Now as I might have mentioned before, chocolate is pretty much a staple in this household. The Monkeys quite happily eat squares of 72% cocoa dark bitter chocolate, while I don’t think this is normal taste bud behaviour for little people. I don’t have a problem with it in small quantities, ( I would rather they had a square of that than a packet of smarties.) It’s good stuff! However they will not be trying espresso coffee and red wine any time soon, as with those taste buds they are sure to like it.
Now after my little kitchen crisis. After I had sat on the floor with a teatowel over my head, with thoughts of “this is the end of my cooking FOREVER!” I had a little pause, got back to basics, caught my breath and then made this little baby. It’s a little bit pastry, it’s a little bit caramel, it’s a little bit nutty and it certainly is quite a bit chocolatey.
…and did The Monkeys like it?
Of course they did…Mr Chocolate had to wrestle the last piece from their sticky little paws.
Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart
150gms softened butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 2/3 cup plain flour
1 tps vanilla
2 tbs water
Add dry ingredients and butter. Either use processor or by hand until resembles bread crumbs. Add vanilla and water. Knead on lightly floured surface, until mixed well. Wrap dough and place in freezer for ten minutes. Roll out to desired shape, (I did individual tarts) and bake blind in greased tart tins. 180C until lightly golden. Allow to cool.
1 cup condensed milk
1 knob of butter
2 tbs muscavado sugar (or other dark unrefined sugar)
Pop them in a pot and stir over medium heat, until it turns to caramel. Don’t let it get to thick as it will be harder to manage. Add layer of caramel to cooled tart dish.(Option- you could add toasted pecans within the caramel.)
150gms dark chocolate
Bring the cream to a boil and then turn off heat. Drop broken chocolate into the cream and stir until melted through. While ganache is still runny, pour over caramel tart. Place in fridge and allow to set.
toasted roughly chopped pecans
*** I obviously used pecans here, but I do think they would taste just as well with any other nuts you may have on hand. Hazelnuts were my first choice, but as the only ones I could find were from Europe and I had pecans grown locally…it had to be pecans.