Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart

Boy it's been a pastry filled month around the food.baby household! While it hasn't been great for my waistline, between the turnovers, pufflets, vols-au-vent and now this tart, I can say I have well and truly conquered my fear of making pastry. Woo hoo!

I have been eyeing off the Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart since I first flicked through Baking, and yes, it was every bit as good (and as rich) as it looks!

I searched high and low (well on high shelves and low shelves in woolies) for honey roasted peanuts without success. Just as I'd given up we walked past the Christmas section and noticed some honey roasted cashews. Sold! I'm trying to ignore the fact there are Christmassy foods out already.

The pastry came together beautifully. I probably overcooked it slightly but it was still tender and crumbly and shortbready. Even the caramel behaved as it should (I added an extra pinch of sea salt along with the salted butter). My only issue was with the ganache.

Note to self - do not store chocolate on top of the oven. For any reason. Even if only for a few minutes while you wipe down the bench because you WILL forget to remove it. And then your husband will cook lunch in that oven without realising there is chocolate on top.

Exhibit A - my lovely block of Green & Blacks 70% ...

This happened the day before I was planning on making the tart, so rather than have to remelt it the next day and hope that it survived the process, I made the ganache and refrigerated it overnight.

I poured the warm cream over the chocolate and got a smooth, luscious looking ganache. Then I added the butter and got an oil slick. I think butter really has no place in ganache. I stirred it through as best I could but the next morning I got this ...

Exhibit B - ewwwwww

I scraped the butter off the top and it was exactly the amount I added in. I'm never adding butter to ganache again. After nuking my ganache was back to delicious.

The taste test ...

Wow. Seriously, wow. I just wish I'd been able to get a decent photo (my camera is in being repaired and the focus on my phone sucks). It sliced beautifully, the layers were really pretty and the taste was sensational. We will definitely be making this again.

Thanks to Carla of Chocolate Moosey (love that name!) for choosing this week's recipe. Make sure you visit her blog for the recipe along with the TWD blogroll to see much better photos than mine!


  1. It looks delicious! I'm glad you were able to save the ganache by scraping the butter off, but how strange!

  2. WOW - I can't even see the caramel layer on mine, the separation on yours is beautiful!

  3. Wow, excellent troubleshooting throughout this baking journey. After all that, your tart looks great!

  4. Looks fabulous.

    My tart making was fraught with almost as much trauma as yours.

  5. Wow, I love how distinct those layers are. It looks delicious!

  6. Yum it looks so good. I love the layers! Im glad it turned out so well for you!

  7. Looks great Susan! I didnt get the butter in the ganache either - I think it would have been better without.


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