I’ve just realised, as I was about to write out the recipe for this lovely salted caramel and chocolate tart that units of measurement are quite arbitrary on a global level – so to assist with any confusion that grams, ounces or cups may cause, I hope you’ll find this of some use. With one English writer, and one Canadian writer, both of us are regularly subjected to the difficulties of converting measurements (I only bought my first set of cups about a month ago), so hopefully having that will be of general use to everyone. Now, on to the talk of baking…
With Christmas drawing near, I have invested in my Christmas themed baking magazines, my star-shaped cutters that will enable me to build a biscuit Christmas tree, and vague plans for gingerbread houses. However, I put all of those things aside temporarily to make this salted caramel and chocolate tart.
375g pack of sweet pastry
150g caster sugar
2 tbsp agave syrup
1x 397g tin condensed milk
1 tsp sea salt flakes
150g dark chocolate
150g milk chocolate
– Roll out pastry and line a 20-22cm fluted tart tin. Trim and remove the pastry edges (save to make stars for later!). Prick the base with a fork all over and chill for 30 mins. Cut out a few star shapes from the remaining pastry
– Heat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5, put the case on a baking sheet, line the pastry case with parchment and baking beans or dried rice and bake blind for 20 mins. Put the stars on the baking sheet and bake at the same time. Remove the paper and beans and continue to cook for another 10-15 mins or until pastry is light golden.
– When the pastry case is cold, make the caramel. Gently heat the butter, sugar, agave syrup and condensed milk in a medium saucepan until the butter has melted. Increase the heat and stir continuously until the mixture comes to the boil.
– Reduce the heat slightly and allow the mixture to bubble for 8-10 mins. Stir all the time until the bubbles become larger and less frequent and the mixture gets thicker. Stir in the salt. Cool a little, then pour into the pastry case and leave to set for 1 hour.
– Melt the dark and milk chocolate in separate heatproof bowls over a pan of simmering water.
– Flood the top of the tart with the dark chocolate, spreading it to the sides, then put small spoonfuls of the milk chocolate and using the end of a teaspoon swirl together to give a marbled effect.
– Chill for 30 mins, adding pastry stars to the top after 15 mins. Don’t leave for too long as it will become too hard to slice.
I’ve written out the original recipe just for accuracy, but when baking I always adapt recipes for convenience – e.g. I went to the supermarket in search of agave syrup to find that it cost £2.43. I wasn’t going to spend that for 2 tbsp of something, so golden syrup it was. I don’t know if golden syrup exists in Canada. Please answer this for me Jordi.
Unfortunately due to the misleading nature of the picture in the magazine, I used a much too shallow case (approx 3cm) – so I ended up having to make two, because all the caramel I had wouldn’t fit in one – you can make two (which I recommend because then you can bring baking happiness to your family and your colleagues), or use a deeper case. You’ll need more chocolate if you’re making two though…like, 50g more or so.
Finally, a note on pastry. I never buy readymade shortcrust pastry – my dad has passed some serious pastry-making abilities on to me. So the ultimate pastry recipe is:
small amount of cold tap water
Rub the margarine and lard into the flour, until it looks kind of like breadcrumbs, then gradually add water, mix with a knife (yes!) until it starts to gather together, add a bit more water until it all comes together in a ball. It should be a bit sticky, so make sure it’s not too dry!
The tart recipe asks for sweet pastry, which I didn’t bother with – I think it’s nice to have plain pastry, because the caramel and chocolate create enough sweetness. It’s quite a time consuming recipe overall, but completely worth it, because the outcome is so good. It is going to be one of those recipes I just keep going back to.