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Chocolate, Pecan, and Caramel Tart

Chocolate, Pecan, and Caramel Tart


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Ingredients

  • 7 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 (about) pecan halves, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar in processor until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter; process until moist clumps form. Press mixture firmly over bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake crust until golden and firm, about 7 minutes. Cool completely on rack.

  • Stir bittersweet chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Pour chocolate into tart crust. Using small metal spatula, spread over bottom of crust. Arrange 1 1/2 cups pecans in single layer over chocolate.

  • Mix 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 3/4 cup cream and 2 tablespoons butter (mixture will bubble vigorously). Set over low heat; stir until caramel is smooth, about 1 minute. Pour over pecans atop chocolate in crust. Chill until set, about 45 minutes.

  • Stir milk chocolate and 1/4 cup cream in heavy saucepan over low heat until smooth. Pour over caramel; spread evenly. Arrange 1/2 cup pecans around edge of tart. Chill at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Reviews Section

Sea-salted chocolate and pecan tart recipe

To make the crust, cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks and 35ml water and mix well until all the liquid has been incorporated. Gradually add the flour and cocoa powder until a paste is formed. This can all be done in an electric mixer or food processor if you prefer.

Wrap the pastry in foil or clingfilm, flatten it with your hand and refrigerate for 1 hour. The pastry can be made 2 days ahead, or even longer since it freezes well, though in this case you may want to knead the pastry to soften it before rolling.

Sprinkle your surface with flour and roll out the pastry until it is about 5cm bigger than your tart ring or tin. I recommend using a ring that is 24cm in diameter and 2.5cm deep.

Carefully line the ring or tin, pushing the pastry well into the bottom edges and folding the excess over the top. Trim off the excess. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to relax the pastry and to help prevent it from shrinking during cooking.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line the tart with a sheet of parchment paper – scrunch it up first to soften it – then tip in baking beans, rice or lentils and bake blind for 20 minutes. Lift out the beans and bake for a further 5 to 8 minutes, until the base is dry. Allow to cool.

To make the filling, put all the ingredients in a glass or metal mixing bowl – place it over a pan of very hot water and allow them to melt together until glossy and thick. Pour into your cold, baked crust and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the topping, heat a saucepan until warm and add the sugar, gradually mixing until you have a golden liquid caramel. Add the salt and mix well. Pour in the pecans and, mixing thoroughly, quickly pour the mixture on to a parchment sheet and spread out with a spatula. Allow to cool thoroughly, then break or chop up into shards or chunky pieces to sprinkle over the ganache.

Cut the tart with a hot, wet knife for perfect, restaurant-quality slices. Serve alone with a glass of Banyuls or Maury wine.

This recipe is taken from Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A Young, published by Kyle Cathie, priced £17.99


Easy florentine chocolate drops (pictured above)

My son loves making these with me. You can swap the nuts, dried fruit or chocolate (dark, milk or white) to suit your tastes: just keep the amounts the same.

Prep 10 min
Chill 30 min
Cook 30 min
Makes 24

200g good-quality dark chocolate, broken up
40g flaked almonds
40g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 ball stem ginger, drained and roughly chopped
60g sour cherries
4 medjool dates, stoned and roughly chopped
1 good pinch flaky sea salt

Fill a medium saucepan with water and put on the heat until simmering. Put a heatproof glass bowl on top, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water, add the chocolate, and melt. Once melted, remove the bowl and turn off the heat.

Put the almonds and pistachios in a medium-sized frying pan and toast until they smell fragrant. Add the maple syrup, stir, then take off the heat. Add the stem ginger, sour cherries and dates, stir again, then transfer to a bowl.

Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Carefully drop tablespoons of the melted chocolate on to the sheet, creating roughly 5cm rounds, six to eight per tray.

While the chocolate is still melted, scatter over a mixture of fruit and nuts. Finish with a pinch of salt and put in the fridge to set for half an hour. These are best enjoyed with your mum, or another brilliant woman.


The wines

Moscato d’Asti, Canelli, Cerutti, Piedmont, Italy 2014

An incredibly delicate dessert wine, almost like drinking a sorbet in a glass. This is one of those wines you simply cannot stop sniffing, with the most beautiful sweet, citrusy and fruity notes. RRP: £12.95 from Berry Bros & Rudd

Blandy’s Sercial 10-Year-Old Madeira from Portugal

This Sercial has a real sophistication to it which really enhances this indulgent, chocolatey dessert. Aged for 10 years in an American Oak barrel, the wonderful, dryer woody notes work so beautifully on the palate with the sweet caramel of the tart. RRP: £19.49 from Waitrose

12 year-old Balvenie DoubleWood Whisky

This dessert truly is an absolute treat and delight, and combined with the spicy, sweet and nutty flavours of this 12 year-old Balvenie it makes for the most perfect pairing. RRP: Sainsbury’s £35.00


