Look, I really have vowed to start making the titles to my posts shorter, rather than lay it all out on the table at once. I just get so excited, that sometimes I need to reiterate every star ingredient in the dish, in the title. Like blurting out what I got you for your birthday before you’re done unwrapping it, I just can’t contain myself.
I’ve been riding the caramel train for as long as I can remember. Chocolate and caramel are BBFs. Chocolate chip cookies will never go out of style. And everyone knows my fondness for sea salt. You guys, this tart is basically everything I love.
Let’s start from the bottom. The crust is a chocolate chip cookie flavored crust. I say “flavored,” because it does not actually rise like a chocolate chip cookie and alone could not hold its own to a real cookie. But it’s crispy and allows the other ingredients to shine, which is what I want from a tart crust.
The next two layers are oozing with caramel and creamy chocolate ganache. Here is the caramel recipe I use for just about everything. It’s great for baked goods because it’s gooey once it’s at room temperature, and making it involved NO CANDY THERMOMETER. That’s right, I don’t mess with candy thermometers (mostly because, ya know, I don’t own one).
The end result is a gooey, messy interior with a firm, crispy bottom. It tastes like all of my favorite flavors are throwing a party together, just for me. Small slices will still pack in a rich punch, so it’ll most definitely serve a group. Perfect for parties, gatherings, and special occasions of all kinds. In my case, it was my last day at my student office job! Being that I am the (self-proclaimed) office baker, I knew I had to bake something to leave a final mark on my (self-proclaimed) legacy. Not a single slice was spared that day.
Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart with Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust
Serves about 10
Takes about 1.5 hours
For the Crust:
- 5 Tablespoons butter, softened, cut into pieces
- 1/3 C packed brown sugar
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 C mini chocolate chips (I chose semi-sweet)
- Position oven rack to the middle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 inch tart pan with non-stick spray.
- Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. Add flour, salt, and vanilla and mix by hand until it starts to come together. It will look crumbly and dry, but if you squeeze some between your hands it will stick together. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Gather mixture into a ball with your hands, and transfer it to the tart pan. Starting from the middle and pushing out, press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until it is lightly browned. Don’t bake for too long, because it will firm up as it’s cooling. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool while you make your other components.
For the Salted Caramel:
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1 stick of butter, cut up into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
- In a medium, dry saucepan, melt your sugar over medium heat. This may take a few minutes, stirring occasionally to break up big chunks and let all of the sugar rotate to the bottom of the pan. When the sugar is melted, it should be smooth and copper-colored.
- Remove from heat and stir in chunks of butter, a few at a time. It may start to harden before it can be fully incorporated, but do the best you can. Sir in cream and salt, and return to medium heat, returning it to a simmer and stirring for a few minutes until all ingredients have blended together smoothly and the caramel is a shade or two darker.
- Pour out the caramel into the cooled crust. Let it sit until the top has firmed slightly, then transfer to the fridge and let it firm for about 30 minutes before making your ganache.
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
- 8 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghiradelli 72% cacao)
- Chunky sea salt for garnish
- Place dark chocolate into a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring heavy cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute. Stir cream and chocolate together with a rubber spatula until smooth.
- Pour ganache over firmed caramel layer of your tart. Smooth it out evenly with your rubber spatula. Put it in the fridge and let it set for at least 4 hours, or overnight. When you are ready to serve, take it out of the fridge for about 20 minutes before sprinkling with sea salt.