Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream


 
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream - this chocolate tart comes together quickly, and is the perfect easy dessert that easily feeds a crowd. A crunch base is topped with a silky smooth chocolate salted caramel filling, and finished with an earl grey mascarpone whipped cream. #chocolatetart #saltedcaramel #earlgreywhippedcream
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream - this chocolate tart comes together quickly, and is the perfect easy dessert that easily feeds a crowd. A crunch base is topped with a silky smooth chocolate salted caramel filling, and finished with an earl grey mascarpone whipped cream. #chocolatetart #saltedcaramel #earlgreywhippedcream
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream - this chocolate tart comes together quickly, and is the perfect easy dessert that easily feeds a crowd. A crunch base is topped with a silky smooth chocolate salted caramel filling, and finished with an earl grey mascarpone whipped cream. #chocolatetart #saltedcaramel #earlgreywhippedcream
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream - this chocolate tart comes together quickly, and is the perfect easy dessert that easily feeds a crowd. A crunch base is topped with a silky smooth chocolate salted caramel filling, and finished with an earl grey mascarpone whipped cream. #chocolatetart #saltedcaramel #earlgreywhippedcream
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream - this chocolate tart comes together quickly, and is the perfect easy dessert that easily feeds a crowd. A crunch base is topped with a silky smooth chocolate salted caramel filling, and finished with an earl grey mascarpone whipped cream. #chocolatetart #saltedcaramel #earlgreywhippedcream
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream - this chocolate tart comes together quickly, and is the perfect easy dessert that easily feeds a crowd. A crunch base is topped with a silky smooth chocolate salted caramel filling, and finished with an earl grey mascarpone whipped cream. #chocolatetart #saltedcaramel #earlgreywhippedcream
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream - this chocolate tart comes together quickly, and is the perfect easy dessert that easily feeds a crowd. A crunch base is topped with a silky smooth chocolate salted caramel filling, and finished with an earl grey mascarpone whipped cream. #chocolatetart #saltedcaramel #earlgreywhippedcream

It’s been a hot minute since I posted a chocolate tart, so I figured it was about time I fixed that. They are one of my favourite desserts to make - I’m not sure if that’s because pressing the graham cracker crust into the pan is super satisfying, or if it’s because I love how lovely and smooth they set up, or if it’s because I just love eating them so much. They are super simple to make, and can be customised any way you like to suit whatever flavour profile you are after - I love making a base tart (this but without the marshmallow is my go to) and topping it with fresh berries and cream for an easy summer twist!

I am a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to recipes - once I get a good base recipe, I tend to stick with it, and it makes its way into a whole bunch of recipes from there. Both the crust and the filling of this tart are snuck from other recipes of mine - the salted caramel dark chocolate ganache filling first made its debut in these doughnuts, then again in macarons, and I really wanted to see if it would work as a tart filling! Spoiler alert - it’s great, a little on the sweet side, but I balanced that nicely with a well salted chocolate crust, and a super creamy earl grey mascarpone whipped cream, which I was going to pipe all fancy, but went with my default french star tip instead.

I love flavouring whipped cream - you just have to warm it slightly, then add your flavour and let it steep, then strain it out, and chill the cream before whipping it up. I like to add mascarpoone to cream when I need it to be a little more stable - it gives it a lovely extra creamy texture, and holds its form much longer, so is also great if you need to make it ahead a little. The dark chocolate and the salted caramel in the filling go so beautifully with the earl grey in the cream, and it is all complimented perfectly by the slightly salty chocolate crust. This tart is great for feeding a crowd, as you really only need a teeny sliver of it - but I bet you catch yourself coming back for more. I had some for breakfast the other day and so can therefore confirm that it is great at any time of the day!

A few wee tips:

  • When you are making the ganache and mixing in the cream, make sure that you don’t blend on the surface. This aerates the mixture and will make loads and loads of tiny bubbles, which isn’t ideal. I like to mix the cream into the chocolate in a pyrex jug so that there is a little bit of depth so it’s easier to avoid blending on the surface!

  • You may have a teeny bit of ganache left - pour it into a small jar or something - it makes a lovely fridge treat! You can probably pour a bit more in if you like too - I was being careful!

  • If you don’t want to make the earl grey whipped cream, plain mascarpone whipped cream will do too - just skip the step where you infuse the cream, and use 320g cream.

