Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart {Giveaway Winners Announced!}

Here are the winners for the Seriously Chocolaty Giveaway:

Prize #1: Goes to Renee“Oh My Goodness!  I would have to say Chocolate Ganache is my absolute favourite!  Use it on any kind of dessert to elevate it, but really, the BEST part, is the left over bit in the bowl in the fridge.  Sneak a swipe at every entry!  Grab some grapes or banana pieces and dip those too!  And, all too often I see little tiny kiddie swipes in there too :)…”

Yay for Renee! She wins 2 spots in the November 24th & 25th (6:30pm-9:30pm) Holiday Truffles & Bonbons class at the highly-respected Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Artsin Toronto + 1 kg box of Cacao Barry Origins Dark Chocolate Couverture Mexique 66% + 1 kg box of St. Domingue 70% + a copy of Barry Callebaut’s Simply Chocolate Magazine, featuring recipes from Canada’s top pastry chefs & chocolatiers. This prize values over $450!

Prize #2: Goes to Truc: “My favorite chocolate treat is probably a brownie.  Thanks for the giveaway!”

Truc wins a 1 kg box of Cacao Barry Origins Dark Chocolate Couverture Venezuela (72%) + 1 kg box of Tanzanie (75%)

Prize #3: Goes to Karissa Ferguson: ”I love truffles. My mom made my husband and me some last Valentines and we were crazy about them! I think it’s time I try them myself and would love to with these delicious chocolates :)”

Karissa wins 1 kg box of Cacao Barry Origins Dark Chocolate Couverture Equateur (76%) + 1 kg box Milk Chocolate Couverture Ghana (40.5%)

Congratulations sweet winners! I’ll be in touch with you all via email.

True, true, I am a cake girl, but don’t let that cause you to believe that I don’t appreciate a good tart from time to time. Well, by now you’ve probably figured out that I’m pretty easy to convince that something is worth making if it involves good chocolate, butter, sugar, caramel and Fleur de Sel. Okay, well, very true–the list could have stopped at chocolate, as that’s usually enough to get me inspired. What is it about chocolate that draws us in? Dark chocolate, extra dark chocolate, milk chocolate, it really doesn’t matter to me as long as it is quality chocolate.

Today, in honour of quite likely the chocolatiest giveaway ever sponsored by Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts and Barry Callebaut, I decided to celebrate chocolate by making a Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart, which uses both my favourite Cacao Barry Extra Brute (extra dark) cocoa powder (you probably remember it from, well, almost every chocolate cake I’ve ever blogged about!) in the crust as well as one of the exceptional Cacao Barry Origine Dark Chocolate Couverture varieties (St.Domingue 70% cocoa) for a deep, dark and satiny ganache top. These rich and dark chocolate components are sandwiching a thick salted caramel filling and topped with a generous sprinkling of Fleur de Sel for one seriously decadent tart. Who knew that a dessert that stands a mere 1″ high could pack so much flavour and texture?

So as I mentioned in my last post, I have a super exciting, fabulously chocolaty giveaway for you guys, and I’m so excited to share it. No, that’s not blogger speak for “please enter my giveaway,” because I am sincerely excited about this. Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts in Toronto (where it all began for me!) has generously saved 2 places for a winner and friend to attend the upcoming Holiday Truffles & Bonbons class with Chef Marisa Scibetta, where students will learn the following techniques:

-    Easy chocolate tempering tricks
-    Molded and hand-rolled chocolates
-    A variety of specialty ganaches recipes
-    How to showcase and package your treats
-    Working with transfer sheets

In addition, the sweet folks over at Barry Callebaut have generously offered to send 3 sets of two Origins Dark and Milk Chocolate Couverture varieties + a copy of their Simply Chocolate Magazine (which I have and love, by the way!). As someone who has tried all of these varieties, I can promise you they are all unique and incredible so even if you cannot attend the class, you can still win the chocolate prizes.

Here’s how the prizes are structured:

Prize #1: 2 spots (for the winner + a friend) in the November 24th & 25th (6:30pm-9:30pm) Holiday Truffles & Bonbons class at the highly-respected Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts in Toronto + 1 kg box of Cacao Barry Origins Dark Chocolate Couverture Mexique 66% + 1 kg box of St. Domingue 70% + a copy of Barry Callebaut’s Simply Chocolate Magazine, featuring recipes from Canada’s top pastry chefs & chocolatiers. This prize values over $450!

