Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart

18 Feb

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I know I’ve said this before, but one of my favorite flavor combinations is sweet and salty.  Throw some chocolate into the mix and you’ve got the perfect decadent dessert!  This one is easy to make. It consists of a rich chocolate crust filled with homemade caramel and topped with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with coarse salt.   Though the thought of making homemade caramel for the filling may strike fear into the hearts of some, I assure you, you can do it!  Really!  The caramel is an easy process,  you only stir it occasionally while it’s cooking!  The hardest part is watching it closely near the end of the caramelization process, when it would be easy to burn.  It changes quickly from a light color to a rich caramel color.  And the ganache is even easier, just pour warm cream over the broken chocolate and let it sit for a minute then stir.  You can do this!

Ingredients for crust:

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa

Ingredients for Caramel:

1/2 cup water

2 cups white sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 stick butter

2 Tablespoons sour cream

Ingredients for Ganache:

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 oz.bittersweet (or semi sweet) chocolate, broken into small pieces

Coarse salt for garnish

Directions:

For the crust, place the softened butter and sugar in a bowl and mix until well combined.

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Add the egg yolk and beat well.

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Dump the flour and cocoa in all at once and mix on low until it begins to clump together.

IMG_5930_1Press the crust mixture in a spring form tart pan.

IMG_5932_1IMG_5933_1Bake for 15 minutes or so in a 350 degree oven or until the crust looks dry and is set.  Cool to room temperature.

For the caramel:

Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

IMG_5935_1Cook this mixture over medium heat until the color changes from clear to amber colored.  Stir occasionally.

IMG_5936_1IMG_5937_1Watch it carefully as the color begins to turn, because it will happen quickly and could burn easily if left too long.  Once the color is amber, remove from heat and add the cream, stick of butter, and sour cream.  Be careful because it will bubble up and sizzle.

IMG_5939_1Stir until fully combined.

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Mixture will smooth out as you stir.

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Pour caramel into cooled crust.

IMG_5942_1It won’t be a thick layer, but a little goes a long way!

IMG_5944_1Place in the fridge to allow the caramel to firm up while you make the ganache.

To make the ganache:

Break up the 4 oz. of bittersweet chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.  Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a boil and pour hot cream over the broken chocolate pieces.

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Let it sit without stirring for 1 minute.

IMG_5948_1Then stir until the ganache is smooth and creamy.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!

IMG_5949_1Pour the ganache over the caramel and spread over the surface evenly.

IMG_5953_1IMG_5954_1Pop it back into the fridge to allow the ganache to set.

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Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt if desired.  The original recipe was found on vanillagarlic.com.

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