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!

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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!

Flourless Chocolate and Orange Cake

Flourless Chocolate and Orange Cake

Chocolate and Orange are a delicious combination especially when it comes in cake form.  This recipe only takes 15 minutes for prep time and is slowly cooked, then served with delicious double cream.  Mmmm what a treat!

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Ingredients

  • 2 valencia oranges
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g butter, chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups (300g) caster sugar
  • 3 cups (300g) almond meal
  • Double cream, to serve
  • Icing sugar, to serve

Method

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Everybody loves a Chocolate Cake and what makes this one special is it’s Gluten Free too!  It’s rich, sweet and delicious and makes a perfect partner with a steaming hot chocolate or good tea or coffee.

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Original recipe by Annette Forrest and photography by Steve Brown.

Ingredients

  • 180g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 100g gluten-free dark chocolate, grated (see note)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup gluten-free self-raising flour

 

Chocolate Icing/Frosting

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 60g gluten-free dark chocolate , melted

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Chilled Cake

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Chill Cake

This super easy and delicious cake is packed full of fruit, nuts and your favorite milk chocolate.  What is super easy about this cake is there is no cooking involved.  It is a cake ready for serving once it’s chilled.  Perfect!

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Ingredients:

(Please note:  You can vary the type of nuts and fruits you choose to put into this cake to cater to your own tastebuds)

  • 200g chocolate-chip biscuits, chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 1/2 cup pistachio kernels, toasted, chopped
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, chopped
  • 1/3 cup macadamias, toasted, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins, chopped
  • 300g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 50g butter, chopped
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Method:

  1. Grease a 6cm-deep, 9cm x 19cm (base) loaf pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends. Combine biscuit, pistachio, hazelnut, macadamia and raisins in a bowl.

  2. Place chocolate, condensed milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth. Add chocolate mixture to biscuit mixture. Stir to combine.

  3. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, pressing down on mixture to prevent air bubbles. Smooth surface with a spatula. Cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Invert cake onto a plate.  Remove baking paper. Dust with cocoa. Slice. Serve.

 

To check out the original recipe by Cathie Lonnie and photography by Amanda McLauchlan simply click HERE.

Chocolate Maple Syrup Slice

Chocolate Maple Slice

Chocolate Maple Slice

This Chocolate Maple Slice is a deliciously sweet slice that is perfectly served for morning or afternoon tea with hot chocolate or your favorite hot beverage.  Great for a lunchbox treat too. The ingredients you will require are:

  • 2 x 250 gram (8.8 oz) packets of sweet biscuits/cookies (shortbread style biscuit/cookies work perfectly) 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 250 grams (8.8 oz) butter, chopped
  • 2 x 395 gram (14 oz) tins of sweetened condensed milk
  • 300 grams (10.5 oz) dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pouring cream

Method

White Chocolate Mud Cake

White Chocolate Mud Cake

Wow!  Check out this delicious White Chocolate Mud Cake recipe with a White Chocolate Ganache.  The recipe for this fabulous cake can be found at the super sweet Chocablog where you will also find a multitude of recipes for all types of  chocolate.  This gorgeous photo of the cake is by Ben of Chocablog.

Chocolate Roll Cake with Peppermint Ice Cream

Chocolate Cake Roll with Ice Cream Recipe

Oh my goodness! This Chocolate Roll Cake with Peppermint Ice Cream is absolutely divine!  Chocolate and Peppermint go so well together, but if you’re not a peppermint fan yourself.  Don’t fret!  You can substitute whatever flavor Ice Cream you prefer with this recipe.  It looks fabulous and tastes even better (if that’s even possible!).  Perfect for a dessert at your next Dinner Party or even to cool down on a warm day.

Simply YUMMY!

This recipe comes from two wonderful food blogs I frequent A LOT!  They are:  Girl + Food = Love for better or worse and A few of my favourite things to cook.  The beautiful picture is from Girl+Food.  Be sure to check them out as they both have some amazing recipes for your collection.

 

 

French Chocolate Cake

French Chocolate Cake

Check out this Fantastic French Chocolate Cake Recipe.   This is sure to be a hit for your next dinner party.   Looks absolutely Delicious!  You can find the details for this recipe at Taste of Home where the best home cooks submit their own recipes.  This site has a great collection of all types of recipes, so be sure to have a browse when visiting.

Yummy!

 

Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake

Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake

Even the title sounds delicious!  Check out this recipe for a Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake.  This not only looks great but tastes absolutely divine!  You will find the recipe here at The Batter Bakery blog which has an amazing range of recipes and gorgeous photos to go with them.  Be sure to look around the site where you’ll be sure to find even more recipes which will no doubt inspire you to make more!

Enjoy!