Prize #2: 1 kg box of Cacao Barry Origins Dark Chocolate Couverture Venezuela (72%) + 1 kg box of Tanzanie (75%)

Prize #3: 1 kg box of Cacao Barry Origins Dark Chocolate Couverture Equateur (76%) + 1 kg box Milk Chocolate Couverture Ghana (40.5%)

As you may know, I took my passion for cakes and baking to the next level when I took many courses at Bonnie Gordon College beginning in 2008, and I believe with all of my heart that for those passionate about baking and confectionary arts, that is the place to start. My experience there was, literally, life-changing. I learned more than I could have imagined, and the moment I walked into the school for my first course, and those that followed, I was struck with a surrounding sense of creativity and warmth.  I say warmth because after being out of school for quite some time, I was a little unsure what to expect, but for a school that packs so much talent and knowledge, it was comfortable and inviting, and the classes were small and intimate; it was somewhere I wanted to be.  And be. And be. Sure, being passionate about baking is exciting, but being trained by some of the best in the industry, that is empowering. When I walked out of the school each time, I felt more inspired than I had ever been and pretty much ready to take on the world of sweets. With so many classes and courses added often, I will likey never stop attending.

Giveaway Closed

 

Here’s how to enter this chocolaty giveaway: 

 

1. Again, even if you cannot attend the Bonnie Gordon College class on November 24th & 25th evenings,  you are entered to win the premium Cacao Barry Chocolate Couverture prizes just by leaving a comment on this blog post telling me what your favourite chocolate treat is (baked good, pure chocolate, truffles, etc). That’s it! If you are able to attend the class (it doesn’t matter where you live, provided you can get yourself there), just make a note in your comment stating so, and you will be entered to win any of the prizes.

2. For an extra entry, tweet about this post (with the link) and include @Sweetapolita, then come back and let me know (your actual blog post comment is your entry, so be sure to write a separate comment for your tweet).

3. For an extra entry, tell your friends on Facebook (with the link), then pop back over here to let me know (your actual blog post comment is your entry, so be sure to write a separate comment for your facebook share).

Winner will be announced on Thursday, November 10th. Be sure to check back for see if you’re the winner. Good luck!

*Just a note that for those who are interested in registering for the Holiday Truffles & Bonbons class, they are offering a second date of December 15th & December 16th from 6:30pm-9:30pm. The giveaway for the class, however is for the November 24th-25th session. You can learn more about the class here.

Now, onto the incredible chocolate goodness that is this tart. When I first spotted this tart on Saveur, I knew I had to try it as I love sweet & salty (remember this cake?). This was, though, my first time using the Origine St.Domingue chocolate, which I used for the ganache top of this tart. What makes this chocolate couverture special is that, as the folks at Cacao Barry describe “Cultivated in limited quantities, harvested exclusively in one country, the rare beans that make up the exceptional chocolate couvertures of the Origine and Origine Rare collection are one of Cacao Barry’s best kept secrets,” and I have to agree. I’ve been a big fan of theirs for quite some time, but this chocolate is so rich and intense, which is exactly what I love in a ganache, so it was a perfect fit. My husband who swears he doesn’t like dark chocolate, said it was his favourite part of this tart. Hmm . . . I wonder what he’d say if he knew the St. Domingue is 70% cocoa (the milk chocolate is 40.5%). I think it’s because it is so smooth and the true cocoa flavour is so pure and decadent.

Here’s the recipe:

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart          {click to print}

*slightly adapted from Saveur

Servings: 8

Ingredients

For the crust:

1 1⁄2 cups (180 grams/6 ounces) all-purpose flour

1⁄4 cup + 1 tablespoon (35 grams) dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark)

1⁄4 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt

10 tablespoons (150 grams/5 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and softened

1⁄2 cup + 2 tablespoons (70 grams/2.5 ounces) confectioners’ (icing, powdered) sugar

2 egg yolks, at room temperature

1⁄2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract)

For the Caramel:

1 1⁄2 cups (300 grams/10 ounces) sugar

6 tablespoons (90 mL) water

3 tablespoons (45 mL) light corn syrup

1⁄4 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt

6 tablespoons (90 grams/3 ounces) unsalted butter

7 tablespoons (105 mL) 35% whipping cream or heavy cream (36%+)

For the Ganache:

1⁄2 cup (125 mL/4 liquid ounces) 35% whipping cream or heavy cream (36%+)

115 grams (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Cacao Barry Chocolate – Pure Origin – Saint-Domingue – 70%)

Fleur de Sel for garnish ( I used Fleur de Sel De Guerande- French Sea Salt ; 6oz)

1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Whisk together 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, about 3 minutes; mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Transfer dough into to a 9″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (such as Kaiser Bakeware Noblesse 9-1/2-Inch Non-stick Quiche Pan with Removable Base) 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 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

2. Make the caramel: In a small heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook undisrupted until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, look for the caramel to turn a rich amber colour, then remove pan from heat and whisk in butter and cream (the mixture will bubble up, so be careful!) until. If you suspect your caramel has gone too far in colour and that it is burnt, you will have to discard and start the caramel again. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm, 4–5 hours or overnight.

