Friday, July 5, 2013

Have a Happy National Chocolate with Almonds Day with Chocolate Caramel Tart!



Chocolate Caramel Tart
by Sharyl
adapted from this recipe

Crust:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 Tablespoon cold water (I used about 2 tablespoons)

Caramel Sauce:
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt


Chocolate Sauce:
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup roasted, salted almonds, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Crust: Combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend. Add 1 stick of cold butter and pulse until butter is coarsely mixed in. Add 1 Tablespoon of cold water and process just until the dough starts to stick together. Add more water by teaspoonfuls if the dough is dry, but do not get the dough too wet. Press dough into a 9" round tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough into bottom and up the sides about ½ inch. It is important, that the dough be pressed evenly into the bottom of the pan. If it is uneven, the caramel will pool in the low areas. Put tart pan in freezer to chill for about 20 minutes, and then bake for about 30 minutes, until crust is golden. Cool completely. Do not remove from the pan.

Caramel: Add 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium high and cook without stirring, until the sugar is a deep amber color. This will happen at about 350°F. It is best to use a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan occasionally to keep the sugar mixture from burning. Take the pan off the burner and add 1/3 cup of cream and stir. The cream will cause the caramel mixture to bubble up a storm. Put the saucepan back on the burner – on low – and stir until the sugar and cream are smooth. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the saucepan and stir. Pour the caramel over the crust and place in the fridge to set.

Chocolate Sauce: Make the chocolate sauce while the torte is cooling in the fridge. Put 1/3 cup of cream and instant coffee in a small bowl and microwave 30 – 60 seconds until it is hot, but don’t scorch the cream. Add the semi-sweet chocolate and 1 Tablespoon of butter and whisk until smooth. Put back in microwave, if necessary, for another 30 seconds. Let the chocolate sauce cool, then spread the chocolate sauce over the caramel and sprinkle with the chopped almonds. Return to the refrigerator to set. Of course, one could always use pecans instead of almonds.

This tart can be made several days ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator, 30 minutes or so, before serving. If you like, add a dollop of whipped cream prior to serving.

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