Last month’s bake club theme was fairtrade and I was wondering for ages what I could make; with the main fairtrade frontrunners being coffee, chocolate, nuts and so on, it took be a while to come up with an idea. A few months ago, I blogged about the Millionaire’s shortbread which I made from Mary’s book, which inspired me to make a combination of my own, and I was pleased with the results.
I ultimately decided that I wanted a sweet pastry base for my tart, instead of the shortbread crust I was originally opting for. It had to feel like a tart, not a piece of shortbread, which I was why I wanted it to have a bit of a ‘wow’ factor. So the end result was: a baked chocolate and caramel tart, complete with a brazil nut brittle, to give it a bit of crunch. The feedback I received from those who tried it was all positive, and since it worked and looked so good, I had to blog it. If you do try it, let me know, I’d love to know what you thought!
For the Pâte Sucrée Pastry:
- 175 g plain flour
- 75 g butter, softened
- 75 g caster sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
For the filling:
- 1 cup/240 ml double cream
- 1.5/120 ml cup milk
- 300 g semisweet/70% dark chocolate – fairtrade
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1/2 to 3/4 397 g can of condensed caramel – similar to dulche du leche
For the topping:
- 1.5 cup white sugar (granulated)
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp golden/corn syrup
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chopped brazil nuts
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 of the remaining caramel
- Firstly, start with the pastry. Much like the glazed lemon tart which I have previously made and blogged a few months back, this recipe uses a sweet pastry base. Add the flour and butter to a large bowl and rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar, then add the egg yolks. Mixing with your hands until the ingredients have come together to create a dough. Knead it gently until smooth, then wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 mins.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry to fit a 9″ flan tin (loose bottom). Prick the pastry all over with a fork and place again in the fridge to chill for a further 10 mins. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/fan 160/gas mark 4.
- While the pastry is in the fridge, you can start to make the filling; in a saucepan, heat the cream and milk over a low-medium heat until it simmers around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Add the sugar and salt and stir until incorporated.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then add them to the chocolate mixture, making sure it is completely blended to avoid an eggy mess!
- Set aside and take the pastry base out of the fridge; line with baking paper and baking beans and place in the oven on the middle shelf. Bake for 15 mins until lightly golden; remove the baking paper and beans and continue to cook for a further 15 mins. Take out of the oven and trim the edges of the pastry that is overhanging (this prevents it shrinking lower when baking in the tin). Set aside to cool. Turn oven down to 170c/fan 150/gas mark 3.
- Once the tart base is cool pour 1/2 – 3/4 of the can into it and using a knife spread across evenly. Pour the chocolate filling into the cooled shell and bake on the middle shelf for 35 mins or until the filling has set and the surface is glossy. If you see cracks on the surface take it out straight away! Set aside to cool.
- To make the brazil nut brittle, add the sugar, water and the golden syrup to a small – medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Do not stir the mixture otherwise it will clump together!
- When it comes to a boil and the butter; using a thermometer, cook until it reaches 127c/ 260F, then add the chopped brazil nuts.
- Bring the mixture to 300F/149c and stir in the salt, baking powder and vanilla. Once combined, work quickly to pour the mixture onto a lined baking tray to prevent sticking.
- Once cooled break into small pieces using a rolling pin. Using the broken brittle, scatter over the cooled chocolate tart.
- In a small saucepan heat the remaining caramel sauce until smooth, set aside to cool slightly. Once cool, use a spoon to drizzle over the brittle. This will secure it in place and prevent the pieces of brittle from moving easily/falling off.
- Cut into small slices (as it is very rich) and serve with a scoop of ice-cream for the best results!