I adapted this recipe from one I learned when I worked at the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room. I have to admit I’ve spotted this tart on a lot of menus around Atlanta since then. The original recipe has probably been circulated around so much because it is the best. Chef Bruno Menard came up with it, and his father is a very well respected chocolatier in France, and from what I could tell from working with him, a love for chocolate ran in the family.
I had two little problems with his recipe. The first problem was, it called for glucose. Not the worst of the inverted sugars, honestly, but I still wanted to try to avoid it. Maple syrup was the substitute I settled on, and I like it because instead of being an empty sugar, maple syrup provides vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and b6. On to problem number 2: it needed a crust. Originally, this dessert was “composed,” meaning it had an ice cream quinelle, a cocoa nib tuile, a wafer, and a small stick of tempered chocolate complete with a little piece of gold leaf waving like a flag off the end of it. Beautiful in the settings of a five star five diamond dining room, but I wanted something a little more rustic. So I developed a nut based crust not only for nutritive value, but because I think it stands up better than a flour crust could to the intense richness of that chocolate ganache filling.
Caramel Chocolate Tart with Pecan Crust
¾ cup raw pecans
¾ cup almond flour
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tbs soft butter
2 tbs maple syrup
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325*.
Pulse the pecans in a food processor until they reach a fine crumb consistency. Combine the ground pecans, almond flour, unsweetened coconut and salt in a large bowl. Add the soft butter and maple syrup, and mix until combined using a rubber spatula.
Line a 9 inch tart pan with the crust mixture, making sure it’s an even thickness all around. Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely before filling it.
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbs water
1 lemon wedge
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp of sea salt
1 ¼ cup dark chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 oz butter, diced
First make a caramel by placing the sugar in a small sauce pot with the water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the sugar (this will prevent the caramel from crystalizing). Melt the sugar over medium heat and continue to cook until it turns a rich golden brown color. It will be extremely hot, do not touch it with your fingers. Add the heavy cream, cane syrup and pinch of salt. Stir until combined.
Place the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Pour the caramel cream over the chocolate and gently stir. Once the chocolate and cream are combined add the butter, one chunk at a time. Pour into the prepared tart mold and refrigerate. Once chilled it is ready to serve.