Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sea-Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart; Recipe Review and Recommendation

At precisely the moment that I was looking for inspiration for a dessert for yesterday evening, I saw a tweet by Great British Chefs for a sea-salted caramel chocolate tart recipe, written by the famous chocolatier, Paul A. Young.  So I headed off to my commercial kitchen and followed the instructions and created something truly delicious.

This chocolate caramel tart is even better on the second day than it is on the first.  It was easier to slice today because it had more time to set.  Also, the salt really seems to shine on day two and the texture thickens just a little, which makes it seem richer and more enjoyable. But it is still soft, truffly and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. 

The crust is very similar to one that I regularly make for my customers now, and to the one in Chatelaine's tart recipe, but just a little delicate in comparison. It rolled out easily, and works exactly as the recipe had explained. And once baked, the crust had a nice shortbread flavour and a texture that crumbles in your mouth in a delicious way.

So what needed improvement? 

It really was a near-perfect recipe, except for these small things that I should mention:

If you want to use all the dough, you will need to double the filling: The recipe does not mention the size of the tart pans, so I chose my pan based on how much dough there appeared to be. It mentioned using 4 tart pans.  I only had two seven-inch pans and 30 three-inch pans, so I went with the two seven-inch pans. I had about the same amount of dough left over, but no filling, so I just wrapped and froze the remaining dough for the next time I want to make this recipe. Each tart can be sliced into 6 -8 pieces, so two tarts were the perfect amount for last night's dinner party.

Check your tart crust at 17 minutes instead of 25 minutes. The cooking time was different for my oven from the time specified in the recipe.  Because I make tarts on a shortbread crust weekly, I knew that 25 minutes seemed long for this crust.  So I set the time for 18 minutes, rather than 25 minutes. When I checked at 18 minutes, the tarts were already quite golden brown - any longer and they might have burned.  Perhaps it is just my convection oven that bakes the crusts faster, but just be sure to check yours at about 17 minutes to see if they are ready, or if more time is needed.

Use an online converter:  This is a British recipe, so if you are American, or even a Canadian who prefers 'cups', and you don't have a kitchen scale that converts easily between grams and ounces, you will need to use Google to search for online conversions to cups and ounces (from grams).

I recommend it!
Despite the small issues I experienced above, I overall give this recipe a 9 out of 10!  It truly was delicious and the added sprinkle of cocoa nibs on top was not necessary but made it a lovely gourmet chocolate dessert with a slight textural crunch.

Here is the full recipe link:

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