Salted caramel and chocolate tart is basically my favourite dessert. Like, ever. And I bloody love desserts. I’m totes a connoisseur. Anyway, this is my first attempt at this delicious treat. I decided to go for tartlets as I’m trying to avoid death by butter. These are pretty amazing, but I’m still searching for my perfect recipe. This will make one 20cm tart or ten 8cm tartlets.
For the sweet hazelnut pastry
- 50g blanched hazelnuts
- 200g plain flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 140g cold butter, diced
- 1tbsp icing sugar
For the salted caramel
- 75g caster sugar
- 25g butter
- 100ml double cream
- large pinch sea salt flakes
- 50g toasted blanched hazelnuts
For the chocolate filling
- 100g 70% cocoa chocolate
- 75g butter
- 2 large eggs, plus one yolk
- 50g caster sugar
- 1tbsp cocoa powder
- For the pastry, whizz the hazels up in a food processor (or with hand blender) until finely ground.
- Add the flour, icing sugar and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a processor, rub in by hand.
- Add your egg yolk and 1-2tbsps cold water and mix until the dough comes together.
- Flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for half an hour.
- Butter your tin or tins.
- Heat oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas 4). Flour your work surface and roll the chilled pastry out. Roll it thin, this helps it to be lovely and crispy.
- Line your tin or tins, pressing any cracks in the pastry together. Trim the edges and prick the bases to help prevent the pastry from rising. You can also pop them in the freezer for a few minutes to help further.
- Line with (crumpled) baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 15-20mins, until the edges of the pastry are pale golden. Remove the baking beans and parchment and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the bottom of the pastry is dry and beginning to colour.
- While the cases are baking (or afterwards if you don’t want to take a risk with multitasking), make your caramel. Put the sugar in a small pan over a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of water. Use this amount even if you halve the recipe. Don’t stir very much.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, crank up the heat until the sugar becomes an amber coloured caramel. Don’t worry if the sugar re-hardens into white lumps before this happens- leave it on the heat and the caramel will form. Again, avoid stirring and DO NOT be tempted to touch the mixture, it will be unholily hot.
- Reduce the heat and add the butter, cream and golden syrup, and stir until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and add the salt. You can drop a little caramel onto a cold spoon so that you can taste for your desired level of saltiness. I added 2 large pinches.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes, then spread onto the pastry. Scatter with chopped hazelnuts.
- Now for the chocolate filling. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave, checking after 30 seconds. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk and sugar for about 6 minutes until thick and pale.
- Fold in the chocolate and cocoa powder, then pour into your pastry case.
- I popped a couple of these babies into the freezer at this stage as I’d made too many. I’ll let you know if they turn out to be a disaster.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes until the chocolate mixture has risen and set, forming a crust.
- Allow to cool before serving. With some double cream. Yum.