Tarte Chocolat-Caramel

What do you do when you have leftover chocolate custard and chocolate ganache? Make a chocolate tart of course!

I had some chocolate filling and icing left from the chocolate eclairs I blogged about last week, and I was determined to not let anything go to waste. I had also saved up some vanilla and lemon-flavored almond cream from another recipe. Inspired by a recipe that I had tried a few years ago from the lovely book by Chocolate and Zucchini, I whipped up a simple caramel sauce, re-made the pasta frolla from the pizza rustica recipe and layered everything to create this tasty tart.

Since I just kind of threw everything together, the chocolate ganache doesn’t really have that smooth texture typical of more traditional chocolate tarts* (and perhaps the purist would fault this tart for it). The chocolate ganache bubbled up in the oven, the caramel sauce oozed a little but that didn’t prevent tasters from ooh-ing at it.

*For those of you curious about other chocolate tarts, they fall into several categories: (1) the ones that contain a lot of eggs with a flan-like texture, (2) the ones with a ganache poured into a pre-baked crust and chilled, (3) the ones with a ganache made with heavy cream and milk and a bit of egg that are baked until just set.

Chocolate and Caramel Tart

Inspired by a recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini

Because this tart was created with leftovers from different recipes, the proportions listed below will likely give you more than what you need, so it might not be ideal for some of you. Of course you can mix and match as you please; leave the almond cream out if you have an almond allergy, do without the chocolate custard or the caramel sauce if it’s too much work. Or if you follow the recipe as is, you could think of it as an opportunity to get creative with your own leftovers!

Dough (pasta frolla from Nick Malgieri):

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse again until it looks like cornmeal. Then add the eggs and pulse until the dough comes together and sticks to the blade.
Take the dough out of the food processor and knead a little until it is smooth. If it feels too dry, add one tablespoon of water. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside.

You’ll only need two-thirds of this dough to make a crust for a 9-inch pan. You can use the rest as you please (I made a tomato tart), or you can use 2/3 the amount of ingredients listed but it seemed easier to keep the proportions as they were (I guess you can measure 1 1/3 eggs if you’d like?). 

Almond cream:

  • 1/4 lb almond paste
  • 1/4 cup ground almond
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon (juice + zest)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 stick butter, diced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
In a small sauce pan, on low-medium heat combine the almond paste, ground almond, sugar, lemon juice and zest. It might take a little while to break down the almond paste. When combined, take off heat and whisk the egg in quickly. Put back on low heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Take off heat again, add butter and vanilla extract. Stir until melted and combined. Chill.

For the tart, I only used about 2 tablespoons of almond cream. This will yield more but again it was easier to keep the proportions as they are. 

Caramel sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, warm
In a small sauce pan, slowly heat the sugar until it turns into a nice caramel color. Then add the heavy cream, don’t worry if the caramel hardens. Increase the heat a bit until the caramel is completely dissolved.

This is a dry caramel so I don’t add any water to the sugar. I also don’t really stir although I might move the edges of the pan up and down to even the caramel out. David Lebovitz has a great post on how to make the perfect caramel so I’ll leave it to him to explain.

Chocolate custard:

  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.5 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder, optional
  • Heavy cream, optional

Sift together the flour and corn starch. Warm the milk until just before boiling.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until whitish then add the flour/corn starch mixture. Whisk to blend. Add the warm milk gradually while whisking until all the milk is incorporated.

Return the mixture to the stove and continue whisking on medium high. The mixture will thicken, reduce the heat to medium. Continue whisking until smooth. Take off heat.

Now mix in butter and vanilla extract. Mix until melted and combined. Add chocolate, and continue mixing until all the chocolate has melted and the custard becomes medium brown. If using, mix in espresso powder.

Place in a shallow pan to cool a bit, then cover with plastic film. Make sure to press the plastic film onto the custard so that it does not come into contact with air, then chill. When ready to use, stir again to obtain a smooth texture. At this point, add heavy cream, a little at a time, to obtain the desired consistency.

Chocolate ganache:
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz (50 g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

Melt sugar in a small pot on low heat until it turns into a nice caramel (medium brown). Add the heavy cream. Don’t worry if the caramel hardens. Continue heating the heavy cream until it dissolves back into the liquid. Take pot off heat and add the chocolate. Stir until melted and mixture becomes dark brown.

I had already halved the recipe for chocolate ganache in my eclair post, so I’d suggest keeping the proportions the same here.

Baking the tart:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit (if using a glass pie plate, decrease the temperature to 350 degrees Farenheit).

Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle and transfer to a 9-inch metal pie plate. Press it gently to the bottom and sides of the plate and trim the edges (I find it easier to use my thumb but you can use the dull edge of a knife too).

Fill with a layer of almond cream, followed by a layer of caramel sauce, then chocolate custard and finally chocolate ganache.

Bake for about 35 min. Cool completely before serving.

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4 thoughts on “Tarte Chocolat-Caramel

  1. so many layers of flavor, and I like your “waste not” attitude. you could also put the last layer of ganache over the baked and mostly cooled tart. yummy!

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