Don’t let the salt crystals over this luscious Caramel Chocolate Tart tart turn you off. After trying one bite with and one bite without the salt, I was hooked – it makes a total difference in flavor! Salt enhances the chocolate flavor, and really amplifies it.
I said salt crystals, but what I really mean are salt flakes. Fleur de sel (“flower of salt”) is sea salt flakes (not crystals) that have been hand collected by scraping the top layer of salt from pans or directly from lagoon beaches. It is a moist salt that is unrefined, so has a higher mineral content than table salt. The range of colors you find is due to where the salt was collected from. Because of its hand-harvesting, it is much more expense than regular sea salt and should be used sparingly and only be used as a finishing salt (not added during the cooking process).
Make the pastry according to directions then press into a greased 9” tart pan or into 4 individual size tart pans (with removeable bottoms) and bake until lightly browned. Set aside to cool slightly, while making the caramel sauce.
You want to boil the caramel until it turns a rich amber color. Every stove heats differently so the timing could range from 10-20 minutes, just watch for the color. Be sure to brush any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan down with a pastry brush dipped in water (otherwise mixture may seize). After it reaches this lovely golden color, it can quickly turn black and burnt, so don’t stray too far from the stove! Pour some caramel over the warm pastry shell, then chill in fridge until firm, about 15 minutes.
For the chocolate layer, place chocolate in a large bowl and set aside. The finer you break up the chocolate to start with, the quicker it will melt. I like to use a food processor, and pulse it for a few times. Once you pour the hot cream into the bowl, you can let it sit for a few minutes or you can stir until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted.
Let the chocolate mixture cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature, then pour it over caramel layer and set it in the fridge to chill. Just before serving, sprinkle with some flakes of fleur de sel to serve. Don’t overdo it with the salt, but you do want to have at least one flake per bite. The salt actually intensifies the flavor of the chocolate, making it that much more delicious!
|Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart|| || |
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream, divided
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1 ¼ cups dark chocolate, finely chopped (170gr)
- 2 tsp unsalted butter, diced
- Fleur de sel, garnish
- Press pastry dough into a greased 9” tart pan. Prick with fork and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
- For the caramel layer of the filling; combine sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Be sure to brush any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan down with a pastry brush dipped in water (otherwise mixture may seize). Allow to boil for about 11 minutes, or until mixture turns a light amber color. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup cream and ¾ tsp salt, whisking until smooth. Pour caramel over warm pastry, then chill in fridge until firm, about 15 minutes.
- For chocolate layer; place chocolate in a large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan bring remaining 1 cup of cream to just before a boil.
- Remove from heat and pour over chocolate, stirring until smooth and completely melted. Stir in butter and remaining salt, and stir vigorously until smooth and glossy. Allow to cool 10 minutes at room temperature, then pour over caramel layer.
- Chill for 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle with some flakes of fleur de sel to serve (don't overdo it with the salt - the amount that is shown on the picture is just enough).