Salted caramel chocolate tart with burnt oranges

We have two ladies (gospel preachers) staying with us this week, one of whom is a ‘foodie’. Together the ‘foodie’ and I were flicking through an assortment of back issues of food magazines looking for inspiration, planning the coming day’s meals. The everyday meals were a little dictated by ease and speed of preparation and budget constraints, but we wanted something a bit special for Saturday night. We had already decided we would have duck for the main course, we would source the duck from a visit to the Central market (we had breakfast there on Saturday morning) and had decided to use an old tried and true recipe (from Gourmet traveler June 1995). So with that settled we were looking for dessert. I was thumbing through a Cuisine when the page fell open to a photograph by Steve Brown of Celia Harvey’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart. The picture is glorious the colours are warm and rich, you can almost smell the pastry, unconsciously your tongue wets your top lip, your eyes glaze, you reach out dreaming you could actually take the slice of tart, all thoughts of diets gone…you wicked people at Cuisine! surely it is against the law to publish pictures like that!

Sensibility kicked in, “we don’t need a dessert like that, too rich too many calories”, I said, quickly turning the page, my friends face fell, but I steamed on… did I say steamed? ah yes we could have a steamed pudding…. Sadly we both knew… she had to make that tart…simply had to!

Saturdays being what they are time began to run out, no way could we go back now, and sorry Celia, but we cheated a bit… I purchased some Carême dark chocolate shortcrust pastry, so we could skip the pastry making part of the process. My foodie friend arrived home, and the cooking started, quickly the tart shells were rolled and blind baked.

Then the first batch of caramel begins to bubble…

Then the chocolate topping…

Spread the caramel over the tart base. Spoon the chocolate mixture over evenly

Make the second lot of caramel.

Then pour the caramel over the orange slices.

Finally we had our desert!

Was it worth the time, effort and calories??? mmmmm you betcha!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart with Burnt Oranges

Celia Harvey, Cuisine Issue 123

If you have the time make your own, if like us you are pressed for time use Carême dark chocolate shortcrust pastry.

Ingredients

For the pastry
200g plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa, sifted
2 tablespoons caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 egg yolks

For the caramel filling

250g caster sugar
125g salted butter
100ml cream
pinch flaky sea salt

For the chocolate topping
100g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces ( we used Lindt 75%cocoa)
75g unsalted butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Burnt Caramel Oranges
4 oranges, peeled with a sharp knife and pith completely removed
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and the dark seed paste scraped out
1 measure (30ml) Cointreau (we used Grand marnier instead)

Method

For the pastry
Mix the flour, cocoa and sugar in a food processor or by hand. Add the butter and process or rub until the mixture has the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and work to a pliable pastry (but do not overwork). Refrigerate for 30 minutes then roll out on a lightly floured surface and line a 20cm springform tart tin. Chill again for 30 minutes.

Prick the base with a fork and blind bake with baking paper and rice for 12 minutes at 180°C. The pastry should appear dry and cooked.

For the caramel filling

Dissolve the sugar in 5 tablespoons of water in a large, heavy-based pan. Stir in the butter and increase the heat until it starts to bubble and turn a light caramel. This may take up to 20 minutes. Swirl the pan gently over the heat to ensure even colouring.

Lower the heat and carefully stir in half of the cream. When the bubbles slow add the rest of the cream. Add a good pinch of salt and leave to cool.

For the chocolate topping
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Melt the chocolate with the butter over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the egg, egg yolk and sugar together until thick, glossy and pale.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs and mix until smooth and shiny.

Spread the caramel over the tart base. Spoon the chocolate mixture over evenly. Bake the tart for 12 minutes and serve cooled with the oranges (recipe follows). Serves 8-10.

Burnt Caramel Oranges
Slice the oranges into 0.5cm perfect discs and place in a non-stick or Pyrex dish. Dissolve the sugar with the water and vanilla seeds in the same method as for the caramel filling. Swirl the pan until the caramel reaches a mahogany colour. Keep it bubbling until the colour darkens to rich red and is almost smoking. Carefully but quickly add the measure of Cointreau.

Pour the caramel over the orange slices. They in turn should bubble and soften. Leave on the bench to cool. Do not attempt to move or refrigerate them. Spoon on to the tart when serving. The oranges release their juice when caramelised so they won’t set, and the juice forms a wonderful sauce to spoon over.

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