chocolate caramel tart

Well, I did it. Ten posts in ten days for Thanksgiving. I don’t know why I did it, but like a lot of things I do in my life, I guess I did it for the rush I get when I bite off a little more than I can chew, than start furiously chewing. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie, I think I’ve said that before. Not the sky diving type, but more like the “I think I wanna do stand up comedy” type. I cower at physical risks, (hate flying, clutch the handrail when I go down stairs).  I’m not a daredevil, but can hang with the Hemingways when it comes to taking on a creative, intellectual or emotional challenge. I have loved this project because it had my heart in my throat for the past week and a half…and gave me a sense of purpose each day to get the job I set out to do done. And I left this sweet reward for last because I knew I’d feel, by the end of this effort, like I deserved it!

As I messed up my kitchen again for the 10th day in a row, this time with butter and confections sugar….

…that I creamed in the mixer, then added cocoa powder and flour to form a creamy dough….

…that ended up at a beautifully baked pie shell…(and a mini one so I could taste…make that so my husband could taste without cutting into the finished pie, which I’m saving for tomorrow)…

…that got filled with creamy, buttery caramel…

and then when cooled, got a decadent layer of chocolate ganache….

So that it finally looked like this…

…and I thought…I am so thankful. When the pie was done, and the kitchen cleaned, and I had finished the photos, it hit me that I am so plainly and utterly grateful to be alive and to have the opportunity create this feast for my family’s Thanksgiving, and for you all. I’m humbled to feel my torn and healed heart in my throat, nervously, but healthily pounding and will undoubtedly spend the rest of my life ( a long, long life, I hope) taking on equally foolish and delicious challenges just so I can hear that glorious sound. Happy Thanksgiving!

Chocolate Caramel Tart
Adapted from Marlow & Sons Restaurant, NY via The New Comfort Food, edited by James Oseland




1 1⁄2 cups flour
1⁄4 cup plus
1 tbsp. dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks, preferably at room temperature
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract


1 1⁄2 cups sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
or Lyle’s golden syrup or brown rice syrup
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. crème fraîche


1⁄2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Gray sea salt for garnish


1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 350˚. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is pale and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Transfer dough to a 9″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and press dough evenly into bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

2. Make the caramel: In a 1-qt. saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tbsp. water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, cream, and crème fraîche (the mixture will bubble up) until smooth. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm, 4–5 hours.

3. Make the ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour ganache evenly over tart and refrigerate until set, 4–5 hours. Serve chilled.














5 responses to “chocolate caramel tart”

  1. Keter says:

    Yay Rachel, and pat yourself on the back because not only did you successfully complete 10 posts in 10 days, you did an awesome job of it. So awesome, I used a couple of your recipes for my Thanksgiving. Well, I had to tweak a bit on the cranberry/wine sauce because the “fresh” ginger available locally was anything but. I’ll post my successful tweak with your recipe. I also have to credit you for helping me make a great pie crust…pie crusts and I are old enemies, but I used your crust recipe and technique and my from-a-pumpkin-not-from-a-can pie found its equal in the crust this year for the first time ever. And I took inspiration from your green bean casserole recipe. I hadn’t made a green bean casserole in the decade since eschewing canned soup and canned fried onions.

    BTW, am I insane because I made my own sweetened condensed milk for the pie? Maybe…it took 2 hours to cook down and my stirring arm is sore, but the radio, a glass of wine, and my dog kept me company in the kitchen into the wee hours, and wow was it worth it! Canned condensed milk was the last ingredient separating me from being completely commercial can-free, and the flavor of homemade is so much better.

  2. Sandra S. says:

    I have to write and say a huge thank you to you for all your food blogs and especially this mammoth task you blithely undertook of outlining an entire Thanksgiving feast for all your followers to enjoy.
    I’m not sure how public this reply to you will be but I did want to tell you how I was thinking of you and wishing you well when you had such a scary time earlier this year. I was a patient of Dr. Willen and he was always so empathetic and supportive of me. When you were taken ill I was working out of town and then out of the country for many weeks. I was not in a position to contact you both to give you my support but do know I was sending much positive, healing energy your way. I am thrilled that you have made such a terrific recovery. This Thanksgiving must have been a very special one for you and your family.

    I was very impressed by your plan to post a Thanksgiving menu. No small undertaking, especially having had the experience you were getting over, but THANK YOU! I am from England but wholeheartedly embrace this wonderful American tradition of Thanksgiving. I love to cook and am a little like you , I think, in that I often set ridiculous goals for myself, especially in the kitchen, almost to see if I can fail spectacularly. It has happened, but rarely. I had some surgery planned for the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week so was not sure how much I’d be capable of post op. It was essential that I got as much prepped and even pre-cooked before the day so that my partner could take over the finishing if needed. He is in no way a cook so you’ll appreciate just how invaluable your posts were. It was a gift from heaven, or at least your kitchen, I had all the recipes outlined for me. I keep a Thanksgiving recipe folder stuffed with winners from previous celebrations so I added a few side dishes that are family faves. –roasted root vegetables, Buttenut squash with cider and sage, Brussel sprouts with carrots and pancetta (ok they are a fave of mine and other family members humor me) I had pre-cooked an apple pie so that was in the freezer and I’d had a request for a pumpkin pie so I made the pie crust ,lined the pan and froze that. That filling would be easy on the day.( I am printing up the carmel-chocolate tart recipe for future enjoyment.)
    It was so wonderful to follow your blogs and prepare ahead of time. I made gallons of your stock, and used it all, the turkey was brined and air drying while I went in for the surgery—–One question-4 cups of salt and quarter cup of sugar, was the salt amount correct? It seemed a lot from other brines I’ve done– the stuffing was prepped and all the vegetables peeled, cut and ready to cook, herbs chopped etc.
    My surgery went well, the recovery a breeze, and thanks to you Thanksgiving cooking was easier than any other year! We even went out for an early movie and came back to finish the cooking.
    The dinner was a huge success and enjoyed by everyone. I was thankful for my health, and the joy of having a wonderful partner and loving family and friends, and the serendipity of this life whereby my chiropractor connects me to his wife who is obviously an amazing woman, fabulous cook and who takes the time to write a cooking blog that I regularly enjoy and this time saved my Thanksgiving dinner! THANK YOU ! XXXX
    All the very best to you,
    Sandra S.

    • Sandra…thanks for such a heartfelt and thoughtful comment. I’m so happy you are enjoying the blog and having success with so many of the recipes…
      BTW..the salt content in the brine is correct…but the time in the brine is less than some other brining recipes…hope you are having a speedy and comfortable recovery…thanks again for your kind comments! xoxo Rachel

  3. So beautiful- and dangerous. Mostly because I’ve lost the best part of an hour hungrily reading through the archives. Such beautiful recipes. Inspiring stuff. Thank you!

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