Are you in love with salted caramel and chocolate, just like I am? Well, you have landed at the perfect place! These baby tarts are just what you need! What’s not to love?! 😀
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t very long ago that I first had this combination, while working for a restaurant last year. And oh wow! I was so in love with the combination, even though the final product then wasn’t a big success as the caramel was quite hard to break into. So recently, I made this Banana Cheesecake with Salted Caramel, and I had some leftover caramel. So, I decided to give these tarts a try. I actually made one big tart initially, but that sort of failed. The caramel got burnt and tasted quite bitter, in a salty way. I don’t know if you guys get what I mean 😛 (Now you know why it is SO important to pay full attention while making your caramel) Moreover, even my ganache turned out like a hard rock. Imagine, something as simple as ganache! That tart was a total disaster. Anyway, I changed a few things and voilà! 😀 The caramel is by Sally’s Baking Addiction.
These little baby tarts are so adorable and yummy. It’s like an explosion of flavours in a bite! It has that saltiness from the caramel, dense richness from the chocolate and a perfect crunch with that pastry. Doesn’t it sound absolutely divine? Yes, they are a bit time-consuming but trust me, so worth it! And the best part is, they are simple to make. You just need to be a bit careful and give them your full attention. Put on some good ‘baking’ music and you’re good to go! 😛
You NEED to go try them, like NOW.
Just a few points before we start:
- Make sure to use unsalted butter because it’s really all about balancing the salt level in this recipe. Too much of salt can make your tarts taste bitter. So, keep tasting everything while making it. 🙂
- For the ganache, only use cooking chocolate and cream, as any other chocolate will give you a hard rock.
- If you’re making a tart for the first time, make sure your butter is really chilled and you’re only using iced cold water. The chilled butter is what gives the pastry that crunch.
So, let’s start! 😀
Makes: 8-10 mini tarts
For the crust:
- 200 grams plain flour
- 25 grams cocoa powder
- 50 grams icing sugar
- 140 gms unsalted butter (chilled and cubed)
- 1 tablespoon iced cold water
- a pinch of sea salt
For the caramel:
- 100 grams white granulated sugar
- 45 gms unsalted butter
- 60 ml heavy cream
- 3/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
For the chocolate ganache:
- 150 gms dark chocolate (chopped)
- 125 ml cooking cream
For the pastry crust:
- To make the pastry, cut the chilled butter into small squares and refrigerate further. Measure the flour, salt and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the chilled butter, and using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, blend in the butter until it resembles wet sand. Bring together the dough using a tablespoon of iced water (add more if necessary), until almost totally cohesive. Work the dough a bit until it comes together. Do not overwork it. Cut it in half, and form each half into a disc. Wrap in a clingfilm and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours before using.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll the pastry out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3mm-thick. Use extra flour if necessary. Line 8 lightly greased 6 cm round tart tins with the pastry. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes in an air tight box. Line the pastry cases with non-stick baking paper, fill with baking weights ( I use lentils) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is just cooked. Allow to cool in the tins.
For the salted caramel:
- To make the salted caramel, heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sir continuously using a high heat resistant rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. The sugar will start to form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown dark amber colored liquid as you keep stirring. Do not burn the sugar and pay full attention while cooking it as it only takes a few seconds for it to burn.
- As soon as the sugar has melted, add the butter and stir continuously. Do not keep your face too near the saucepan as the sugar will bubble rapidly on adding the butter. Stir until the butter has melted completely, for about a minute.
- Slowly pour in the heavy cream into the caramel. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly or even splatter on adding the cold cream due to difference in temperatures.
- Let it boil for a minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils. Remove from heat, and stir in the sea salt. I would suggest not adding all of the salt at once. Taste your caramel (Be careful! It’s hot! ) and adjust the salt level as per your taste (I like mine salty). Let it cool before using.
- Spoon the salted caramel into the tart shells till half and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until set. You can measure the caramel before filling the tart shells for accuracy.
For the ganache:
- Place the chopped the dark chocolate in a large bowl. Heat cooking cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the cream boils, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for 5 mins and then mix to get a nice smooth ganache.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the caramel and refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until set. Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with sea salt flakes to serve. Enjoy!
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