Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chocolate, Walnut & Salty Caramel Tart

I've been too afraid to bake lately, as since I've stopped blogging I've lost a whole 8kgs.
At least I've been able to pin point my problem area!
There's only 12 weeks until the big wedding day... and 2 weeks until my fitness and healthy eating plan kicks I thought I'd make the most of my remaining fortnight of freedom and cook something yummy for my parents. 

This recipe is from George & Gary's (from Masterchef) new book....Your Place or Mine?...a lovely engagement present from our friends Jase & Em.


  • 110g dark couverture chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, chopped
  • 40g cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) thickened cream
  • 2 tsp liquid glucose
Sweet pastry
  • 300g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar 
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthways, seeds scraped
  • 3 cups (450g) plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp thickened cream
Walnut praline
  • 100g walnuts
  • 110g caster sugar
Salty caramel sauce
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 180g liquid glucose
  • 180g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 200ml pure cream
1 To make pastry, using an electric mixer beat butter, sugar and vanilla seeds on low until smooth and creamy but not light and fluffy. Add flour, egg and cream and mix until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half, shape into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze one portion for later use. Refrigerate remaining dough for 1 hour.

2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. To make walnut praline, spread walnutsover a baking tray and bake for 6-8 mins, until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and increase temperature to 190C or 170C fan. Place walnuts on a clean tea towel and rub to remove as much skin as possible. Spread walnuts over a baking tray. Heat sugar in a heavy based sauce pan on low, tilting pan occasionally but without stirring, for 10 mins, until sugar melts and a dark caramel forms. Pour over walnuts and cool. Cover a clean tea towel with baking paper. Fold over to enclose and gently pound with a rolling pin until roughly crushed. Set aside.

3 Roll out dough between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Line a 24cm loose-based tart pan with pastry and trim. Chill for 30 mins.

Line pastry shell with baking paper and fill with pastry weights, rice or dried beans. Blind bake for 15 mins. Remove paper and weights. Reduce oven to 180C or 160C fan and bake for another 10 mins, until golden and dry.

5 Meanwhile, to make salty caramel, heat sugar, glucose, butter and salt in a pan on low, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 147C on a candy thermometer. Place cream in a small pan and bring to boil on medium. Immediately add to glucose mixture and stir on low heat until combined. Cool slightly.

6 Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Place cream and glucose in a small pan and bring to boil on medium heat. Pour over chocolate mixture and stand for 5 mins. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.

7 To assemble, scatter walnut praline over tart shell. Pour over salty caramel and stand for 10 mins. Pour over chocolate mixture and chill for 1 hour, until firm. Serve at room temperature.