Make sure to caramelise your sugar to a nice, deep colour. It’s the darker caramel that saves the tart from being overly sweet or rich, as counterintuitive as that sounds. A very light caramel hasn’t cooked out enough of the sweetness of the sugar.
- Serves 6-8
- 6-8 good quality sweet pastry shells
- 160ml double cream
- 2 tbsp water
- 400g caster sugar
- 60ml water
- 60g unsalted butter, cold
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 180g dark chocolate chunks
- 225ml heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sugar syrup (see caramel recipe)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
- Edible gold leaf
Have the tart shell ready for filling on a baking sheet.
To make the caramel, first make a sugar syrup by dissolving 250ml of the caster sugar in 60ml water. Set aside.
Pour the cream into a small, heavy saucepan. Place over a medium heat and bring to just under a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and keep warm.
In a medium, heavy saucepan combine 85ml of the sugar syrup, the remaining sugar and 2 tbsp water. Bring to a boil over a medium heat gently swirling the pot to dissolve the sugar. Then cook, without stirring, until the mixture is a dark amber colour, 7–8 minutes. Once it turns amber, watch it carefully as it burns quickly.
Remove from the heat, add half the butter and swirl into the caramel, then slowly and carefully add the warmed cream. The mixture will boil vigorously at first. Let the mixture settle, then whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the butter, whisk again to combine, and place the pot over medium/low heat. Let the caramel gently boil for 30 seconds to thicken. Remove from the heat.
Pour the caramel into the prepared tart shell and allow to cool and set, about 2 hours. Sprinkle the sea salt over the surface of the caramel.
To make the ganache, pour water to a depth of about 5cm into a medium saucepan, place over medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl that will rest securely on the rim of the pan and place it over, but not touching, the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring, until smooth and remove from the heat.
Pour the cream and 2 tbsp of your reserved sugar syrup into a small saucepan. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir gently to incorporate as little air as possible until smooth. Stir in the butter.
Pour the ganache over the caramel layer and turn and tilt the tart to create an even layer. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature, about 2 hours. Top with edible gold leaf in random patterns.
Tartine: A Classic Revisited by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson is published by Chronicle Books, £29