Even so, my backlogs are still piling as I have been checking out new cafes with friends. I think I'll not be posting on all the cafes I've visited, as in - the ones that I don't think are good, I'll probably just archive the pictures I've taken but not post anything on it. I mean, why bother spending precious time to chronicle something that isn't nice? After all, if you really think hard about it, blogging is really akin to free advertisements to these dining establishments isn't it?
Earl Grey Caramel Chocolate Tart
But I digress, the title of the post is about this tart. And let's just stick to the tart shall we?
This is one helluva rich and decadent chocolate tart. That's because of the caramel component actually. I'm a dessert lover no doubt, but I do have my limits - I shy away from immensely sweet desserts. I made this tart with a cautious mindset. Afterall, anything with caramel just tend to be right on top of my "very sweet" list.
I wanted there to be more than just a chocolate and caramel flavour. Thus, I decided to infuse earl grey notes into the dessert. I did that by seeping loose earl grey tea leaves into the cream used to make the caramel and chocolate ganache.
Absolutely love the taste of the tart crust. And caramel and chocolate is certainly a winning combo, if not for the too-sweet factor. I liked how the earl grey gave a little oomph to the tart with its subtle floral notes. It sort of brings together everything nicely and I'd imagine the tart would go nicely with a cuppa earl grey tea actually.
I was impatient and cut the tart too early before it had enough time to rest properly in the fridge, thus, the caramel layers were super oozy to say the least (refer to first picture of the post). In the above picture, I sliced up the rest of the tart after overnight refrigeration and you can see a more distinct caramel layer. So, yup, do let your tart have its beauty sleep in the fridge before tucking in.
Earl Grey Caramel Chocolate Tart(makes one 3 x 14-inch rectangle tart + one 3" mini tart)
Chocolate tart crust (adapted from Vera at Baking Obsession)
140g all purpose flour
60g icing sugar
30g Valhrona cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
127g unsalted butter, diced
2 large egg yolks
Freeze the diced butter cubes for about 20 minutes.
Sift the flour, icing sugar, cocoa and salt. Pour the dry ingredients mixture into a food processor.
Add the butter chunks, and pulse till mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time and mix till dough barely forms.
Scrape the dough onto a sheet of clingwrap, pat it into a disc shape, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Roll the dough into 1/8 inch thickness (in between parchment paper).
Grease a 3 x 14-inch fluted rectangle tart mold with a removable bottom.
Carefully transfer the dough to the tart mold. Press lightly down to fit the tart mold and use a rolling pin to roll out the excess edges. (*Use the excess dough scraps to make a mini 3" tart)
Dock the tart and freeze for half an hour.
Preheat oven to 175C. Wrap the dough with foil, and place baking beans/weights atop. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the foil and baking beans/weights. Continue baking for another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven. Cool on baking rack till completely cool before filling it.
Earl grey cream
400ml whipping cream
15 - 20g loose earl grey tea leaves
Heat the cream till just boiling. Remove from heat, add the earl grey leaves and leave to seep for about 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the leaves (be sure to squeeze as much liquid from the leaves as the flavour will be very intense) and set aside to cool.
Earl grey caramel
125g sugar, divided into three equal portions
125ml earl grey cream (recipe above)
22g salted butter, room temperature
Place a third of the sugar in saucepan and heat over low heat till it dissolves to form a clear liquid. Repeat two more times with the other two portions of sugar. The liquid sugar mixture will eventually gradually turn light golden, then deep amber gold (be careful not to overcook it or it will burn).
Remove from heat immediately and slowly add the cream (be careful as the mixture is hot and will bubble up with the addition of the cream).
Stir in the butter. Set aside to cool.
*I hastened the cooling down process by using an ice water bath. I placed ice and water in a big bowl, then place the saucepan into the water bath. Whisk the caramel constantly to check on the thickening progress. Once the caramel is cool enough, the mixture should have thickened considerably. Remove from ice bath and spread over cooled tart base immediately. Refrigerate tart for at least an hour so that the caramel harden slightly.
65g Valrhona Jivara chocolate, chopped
85g Valrhona Manjari chocolate, chopped
125ml earl grey cream (recipe above)
Combine chopped chocolate into a bowl. Heat the earl grey cream till just boiling, pour over chopped chocolate. Set aside for three minutes or so, then gently start stirring to melt the chocolate till it becomes a smooth ganache.
Remove tart from fridge, pour chocolate ganache over hardened caramel layer.
Return tart to fridge to chill for another few hours (best overnight - I was impatient and the pictures showed the gooey layers).
Slice (in moderation as this is one sweet tart) and serve.