Are you ready to get decadent? I know I am. It’s Friday afternoon, I’m knackered after a crazy busy week, and I’m ready to put on a little smooth jazz, brew up some coffee and nibble on one of these babies while I tell you guys about ’em.
Excuse me, I’m just gonna go set that up.
Aaaaand I’m back! I decided on the Red Hot Chili Peppers greatest hits instead of the smooth jazz. Is that ok?
What I couldn’t go without was one of these tarts. A crisp pastry shell cradling a moussey, molten chocolate cake on top of a puddle of salted caramel. Also known as happiness.
According to my boyfriend these are like a super-fancy Twix, which is pretty much spot on. I can’t decide whether I like these better warm or at room temperature.
Of course, when they’re warm they’re at their most molten, and the chocolate and the caramel ooze onto your plate very seductively. But at room temperature, the contrast between the crisp pastry, softly set chocolate cake and liquid caramel is at it’s height. It’s pretty hard to go wrong here.
This recipe is inspired by and adapted from this one which the gorgeous Izy from Top with Cinnamon shared a while back. God, I love her work. I can’t even explain it, the feeling is too strong. I CANNOT. WAIT. for her book.
I scaled back the recipe, added a little butter to the caramel, and put the whole thing inside a pastry case. I had some leftover patée brisee in the fridge, but I think a store-bought shortcrust would be perfect here (you could even use a good-quality bought caramel sauce). And it makes the whole enterprise very manageable. And so delicious. Make these and have a WONDERFUL weekend, you lovely people. Tell me what you’re getting up to in the comments!
- ⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
- ⅓ cup (80ml) cream
- 1 tbsp butter
- a big pinch of salt
- 2 sheets store bought shortcrust pastry
- 3 + ½ oz (75g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 3 tbsp (40g) butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp (45g) sugar
- First, make the caramel. Place the sugar into a medium heavy based saucepan, along with a splash of water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, without stirring, and cook to an amber colour (about 4-5 minutes).
- Remove from the heat, and carefully add the cream and butter, and stir until combined. Place back on the heat and bring to the boil, then add the salt, turn off the heat and set aside to cool completely.
- To make the pastry cases, lightly grease a standard 12 cup muffin tin and preheat the oven to 350F/170C. Cut out eight, 4 inch (10cm) circles from the pastry sheets and carefully transfer them to the muffin holes. Press the pastry into the holes firmly, overlapping the edges if they rumple up. Prick the bases a few times with a fork.
- Place the tray into the freezer for at least 15 minutes, and then bake them for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. The freezing should prevent them from shrinking in the oven.
- While the tart shells are cooking, melt the chocolate and butter together in a small bowl in the microwave. I do this in 30 second bursts, stirring well after each period, until melted. Stir the flour into the chocolate mixture.
- Whip the eggs and flour together in a mixer or with handheld beaters, until very light and pale, about 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate into the eggs, and fold them gently together until there are no streaks remaining in the batter.
- Pour about 1 tsp of caramel into each tart shell (you might have a little extra), and then divide the chocolate filling between the shells.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the tops of the tarts are matte, and the tarts have only a slight jiggle in the middle of the filling. Leave to cool briefly, before serving warm or hot, with ice cream, cream whipped cream or nothing!