Valentine’s Day is all about love. The love that two people feel for each other, sure. But also the love a person feels for chocolate and caramel. Also, the love one person feels for the person who made a chocolate and caramel tart.
And what’s not to love about chocolate and caramel together? They’re fantastic. Rich, velvety chocolate and gooey caramel make for romantic dessert–a hint of salt adds a little contrast and sophistication.
Here at Brooklyn Supper, we are big fans of making things from scratch, but understand that you may not have the time or the inclination. If you are short on time, save some steps by using pre-made dough and store-bought dulce de leche. The ganache is a snap, and the tart will come together in a hurry. Giving you more time to enjoy its deliciousness.
Salted Chocolate and Caramel Tart (inspired by the Diner Journal)
for the crust
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup ice water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
for the caramel
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
4 oz. unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream
for the ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, rough chopped
In the bowl of your food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut up the butter, drop it in and pulse 4 times until the dough has a sandy texture. Drizzle in the water and pulse 3 times, just until combined. Another option is to mix the flour by hand, and cut in the butter with a pastry knife or blender, and then mix in the water just until combined.
Gather the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide into two equal rounds. Wrap each round disc in plastic and refrigerate for at least a half-hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 12″ round, gently fold it, and then press it into a well-buttered tart pan. Fold any excess dough into the sides of the tart. Be sure to build up the sides so they are tall and strong.
Chill the tart shell for 15 minutes. Using a fork, prick the crust all over. Place the shell on a baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is a light golden color. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the caramel. Note: molten sugar is very, very hot and can easily burn the heck out of you, or anyone, in the kitchen. Be sure to make this during a calm time when little feet are far away. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium high to medium heat, and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Fill a large saucepan or large metal bowl with cold water and set aside. The sugar mixture will bubble and cook for a while before it starts to brown, maybe 6 or 7 minutes. Continue to keep a close eye. As soon as the sugar starts to brown, stir, and reduce the heat slightly. Caramel goes from caramel to burnt in seconds, so as soon as it is a deep golden color, remove from heat, stir, and dip in the prepared water bath to cool it off. Stir, until the caramel has stopped cooking, but is still warm and soft. Carefully pour in the heavy cream, but be prepared to stand back–the caramel can sputter considerably. Stir in the butter and then the sour cream. Pour the caramel into the prepared shell, filling 1/3 of the way up. Please the tart in the refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.
To make the ganache, combine the cream and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly. As soon as the chocolate has melted, reduce the heat, and stir until smooth. Pour into the tart over the caramel. Chill for 30 minutes or longer, until the filling is set.
Serve slices with a generous pinch of fleur du sel or kosher salt. Save any leftover caramel or chocolate ganache in the refrigerator for ice cream toppers.