Tuesday, September 29, 2009

TWD: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart

This week’s recipe was chosen by Carla of Chocolate Moosey. I think you could call it Candy Bar Tart. This rich and creamy tart starts with a sweet crumbly crust which is covered with a caramel peanut sauce and topped by a soft silky chocolate ganache. It melts in your mouth. You need the ganache chilled to a just pourable consistency before you add it to the tart shell.  Let the ganache mound up in the center and when you put it on the frig shelf shake it side to side to even out the top layer. It was fairly warm when I made the tart so I just kept it refrigerated and had no problems.

Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart
Baking:from my home to yours Dorie Greenspan

Scant 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon corn syrup
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 4 pieces, room temperature

8oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 9 inch tart shell (made with Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough)

Getting Ready: Because you have to work quickly once the sugar caramelizes, you should have all the ingredients for the caramel measured out and at hand before you start. Also have a medium heatproof bowl at hand to hold the hot caramel.

To Make the Caramel: Bring the heavy cream to a boil. Put a medium skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat and sprinkle in about 3 tablespoons of the sugar. When it melts, stir it with a wooden spatula or fork and sprinkle over another 3 tablespoons. When that sugar is melted, add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar – the sugar in the pan may already have started to color, and that’s fine. Stir in the corn syrup and boil the syrup until it reaches a deep caramel color – it will probably begin to smoke, and that’s normal.  Stand back and stir in the butter. The caramel will bubble furiously and may spatter, so make sure you’re away from the action. When the butter is in, add the warm cream – the caramel will bubble furiously again. Lower the temperature just a tad and let the caramel boil for just 2 minutes (226F on candy thermometer). Pour the seething caramel into the heatproof bowl and set aside while you make the ganache.

To Make the Ganache: Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and have a whisk or a rubber spatula at hand. Bring the cream to a boil. Then pour half of it over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. Working with the whisk/spatula, very gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles. Pour in the remainder of the cream and blend it into the chocolate. When the ganache is smooth and shiny, stir in the butter piece by piece. Don’t stir any more than you must to blend the ingredients – the less you work it, the darker, smoother and shinier it will be.  Cover the ganache with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface to create an airtight seal. Set aside at room temperature for the moment.

To Assemble the Tart: Stir the peanuts into the caramel. If the caramel has cooled and is too thick to spread easily, gently warm in the microwave in 3-second spurts. Spread the caramel over the bottom of the tart shell; you’ll have a thin layer. Refrigerate the tart for 15 minutes to set the caramel.

Check the ganache. If it has thickened, warm it in 3-second spurts. Rap the bowl to break any surface bubbles, pour the ganache over the caramel and jiggle the pan to even it.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes – no longer – then keep it at room temperature until serving time.

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