Thank you Carla from
for choosing this week’s selection
Chocolate Crunch Caramel Tart
for the baking group:
Tuesdays With Dorie
Chocolate Crunch Caramel Tart
Ken was very excited about this week’s selection as he dearly loves chocolate. I was very excited about this week’s selection because I love caramel. We were positive that combining these two flavours would certainly make up for a delicious tart.
We placed the flour, butter, sugar and salt into our food processor and literally whirled it up in no time. Like the recipe states, it was so easy to pat this dough into the tart pan, rather than rolling it out. We baked the crust for fifteen minutes. The aroma from this shortbread smelled so delicious – almost like a bakery! We were tempted to use a cookie cutter to cut cookies from this baked crust – however doing so would ruin the possibility of making this tart. So instead of shortbread cookies, we set the tart crust onto a cooling rack to cool.
I have made caramel before and was a little concerned about the boiling time, as I didn’t want our caramel layer to become too candy-like. We melted the sugar in our non-stick pan and added the corn syrup and boiled the two together until these ingredients turned into a nice caramel colour. We added the butter and the heavy cream that we previously brought to a boil in a separate pot. Next, we added the pieces of butter and allowed this mixture to come to a rolling boil. We checked the temperature with a candy thermometer and found that it was already at the required 225 degrees. We poured this thick caramel into our heat-proof bowl and set it aside.
Ken and I have made ganache before, but never with bittersweet chocolate. This recipe rendered a more thin ganache and caused me a little bit of concern that I didn’t use enough chocolate or that I measured wrong on the cream. I called my mother to confirm what eight ounces of chocolate should be. She always seems to know the answer to my questions and with this time being no exception, she confirmed our measurement. After talking to my “chief consultant,” I immediately felt more secure that this ganache would in fact turn out okay. To top it all off, Ken didn’t seem to have that “I’m in heaven” look about him when I gave him the pot and spatula to lick in the end. (Having used bitter-sweet chocolate doesn’t taste too well by itself.) However, this ganache was quick and easy to put together, as the ingredients were few and bringing heavy cream to a boil and then pouring it over the chocolate is certainly very easy to do and then swirling the mixture together with a wisk was fun, as the chocolate mixed with the cream magically reaches a certain smooth and shiny stage that heightens the senses and makes all those who love chocolate yearn for a taste.
Assembling the tart:
This was the fun part – placing Ken’s favourite – the chocolate ganache, along with my favourite – the caramel, that we laced with the toasted pecans into the shortbread crust.
Our tart was beautiful. We carefully placed it into our refrigerator to chill for the required thirty minutes, but discovered that we needed to chill it for an additional thirty minutes as the ganache was still a little giggly in the center.
As a result, we loved this tart. The smooth chocolate and delicate caramel flavours combined along with the lightly toasted pecans and with the buttery shortbread crust all came together very nicely into what Ken and I thought was a “picture-perfect” dessert. Because of this we could hardly hold back the temptation to taste this splendid looking chocolate tart. Pictures came first! Then! The time was to have that first taste! The whole experience was absolutely sensational! The creamy chocolate ganache along with the thick carmel and the crunch from the pecans and the buttery crust caused a reaction with our tastebuds that immedately caused huge smiles. A final thought was that we decided that our tart tasted like a heath bar. How utterly delicious could that be?
Ken and I will certainly make this recipe again,
but will try using semi-sweet chocolate rather than the bitter-sweet.
If you would like to view this recipe, please visit Cara at Chocolate Moosey or buy the exquisite book – Baking, From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan.
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