There's not much I need to say about this tart other than it made the top ten list of things I've ever had in my mouth. I think the pictures can convey the rest.
The recipe originally appeared in The Last Course by Claudia Fleming but the version I used comes from the Diner Journal from the guys at Marlow and Sons' in NYC.
Salted Caramel Tart
For the dough:
4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 unsweetened cocoa
pinch of salt
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Sift the flour and cocoa and add to butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for about an hour. Roll the dough out and press into a 12 inch fluted removable bottom tart pan. (I found the dough hard to roll out but it's easy to press back together. Just do the best you can to make it look pretty!) Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate again while preheating the oven to 325 degrees. The recipe says to blind bake the tart shell with pie weights but I did it without and the tart didn't really shrink at all. You choose... Bake until dry and set, about 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, make the caramel.
For the caramel:
1/2 c. water
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. corn syrup (optional-see below)
4 oz unsalted butter
1/2 heavy cream
2 Tbsp. crème fraîche or sour cream
You can get away with not using corn syrup- just up the sugar by 1/4 cup. Invert sugars help caramel from crystallizing as you cook it. If you don't have much experience making caramel, I suggest using the corn syrup because it's one less thing to worry about. Put the water, sugar and corn syrup in a large, light bottomed saucepan (I say this because some have a black coating and then you can't see the caramel color so be sure to use a silver pot). Cook on high heat until the sugar starts to brown, without stirring. Turn the heat down and watch carefully at this point until the caramel is dark brown. Adding the cream will stop the cooking of the cream so have it ready to go but add it in a slow stream because it will cause the sugar syrup to bubble and spit like crazy. Add the butter and sour cream and stir over low heat until smooth. Pour the caramel into the baked tart shell and cool in the fridge until set.
For the ganache:
1/2 c. cream
3 1/2 oz. high-quality bitterseet chocolate, chopped
Put the chocolate in a bowl. Scald the cream and pour over chocolate. Let sit a few minutes and then whisk until smooth. Pour over the tart when the caramel has set. I had some leftover ganache from another project that I used for this and looking at the quantities here, I think I used more than called for- you might want to double the ganache recipe. You could always roll a few truffles if you end up with too much.
The recipe in Diner Journal doesn't mention the salt but it's key to the whole experience. I think Maldon is the perfect salt for this because it's crunchy but won't break a tooth. You can use any course sea salt. Use more than you might think is prudent. You won't be sorry.