Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
Tender, buttery shortbread crust, with rich salted caramel and dark chocolate ganache. This salted caramel ganache tart is like a Twix bar, in tart form!
Ever since I shared my favorite tart crust recipe a few weeks ago, I’ve been itching to make this salted caramel chocolate tart!
I love making tarts because they are just so pretty. They’re similar to a pie, but the pastry is actually way easier to make. And tarts always slice up so beautifully!
There are quite a few tart recipes on this site that I really love, especially for fall. Check out this Salted Honey Nut Tart, these Pumpkin Meringue Tarts, and this Snickers Blondie Tart, and you’ll see what I mean.
But today it’s all about the caramel and chocolate!
WHAT IS A SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE TART?
This tart is like a grown-up candy bar. There’s the tender shortbread bottom, with gooey caramel filling, coated with a deep, dark, smooth chocolate ganache that is pure decadence!
It’s elegant as all get out, but still so approachable and so darn good! I don’t care if you’re in an evening gown or your yoga pants, this salted caramel ganache is perfect for any occasion!
HOW TO MAKE THIS CARAMEL GANACHE TART
This tart recipe is as simple as pouring a rich, buttery caramel into a pre-baked tart crust, and topping it with a silky chocolate ganache.
The caramel filling has two main steps: 1) warm cream, butter, and salt in a small pot and swirl in a little vanilla, and 2) cook sugar, corn syrup and water together until amber-brown and bubbly. Then you just combine the two!
And the ganache is just chocolate and cream, warmed together until melty, smooth, and glossy.
HOW LONG SHOULD THE SALTED CARAMEL BE COOKED?
The longer you boil the caramel (after the cream has gone in) the stiffer it will be once cooled.
If you were to whisk in the cream and then take it right off the heat, you would have caramel sauce. Cook it a little longer, and you’ll have a soft candy. Even longer, and you’ll have a hard candy. No matter what, it all LOOKS the same in the pot as it’s cooking. It’s what happens after it’s cooled that will be different.
Because every burner is different in terms of how hot it is at what setting, there’s really only one true way to know when your caramel filling is done. And that’s to use a candy thermometer.
Luckily you can buy them just about anywhere, and they aren’t very expensive. If you’d like to order one online, here’s a link to one that is very similar to what you’ll see me using in the video below: candy thermometer. It’s great for making any kind of candy, and it works well for deep frying too!
Because we want this caramel to set firm, you are going to cook it until it reaches 245 degrees F. This is right in between the soft ball stage and the firm ball stage.
Just be sure to pour the hot caramel into the tart shell right away! If you leave it sitting in the pot too long, it will continue to cook because of the heat the pot is retaining. And then you could end up with a hard candy filling that you won’t be able to slice into!
WHAT KIND OF CRUST SHOULD BE USED?
For this type of dessert, I love a tender, buttery, shortbread-like tart crust.
You can learn ALL about my favorite recipe here: Perfect Tart Crust Recipe.
I didn’t show the crust being made in the video below, but if you want to see that, it’s right above the recipe card for the post linked here.
CAN THIS CHOCOLATE CARAMEL TART BE MADE AHEAD?
This tart recipe has several components: the crust, the caramel, and the chocolate ganache, so it’s a good idea to make it ahead if you can.
The tart crust can be made a few days in advance. Just keep it in the fridge or freezer, tightly wrapped, and thaw it at room temperature when you’re ready to assemble the tart.
The caramel filling is best poured into the crust while it’s still hot. Once it’s gone in, you want to give it at least an hour to cool and firm up before topping it with the chocolate ganache.
The ganache will also need a bit of time to set up, so be sure to allow yourself the time you need so everything is ready to slice when the time comes!
HOW LONG WILL THIS SALTED CARAMEL GANACHE TART LAST?
The assembled tart can be kept at room temperature (lightly covered) for several days. Even though it contains lots of dairy, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated because the sugar content is high enough to inhibit the growth of bacteria. It’s like a candy bar!
But, you may notice that once the tart has been cut into, the caramel filling will slowly spread out the sides. So, it’s probably a good idea to keep any leftovers in the fridge, just to keep things together a little more solidly.
This caramel chocolate tart will last about 2 weeks, refrigerated.
Next time you really want to treat yourself to something sweet and yummy, give this salted caramel chocolate tart a try! It’s like your favorite Twix candy bar, all grown up!
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- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate broken into small pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- about 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt for garnish
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse in the butter, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla, and process until the dough gathers itself into a ball and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch, and press it gently into a 9-inch diameter tart pan, trimming away any excess.
- Bake the tart shell for 18 to 22 minutes, or until completely set and beginning to turn golden brown around the edges.
- Fill with salted caramel and chocolate ganache, and garnish with flaky sea salt.
- In a small pot, gently heat the cream, butter, and salt until the butter has melted and the salt has completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
- In a larger pot, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water.
- Heat over a medium high flame, swirling the pot occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.
- Continue to boil the sugar mixture until the bubbles begin to get smaller and it becomes amber-colored.
- Reduce the heat to low, and pour in the warm cream mixture, whisking constantly to avoid lumps or crystals.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, and continue to simmer the caramel until it reaches 245 degrees F.
- Immediately pour the hot caramel into the prepared crust.
- Place the chocolate in a small bowl and add the cream.
- Warm the chocolate and cream in the microwave (in 30 second increments) or over a double boiler, until the cream is hot and the chocolate is melting.
- Whisk the ganache until smooth and glossy, and pour over the cooled caramel.
- Allow the ganache to set, then garnish with flaky sea salt.
For more info on the caramel, click here: Salted Caramel Sauce.
For more info on the tart crust, click here: Perfect Tart Crust.
A few more tart recipes you might enjoy: