Chocolate caramel tart! Enough said! Seriously though, if you love the chocolate-caramel combo, then grab all the ingredients right now! This tart is absolutely delicious. Chocolate shortcrust pastry, caramel filling and chocolate ganache… what’s not to like? One bite and you’ll be mesmerized by the caramel slowly flowing out. Can you tell I love this tart?!
But let me be upfront! This is a messy tart! I’ve tried making a large tart and small tartlets. One issue I encountered with the large tart (not the tartlets) was that the chocolate layer slid off after a while! In small tarts, the chocolate is held by the tart edges and stays put!
I would definitely recommend making individual portions if you like things neat. Or if you aren’t planning on eating/serving the whole tart. What’s that? You don’t mind finishing the tart in one sitting?! Join the club!
Components Of A Chocolate Caramel Tart
There are three components in this chocolate caramel tart:
The tart crust
I used chocolate shortcrust pastry. You can use another tart crust if you prefer. Just make sure it’s not too sweet as the caramel is already quite sweet.
The caramel filling
We previously saw how to make salted caramel sauce. Be sure to read all the tips to get smooth caramel before starting with this recipe. In today’s recipe, we’ll be using less butter and cream than we did for the sauce. And once all the ingredients are combined, we will bring everything back to a boil for about 2 minutes for a chewy caramel consistency.
- Runny caramel: If you don’t boil the caramel, it will most likely be runny and ooze out of the tart immediately.
- Chewy and soft caramel: If you boil it for 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat, the caramel will be sliceable and will slowly start to soften. If you have a thermometer, the temperature of the caramel should be around 110°C (230°F). This is the optimal consistency for a tart in my opinion.
- Chewy and hard: If you boil the caramel a bit longer, about 5 minutes, it will start to thicken. When cooked to 118°C (245°F), the caramel will become very chewy and firm. I wouldn’t recommend heating the caramel to this stage. The tart will be quite hard to slice straight out of the fridge. And the texture of the hard caramel will clash with the texture of the crust.
The chocolate ganache
You simply need chocolate and heavy cream to make this ganache. I’m using a combination of dark and milk chocolate. But you can use only dark chocolate if you prefer. Just note that you might need a little bit more heavy cream if you use only dark chocolate.
Making Chocolate Caramel Tart, Step-by-Step
The tart shell
Let’s start by preparing our tart shell. You can make a 23 cm (9 inch) tart or about 9 tartlets. I used perforated tart rings with an 8 cm (3 1/6 inch) diameter.
Line the tart pan
- Grease the tart pan(s). If using a 23 cm (9 inch) tart pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. I like to grease the parchment paper as well, just in case!
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of 3mm. If the dough is very cold, let it warm up at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling it out. If at any point it gets too warm, refrigerate it a little. Line the tart pan (or tartlet pans) with pastry. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out how to line a tart pan with pastry.
- Prick the tart(s) with a fork then freeze for 15 minutes while preheating the oven to 180°C (356°F), conventional setting. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, place it on a baking sheet first. This will make it easier to move the tart pan without ripping the dough.
Bake the tart crust
- Bake the tart for about 30-35 minutes or until just firm to the touch. If making tartlets, bake for about 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the tart when it’s baking. If you notice it puffing up, remove it from the oven, push down the bubbles with the back of a metal spoon before the tart sets and return to the oven. You could alternatively use weights such as chick peas if you prefer. To do so, place a piece of parchment paper on the tart and fill it with weights before baking. For a large tart, bake with weights for 15 minutes and keep baking for about 15 more minutes once you remove the weights. To bake tartlets, bake with weights for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for about 10 more minutes.
- Let the tart crust cool completely (in the mold) on a wire rack.
Time to prepare the caramel filling. I’ll quickly go over the process of making wet caramel again but if you’d like more step-by-step pictures or tips, head over to the salted caramel sauce post.
The caramel filling for the chocolate caramel tart
Prepare the caramel (wet method)
- Pour the water into a medium-sized pan then slowly add the sugar towards the center of the pan. Gently tap the pan to spread the sugar and cover it with water. Be careful not to splatter any sugar onto the sides of the pan. It’s best not to stir, to avoid introducing impurities from the spatula.
- Bring to a boil on medium-high heat (heat 6 out of 9 for example), swirling occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- When it starts to boil, place a lid on the pan and keep covered for 2 minutes. The trapped steam will condense and wash off the sides of the pan, getting rid of any stray sugar crystals that could cause crystallization. You can also use a wet pastry brush if needed, to wash down the sides of the pan whenever you see sugar crystals on it.
- Remove the lid and keep heating until the sugar has caramelized and turns amber. A light colored caramel will be sweeter than a darker one. The more you cook the caramel, the deeper the flavor and the more bitter it will become. Tip: It’s best to lower the heat to medium-low (heat 4 out of 9) when the color starts changing. This will give you more control over the degree of caramelization. If you notice patches of darker color, swirl the pan around to even out the cooking.
Make the caramel filling
- Remove the caramel from the heat. Keeping the pan far from you, stir in the butter until fully combined. Stir immediately with a heatproof spatula, being very careful not to splatter any caramel on yourself. The extremely hot caramel will bubble up so please be very careful not to burn yourself.
- Add the cream (off the heat) in several additions, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
- Stir in the salt then return the caramel to medium-low heat (heat 4 out of 9 for example). Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the caramel to another container to stop the cooking process and cool it down slightly.
- Transfer the tart shell to the serving platter and pour the caramel filling into it. For tartlets: Fill the tartlet shell slightly more than halfway. I used about 35 g (1.23 oz.) of caramel filling for 8 cm (3 1/6 inch) tarts. The caramel shouldn’t be too hot but should still be pourable.
- Refrigerate the tart for about an hour or until the caramel has set. You can check by gently pressing the surface of the caramel with a clean finger.
The chocolate ganache for the chocolate caramel tart
- Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Melt it in the microwave in 20 seconds increments, stirring in-between.
- Heat the heavy cream in a small pot on medium heat until simmering but not boiling.
- Add a third of the cream to the chopped chocolate. Using a spatula, gently stir the chocolate ganache. Start by making circles in the center of the bowl and move outwards.
- Add the remaining cream in 2 additions and stir until the chocolate has fully melted.
- Strain the chocolate ganache through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup. It will make a bit more than one cup of ganache.
- Let the ganache cool down and firm up just a little at room temperature, for about 10-15 minutes.
- Fill the tart(s) about 2/3 of the way then return to the refrigerator. Continue filling all the way to the top. For tartlets: I used about 28 g (1 oz.) of chocolate ganache for 8 cm (3 1/6 inch) tarts. Filling the tart/tartlets to the top when they are already in the refrigerator will minimize the chances of spilling. Keep an eye out for your tart edges and make sure they are even before pouring the ganache.
- Refrigerate the tart for at least 3 hours before serving.
And that’s it! This tart tastes amazing as it is but you can sprinkle with sea salt if you’d like! Hope you’ll love it as much as I do!