Serves: 6

Frédéric Bau, founder of the École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona, shares his creamy caramel chocolate tart recipe for the budding chocolatier.


Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 1⅓ cups (4½ oz/125g) cake flour
  • Scant ½ cup (2¼ oz/60g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tahiti vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • A pinch of fleur de sel
  • 4 tbsp (60g) butter, well chilled and diced
  • 1 oz (30g) beaten egg, preferably organic

For the creamy caramel filling

  • Generous ½ cup (2¾ oz/75g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tbsp (40ml) heavy whipping cream, 40 per cent fat content
  • 3½ tbsp (1¾ oz/50g) salted butter
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 heaped tbsp (30g) granulated sugar, divided

For the chocolate ganache

  • 1¾ oz (50g) dark chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa
  • 3 tbsp (40ml) whipping cream, 40 per cent fat content
  • ¼ cup (60ml) whole milk
  • ½ oz (15g) beaten egg, preferably organic

For the decoration

  • ¾ cup (1¾ oz/50g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 10 unblanched almonds

Directions

For the pastry shell

1Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla seeds and salt. Add the chilled diced butter. Rub the butter into the other ingredients until you have fine crumbs. When the butter is completely incorporated, stir in the 1 oz (30g) egg. Form the dough into a ball, being careful not to overwork it. Flatten it slightly with a rolling pin. Cover it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

For the creamy caramel filling

1Heat the confectioners’ sugar in a nonstick frying pan over a low heat until it forms a very light caramel. Deglaze it with the whipping cream, bring to the boil, and remove from the heat.

2Whisk in the diced butter and leave to cool a little. In a mixing bowl, whisk the ½ oz (15g) egg yolk with 1 generous tbsp (15g) of sugar until pale and thick. Pour the warm caramel over this mixture. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks and then whisk in the remaining sugar until the peaks are firmer. Carefully fold the egg white into the caramel mixture with a flexible spatula.

For the chocolate ganache

1Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Bring the cream to the boil and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Combine with a flexible spatula, add the cold milk to lower the temperature and incorporate the beaten egg.

To assemble

1Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the pastry circle on the silicone baking mat or on a lined baking sheet. Line the circle with the pastry dough. Prick it with a fork and bake for 15 minutes. Trim the edges before filling the shell. Pour the creamy caramel into the tart shell and bake for a further 10 minutes. Switch off the oven.

2Then pour the ganache over the caramel, making sure it flows over the back of a spoon so that the two mixtures do not combine. Return the tart to the cooled oven for 15 minutes. Remove the tart and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use a heated knife to cut the tart.

For the decoration

1Prepare a caramel with the confectioners’ sugar in a frying pan. Leave it to rest before dipping the almonds into it, lifting them up to form caramel threads. Leave them to cool on a sheet of parchment paper and then decorate the tart with them.

FINAL TASTE BANNER

2 COMMENTS

  1. How do you measure one ounce, or one-half ounce, of a beaten egg? This is an exercise in trivialities. Give me a recipe that starts, “Take a lug of apricots and a pound of curry.”

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