Chocolate, Hazelnut & Salted Caramel Tarts

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By Darren Purchese

So delicious, so so good. These tarts are fantastic to serve for afternoon tea or to finish a splendid meal. The combination of deliciously wicked salted caramel, smooth dark chocolate and crumbly pastry are a match made in heaven and the nuts and chocolate add a great contrast in texture.

Don’t submit to the temptation of making one large tart because the caramel will flow out and empty your tart once you cut a slice, instead make these as individual items.

The salted caramel will make more than you need for this recipe as it gets tricky to manage your temperature in the pan if you make a small quantity. Instead use what you need and store the remaining in a jar to spoon over the top of ice cream or use in other desserts. It will last for a couple of weeks in your fridge.

Remember these tips for a smooth and balanced caramel

  1. Ensure your tools are spotlessly clean including your whisk, the saucepan, sieve and the tip of your thermometer.
  2. Use a thermometer to accurately check the cooking temperature to ensure the correct viscosity of your caramel once cool.
  3. Use a saucepan of a sufficient size to ensure the mix does not boil over during cooking.

Time

1

hour

45

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Medium

Save

2

Portions

6
servings

Share Recipe

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Ingredients

Servings

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COMPONENTS

 chocolate tart shells
 salted caramel
 chocolate tart filling
 chocolate curls
 chocolate coated caramelised hazelnuts

CHOCOLATE TARTS SHELLS

250g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
90g icing sugar
1 salt
135g unsalted butter, cold diced
55g egg whole, (approx. 1 large egg)
20g egg yolk (approx. 1 large egg)
150g dark chocolate, melted

SALTED CARAMEL

450 ml cream, thickened
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
8g salt
100g glucose
45g unsalted butter, room temperature

CHOCOLATE TART FILLING

185 ml cream, thickened
1tbsp glucose
170g dark chocolate, buttons or block chopped small
65g unsalted butter, room temperature

TO ASSEMBLE

 chocolate curls
 chocolate coated caramelised hazelnuts
1

For the pastry tarts… Place flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar & salt into a mixing bowl and crumb in the butter with your fingertips until you have a fine sandy texture. Add in the eggs & egg yolk and mix again until the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured workbench and work it together briefly with your hands. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat an oven to 180°C and then remove the pastry from the fridge. Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 2mm and cut out 8 X 10 cm discs using a cutter or a knife. Line 8 tarts with the pastry discs and rest them in the fridge for 20 minutes. Any extra pastry can be combined and wrapped to store in the freezer for later use. Blind bake the tarts for 20 minutes or until fully cooked through. Remove the baking beans and allow the tarts to cool. Unmould the tarts and brush the interior with the melted dark chocolate to prevent sogginess when adding the filling. Set aside.

 

2

For the salted caramel… Add 250 ml of the cream with the sugar, scraped vanilla seeds, salt and glucose into a medium to large saucepan and start to heat. As you cook the mixture it will start to brown and stick to the bottom of the saucepan, this is what you want. You then need to scrape these pieces from the sides of the pan with a heat proofed spatula to get a golden colour in your caramel. Stir the mixture constantly and cook the caramel to 145°C using a sugar thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Be careful of the steam as you check the temperature, as it will be very hot. Remove the caramel from the heat and add in the remaining cream and butter. BE CAREFUL this will bubble, and the steam is dangerously HOT. Mix until you have a smooth and golden caramel, strain through a sieve and pour it into a container and allow it to cool thoroughly at room temperature before using.

 

3

For the chocolate cream… Add the cream and glucose to a small saucepan and start to heat, bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Put the chocolate and the butter into a tall jug and pour the scalded cream over the top. Leave to sit for 30 seconds before mixing the chocolate cream with a handheld immersion blender. Blend until you have a smooth and shiny emulsion. The mix is now ready to use.

 

4

To assemble… Spoon a thin layer of salted caramel into each tartlet case. Place into the fridge for 5 minutes to chill and settle before removing and pouring in the chocolate cream to the top of the tart. If your chocolate cream is too thick to use, you can warm it gently in the microwave. You need the mixture fluid to set level. Pour to the top of the tarts and leave them to set at room temperature for 30 minutes, alternatively you can place the tarts in the fridge for ten minutes. Top with the chocolate curls and toasted hazelnut pieces. Serve.

 

5

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

For the pastry tarts… Place flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar & salt into a mixing bowl and crumb in the butter with your fingertips until you have a fine sandy texture. Add in the eggs & egg yolk and mix again until the dough starts to come together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured workbench and work it together briefly with your hands. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat an oven to 180°C and then remove the pastry from the fridge. Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 2mm and cut out 8 X 10 cm discs using a cutter or a knife. Line 8 tarts with the pastry discs and rest them in the fridge for 20 minutes. Any extra pastry can be combined and wrapped to store in the freezer for later use. Blind bake the tarts for 20 minutes or until fully cooked through. Remove the baking beans and allow the tarts to cool. Unmould the tarts and brush the interior with the melted dark chocolate to prevent sogginess when adding the filling. Set aside.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

For the salted caramel… Add 250 ml of the cream with the sugar, scraped vanilla seeds, salt and glucose into a medium to large saucepan and start to heat. As you cook the mixture it will start to brown and stick to the bottom of the saucepan, this is what you want. You then need to scrape these pieces from the sides of the pan with a heat proofed spatula to get a golden colour in your caramel. Stir the mixture constantly and cook the caramel to 145°C using a sugar thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Be careful of the steam as you check the temperature, as it will be very hot. Remove the caramel from the heat and add in the remaining cream and butter. BE CAREFUL this will bubble, and the steam is dangerously HOT. Mix until you have a smooth and golden caramel, strain through a sieve and pour it into a container and allow it to cool thoroughly at room temperature before using.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

For the chocolate cream… Add the cream and glucose to a small saucepan and start to heat, bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Put the chocolate and the butter into a tall jug and pour the scalded cream over the top. Leave to sit for 30 seconds before mixing the chocolate cream with a handheld immersion blender. Blend until you have a smooth and shiny emulsion. The mix is now ready to use.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

To assemble… Spoon a thin layer of salted caramel into each tartlet case. Place into the fridge for 5 minutes to chill and settle before removing and pouring in the chocolate cream to the top of the tart. If your chocolate cream is too thick to use, you can warm it gently in the microwave. You need the mixture fluid to set level. Pour to the top of the tarts and leave them to set at room temperature for 30 minutes, alternatively you can place the tarts in the fridge for ten minutes. Top with the chocolate curls and toasted hazelnut pieces. Serve.

5
0 hours 0 minutes