Did you hear? Caramel is in style.

It’s the cool thing to do. And it’s fall, so it happens every year!

That being said. I bought Cognac. End of story.

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Nooo…I made a Caramel Chocolate Tart! Obviously the goddess Hestia really loves me, because I seriously rock at tarts.

Here’s a sneak peak:

But, where’s the caramel? You said there was caramel?!

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Tart Pastry
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (3/4 ounce)
3/4 cup Confectioners’ sugar (3 ounces)
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Dark Chocolate Truffle Filling
12 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate , chopped
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature
1 tablespoon Cognac
Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar , (3 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter

INSTRUCTIONS

1. FOR THE TART PASTRY: Whisk together the yolk, cream, and vanilla in a small bowl. Combine the cocoa, flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor with four 1-second pulses. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about twenty 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk; wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Unwrap and roll out between 2 lightly floured large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap (or piece 4 small sheets together to form 2 large sheets) to a 15-inch round. (If the dough becomes soft and sticky, slip onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until workable, 20 to 30 minutes.) Transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom by rolling the dough loosely over the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan. Working around the circumference of the pan, ease the dough into the pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the corners with the other hand. Press the dough against the fluted sides of the pan, patching breaks and cracks if necessary. (If some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding the excess dough back on itself.) Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove excess dough. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet or a large plate and freeze 30 minutes. (The dough-lined tart pan can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 month.)

3. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet; lightly spray one side of an 18-inch square of heavy-duty foil with nonstick cooking spray. Press the foil, greased side down, inside the frozen tart shell, folding the excess foil over the edge of the tart pan; fill with metal or ceramic pie weights. Bake until dry and blistered, about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights by gathering the edges of the foil and pulling up and out. Return the tart pan on the baking sheet to the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

4. FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE Place the water in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan; pour the sugar in the center of the pan, taking care not to let the sugar crystals adhere to the sides of the pan. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat; once boiling, uncover and continue to boil until the syrup is thick and straw-colored (the syrup should register 300 degrees on a candy thermometer), about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the syrup is a deep amber (350 degrees), about 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, bring the cream and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over high heat (if the cream boils before the sugar reaches a deep amber color, remove the cream from the heat and cover to keep warm).

6. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat; very carefully pour about one quarter of the hot cream into it (the mixture will bubble vigorously) and let the bubbling subside. Add the remaining cream, vanilla, and lemon juice; whisk until the sauce is smooth. (The sauce can be cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Reheat it in the microwave or a small saucepan over low heat until warm and fluid.) Stir in 2 tablespoons butter to the finished, but still hot, sauce.

7. Spread the warm caramel sauce evenly over the cooled tart shell. Refrigerate the crust until the sauce is set but still tacky, about 5 minutes.

8. FOR THE FILLING: Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and set aside for 1 minute. Using a whisk, slowly stir the chocolate and cream until smooth, being careful to avoid aerating the mixture. Slowly stir in the butter until combined. Stir in the cognac until combined.

9. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell, using an offset spatula to spread the filling to the sides of the tart and smooth the top. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours. Slice into thin wedges and serve immediately with optional accompaniments

-Borrowed from Cooks Illustrated.

Becareful (hahahah, it’s one word…lets go with it) with the caramel. Don’t be afraid of it, just becareful.

See that? Along the bottom of the chocolate? See there? Caramel. Yummy oozy caramel. oh yum.

I ate some. Then, wow, it was so good I ate some more. Best thing I have ever eaten, hands down. Yum.

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