3. Make the ganache: Bring heavy cream almost to a boil (I remove from heat as soon as I see a few bubbles under the surface) in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for a moment, then stir slowly in a circular motion with a rubber spatula, until smooth. Pour ganache evenly over tart and spread with a small offset spatula, then refrigerate until set, 4–5 hours or overnight. Sprinkle tart with sea salt, slice and serve chilled.

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • When I read the reviews for the original recipe, there was a lot of concern from Saveur readers who had tried the recipe stating that the caramel filling oozing out when served, which is why it says to serve chilled. I wanted to firm up the caramel, to avoid it being too sloppy, so once I stirred in the butter and cream, I put the caramel back on the stove on medium heat and heated to 240°F. In the end, this made it quite firm and almost toffee-like. It tasted incredible, but next time I will try it without that step, the way it reads in the recipe and will save the more firm toffee for candy.

Either way, it’s amazing . . .

Good luck & enjoy!



Related posts:

How to Make a Rainbow & Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey

Peanut Butter Pie via Sweetapolita

umbrella + rain + love + sunshine = how to make a Rainbow

It’s almost midnight here. I sit in my cozy bed with a warm laptop on my legs, a loyal cat on my feet, and a strong, loving man asleep beside me. And, oh . . . wait a minute — make that a strong, loving man and a beautiful but displaced four-year-old who should likely be in her own bed, asleep beside  me. I won’t lie, though — I don’t really want her to go back to her bed, even though between the two of them, I’m left with little room to type. Our little almost-two-year-old sleeps peacefully in her crib just across the hall, and it’s a typical night here. Sometimes I forget how much I love typical. I forget how lucky I am to have another typical day with family. See, sometimes, or well, often, when life gets too busy, or too stressful, or even too typical, I take this all for granted–my family, my health, and life in general.

Today, though, was different. Well, I should say this entire week was different, because I have reached a place that immerses me in feelings of gratitude, love, and appreciation for those close to me . . . and what an amazing place that is. Did I mention this wonderful place of love and gratitude has pie?

This past Sunday, fellow food-blogger, Jennie Perillo’s typical came to a heartbreaking halt when, in a sudden and unexpected moment, her husband and father of their two little girls, Mikey, died of a heart attack, leaving no time for goodbyes. When I saw Jennie’s tweet on Sunday evening that said “He’s gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces”, I instantly felt numb, but I hoped maybe I misunderstood. I knew she was happily married, but I thought that it couldn’t possibly be her husband she was referring to, or maybe he left her, which seemed so hard to believe. I wasn’t sure, and, to be honest, the gripping worry and concern surprised even me, because I really don’t know Jennie that well. But I was concerned; I couldn’t stop thinking about her, up until the very moment I fell asleep that night, and then some. When I woke up Monday morning and checked into twitter looking for any bit of reassurance that everything was okay with her, I went straight to her profile to see if she’d written. I then saw a tweet she posted linking to a video clip she calls one last dance. When I watched the video of Mikey and their young daughter dancing, I still didn’t know anything for sure, but I cried. Maybe it was because it reminded me so much of Grant dancing with our little girls, but I cried instantly with grief. Once I read the flurry of tweets that followed from her many devastated friends, stating that Mikey had indeed passed away, I cried even more and every time I think about it, I cry again. You truly just never know.

Because the food community is a remarkably tight-knit one, and through the wonders of twitter are able to connect on a pretty intimate level every single day, there is a camaraderie and connection that I simply wouldn’t believe possible if I wasn’t part of it all. Perhaps this is why the entire community is so affected by Jennie’s loss and her recent request in a blog post she calls For Mikey:

As I spend Friday reflecting on the love and life that was gone in an instant, I’d like to invite all of you to celebrate his life too. Mikey loved peanut butter cream pie.  I haven’t made it in a while, and I’ve had it on my to-do list for a while now.
I kept telling myself I would make it for him tomorrow. Time has suddenly stood still, though, and I’m waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal. For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.

