Friday, 11 October 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Butterscotch Tart

Ever since I had a taste of the Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart at Pizza East a few months ago I've been dreaming about it. It was creamy and chewy and sweet and salty and crumbly and smooth and just perfect.  I recently had some girlfriends over for an evening of dinner and Disney trivial pursuit which gave me all the excuses I required to try to recreate it.

Now I may be being a bit arrogant here, but I think I've improved it.

Say hello to Salted Caramel Chocolate Butterscotch Pie.  Now say it again very quickly 5 times in a row.

Struggled?  Why?  It was just hello!

Ahem moving on....
This tart combines sweet and salty, crispy and soft, chewy and, well you get the idea.  The texture of the chocolate is similar to that of the Mexican Tamoanchan Tart but the caramel adds another dimension and the inclusion of butterscotch in the chocolate and salt crystals crunching on the top adds...oh sod it.  I'm not a food writer.  I don't know what it adds or why it works.  It just does.

This dessert is amazing.  Make it.  Eat it.  Go for a run if you feel guilty.

It is incredibly rich.  5 bites and most people are done.  They are groaning with pleasure but they are done.  I have honestly never made a dessert that has gone down as well as this one did.  I took leftover slices round to a friends house a couple of days after the party (only after a begrudging Steve relented when he realised that there was no way he was getting through all of the leftovers) and everyone who tried it told me they loved it.  They could have been lying to spare my feelings of course but they all seemed to really enjoy it!
The first step is making the caramel.  Caramel is a massive hit or miss - normally I have to say it works fine for me.  This one though took three try's and three lots of binned sugar balls before I tried a trick I had heard of but never attempted.  It works and I'm going to let you into a little secret to help you make fool proof caramel that will not seize as you cook it down.

In a completely dry saucepan put 1/4 cup of water in the bottom (making sure there is no splash back up the sides), 1 cup of sugar (granulated is fine) and, absolutely key, 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.  I have no idea how the science works but the acid in the lemon juice helps to prevent the sugar crystals from forming which will ruin your caramel before it even turns golden.
Bring the sugar, water and lemon mix to a raging boil and every 3 minutes swirl it 2-3 times to help distribute the heat evenly.  The less you touch it, the lower the risk of anything going wrong!

At the same time in a separate pan gently heat 150ml double cream and 1 teaspoon good quality rock salt

After about 5 minutes the sugar will start to go golden brown in spots.   Continue with the swirling until the colour is evenly distributed throughout.  It should always stay liquid.  The minute it starts to harden and solidify I'm afraid something has gone wrong.
Only now should you start with the wooden spoon!  At this point you can stir it to help the caramel thicken - just two to three passes the same as you did with the swirling technique.

When it is dark enough for you in colour (the darker it becomes the more intense and bitter the flavour becomes) pour the heated cream and salt into the caramel slowly.  Be careful - it bubbles up high!
Keep stirring to bring the caramel back to its smooth consistency then add 25g diced unsalted butter and again stir well to combine.   The caramel should have a thick consistency and leave a line when the bottom of the pan is scraped.
Pour the caramel into the base of your shortcrust sweet pastry tart cases (my pastry is awful  - hot hands - so I bought ready made ones) and allow to set in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Now you can get on with the chocolate ganache.

For this you will need 200g of good quality dark chocolate and 100g of salted butterscotch milk chocolate, 350ml of double cream, 4 tablespoons of honey and 125g of unsalted butter.  Heat the cream and the honey together until hot and pour over the chopped chocolate.  Let it sit for a minute and then stir it all together.  Add the butter and stir well until the chocolate is smooth, even in colour and very glossy.  Pour the chocolate over the caramel in the tart cases in a smooth layer and refrigerate again until set.
Sprinkle with rock salt just before serving.
To cut, try dipping a knife in boiling water, wipe it down and then slice.  This hot knife technique helps you get through the layers. 
Oh and one final tip.  That saucepan that is now covered with rock hard caramel that is going to be a nightmare to clean?  Fill it with boiling water to above the caramel line, stick it back on the hob to boil and leave it for 10 minutes.  When you come back all the caramel should have dissolved into the water and you can just pour it away and wipe it down.

Easy as (Salted Caramel Chocolate Butterscotch) Pie!


  1. That looks DELICIOUS. And your hello joke made me chuckle haha! Think I'm going to have to make my sister make me this tonight yum yum xx

    1. I like that - getting someone else to do the work! I'll try that next time...let me know how it goes and hope you enjoy!

      Becs x

  2. Yum! Wouldn't want to count how many Slimming World Syns it is though!!