Monday, August 25, 2014

Marlow & Sons Chocolate Caramel / Snickers Tart

My first taste of something as decadent as a chocolate caramel tart was actually from Humble Origins, a little cafe / bakery at the National University of Singapore (NUS). It was a sweet surprise from a friend (thanks Huazie!) but I wasn't expecting much. Imagine my delight when I bit into it - The smooth chocolate ganache and rich gooey caramel, all from a simple start up cafe in NUS! 

I was inspired by their take on the tart, but wanted to amp it up a notch. I replaced the crust with Francois Payard's sweet tart dough and added some peanut crunch for a little Snickers kick. It's really a candy bar no brainer! Payard's recipe may require a little more effort, but it's so worth it. Your crust will be firm and buttery, like a shortbread. 

For the Sweet Tart Dough (Adapted from Chocolate Epiphany) (Makes 1 9 inch crust shell)
3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
2 sticks (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs yolks
1 egg
11.    Combine butter and sugar in a stand mixer, beat on medium speed until combined.
  2. With the motor running, add egg yolks and egg one at a time. Add the flour and mix until dough is smooth.
  3.  Remove the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Preferably overnight.
  4. To prepare, dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out the dough to desired diameter but make sure it is ¼ inch thick. Prick the dough with a fork. (The recipe said to chill the dough again but being an eager beaver, I skipped this step)
  5.  Preheat your oven to 175C. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

      For the Caramel Filling (Adapted from Lottie & Doof ) Serves 8
            1/2 cup water
            2 cups granulated sugar
            1/4 cup light corn syrup
            1/2 cup heavy cream
            8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
            2 tablespoons crème fraîche / sour cream

For the Chocolate Ganache
            1/2 cup heavy cream
            3 1/2 (100g) ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. Caramel :  Place 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan. Add sugar and corn syrup, and cook mixture over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it becomes a medium amber caramel. (Mine took about 20 minutes, do NOT leave your sugar unwatched)
2. Caramel : Remove pan from heat, carefully and slowly (the piping caramel will bubble and splatter, so be careful!) add the heavy cream followed by the butter and crème fraîche. Stir until smooth. (Excess caramel can be frozen for up to 3 months)  

Pour the caramel into the cooled tart shell and allow to set, first at room temperature and then in the refrigerator.

3. Ganache glaze : Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour the ganache and spread over the tart. Refrigerate until set.

Serve and enjoy with some coffee! 
Baker Notes
1. The pastry dough takes time to prepare, but it is so worth it. The crust is extremely buttery and moreish.

2.You don’t need a candy thermometer, just a watchful eye for your caramel.

3. For a little added crunch, I tossed in some extra peanut brittle to give it a peanutty/ snickers spin. You're free to spin your own variations - pecans / walnuts / dried fruit! 

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