Friday, October 10, 2008
Chocolate Tart with Salted Butter Caramel
I noticed a few years ago that the salted butter caramel rage had hit France with a vengeance. You could find it everywhere: from Pierre Hermé and Ladurée's macarons to Berthillon's ice cream, everyone had this flavor in their repertoire. And they still do, it's extremely popular over there, and will probably remain so since it's soooo delish. It's just catching on in the U.S. (we're always a few years behind France in all things hip and trendy). In fact, I noticed that Starbucks even has a salted butter carmel hot chocolate...which kind of scares me yet intrigues me at the same time....don't know if I should try it or run from it.
So I was invited to a friend's for dinner tonight and was in charge of all things sweet. It's my favorite contribution, of course, and I wanted to do something that would please all ages, since 50% of us were under 5. So I went to my old Bon Appetit magazines and found this yummy looking tart that seemed almost like a candy bar, with its caramel and chocolate combo. I had all the ingredients. Had the time. Had the patience for caramel....so I went for it.
The tart in itself is super easy to make. You only bake one thing: the crust. And the crust is very yummy with the little bits of cocoa nibs (which are probably not necessary if you don't have them or want to invest in them). The hardest part is the caramel, but that's not even hard, you just have to be sure not to burn it. I take it off the stove when it is uniformly amber in color, about 7 - 9 minutes into its boil. The final result of this tart is not unlike a snickers bar without the nuts. It's sweet, but daaarn good. The caramel, if you cook it correctly, will be soft and perfect under the very nicely softened layer of chocolate ganache. The tart is good, damn good. In fact, we scarfed the whole tart down in a matter of minutes, it's pretty addictive. It was requested to go in my "repertoire"...and so it shall. The only thing I would change would be to add just a bit more fleur de sel, the salt did not come out as much as I would have liked.
So, for a pretty easy yet impressive dessert, I highly recommend this one. Plus, it's trendy now, you could be hip like Starbucks!
You can find the recipe at Bon Appetit's web site, Epicurious. com.