Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I am posting this scrumptious treat! Paul and I do not actually celebrate Valentine’s Day (being in the restaurant industry, you usually have to work on days like that, instead of being able to celebrate anything), and we much prefer understated declarations of romance, instead of going over the top.

I have wanted to make a tart for a while now. I have two full size tart pans, as well as a set of four smaller pans, and they still have not been used! Finally, I broke out the tart pans, and found a tempting recipe to make. On my Pinterest board, I have quite the collection of desserts, and a small collection of tarts. While I do have a bag of frozen strawberries in my freezer, and was extremely tempted to make a strawberry tart, I chose to make something decidedly more extravagant and indulgent.

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I found the recipe here, and the best part is that it involves homemade salted caramel. Anything that involves homemade salted caramel must be good, right? Add a luscious chocolate ganache, a dusting of salt, and a crisp cookie crust, and helloo, lovely.

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Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch tart

For the crust:

10 tbsp. butter, softened
½ c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt

For the caramel:

½ c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
5 tbsp. water
Pinch of sea salt

For the ganache:

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Pinch of sea salt
2 c. heavy cream

For the tart shell, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix until just incorporated. Add in the flour and salt, and mix just until the dough comes together, on low speed. Scrape the dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thick round. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan, trimming the excess dough. Place the shell in the freezer until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake shell for 30 minutes. Remove the parchment paper, and bake for 10 minutes more. Allow to cool while you make the filling.

For the caramel, bring the cream to a boil and then turn off the heat. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar with 5 tbsp. of water and cook, stirring over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 4 minutes, until it reaches 374°F, swirling the pan as needed. Do not stir the caramel! Only swirl the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the hot cream. Stir until smooth. Add the salt, and whisk again.

Pour the caramel into the tart shell so that the bottom is evenly covered, and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to pour in the ganache.

For the ganache, place the chocolate and salt in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes. Whisk the chocolate into the cream until they are melted together. Pour the ganache into the tart shell, and allow to set at room temperature. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving.

Slice into wedges and serve.

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