Friday, March 06, 2009

Salty sweetness.

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.


At 9:38 AM, Blogger Leslie F. Miller said...

When I lose the twenty pounds of fat I've put on being inactive and eating like a pig, I am making this right away!

At 11:26 AM, Blogger chocokat0718 said...

You HAVE to make this for me when I visit. I'll just sit and watch and take photos and drink raw cow juice! :)

At 12:55 PM, Blogger kristin said...

mmmmmm oh my. i need to try this. i love salty and sweet.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Deepfry said...

yay to blog revivals! and i must say, yours is QUITE inspiring. i plan to make this amazing tart over spring break.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Ellen Zachos said...

The ice cream stand in my town used to serve pretzel cones which perfectly set off a rich, chocolate, full-fat ice cream. Sadly, they don't carry the cones anymore and for some strange reason they deny every serving them. But I have witnesses! I think this spring you should design and execute a fabulous Juneberry dessert and post your recipe here!

At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this looks delicious and I'd like to try it, but for the dough... is that 1/4 C cocoa? Just want to make sure before I give it a try.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger claire said...

i absolutely need to try this.


At 8:57 AM, Blogger Anna said...

OH MY! i can't believe i read this before breakfast. wow.

At 12:02 AM, Blogger hiro said...

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I was going to paste the link without permission because I had very felt the interest for your blog.

Please link me with the blog if it is good.


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At 2:35 PM, Blogger Don said...

This looks fabulous!

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

I made this yesterday and loved it. It was a hit with my guests today too. I left out the corn syrup and the caramel cooked up beautifully. Thanks!!!


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