Recipe by Andria Neophytou
Chocolate tart with a duo of salted caramel and Italian meringue quenelles
- PASTRY BASE
- 225g cake flour
- 15ml (1 tbsp) cocoa powder
- 2,5ml (½ tsp) salt
- 60g unsalted cold butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- 60g castor sugar
- 30g 70% dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- 270g 70% dark chocolate, melted
- 250ml (1 cup) double-thick cream
- 50ml milk
- 2 large eggs
- 100g castor sugar
- 2,5ml (½ tsp) vanilla essence
- ITALIAN MERINGUE
- 500g castor sugar
- 250ml (1 cup) water
- 4 large egg whites
- 1,25ml (¼ tsp) cream of tartar
- CARAMEL DULCE DE LECHE
- 2 x 395g tins sweetened condensed milk
- Cerebos Salt, to sprinkle
- DARK CARAMEL SAUCE
- 160g castor sugar
- 95ml water
- 125ml (½ cup) double cream
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Coat six 7cm-round loose-based tart tins with cooking spray and set aside.
For the pastry base, sift the flour, cocoa and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse for 1 minute. Add the egg, castor sugar and melted chocolate, and pulse until the mixture forms a smooth dough, 1 minute. Remove from the food processor, dust your hands with flour if necessary and shape the dough into a ball. Wrap with cling film and refrigerate to rest, 30 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out. Line the base and sides of the tart tins with the pastry and refrigerate, 20 minutes. Remove from the fridge, prick the bases and bake blind, 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C.
For the chocolate tart filling, combine all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl using a balloon whisk. Place the tart tins on a baking tray and pour in the filling. Bake in the oven, 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
For the Italian meringue, place the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, using a wet pastry brush to brush the sides to avoid crystallisation. Stop stirring after the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat when the sugar reaches soft-ball stage and reaches 115°C on a sugar thermometer. Place the egg whites in a mixer, add the cream of tartar and start beating on high speed. Add the sugar syrup in a slow stream while continuing to beat. Beat for 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Spoon the meringue mixture on one half of each tartlet and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes. Switch the oven off, leaving the tartlets inside to cool completely.
For the caramel dulce de leche, preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the condensed milk in an ovenproof baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Place the baking dish in a large deep-sided baking tray and fill with boiling water until it reaches two-thirds of the way up the sides of the dish. Bake until caramel in colour, 1½ – 1¾ hours. The longer it bakes, the deeper in colour and thicker it becomes. Spoon the caramel into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
For the dark caramel sauce, stir the sugar and water in a large saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves, 5 minutes. Increase the temperature to high and cook until boiling, without stirring. Brush down the sides with a wet pastry brush, so that crystals do not form, and cook until a deep golden colour appears, 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add the cream and stir, 2 minutes. Set aside to cool, 30 minutes.
Place tartlets on a serving dish, spoon a dollop of caramel dulce de leche on one side (sprinkle a pinch of Cerebos Salt over the caramel) and a tablespoon of dark caramel sauce on the other side.