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Peanut, Caramel, and Chocolate Tart

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You won't be able to resist a slice of this gooey yet crunchy dessert.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
  • Yield: Makes one 9-inch tart

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2010

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Crust:

  • 1 box (9 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies, finely ground (2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts

For the Peanut Butter Mousse:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 7 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 56 percent cacao), chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the chocolate crust: Combine cookie crumbs, granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Stir in butter. Press mixture into bottom and 2 1/2 inches up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Bake until dry and firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Make the caramel sauce: Heat granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until medium amber, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully add heavy cream (mixture will bubble and steam). Return to heat, and bring to a boil, making sure caramel that seized up when cream was added melts. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in creme fraiche. Refrigerate until cool but still pourable, about 45 minutes. Fold in peanuts.

  3. Meanwhile, make the peanut butter mousse: Beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add peanut butter and vanilla, and beat until combined. Whisk heavy cream in a separate bowl until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into peanut butter mixture. Fold in remaining whipped cream in 2 additions.

  4. Assemble the tart: Pour caramel sauce into cooled chocolate crust. Gently spread peanut butter mousse over caramel in an even layer, making sure they don't blend together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  5. Make the chocolate ganache: Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate, and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk to combine. (Use immediately.)

  6. Remove tart from refrigerator, and pour in ganache to cover surface. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes

Caramel sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water before folding in peanuts. Assembled tart can be refrigerated overnight.

Reviews Add a comment

  • anasofiarules
    7 JUL, 2017
    I've made this several times and followed the recipe exactly each time. The caramel does come out runny, like everyone else is saying. I'm not sure what to do about that so I just go with it and serve it that way. I was going to try to use a different caramel recipe but then I was worried that if I used a more solid caramel, that the caramel would harden too much when freezing the assembled dessert in order to get the peanut butter mousse and chocolate ganache to set. The friends I serve this to are huge chocolate peanut butter fans so they love that it packs a punch of rich, sugary goodness. It's a huge hit every time!
    Reply
  • Maria G
    31 JUL, 2015
    I really liked this recipe, and so did everybody at my party. I definitely recommend chilling the pie twice, once to set the caramel and once to set the finished pie before serving, as the peanut butter filling and caramel are tricky to cut when at room temperature. The only thing I would change would be the chocolate ganache layer. It tasted delicious, but it was a bit heavy with everything else going on. I would maybe drizzle melted chocolate or add chocolate shavings to the top instead.
    Reply
  • mirepoix22
    8 SEP, 2012
    This recipe is great when you make a few alterations. I made with a pre baked chocolate tart crust in a springform cake tin, to give it impressive height. If I was to make it again I would also reduce the amount of peanut butter added as it distracts from the other lovely elements, it would make the flavour more balanced. Overall any peanut butter lover will love this recipe!!!
    Reply
  • audhobbs
    10 NOV, 2010
    this is an overly sweet dessert--not my favorite...the caramel didn't set up and when the first slice was cut, it all came oozing out. Will use my own recipe for caramel next time--not this one. This might be a dessert that is better served frozen or semi-frozen vs. chilled or room temp...but their may not be a next time.
    Reply
  • ellaellaella
    8 NOV, 2010
    That is the ultimate food porn. I cannot WAIT to bring forth this masterpiece into the kitchen and onward into my belly.
    Reply
  • OrangieGlob7
    3 NOV, 2010
    My crust was also rock hard. It also slid down the sides of my pan during baking so next time I will press the crumbs all the way up the pan to account for slippage. Otherwise the flavors of this tart are out of control awesome!
    Reply
  • emmy247
    1 NOV, 2010
    I agree. Definitely freeze the caramel layer for a half hour or so. VERY RICH. Used chocolate grahams for the crust and they worked great, though I would reduce the butter in the crust a little next time. It did hold together well, but was rock hard, less crumbly and tender. Only complaint I got was from sig other, he didn't prefer the dark chocolate ganache. If you don't love dark chocolate, do a blend of dark and semi sweet or dark and milk to lighten the flavor a little.
    Reply
  • benjaminmorehead
    30 OCT, 2010
    Really good. Serves 12 easily. Next time I make it, after I pour in the caramel layer, I'm going to put it in the freezer until it hardens some so the layers will be more defined.
    Reply