from Bon Appétit):
4oz (113g) 70% chocolate, best quality, chopped finely
1/2 cup (120g) heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
flaky sea salt for garnish
Method for the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350° F, spray a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom with non-stick cooking spray.
Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Pour in the butter and mix with a fork until it comes together and has the texture of play-dough.
Press the dough into the pan, using a measuring cup to make sure it's even all the way around, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until it no longer looks greasy on top. While it bakes, start making the caramel. When the crust done baking, set aside to cool.
Method for the caramel:
Combine the sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a heavy sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon or heatproof silicone spatula, until the syrup becomes a deep amber. Turn off the heat.
Add the butter one piece at a time, stirring well. When all the butter is added, drizzle in the cream. If perchance your caramel seizes up, don't fret, return to medium heat and stir until dissolved.
Add the vanilla, and then salt to taste. You want more salt than you think.
Let the caramel sit at room temperature to cool for at least 15 minutes before pouring in to the tart shell.
Once you pour the caramel in the tart shell, refrigerate, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for an hour before proceeding.
Method for the ganache and final assembly:
Heat the cream and butter together in a small saucepan, until very hot and bubbling around the edges, but not boiling.
Pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes before stirring. After five minutes, stir with a whisk until completely smooth. If your cream wasn't hot enough and it didn't melt completely, microwave in intervals of 15 seconds, and stir.
Let the ganache cool a little, about 15 minutes at room temperature, stirring occasionally, before pouring over the set caramel and sprinkling with flaky sea salt.
Store tart in the fridge, loosely covered with aluminum foil, until 15 minutes before you serve it, when you should take it out.