If you haven't tried salted caramel before then you really need to! I never quite understood how good salt with chocolate could be until I went to Pizza East on Portabello, where the pizzas are just amazing and if you have room at the end their salted caramel and chocolate tart will quite literally rock your world.
I found a Rachel Allen recipe and blindly tried it out for a dinner party. A little worried at winging a new recipe I tried a bite before sending it out to the masses and wow it was insanely good, even think I could be giving Pizza East a run for their money! You must try this recipe and invite all your friends over because they will think you are some sort of baking rockstar.
For the pastry use whatever sweet pastry recipe you like, I personally love the Ottolenghi recipe:
330g plain flour
100g icing sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
180g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
Put the flour, icing sugar, and salt into a bowl and add the cold butter. Rub it in with your hands or use a food processor. With both techniques you need to get a coarse breadcrumb consistency, making sure there aren't any big lumps of butter left.
Add the egg yolk and water and mix until the dough just comes together, being very careful not to mix any longer than necessary, you may need to add a splash more water if it is still too dry.
Remove the dough and kneed very lightly to shape it into a smooth disc about 5-6cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 mins or until ready to use. The pastry will keep in the fridge for a week, or a month in the freezer.
When ready, roll out the pastry and gently place into a 23cm tart tin, when ready prick the bottom a few times with a fork and place in the fridge to chill for another 30 mins.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180˚C fan or 160˚C gas. Remove the pastry from the fridge and line the tin with baking parchment making sure plenty is overlapping the sides, fill with baking beans or you can use any pulses or rice which can then be used again. Place in the oven for 15-20 mins to blind bake until the pastry feels dry in the base, then remove the paper carefully taking all the beans out. Pop the tart back in the oven for about 5 mins until it looks a little golden and then remove and set aside.
225g caster sugar
100g chilled butter cubed
100ml double cream or regular
1 heaped teaspoon of maldon sea salt flakes
Put the suagr and 75ml or water into a heavy bottomed saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter stirring to melt and then increase the heat to medium and allow to gently bubble away stirring occasionally for around 15 mins or until it becomes a light toffee colour. Take off the heat and carefully add the cream and sea salt and stir back on the heat for a few minutes until slightly thickened then leave to cool.
100g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
250g dark chocolate
150g butter cubed
Whisk the sugar and both eggs and yolk until thick and creamy in colour. Gently melt the chocolate and butter together in bowl over a saucepan of hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. When all melted leave to cool a little before folding it into the egg and sugar mix until smooth and glossy.
Spread the caramel over the cooled pastry base, and then pour the chocolate mixture on top.
Bake in the oven for about 20 mins until it is almost set but still a bit wobbly in the middle. Allow to cool for about 40 mins before removing from the tin and slicing. Delicious served with whipped cream.