Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramelized Nuts

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramelized Nuts

This absolutely delicious dessert has a buttery shortbread tart crust and is filled with a rich, dark chocolate and garnished with salty sweet caramelized nuts of your choice and sea salt.  Such a fantastic combination of flavors!

If you need a converter simply click HERE.

Tart Base

4 oz (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp table salt
4-1/2 oz (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour

Method for Tart Base

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, zest, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until well blended. If the dough seems too soft to work with, let it sit for a few minutes to firm up. Press the dough into a 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Start with the sides, making them about 1/4 inch thick, and then press the remaining dough evenly over the bottom, pressing well into the corners. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or chill until ready to bake (you can make the crust up to 3 days ahead).

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Put the pan on a cookie sheet and bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, checking after about 15 minutes to see if the dough has puffed. Press the dough down with the back of a fork and prick a few times if necessary.

Tart Filling

1 cup half-and-half
2 Tbs granulated sugar
Pinch table salt
7 oz semisweet chocolate (up to 64% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Method for Tart Filling

In a small saucepan bring the half-and-half, sugar, and salt to a simmer. Off the heat, add the chocolate and stir with a whisk until completely melted and smooth. Cover to keep warm.

Just before the crust is ready, whisk the egg thoroughly into the chocolate mixture. When the crust is done, lower the oven temperature to 300°F. Pour the filling into the hot crust. Return the tart (still on the baking sheet) to the oven and bake until the filling is set around the edges but still jiggles a little in the center when you nudge the pan, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Caramelized Nuts

1/2 cup salted nuts of your choice (for example: peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts etc)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt

Method for Caramelized Nuts

Line a baking sheet with foil.

Microwave the nuts on high for 1 minute so they will be warm when you add them to the caramel.  Alternatively, heat them in 200°F oven while you make the caramel.

Pour 1/4 cup water into a heavy 3-quart saucepan.  Pour the sugar and salt in the center of the pan and pat it down just until evenly moistened (there should be clear water all around the sugar). Cover the pan and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 4 minutes. Uncover and cook without stirring until the syrup begins to color slightly, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, swirling the pot gently if the syrup colors unevenly.

When the caramel is a pale to medium yellow, less than 1 minute more, add the warm nuts. With a heatproof silicone spatula, stir gently and slowly to coat the nuts with caramel. Continue to cook until a bead of caramel dribbled onto a white plate is reddish amber, about 1-1/2 minutes more. Immediately scrape the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it as thin as you can before it hardens. When the caramel is slightly cooled but still warm, slide the foil with the caramel nuts into a zip-top plastic bag and seal the bag.  Cool completely.  Chop or crush.

To Serve

Serve at room temperature or slightly cool.  Garnish each slice with crushed salted caramelized nuts along with a light sprinkling of flaky sea salt or fleur de sel.

The tart is best on the day it’s made but may be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.  Once the tart is completely chilled, cover it, but make sure no plastic wrap touches the surface by first putting the tart pan in a larger cake pan. Or cover the tart with an overturned plate.

Serves 12-14

Full credit for this wonderful recipe goes to Alice Medrich and photography by Scott Phillips.

Bon Appetit!

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Oh my!  Check out this Triple Chocolate Cheesecake that not only looks absolutely amazing, but tastes even better!  This is one of those perfect desserts that people go “wow”over at dinner parties.   You could even change it around and decorate it as a Birthday Cheesecake which is what I did the first time I made it.  I originally found this gorgeous recipe over at Taste and looked around for the creative mystery person who put this one together, but for the life of me, I couldn’t find a name.  If you happen to know the person, I’d love to find out who it was so I can list their name on here as this is one cake that deserves a lot of credit!  It is absolutely divine.

I adapted a few things in this recipe as I couldn’t find the same ingredients as the original recipe mentioned.  Yes,  there is a LOT OF CHOCOLATE in this recipe.  You’ll love it!

If you need a measurement converter (like I usually do) this is the one I use here.

Ingredients

  • 300g plain chocolate biscuits (I used any sort of plain chocolate biscuit/cookie that I could find in the supermarket – it’ll work just fine.)
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 x 200g pkt Cadbury white chocolate baking block, coarsely chopped  (Or Nestle White Milk Chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) boiling water
  • 3 teaspoons gelatine powder  (This was the hardest thing to find in the supermarket!)
  • 3 x 250g pkts cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
  • 300ml ctn thickened full cream
  • 1 x 200g pkt Cadbury MILK chocolate baking block, coarsely chopped (I used a block of plain old Cadbury Milk Chocolate for this one)
  • 1 x 200g pkt Cadbury DARK chocolate baking block, coarsely chopped (I used Green’s Organic Dark Chocolate for this one)
  • 100g Cadbury white chocolate melts
  • 250g punnet strawberries, washed, dried (I used raspberries to decorate on top of my cheesecake as they were in season)
  1. Grease and line the base and side of a 23cm (base measurement) springform pan.
  2. Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Use a straight-sided glass to spread and press mixture firmly over the base and side of the pan. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  3. Place the Cadbury white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate melts. Remove from heat.
  4. Place the boiling water in a small heatproof glass. Sprinkle over the gelatine. Stir until gelatine dissolves.
  5. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the cream and beat until smooth. Add the gelatine mixture and stir until well combined. Add one-third of the cream cheese mixture to the white chocolate and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the surface is set.
  6. Meanwhile, place the Cadbury milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate melts. Add half the remaining cream cheese mixture to the chocolate and stir to combine. Pour over the white-chocolate mixture and smooth the surface. Return to the freezer for a further 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, place the Cadbury dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir with a metal spoon until chocolate melts. Add to the remaining cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. Pour over the milk chocolate layer and smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 3 hours or until set.
  8. Meanwhile, line an oven tray with baking paper. Place the Cadbury white chocolate melts in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate melts. Remove from heat. Dip a strawberry into the melted chocolate to lightly coat. Transfer to the lined tray. Repeat with remaining chocolate and strawberries. Set aside for 30 minutes to set.
  9. Transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Top with chocolate dipped strawberries to serve (or whatever fruit is in season in your area!)

 

Bon Appetit!