Sweet shortcrust pastry filled with dark and milk chocolate, melted chocolate nut bars, caramel, topped with chopped pecans and peanuts
There’s little space for mistake(s) when it comes to food pairings made for each other. Rich, dark chocolate filling, chewy bits of nougat, the occasional crunch, smooth caramel. Contemplating the meaning of life earlier on this week whilst scavenging my brain for some coherent essay material, I knew I needed to make something sweet, and good, soon. The brain needs glucose, after all.
Magic results lie in the temperature of your butter (cold cold cold, please), and the speediness of all the hand work involved. It all seems a bit of a hassle at first, but I encountered nothing more therapeutic the past week. The movement of my hands in a bowl, rubbing butter into flour and salt and the works is like a welcome slowing down of all the motions you’re forced to go through in life. If you just take an hour out for yourself, make something, have a cup of coffee, or even just think about nothing, everything around you, everything you experience, becomes brighter and more beautiful. I’d hate to sound too much of a yogi because I’m no more the wiser, but the truth only came with experience.
Also, you’re probably wondering why there’s one picture in this entire blog post. Now I know as a blogger one is obligated, expected to take a million photos of the entire process, for the reader’s pleasure and benefit. It’s true, I know, but having hall-mates all around means the lifespan of anything baked (especially with chocolate) is circa half an hour, if not just a little less.
It was too delicious for too many shots. The waiting had to wait. I’ll leave it at that, and hopefully the next time I won’t disappoint.
Chocolate caramel tart (makes one 9-inch tart)
For the crust: ingredients may be found here, minus the black sesame powder
70g dark chocolate, broken up into large chunks
60g milk chocolate, broken into large chunks
one large chocolate nut candy nougat bar (Snickers works well), or substitute with 10g more milk chocolate and a handful of chopped peanuts (though you won’t get the bits of sticky nougat this way)
14g (1 tbsp) unsalted butter
50g (around 1/3 cup) chopped pecans and peanuts (optional)
For the salted caramel: ingredients and procedure may be found here. You will need 80ml (1/3 cup) of the stuff.
Prepare pie crust as stated in aforementioned recipe. At the bit where it says ‘preheat the oven and cover with aluminium foil’ preceding the blind bake, don’t! Just bake it normally, then remove once done and let cool, during which time you can prepare the other components. Prepare salted caramel and let cool for a half hour, so it solidifies just a little.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt together both types of chocolate, butter and the chocolate bar in 30-second intervals, until everything has nicely melted together. There will be a few sticky bits if you’re using a Snickers bar thanks to the nougat, but that’s what makes it all the more pleasurable. Into the cooled tart crust, pour in the salted caramel and spread into an even layer. Then pour in the chocolate mixture, and sprinkle chopped pecans and peanuts around the edges (optional). This tart need not set in the fridge, but leave to set and stiffen more at room temperature for at least half an hour. Cut using a sharp knife, wiping with a wet towel between each slice.
Serve on its own or with whipped cream and more chopped nuts.