Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart

Now THIS is my kind of Christmas dessert. It’s rich, sweet, but with a hint of that delicious sea salt in the gooey caramel. It’s also one you can make one or two days ahead, so no need to stress with it on the day. It will be in the fridge waiting for you on Christmas day so you can bring it to your family and wow them!

I tend to make my own pastry, but who needs that added stress at Christmas time? So, I’ve simplified this recipe and used shop-bought ready-roll pastry. The rest of the tart is super easy, honestly, do not be afraid, it is so much easier than it looks. YOU CAN DO THIS! Let me know if you decide to make it – comment below and be sure to tag me in your photos  @theglasgowdiet on Instagram!

Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart

1 sheet ready-roll sweet shortcrust pastry
Whipped cream, to serve

For the caramel:
100g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
200ml double cream
2-3 tsp Maldon Salt
1 leaf of gelatin (I use Dr. Oetker)

For the chocolate layer:
250ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
30g caster sugar
200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids) at room temperature
25g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1. Allow your sheet of pastry to come to room temperature for 10 minutes, then roll it out and make sure it fits into a 23cm loose-based tart tin. Put the pastry into the tart case, pressing it into the edges. Trim off the excess with a sharp knife, then put in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
2. Take the tart tin out of the fridge and preheat your oven to 160c fan. Take a piece of greaseproof paper and scrunch it up, then place it onto your lined pastry case. Fill the greaseproof paper with baking beans, or with rice if you don’t have baking beans. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are a pale golden brown. Remove from the oven, take out the baking beans and bake again for another 10-15 minutes until the base is golden brown. Set aside and leave to cool.
2. For the caramel layer, put the caster sugar in a small saucepan over a medium high heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves and begins to turn golden. Do NOT stir with a spoon or the sugar will crystallise, just lift the pot by the handle and gently swirl the pan to help move it around. Meanwhile, soak the leaf of gelatine in a bowl of cold water.
3. Once the sugar has dissolved and turned golden, reduce the heat and add the butter to the pan and whisk regularly until the butter is melted and incorporated (it will bubble up and thicken).
4. Remove from the heat and pour in the double cream, whisking constantly. The caramel will start to solidify, that’s ok! Just keep whisking off the heat until you have a smooth caramel sauce.
5. Remove the gelatine leaf from the water, squeezing the excess liquid out, and add it to the caramel, whisking constantly until it has melted. Add the salt, a teaspoon at a time, tasting between each addition – I put 3 teaspoons of salt in, but it’s totally down to your taste, just taste it and see if you want to add more! Once you’re happy with the salt level, pour it into the cooled tart case, then place in the fridge for 2 hours, or until set.
5. For the chocolate layer, place the cream, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until it just comes to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the dark chocolate and butter, and stir constantly until smooth and glossy. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then pour it over the set caramel layer. Return to the fridge and leave until set (should be about 2 hours).
6. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, then, when you’re ready to serve, remove the tart from the fridge and leave to come to room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, and maybe even an extra sprinkling of Maldon salt.

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