Wednesday 10 September 2014

Salted Caramel & Nutella Chocolate Tarts

I finally assembled these chocolate tarts, after a few breaks in between preparing the different parts. It was quite a long process for me. It started with the salted caramel sauce which I made last Tuesday. Then on Friday, I made & baked the tart shells. The weekend was a busy one for me, so I kept the baked shells in the fridge & only managed to prepare the Nutella ganache & assemble the tarts on Monday morning.

The inspiration to bake these tarts came after I tasted the Nutella tart my daughter bought from a local cafe last week. I wanted to try a new recipe, so I flipped through Vincent Gadan's Homemade Pâtisserie, Pastry Made Easy & the chocolate & salted caramel tart caught my eye. 

Preparing the tart shells took longer than expected, thanks to the hot & humid weather here. My kitchen is not air-conditioned & I didn't want to do the rolling & cutting of the dough in my bedroom, so  the dough had to go into & out of the fridge a few times as it got soft & sticky rather fast. At the same time, I was also making another all-butter pastry, the one that required a lot of foldings, for another tart. And before starting with the chocolate dough, I also made a cheesecake for my son's birthday...  So, you can imagine how busy I was that day...

But all the effort & time spent making these delicious tarts really paid off! Salted caramel & chocolate make an amazing combination! The sweet caramel really balances off nicely with the rich bittersweet chocolate flavour from the ganache & melt-in-the-mouth sable. The hazelnut flavour from the Nutella & chopped nuts (which also gave great texture & crunch) seals off this must-try dessert. Just be sure to use good quality cocoa powder & chocolate for a truly luxurious French dessert.

Salted Caramel & Nutella Chocolate Tarts


Chocolate Sable Dough

175g all-purpose/plain flour
5g almond meal
15g Dutch cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)
110g unsalted butter, 1.5cm cubes, cold
2 pinches table salt
4g baking powder
75g pure confectioners' / icing sugar, sifted
1 egg (50-55g)
butter for greasing
flour for dusting

Salted Caramel Sauce
1/2 recipe (room temperature)

Nutella Ganache
100g dark chocolate pieces (I used Valrhona Equatoriale 55%.)
40g nutella (I'll add more the next time.)
125ml heavy cream (I used dairy whip cream.)
whole hazelnuts (toasted & chopped) - for topping


For the chocolate sable dough:

  1. Place the flour, almond meal and cold butter into a mixing bowl and rub the ingredients between your hands until it forms a sandy texture. This should take a few minutes.
  2. Add the salt, baking powder, sugar and whole eggs, then mix with one hand to make a dough ball. Mix for two minutes until all combined.
  3. Flatted the dough into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before using.
  4. Prepare four 10x2.5cm fluted tart moulds by brushing the inside with softened butter, dust with flour and shake off any excess—this will ensure the dough doesn’t stick to the mould after baking.
  5. Lightly flour a clean surface and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 5 millimetre thickness. Cut out 4 circles of dough using a round cutter with a 13cm diameter. Place a circle over a tart mould & press in the dough lightly with your fingers, from the centre, around the base & then up the sides. Take the rolling pin and roll over the top of the mould - this will cut the top edges, giving you a clean finish. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3. Line the tart base with parchment and baking beans. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. (I baked mine for 25 minutes.) Allow to cool.

For the Nutella ganache:

In double boiler, combine cream and chocolate pieces, stirring constantly until dissolved and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in Nutella. Set aside.
    To assemble tarts:
    1. Spoon 1-2 tsp (depending on the size of the tart moulds) salted caramel sauce into the pre-baked tart base.
    2. Then pour or spoon the Nutella ganache onto the caramel sauce. Garnish with chopped toasted hazelnuts.
    Notes & modifications:
    1. Because of the hot weather, I made sure my butter & flour were cold before mixing. I kept my chopped butter in the freezer & the flour in the fridge before starting to mix. I used a food processor to mix my dough. It's faster than doing it with the hands, thus preventing the butter from melting in the process.
    2. I used two 10-cm heart shape, eight 8-cm round & three 6-cm round tart pans to use up all the dough.
    3. The baked tart is quite fragile, so you need to handle it very carefully when assembling the tarts. To reduce breakages, I chilled the shells first as cold tart shells are not as fragile.
    Chocolate Sable Dough recipe is by Vincent Gadan & Michelle Guberina from Homemade Pâtisserie, Pastry Made Easy.

    I'm linking this post to Cook-Your-Books event no. 16 hosted by Kitchen Flavours.
    I'm also linking this post to the Best Recipes for Everyone, September Event : Chocolate Wonderland, hostedby XuanHom's Mom Kitchen Diary.


    Oana said...

    I just made something similar, but topped them with a peanut butter mousse. Yummy!
    Gotta love the mix between the rich and sweet caramel and dark chocolate. Pure bliss for the taste buds!
    Love the pics too.

    mirtita said...

    Deliciosa receta,una verdadera tentación.

    dina said...

    i love the caramel. these look delicious!

    Fion said...

    Hi Faeez,these tarts look so yummy,
    Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe with Best Recipes^^

    Gloria Fernandes said...

    these tarts look so delish

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