So, I did exactly what she asked, and I made her incredible pie and shared it with the loves of my life, in honour of Mikey, and to celebrate that we have each other…today.

Sweetapolita

I gave the girls the decadent and delicious Peanut Butter Pie in bed, in their pjs. They both loved it, and watching Neve savour each and every bite with so much focus and appreciation made me realize, I could stand to learn a thing or two about that. Their matching pajamas say umbrella + rain + love + sunshine = how to make a rainbow, and I couldn’t agree more. For some, it’s as rainy as it can be right now.

Sweetapolita
But, thank goodness for umbrellas . . .

Sweetapolita

 And love . . .

Sweetapolita

 And a bit more love . . .

Sweetapolita

And, of course, sunshine . . .

We wish Jennie & her girls, along with anyone else who may have rainy days right now, the brightest of rainbows as they heal.

umbrella + rain + love + sunshine = how to make a Rainbow

We all loved this pie for both what it meant and how simply delicious it is. Thank you, Jennie.

Making and sharing this pie is truly just an amazing reminder of what’s important in life: taking the time to show your loved ones how much you care for them, and in this case, through the nurturing and nourishment of food made with love.

If you’d like to see more Peanut Butter Pie posts from other bloggers, in honour of Mikey Perillo, here is an extensive and constantly updated list of links from Food Network.

Here is Jennie’s recipe for Mikey’s favourite Creamy Peanut Butter Pie:

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

*courtesy of In Jennie’s Kitchen

Serves 10 to 12

8 ounces chocolate cookies

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup creamy-style peanut butter

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream). Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.

Enjoy & serve with love.

Love, Rosie xo

Related posts:

Chocolate Marshmallow Pie

Happy Fall, everyone!

Welcome to my brand new blog and my first official blog post. With the cooler air and cozy sweaters comes the urge to bake and indulge in more decadent sweets and treats, or, well, perhaps that’s just me. But hey, as they used to say in the 60s, “If it feels good, do it.” And trust me, this feels good. And I did it. And you should too.

In honour of the year that gave us (and by “us” I mean those who were born by then) “Sugar Town” by Nancy Sinatra, I’m going 1967 retro with a recipe called “Chocolate Marshmallow Pie.” Can you even imagine a more enticing name for a pie? Who knew there was such a delightful array of forgotten treats from this era. I discovered a great website for just such recipes: Retro Food Recipes. Let’s just say this site was the jackpot for yummy retro sweetness (and savoury, if you’re into that kind of thing).

There are several chocolate pie recipes out there, but I find the marshmallow and double cream components in this one really give it a truly decadent texture. Day 1, it was fabulous. Day 2, it was even better. Day 3…come on, you don’t think I would actually eat something this indulgent 3 days in a row, do you? Then perhaps you don’t know me very well–it was killer. Let me point out, though, that this pie filling has uncooked eggs, so not recommended for babies or pregnant women. I can confirm, however, that it has nothing but positive effects on 30-something, under-rested, mothers of 2. Best part about this pie (aside from its obvious awesomeness) is that there are really very few ingredients, and it’s fairly simple to make.

I have modified the recipe to fit a full size pie, because the actual recipe is for a 7″ pie. After running out to my baker’s supply and buying a 7″ pie plate and realizing how teeny it really appeared, I decided I was not about to have to explain why I ate an entire pie!

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Marshmallow Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 full size pie crust (I use The Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust)
  • 8-10 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 30 marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 pint (300ml) Double Cream (higher in fat than heavy cream/whipping cream, usually about 48%, and can be found in larger grocery stores).

Instructions

  1. Use the pastry to line a pie plate and bake blind (I use pie weights over parchment paper). Let cool. Put the chocolate, marshmallows and water into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and leave until mixture melts. Cool slightly.
  2. Stir the yolks into the chocolate mixture and leave until cold.
  3. Whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks.
  4. Whisk the egg whites stiffly and fold carefully into the chocolate mixture together with half the cream. Turn into the pastry and leave to set completely in fridge.
  5. Decorate with icing sugar or whipped cream, when ready to serve.

Notes

[Adapted from the Chocolate Marshmallow Pie recipe from Retro Food Recipes]

Originally from The Book of Sweets & Puddings by Myrtle Lindlaw (Spectator Publications 1967)

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http://sweetapolita.com/2010/09/retro-dessert-week/

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • I used Devon Double Cream (fancy, I know…I felt so British buying this, and who doesn’t want to feel authentically British from time to time?).

Good luck & enjoy!