Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart as Hanukkah Gelt

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Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart

Happy Hanukkah! Tonight is the eighth and final (crazy) night of Hanukkah 2014. I made this Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart to stand in place of the more traditional Hanukkah gold coin chocolate gelt. It’s true, Iโ€™m not Jewish. But I feel happy to send you this greeting no matter your religious associations. Because around my house we like to say I am Jewish adjacent, thatโ€™s because my partner is Sephardic.

Like all holidays Hanukkah has its traditions and expectations. Which we happily meld into our other religious and non-religious holiday activities.

I’ve grown to love the lighting of the menorah each year, and at my age a well-placed yarmulke could be a good thing. However, I have trouble getting excited about Hanukkah gelt. These foil-wrapped chocolate candies usually come in plastic-mesh bags and jangle joyously at the end of the checkout aisle. So despite my misgivings, I almost always buy them on impulse. Partly because I’m usually staring at that box of candy canes I’ve begrudgingly thrown in my cart moments earlier. The truth is, like candy canes at Christmas, golden gelt is one of those Hanukkah traditions that have become expectations. Still, I have to admit I think these little candies taste more like leftover wax scraped out of the menorah, than any kind of chocolate I’d bother to eat.

Which means at my house the Hanukkah gelt usually remains wrapped in its gold foil, sitting on the holiday table long after the eight days are done. It seems silly to spend good gelt on gelt that can’t be enjoyed.

Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart

Well this year I’ve decided to tackle the tradition of gelt in the form of a Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart. I probably should have made this a round tart. A round Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart looks a lot more like a coin than the rectangular tart you see in the photo to the right. Well if this new kind of gelt catches on in my house maybe next year I’ll make a round gelt Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart. It could become my nod to the past, with both feet in the present. GREG

Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8-10Published
Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart

Ingredients

  • 14 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 ounce digestive biscuits
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 12 ounce semi-sweet chocolate (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • flaky sea salt (such as Maldon, to taste)

Directions

Prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the 14 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan.

In a food processor, pulse digestive biscuits, granulated sugar, and kosher salt until finely ground. Add 6 tablespoons of the melted butter; pulse until combined.

Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of 12x4x1-inch rectangular or an 9-inch round fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the caramel: Add brown sugar to the saucepan containing remaining 8 tablespoons melted butter; set the pan over medium heat. Whisk the mixture constantly until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in ¼ cup heavy cream. Set the caramel aside to cool about 15 minutes. Then before it gets too cool, pour the caramel into the prepared tart shell. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to become firm, but not frozen.

Make the ganache: Meanwhile, place chocolate in a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring remaining 1-cup cream to a boil. Pour hot cream, through a clean sieve, over chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and creamy in texture. Mix in vanilla.

Pour chocolate mixture through a clean sieve into center of cooled tart shell (this will improve the texture). Gently tip the tart pan to evenly cover the caramel with ganache if necessary. Let stand until set, about 2 hours, or chill for 1 hour.

Before serving, sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt to taste.