This tart is my ode to the Twix bar. It has always been my favorite because it reminds me more of a dessert than candy. I like the different textures. Creamy and crunchy. When I was a kid, I used to get the jumbo bar pack at Costco. I got to know my dentist very well.
With this recipe, I think I’ve captured the essence of the candy bar. The crust has a shortbread-like texture. 1/4″ thickness is perfect for getting that nice crunch. If you go for the edge pieces, they have even more cookie to filling ratio. The caramel texture was the most important part to get right. It needed to be soft but firm enough, so when cutting, it wouldn’t completely ooze out. I based the recipe off of one from a patisserie in Paris called Sadaharu Aoki. On one of my recent trips, I tried their caramel tart. It was really salty which I LOVED and the texture of the caramel was perfect. The glucose kept it soft and not chewy like Rolos. For the chocolate, I selected semi-sweet, but for a more sophisticated flavor, dark chocolate works just as well.
Chocolate-Salted Caramel Tart
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cold water, plus extra if needed
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Large pinch of kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1″ cubes
Salted Caramel Filling:
4 oz heavy cream
1.5 oz unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
2.5 oz glucose*
4 oz granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
flaky sea salt to finish
For the crust:
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and water until combined. Set aside.
In a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. Slowly drizzle in the egg mixture while pulsing until the dough just starts to come together. It should clump slightly. To test, take a small portion in your hand and if the dough holds together, you’re done. If it’s a bit crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it holds.
Transfer the dough to your counter and bring together to form a round disc. Flatten to about 1″ thick. The flatter the disc, the more quickly the dough will chill and the easier it will be to roll out. Let chill for at least 1 hour. I like to leave it overnight and resume the process the next day.
Preheat oven to 350.
Once the dough has chilled, take it out and leave on the counter for about 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of your room, to soften slightly before rolling. It should be cold but pliable. Roll out the dough into a 1/4″ thick circle. If at any point it gets too soft, place the dough onto a sheet pan and place in the fridge for 5 minute before resuming.
Fit the dough into your 9″ tart pan. Place into the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm. Then line with parchment, fill with pie weights and bake for 20 minutes or until the dough appears dry. Remove the parchment and weights and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
For the filling:
In a small saucepan, stir the heavy cream, butter and salt, over medium heat, until the butter has melted. Add the glucose and stir until combined. Remove from heat.
In a medium saucepan, stir the sugar and water, over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, without stirring, until the sugar syrup is a medium brown color. Remove from the heat. Slowly add the cream mixture. It will bubble up. Stir until completely combined.
Pour the caramel into the tart shell. Refrigerate until the caramel has set, approximately 1 hour.
For the ganache:
In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it just starts to bubble at the edges. Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate. Let stand for a couple of minutes. Mix with a silicone spatula until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour ganache over the caramel. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate until the chocolate has set, approximately 1-2 hours. The tart can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Just before serving, sprinkle tart with sea salt. After a couple of hours the tart will soften. I like it best just out of the fridge or slightly room temp.
*Glucose is used in this recipe as it helps to keep the caramel soft. If you do not have glucose, you can substitute with corn syrup. David Lebovitz has a great piece on his blog about when to use corn syrup. He includes substitutions and ratios if you prefer to use all sugar. Note, I have not tested the recipe with just granulated sugar. If you do make it, please let me know about the consistency of the caramel.