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Chocolate Caramel Tarts

Claudia Fleming, pastry chef at New York City's Gramercy Tavern, served these luscious tartlets at her own wedding.

  • yield: Makes 2 dozen tartlets

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Ingredients

For the Chocolate Tart Dough

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

For the Caramel Filling

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 1 pinch of coarse salt

For the Chocolate Ganache Glaze

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Variations

On "Martha Bakes," Martha doubled this recipe to make one 9-inch round tart and six 4 1/2-inch round tarts (with 1 cup caramel sauce left over). Alternatively, you could double the chocolate tart dough and make twelve 3 3/4-inch tarts. Martha also used parchment and dried lentils when baking the shells, and she topped her tarts with fleur de sel.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the tart dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Sift in flour and cocoa powder, and beat on low speed until just combined. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and form it into a disk; wrap well. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper, roll the tart dough into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle, 3/16 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch round cutter, cut out 24 rounds of dough, and press them into 2 1/4-inch tart pans, trimming away any excess dough. Chill the tart shells in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Line each tart shell with a piece of parchment paper, and fill with raw rice or dried lentils. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and its contents, and bake until the pastry looks dry and set, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool. (The tart shells can be made up to 8 hours ahead.)

  4. Step 4

    Make the filling: Place 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan. Add sugar and corn syrup, and cook mixture over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it becomes a dark-amber caramel, about 10 minutes. Carefully whisk in butter, cream, creme fraiche, and a pinch of salt (the mixture will bubble up), whisking until smooth. (The caramel can be made up to 5 days ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.) Carefully transfer caramel to a glass measuring cup. Divide caramel among tart shells while still warm (or reheat caramel over low heat until it is pourable), and let stand until the caramel is set, at least 45 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Make the ganache glaze: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour some of the glaze over each of the tarts while still warm. Let the glaze set at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, August 2002

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Reviews (8)

  • Scherry 2 Jul, 2014

    Made this today but substituted the bittersweet chocolate with chilli chocolate! And some other stuff that I didn't have like creme fraiche and corn syrup, but it turned out amazing!
    I've linked to your recipe in my blog http://www.cantcookwillcook.com/chilli-chocolate-caramel-tarts/

  • caroljay86 28 Aug, 2013

    I love this recipe; it is awesome! For those worried about using plastic for baking the tart shell: Don't use plastic. Do what I do, and use foil or parchment paper ;-)

  • Dina Sherif 21 Sep, 2012

    OMG Martha!
    this is one of the best desserts i've ever made !!
    really THANK YOU :) :)

  • love to bake 21 Aug, 2012

    i have made this recipe numerous times and everyone loves it! would not change a thing. and yes plastic wrap in the oven.. the temp is low enuf the plastic wrap does not melt. then u can reuse the little pouches for the next time u make these delicious little gifts. i would not make a large tart as the small ones are just the right amount of chocolate and caramel and ganache.

  • Librariancooks 3 Mar, 2012

    The measurements for the pie dough seem off. The dough was too crumbly and was really hard to come together, even after refrigerating it. I'd add a touch more butter. Also the caramel takes more than 10 minutes to cook, it took closer to 25 minutes.

  • sassymouth 19 Nov, 2011

    "Line each tart shell with a piece of plastic wrap, and fill with raw rice or dried lentils. Pull plastic together to form a small packet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the packets,"

    ummmmm......where is your editor??!?! baking plastic wrap. great job guys.

  • juliebakes 4 Jul, 2011

    I'm sure you don't mean to put plastic wrap in the oven........ should this read waxed paper or parchment?

    The recipe looks wonderful and I'm looking forward to trying it. Can anyone tell me what kind of chocolate would be the best brand to use?

  • 4theloveofcats 18 Apr, 2011

    15 years ago I fell in love with a pie that had a caramel in it that was to die for. I spent years looking for it and trying to replicate it. Well this is it! I am so happy. The recipe is perfect and just want I had been searching for. I should have known Martha knew it! Thanks!