If you’re looking for an indulgent treat then you’re in the right place. This recipe combines rich chocolate with salted caramel and a sprinkle of caramelised hazelnuts for the ultimate party dessert!
This recipe makes 24 because, seriously, one is just not enough of these luscious tarts! They are great to make for a party or a get together and the salted caramel is addictive, salty sweet liquid gold. You can make smaller tarts if you have smaller tins but I would not recommend trying to make these any bigger. Once you bite into them, the caramel will not stop flowing so bigger tarts mean you have to eat the whole thing – and you know what they say about too much of a good thing.
Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tarts with Caramelised Hazelnuts
- Chocolate tart cases
- Salted caramel (page 94)
- Chocolate tart filling
- Chocolate-coated caramelised hazelnuts (page 163)
Chocolate Tart Cases
- 250 g (9 oz/1⅔ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 30 g (1 oz/. cup) Dutch (unsweetened) cocoa powder
- 90 g (3 oz/. cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 135 g (5 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 250 g (9 oz) dark chocolate, melted
- Place the flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Mix on low speed until you have a fine sandy texture.
- Add the egg and egg yolk to the bowl and mix again until the dough starts to come together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it briefly with your hands to bring it together. Chill and rest the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 2 mm (1⁄8 in).
- Line twenty-four 6 x 2.5 cm (2. x 1 in) round tartlet tins with the pastry. Use non-stick or lightly greased tins. (See pages 82–3 for instructions on lining tins with pastry.)
- Preheat the oven to 165°C (330°F).
- Place the tarts on a baking tray and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Remove the tarts from the refrigerator and trim them with a sharp knife if necessary. Blind bake them for 20 minutes or until cooked to firm pastry. (See page 83 for instructions on blind baking.) Remove the baking beans and return the tarts to the oven for 5 minutes to dry out.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and leave them to cool in the tin. Turn out the tarts and brush the insides liberally with the melted chocolate.
- Reserve until needed.
Chocolate Tart Filling
- 170 g (6 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 65 g (2. oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 185 ml (6 fl oz) thickened (whipping) cream
- 20 ml (. fl oz) liquid glucose
- Put the chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl.
- Place the cream and glucose in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter and stir to combine with a spatula. Work slowly, stirring from the middle of the bowl to the outside to ensure the chocolate has melted. You should have a smooth shiny cream.
- Pour the mixture into a jug. If it becomes too thick to use, you can warm it gently in the microwave before use – you need the mixture to be fluid to set level.
TIPS: If a slight separation appears then you can emulsify the chocolate filling with a hand-held blender until it is smooth and shiny.
I recommend making the chocolate filling a couple of hours before (or at least on the day) you want to serve the tarts. Any excess filling can be left to set and then scooped into a piping (icing) bag to use for decoration or another dessert.
- Salted caramel, cooled
- Chocolate-coated caramelised hazelnuts, some crushed chocolate curls dusted with unsweetened (Dutch) cocoa powder (see pages 142–3) grated dark chocolate for garnish
- Transfer the cooled caramel to a piping (icing) bag fitted with a large plain nozzle. Pipe (or simply spoon) the cooled caramel halfway into each chocolate-brushed tart. Leave for 20 minutes to settle and flatten.
- Pour the chocolate tart mixture on top of the caramel, filling the tarts right to the top. Tap the tarts gently to level the surface.
- Allow the tarts to set at room temperature for 15 minutes before topping with crushed and whole caramelised hazelnuts, chocolate curls and some extra grated dark chocolate. Serve almost immediately.
TIPS: You can make the tarts, salted caramel and garnishes in advance and even fill your tart shells with caramel a day ahead – or freeze them filled with caramel. If freezing, remove them from the freezer and leave to thaw before using. Make the chocolate tart filling and pour it in.
I don’t recommend placing the tarts in the refrigerator as it changes the luscious texture of the chocolate filling, but you can do so if necessary. Just pull them out an hour before serving to let the filling thaw to a softer consistency.
Extract taken from Lamingtons and Lemon Tart by Darren Purchese (Hardie Grant £20.00 RRP) Photography by Patricia Niven