Friday, May 20, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Tart (w/Raspberries and Cream)

Well, Ben and I really wanted to try something out with our new cocoa bean purchase, so he found this recipe on It looked pretty good, and it is pretty good! However, we didn't have raspberries or cream last night when we taste tested it, and in my opinion, it actually really needed it to help tone down the sweetness factor. Or maybe the caramel needs to be adjusted (that's where most of the sweetness was stemming from). I think I'll buy some fresh cream to whip up and fresh raspberries to give it a second chance today. Don't get me wrong - it was still very good - but there is such a thing as too sweet and it definitely caps my threshold. But maybe that's a good thing for me to not be able to eat as much? Eh.

Chocolate-Caramel Tart with Drunken Raspberries and Vanilla Crème Fraîche
Bon Appétit | June 2006
Jeanne Thiel Kelley

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cocoa nibs*

Ben's notes: Seemed a little salty and eggy. Will add a little vanilla next time to round out.

Caramel filling
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon finely ground fleur de sel or fine sea salt

Christina' notes: Watch closely! Did not take full cooking time noted for me, and b/c I did not have the cream ready to add immediately it kept cooking even after I took it off of the heat and ended up getting burned. Round two worked out much better!

Chocolate ganache
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Edible gold dust (optional; for garnish) -  I was fresh out of this :) You'll be fine without it
Drunken Raspberries - I plan on just using fresh raspberries
Vanilla Crème Fraîche - and diddo on just using fresh whipped cream

For crust:
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Butter 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add 1/2 cup butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolks; process until moist clumps form. Add cocoa nibs; blend in using on/off turns. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack while preparing caramel filling.

For caramel filling:
Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until mixture is deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Add butter and stir over low heat until caramel is completely smooth. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; stir in salt. Cool 10 minutes. Pour warm caramel into crust. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 45 minutes.

Christina's notes: Because we were in a rush (I had a meeting to get to) we tried to cut corners on cooling the caramel (putting in fridge/freezer to speed cooling). DO NOT DO THIS! It compromised the texture, making it a little grainy. Still tasted good, but not as good as it should have been.

For ganache:
Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Let stand until slightly cooled but still pourable, about 10 minutes. Pour ganache evenly over caramel filling. Refrigerate tart uncovered until chocolate is firm, about 2 hours. do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Brush top of tart with gold dust, if desired. Cut tart into thin slices. Arrange 1 slice on each plate. Spoon berries and crème fraîche alongside.

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