Call it “recipe recycling” if you want, but why not take the best of several recipes to make something equally delicious? The two caramel desserts above were something I made for previous Thanksgiving dinners (in addition to the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie I make every year). This year I decided to make it a bit easier on myself so I took several desserts and combined them into this tart which while easier than the two cakes above, is still a show stopper.
Some notes about the recipe:
If you want to use salt as a garnish on top like in the photos, then yes, you will need a flaky fleur del sel, regular table salt or even Kosher salt will look or taste odd.
If you want to make it easier and use a pre-rolled pie dough, be my guest, I won’t tell.
If you want to leave the praline off, you can, and it will still taste good (it just won’t have the “wow” factor).
Don’t garnish the top of the tart too early. If you garnish it and then put it in the refrigerator, salt and praline on top will melt from the humidity within a couple of hours.
This recipe is for a 10″ tart pan. Scale it down a bit if you have a smaller pan. Or just eat any extra chocolate and caramel with a spoon.
What do you think about recipe recycling? Do you do it?
Fit bowl with metal blade. Add flour, sugar and butter to bowl (add salt if butter is unsalted).
Put on the lid and process in short bursts, about 10 times to break up the butter into the flour.
Mix the egg yolk and water in a small bowl and with the processor on, pour the egg/water mix through the tube in the lid into the bowl. Keep mixing until the dough forms into a ball inside the bowl. Remove and form into a small cake.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Once it is rolled out, put it in a 10” tart pan with removable bottom and press the dough into the edges, pulling off any excess.
Because the filling for this recipe is not cooked in the tart shell, the crust needs to be baked by itself. To keep the center of the crust from puffing up and cracking during baking, you’ll want to weigh it down.
Cut a piece of parchment paper or foil to fit the bottom of the tart pan (see tip below). Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork and put the paper on top. Weigh down the paper with pie weights or beans.
Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges of the crust begin to color. Remove from oven, and carefully remove the paper and beans. Put the tart back in the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about another 8 minutes. Remove and let cool.
For the chocolate ganache:
Heat the cream in a heavy bottomed pot, just until it gets very hot; do not boil.
Put the chocolate in a heat safe bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Wait a few minutes and then whisk until all the chocolate is melted.
Allow to cool slightly before pouring into crust (see assembly instructions below)
For the Caramel
Stir sugar, 1/4 cup water, in deep medium saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Increase heat to medium; cover pan and cook 4 minutes. Uncover; increase heat to high. Boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, occasionally brushing down pan sides with wet pastry brush, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add cream (mixture will bubble and may solidify, just keep stirring).
Whisk in butter, then the sour cream, lemon juice, and a pinch of fleur de sel.
Cool completely. Refrigerate if not using right away. Bring to room temperature before using.
Break the praline into large pieces for the top of the cake (see photos).
Use about 1/3 of the pieces to crush into smaller pieces to be used in the filling. I did this in a mortar and pestle, but you can also put it in a plastic bag and hit it gently with a rolling pin or heavy spoon. You want to make sure the pieces don’t go flying (thus keeping them contained in a plastic bag to crush them).
To Assemble the Tart:
Pour the ganache into the baked, cooled crust and place it in the refrigerator to firm up, about 20 minutes.
Make the caramel and allow it to cool until thick, but still spreadable. Pour the caramel over the chocolate ganache, starting at the center and spreading it outward with a flat spatula, stopping about 3/4 of and inch from the edge of the crust. Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for 1 hour.
Before serving, sprinkle a thin line of fleur de sel around the top and then a line of the crushed praline. In the center, place the large broken pieces of praline upright into the caramel/ganache.
To serve, cut thin wedges. This dessert is very rich!