  • The ganache needs time to set - I like to give it overnight if I can.

  • If you don’t want a chocolate crust on this, I have a great brown butter graham cracker crust here. You can use digestive biscuits too if you can’t find grahams!

  • Ideally, you want to add the whipped cream close ish to the time you are serving!

 

 

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream

- Makes one 9" tart, serves 10-12 people -

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
2 sleeves (290g) graham crackers or similar biscuit
1/4 cup (35 grams) cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
135g unsalted butter, melted

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Filling
270g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Guittard 72% wafers)
500g heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
3/4 tsp salt
35g water
240g sugar
30g light corn syrup or glucose
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream
430g heavy cream
15g loose leaf earl grey tea
225g mascarpone, cold
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
50g powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt

 

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Place all the ingredients except for the butter in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the graham crackers resemble crumbs and the mixture is well combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the melted butter.

Evenly press the crust into a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Use a glass or measuring cup to help you press it against the sides of the pan. Place the pan onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes, then allow to cool completely. 

 

DARK CHOCOLATE SALTED CARAMEL GANACHE FILLING

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.

In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, place the cream, vanilla bean paste and salt, and place over low heat. You just want to warm it - not let it boil.

In a medium heavy bottomed pan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring or swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a deep amber colour. Remove from the heat and adda third of the warmed cream mixture. Be careful as it will steam and sputter. Whisk well to combine. Add the second third, combine, then add the remaining cream, and whisk until well incorporated.

Pour a third of the the caramel cream mixture over the chopped chocolate, then cover the bowl with a lid or plate and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Mix with a stick blender to emulsify the mixture. Add the remaining caramel mixture in two additions, mixing well with the stick blender to ensure even incorporation.

Cool the mixture to 95°f / 35°c (you can either leave it at room temperature, stirring occasionally, which will take some time, or you can pop it into the fridge, stirring and checking the temperature often), then add in the butter and mix with the stick blender to emulsify.

Place the prepared tart shell (still in the removable bottom pan) onto a baking sheet, and pour the ganache into the tart shell, stopping just shy of the edges (you may have a little leftover - pour this into a small container and set up in the fridge for a little snack). Transfer to a flat shelf in the fridge and leave to chill until set, preferably overnight.

EARL GREY MASCARPONE WHIPPED CREAM

Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Bring to just shy of a simmer, then remove from the heat and add the loose leaf tea, stirring to combine. Cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes, then strain the tea from the cream, pressing down with the back of a spoon to get as much flavour out as possible.

Measure the strained cream and top up to 320g if needed, then transfer to a small airtight container and place in the fridge until cooled completely.

Place the cold mascarpone in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix briefly to break up and soften. Add the chilled earl grey cream, vanilla bean paste, powdered sugar, and salt, and whip until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overwhip.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large french star tip.

ASSEMBLY

Remove the chilled tart from the fridge. Pipe blobs of earl grey cream over the surface of the tart.

To serve, cut using a sharp knife which has been run under hot water and then dried. Wipe between cuts.

Store leftovers in the fridge.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream - this chocolate tart comes together quickly, and is the perfect easy dessert that easily feeds a crowd. A crunch base is topped with a silky smooth chocolate salted caramel filling, and finished with an earl grey mascarpone whipped cream. #chocolatetart #saltedcaramel #earlgreywhippedcream

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel


 
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

I am an absolute shocker at buying bananas and then not eating them, which results in more banana baked goods than bananas being eaten in this household. I always have good intentions to make smoothies, or have them as a snack with some nut butter (which I love, I just always forget), so they inevitably end up weird and spotty, and I bake with them. It’s not the worst problem to have, seeing as I am married to someone with a banana bread addiction, so we always have some on hand in the freezer, pre-sliced, so rich can just pop it in the toaster when the need arises.

I’ve been wanting to work on a banana bundt cake for a while now, and a week or so ago we had an intense backlog of brown bananas, so I started testing. The testing process was actually quite quick, as my go-to banana cake recipe, which I use for a regular layer cake (super old photos, please excuse) and also a sheet cake, bundted like a champ, and I hardly had to make any tweaks. It’s always a little hit and miss when you try baking a recipe you know in a bundt pan - it either is a spectacular fail (like the first test of this cake), or it works first time and all is right with the world (this devil’s food bundt did exactly that and it was just the best day ever).

