This is by far one of my favourite chocolate desserts. The mere mention of the intense dark chocolate ganache combined with the soft caramel centre, incased in a crumbly sable topped with crunchy sugared pecans just makes me salivate.

Chocolate and salted caramel tart with pecans with wines – recipe by Michel Roux Jr

Ingredients:

To prepare the pastry:

  • 170g plain flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 100g cubed butter
  • 2 egg yolks

To prepare the caramel filling:

  • 150ml double cream
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 160g white sugar
  • 90ml water
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt

To prepare the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 160ml double cream
  • 140g roughly chopped dark chocolate

To prepare the topping (optional):

  • 150g pecan nuts halves
  • 3 tbsps white sugar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C

  1. To prepare the pastry: Pour the flour and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and the butter and rub all together with your fingertips (or pulse with an electric mixer) until it resembles fine crumbs. Mix in the egg yolks to gradually create a ball; add a little cold water if needed.
  2. Lightly knead the pastry and roll out on a lightly floured surface. This pastry is delicate and tends to crumble; so carefully lift the pastry over a rolling pin and drape into a 24cm round tin and 2.5cm deep pressing into the corners. Trim the excess pastry with a knife before blind baking for 8 minutes. Then remove the baking beans and cook for a further 8 minutes until crisp. Set aside to cool down.
  3. To prepare the salted caramel: In a medium saucepan bring the sugar and water to the boil. After 5 minutes you should obtain a dark and golden syrup (the mixture must reach 170°C). Then remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream and butter (careful, it will bubble up). Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for a further 5 minutes or until thickened. Finally mix in the salt and pour into the pastry shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.
  4. To prepare the pecan topping: In a small frying pan, toast the pecans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Then quickly scatter the sugar into the pan, stirring the nuts as you drizzle. Mix continuously until the pecans are thoroughly coated in the caramel. Immediately remove from heat so they don’t burn. Once cooled you are ready to decorate.
  5. To prepare the ganache: Heat the cream in a small saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Quickly pour the liquid on top of the chopped chocolate and whisk continuously until all the chocolate has melted. Then pour the chocolate ganache evenly on top of the set caramel (use a small spatula if needed). Set once again in the fridge for 20 minutes before decorating with the sugared pecan nuts.

 

About this recipe

This is by far one of my favourite chocolate desserts. Easily achievable at home and thoroughly appreciated by all the chocolate fans in the family. The mere mention of the intense dark chocolate ganache combined with the soft caramel centre, incased in a crumbly sable topped with crunchy sugared pecans just makes me salivate.

Wines to match with chocolate and salted caramel tart with pecans

For a refreshing and light bodied sweet wine I suggest a Moscato d’Asti, Canelli, Cerutti 2014 from the Piedmont region.  An elegant and easy going white wine that complements this delicious caramel tart.

Madeira is often paired with dark chocolate. I particularly enjoy Blandy’s Sercial 10-Year-Old Madeira from Portugal. This medium sweet wine is the perfect match for this slightly salted chocolate tart.

For a special occasion why not accompany this mouthwatering dessert with a 12 year-old Balvenie DoubleWood Whisky. This particular whisky has been aged in oak and sherry wood, accentuating the notes of honey and vanilla of this special single malt.

The wines

Moscato d’Asti, Canelli, Cerutti, Piedmont, Italy 2014

An incredibly delicate dessert wine, almost like drinking a sorbet in a glass.  This is one of those wines you simply cannot stop sniffing, with the most beautiful sweet, citrusy and fruity notes. RRP: £12.95 from Berry Bros & Rudd

Blandy’s Sercial 10-Year-Old Madeira from Portugal

This Sercial has a real sophistication to it which really enhances this indulgent, chocolatey dessert. Aged for 10 years in an American Oak barrel, the wonderful, dryer woody notes work so beautifully on the palate with the sweet caramel of the tart. RRP: £19.49 from Waitrose

12 year-old Balvenie DoubleWood Whisky 

This dessert truly is an absolute treat and delight, and combined with the spicy, sweet and nutty flavours of this 12 year-old Balvenie it makes for the most perfect pairing. RRP: Sainsbury’s £35.00