I had a dream one night about a tart with a chocolate layer on top of a caramel layer. I don’t normally dream about desserts, but I knew I had to search out a recipe for this one. I looked, but didn’t find anything that matched what I saw in my head. And then, the August Daring Bakers challenge was announced and it was the tart from my dream!
The only thing I needed to buy for this recipe was a tart pan. I went to Williams Sonoma because I wanted a nice pan. Cost – $18.00
I was making this for a family gathering. I made the crust Wednesday evening, then baked the tart Thursday evening. I was rushed and it showed in the final product. It tasted good, but I knew it could be better. Because the crust recipe makes enough for three crusts, I jumped at the chance to make it again for a barbecue. This time I took my time, corrected my mistakes and voila! It turned out so much better.
Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart
The crust is a chocolate shortbread pastry that was made the day before, then refrigerated. First step, grind the hazelnuts.
This wasn’t a traditional crust recipe, it had more of a cookie dough like consistency until the cake flour was added.
The next day, I rolled the crust out and pressed it into the pan. Off to the oven!
I caramelized the sugar using the dry method first. It would have been fine except the pan I used wasn’t wide enough. I think. Either way, the sugar didn’t fully crystallize and I rushed it and added the cream which wasn’t room temp so it seized.
Try #2 with the alternate caramel method worked perfectly and my cream was room temp this time. But, I didn’t let the caramel cool before adding in the egg/flour mixture. Consequently, it went into the oven a little too hot and never really set.
The chocolate mousse didn’t turn out so well either. I cooled the chocolate too much. When I folded it into the whip cream it froze into little chocolate chips. Bah. It tasted good though!
On Saturday I made the tart again, this time cooling the caramel before adding the egg/flour mixture, and not cooling the chocolate so much. Perfection! I also made sure to roll my crust a little thinner so my layers could be more even.