In these petite sweets, the gooey chocolate-caramel filling is spiked with port and mixed with roasted Marcona almonds. Fleur de sel -- a delicate sea salt -- is a surprise addition that highlights and intensifies the flavors of the chocolate and the caramel.

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Ingredients

For the tart shells
For the filling

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Make tart shells: Process flour, cocoa, sugar, and fleur de sel in a food processor until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor running, add eggs; process just until dough comes together.

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  • Turn out dough onto a clean work surface; pat together. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut 10 rounds from dough. Transfer remaining dough to a flour-dusted baking sheet; refrigerate.

  • Fit dough rounds into ten round tartlet molds (each 2 1/4 inches in diameter). Trim edges of dough flush with top edges of molds. (Refrigerate scraps.) Refrigerate shells until cold, 30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick bottoms of shells all over with a fork. Bake until firm, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely in molds on a wire rack; unmold.

  • Working in batches of ten and using remaining dough (reroll scraps), repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 to make 40 shells total.

  • Make caramel filling: Heat sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, gently, until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, occasionally washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Let boil, swirling pan occasionally, until syrup is dark amber. Remove from heat.

  • Carefully stir in cream and port (caramel will steam and spatter). Add butter and chocolate; stir until melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool until slightly thickened but still pourable, about 20 minutes.

  • Cover bottoms of tart shells with almonds (about 1 teaspoon per shell). Spoon caramel filling into shells, filling each almost to the top. Sprinkle with almonds and fleur de sel. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 hours.

Cook's Notes

Marcona almonds are grown in Spain and known for their buttery flavor. Fleur de sel is a French sea salt, but another good-quality coarse salt can be used in its place.

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