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19 Mar

Chocolate Caramel Tarts

chocolate caramel tarts

I’m not going to lie, this is a recipe that takes a bit of time to complete. It is the perfect special occasion or dinner party dessert, sure to wow even the pickiest of dessert connoisseurs. The crumbly outer crust is the perfect vehicle for a soft and creamy caramel. The dessert is perfectly rounded out with a layer of rich and creamy chocolate ganache. The addition of our Tonga bean caviar adds a bold flavor and can easily stand up the intense flavors of chocolate and caramel. This type of vanilla will stand up to the fullest flavored desserts.

The recipe may look daunting but can easily be broken down in separate parts that can be completed on separate days. Make the caramel, cool and cover. Refrigerate up to 7 days. The chocolate ganache can also be made ahead of time and chilled up to seven days. Unfortunately I have found that the tart shells can only be prepared a maximum of 48 hours in advance. The shells can then be wrapped and held at room temperature until you are ready to fill them. When you are ready to fill the tart shells, soften the caramel and ganache in the microwave for thirty seconds for ease of spreading.

Once you fill the tart shells with the caramel and ganache, sprinkle the tops with vanilla fleur de sel. Fleur de Sel ("Flower of Salt" in French) is hand-harvested sea salt that is formed at the surface of salt beds and collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt. Rich in minerals with superior flavor qualities, Fleur de Sel is one of the most expensive salts in the world. Our Fleur de Sel is collected off the coast of Brittany (France) and is combined with premium ground vanilla beans of Tahiti and Papua New Guinea. Vanilla Fleur de Sel is exquisite with seafood and poultry and is naturally harmonious with sweet and sour dishes. Vanilla Fleur de Sel is also great for making vanilla bean caramels, Foie Gras and it even makes the best margarita rimmer around. Happy Baking!

Chocolate Caramel Tarts

Yields (4-5) 4 inch tarts
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

Crust

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

Caramel Filling

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar plus two tbsp..
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 Tonga vanilla bean (split and scraped)

Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Directions:

Tart Crust
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, beat to combine. Add the flour and cocoa powder. Beat until no flour is visible. Scoop the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and form into a round disk. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Spray the 4 inch tart pans with pan spray. Divide the dough into six pieces. Press the dough in to the bottom of the tart pan and up the sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until the crust look dry. Let cool and remove shells from the pan. Set the shells on a sheet pan.

Chocolate Caramel Tart Step 1

Caramel Filling

Pour the heavy cream and butter into a small saucepan. Heat on low until the butter has melted. In a separate medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Heat on medium high, stirring until it begins to boil. Once it boils leave the mixture alone and boil until the mixture is golden amber in color. Remove from heat and add the heavy cream mixture, whisking until the bubbling subsides. Add the Tonga vanilla bean scrapings, Whisk to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Ganache

Chop the chocolate and place in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream and pour on top of the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Whisk to combine.

Assembly
Carefully remove the tart crust from the pans. Spoon 1-1 ½ tablespoons of the caramel into the tart shell. Spoon on 2 tablespoons of ganache onto the caramel. Smooth the ganache with an offset spatula or butter knife. Sprinkle with vanilla fleur de sel. Chill the tarts 2-4 hours. Enjoy!

chocolate caramel tarts 1

Featured Ingredients

Tongan Vanilla Beans Vanilla Salt (Fleur de Sel) - 3.5 oz.

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