I topped these mini banana bundt cakes with a coffee caramel - infusing caramel is super easy as it is cream based, so to inject flavour all you have to do is infuse the cream. This time I steeped it with some coffee, and it came out great. Always remember that the flavour will be diluted once it is made into a caramel - I always get a bit worried for a second when the cream is super strong! The caramel was so lovely against the banana, and the coffee flavour complimented it perfectly. You definitely don’t need a caramel topping, but it looks amazing and is a little something extra!

I originally tested this in a regular sized bundt pan (I used this one), and it worked great, so if you don’t have these mini babies, then you can double the recipe - I have popped some instructions in the notes.

A few wee tips:

  • I made a single batch of this recipe twice so that I had 12 little cakes. I found flour settled in the grooves, so I just used some baking spray to help prevent sticking. I used this pan!

  • If you would like, you can double it and put it in a 10 cup bundt pan (I tested it in this), and bake for 55-60 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 min before turning out. Make sure the pan is well greased with baking spray and flour.

  • I like to give the caramel an overnight rest, which means it will likely have to be microwaved to get to the right texture once you are ready to use it, but if you like you can also make it before you make the cakes and leave it to cool while you bake them - if you put it in a shallow container to cool (rather than a jar) it will cool quicker because it has more surface area! I usually just pop it in a jar and leave in the fridge overnight because #lazy.

  • You want your bananas to be waaay on the ripe side for this if possible. Like, if you look at them and are like “ooooh that’s almost rotten” - that’s great. Regular spotty bananas work too!

  • This recipe has a slightly weird step in it - it gets you to dissolve baking soda in milk. This is how I’ve always done it, because this cake is adapted from the banana cake I grew up on. I think it may be to reduce the risk of baking soda bombs in the cake (when you bite into a lump), I guess NZ bakers are bad at sifting their baking soda, or it is to help it disperse? Anyway, it’s there because that’s how I’ve always done it, would love to know if you know the reason! If you don’t want to do this step you can probably just add the baking soda to the dry ingredients, and add the milk along with the vanilla and banana.

 

 

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel

- Makes 6 cakes -

Note: I made this recipe twice in order to give me 12 cakes - I baked them, then let the pan cool while I mixed up the next batch.

Cake adapted from "Edmonds Cookbook"

Coffee Salted Caramel
230g heavy cream
30g coarsely ground coffee
200g sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
2 tsp kosher salt

Banana Mini Bundt Cakes
125g butter, at room temperature
150g sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
225g very ripe bananas (about two bananas), mashed
40g whole milk
1 tsp baking soda
250g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 

- PROCESS -

COFFEE SALTED CARAMEL

Place the cream in a small saucepan. Heat over gentle heat, until you start to see movement around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the ground coffee, stirring to combine. Cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down to get as much infused cream out as possible. Clean the saucepan. Weigh the cream, and top up to 120g if needed. Place over a low heat while you prepare the caramel.

Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the infused cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely - either in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours.

BANANA MINI BUNDT CAKES

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla bean paste and mashed bananas, and mix to combine.

Warm up the milk either in the microwave or in a very small pan, then add the baking soda and mix to dissolve. Add to the mixture and beat to combine.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the mixer, and mix on low until just combined.

Spray a 6-well bundt cakelet pan with baking spray (see notes on making this a full sized bundt cake), and evenly divide the batter between them. Tap firmly on the bench to help remove any air bubbles. Place on a sheet pan.

Bake the mini bundt cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

ASSEMBLY

Place the cooled bundts on a wire rack over a baking sheet. If your caramel has cooled, warm it up in the microwave slightly until it is a pouring consistency.

Drizzle the cakes with the coffee caramel, and finish with sea salt if desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. If you aren’t planning on eating them all at once, you can store the caramel and cakes separately and assemble before eating to prevent them going too soggy.

Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars


 
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread
https://www.phaidon.com/store/food-cook/simple-and-classic-9780714878119/
Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread

Hi hi! I’ve been wanting to share a caramel slice recipe on here for the longest time! Caramel slice was a classic bakery treat I grew up eating (we call a ‘bar’ a slice in New Zealand), and they are an absolute favourite of mine. They are essentially a baked shortbread base, which then has a salted caramel mixture poured over it, followed by a dark chocolate ganache topping, and, if you like, a heavy sprinkling of salt. I love to get them out when I am at a bakery, but they are also super easy to make at home, and make the perfect sweet treat. From a quick google, it seems as if this is called a bunch of things - salted caramel shortbread, millionaire’s shortbread, caramel slice, etc. They all seem to be iterations of the same recipe, but all super delicious.

This version comes from a beautiful new book I was sent by the lovely folks at Phaidon - it is the newest from Jane Hornby, called ‘Simple and Classic - 123 Step by Step recipes’. The idea behind it is super clever - it is jam packed with recipes, ranging from sweet to savoury, all with step by step photos accompanying each recipe. So often in cook books there will only be one hero image of each recipe, so it is amazing to see not only step by step photos of each part of the recipe, but also broken down ingredient shots. This book would be perfect for a visual learner, or for someone who is beginning to cook and needs a little more guidance in terms of breaking down the recipe steps. I have my eye on a bunch more recipes, and have already sent one to a friend as a gift!

This recipe is super simple, but tastes anything but. It starts with a baked shortbread dough, which is baked until golden brown in the oven. Once it is slightly cooled, a thick layer of salted caramel is poured on, and left to set. The whole thing is then finished off with a layer of dark chocolate, and loaded up with flaky sea salt. A little goes a long way with this, but once you start snacking on it, you somehow find it disappearing much faster than you thought it would. The best.

A few wee tips:

  • This looks a little complicated, but I promise that it is not - each component is super simple.

  • I left my caramel to cool overnight, but you can probably just leave it for a few hours if you need - it does hold onto heat for longer than you think!

  • I wanted the top of my slice to have some texture in the chocolate, so I poured the chocolate on, then popped it in the fridge for about 10 minutes, then used an offset spatula to swirl up the chocolate, then left it to set completely.

  • According to Jane, to make this traditional Millionaire’s shortbread, you can add only a pinch of salt in the filling, and leave it out from the top, and then use semisweet chocolate on the top (about 30% milk solids)

 

 

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

- Makes about 12 large pieces, or 24 smaller pieces -

Recipe reprinted with permission from ‘Simple and Classic’ by Jane Hornby

Crust
110g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
50g superfine (caster) sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
140g all-purpose flour

Salted Caramel
110g unsalted butter
200g dark brown sugar
80g golden syrup or corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 400g (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate topping
200g bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
1 Tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt

Flaky sea salt, for topping

 

- PROCESS -

SHORTBREAD BASE

Lightly grease an 8” (20cm) shallow square baking pan, then line with parchment paper. Put the butter into a large bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until creamy and pale. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat again until even paler.

Sift the flour over the creamed butter and sugar. Using a spatula, gently work the flour into the mixture to make an even dough that starts to clump together.

Press the dough into the prepared pan, then level and smooth it with the back of a spoon. Prick it all over with a fork, then chill for 10 minutes, or longer if you like, until firm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°f /160°c.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden all over. Let cool completely.

CARAMEL

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup, and salt together gently in a saucepan, then stir in the condensed milk.

Bring the caramel to a simmer, stirring constantly with a spatula, and let it bubble for 4 minutes, or until it thickens and smells like creamy toffee. It should be thick enough for the spatula to leave a trail in the caramel for a few seconds. Don’t leave the pan or stop stirring during this step, because it can easily burn on the bottom.

Pour the caramel over the shortbread, then let it cool completely.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING

Melt the chocolate either over a saucepan of water or in the microwave. Stir in the oil, then pour this over the caramel. Sprinkle with the salt and let set at room temperature, or in the fridge if it is a hot day. The oil helps stop the chocolate setting too hard, which can make it difficult to cut.

When the chocolate is just set, mark it into squares, then chill until completely firm.

Cut into cubes to serve. For a really clean finish, wipe the blade of your knife with a slightly damp cloth between each slice. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Salted Caramel Shortbread bars - buttery shortbread is topped with a creamy salted caramel, then finished off with a dark chocolate layer and flaky sea salt. The perfect sweet treat. #caramelslice #caramelshortbread

Simple and Classic is copyright Phaidon Press Limited, and was written by Jane Hornby and published in 2019