There was a birthday coming up and the order had been put in. Something chocolatey. It was a loose request that held lots of possibilities. Cake? Nah. I still hold some reservations on the old chocolate cake front, if I can avoid making one I certainly do.
Now this particular birthday request just had to involve chocolate somewhere along the lines of the dessert. Surely I could put something on the table that could be used in a celebratory, I’ve just turned another wonderful year older kind of thing.
I had a coffee, (it’s when I do my best thinking) and came up with a chocolate caramel tart. Doable, certainly doable I thought. Then I promptly forgot about it.
Fast forward several weeks and the day in question arrived. For lots of reasons I was a little distracted in the lead up to it and didn’t plan it in my usual military precision birthday sugary goodness celebratory fashion. Instead it was a little like… oh what’s in the fridge/cupboard, and can I whack it in to build up this tart?
And so that’s how almond meal ended up in there, (toasted mind you, I’m not a complete hack.) Tart got a thumbs up verdict and there were scrambles for the last tiny wedge.
Seems the unplanned Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart was ok.
Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart
150gms softened butter
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
* if you want your pastry sweet as well add 50gs of icing sugar, I thought there would be enough sugar in the caramel and chocolate layers.
In a processor add flour and butter, process until resembles bread crumbs. Tip mixture out to a bowl and add vanilla and egg yolk. Bring together and give a quick knead until it’s smooth. Roll between two pieces of baking paper, and roll out to about 5mm. Carefully place pastry in greased tart base and bake blind for approximately 25 minutes at 180C. Remove beads (or whatever you used to bake blind with and pop back into the oven for another 5 or so minutes or until golden.
1 cup condensed milk
1 knob of butter
2 tbls brown sugar
Put these three ingredients in a pot and stir over medium heat, until it turns to caramel. Don’t leave it, continually stir, should take about 4 minutes. (If you let it get too thick it will be harder to manage.)
In another pot over medium heat add 100g of almond meal, gently toast it. Stirring continuously until light golden. Add this to the caramel.
Add the almond caramel to slightly cooled tart pastry.
300g dark chocolate
Bring the cream to a boil and then turn off heat. Drop broken chocolate into the cream and stir until melted through. Allow ganache to cool slightly and then pour over caramel tart. Allow to sit for a few hours before serving.