Chocolate, Pecan, and Caramel Tart - Recipes

Greetings to you all from baby land! We’re two weeks in with our new little guy, and I’m thrilled (read: shocked! amazed! perplexed!) to tell you that we’re actually doing so well. I’m not sure what I anticipated this time to be like, but we’ve had such an outpouring of love and support that this transition has been mind-blowingly sweet. Here in the South, people go all out when you have a baby. There’s gifts and baby snuggling and offers to babysit the bigger kids, of course, but hands down my very favorite perk (outside of the baby itself, duh) is all of the food people bring you. Casseroles, baked goods, snacky treats, and booze show up at your door more frequently than the UPS guy on Amazon Prime delivery day. People bring you lasagnas and pot pies and tossed salads like your milk production depends on it, and this kind of generosity is one of those Southern hospitality things that I love so much. Since I’ve had fewer meals to make, I had time to create a new treat to share with you all today: chocolate caramel pecan tarts.

Sweet and salty is my all-time favorite, and the combination of chocolate, salted caramel, and a buttery pecan and graham cracker crust is just the ticket. Made with Diamond Nuts pecans, these little tarts are a show-stopper and definitely qualify as one of those desserts that people will be talking about for a long time. Although they may appear to be complicated, there’s plenty of shortcuts and make-ahead options that will simplify the baking of these little treats.

To prepare them, we start by crushing graham crackers and finely chopping pecans. Sugar, salt, and melted butter are added to the crumbs and the sand-like mixture is pressed into the bottom of mini tart pans with removable bottoms. The bottomless pans make for easily removal so that your tarts look tidy and seriously professional. Bake the crusts for a few minutes at 350 degrees and get started preparing the ganache.

Equal parts dark chocolate and warm heavy cream are stirred together until a thick pourable chocolate can be layered into the bottom of the baked shells. Once the ganache has had a chance to set, the chocolate caramel pecan tarts are ready for their second layer, salted caramel sauce. You can make your sauce homemade (I prefer this recipe!) or purchase it from the store. I love homemade caramel and almost always have a jar in my fridge, but if this intimidates you, just opt for the store-bought. Spoon a couple of tablespoons on top of the set ganache and allow to caramel to cool to room temperature.

At this point, the chocolate caramel pecan tarts can rest in the fridge or even freeze for a week or two. When you’re ready to serve them, bring them to a cool temp and top with a creamy dollop of whipped cream. A sprinkle of toasted pecans finishes out these chocolate caramel pecan tarts and they’re ready for serving. These little treats are a sweet and salty delight your guests (or just you, no judgement) will seriously enjoy.

I’ve had the most fun working with Diamond Nuts this past year. It’s incredibly easy to support and brag on a brand you love and trust, and their partnership has been one I’ve loved sharing with you. I’ll leave some links to other nutty recipes below so that you can give their products a try in your own home. If you’re looking for a recipe to try right away, I hope you’ll give these chocolate caramel pecan tarts a go. The pecans are the flavorful little stars of the show here, and this crust is one that you can utilize in other recipes as well. If you make time to bake them for yourselves, let me know what you think in the comments below! As always, thank you for supporting brands that make Wood and Spoon possible.


Chocolate Pecan Caramel Tart

Grease then line a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom or 9-inch pie pan with pastry. Press pastry in bottom and up sides of pan. Trim edges if necessary. Generously prick crust with a fork.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool completely then line pastry with pecan halves.

Caramel Layer

In a medium saucepot over medium-high heat, whisk together water, sugar, and cream of tartar until syrup comes to a boil.

Insert a candy thermometer and boil, undisturbed, for about 10 minutes or until syrup reaches 310 F.

While the syrup is boiling, combine heavy cream with butter and vanilla and place aside.

Once syrup reaches 310 F., immediately whisk in cream mixture, return mixture to a boil then reduce heat to medium. Boil, undisturbed, 10-12 minutes or until caramel reaches 240°F on the candy thermometer.

Pour caramel evenly over the pecans. Refrigerate 10 minutes to set.

Ganache

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat. Add chopped chocolate, brown sugar, and vanilla and set aside. Let stand for 10 minutes then gently stir until smooth.

Spread at least half of the ganache over the pecan caramel layer. Pour remaining ganache into a mixing bowl and set that bowl in a bowl of ice. Using a hand mixer, beat for 30 seconds or just until whipped and lighter in color. Scrape the whipped ganache into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe rosettes on the tart.


Reviews ( 27 )

Oh man was this good! I ended up making this for Christmas Eve at my parents house. It was a hit! The crust was like a sugar cookie and the caramel and pecans were a perfect blend! This was the first time I made a tart so I was a little nervous, but it was so easy. I'm pretty sure my tart pan was 9-inches which made things interesting, but I cut the crust down after baking it and didn't use all of the pecan caramel mixture. It did overflow a bit, so I took it out early and it still tasted great! Will definitely make this again!

Have made this quite a few times (using caramel ice cream topping, not honey) and it is always a hit. One slice is never enough!

Oh my gosh! This is THE best pecan tart I have ever eaten! I wil never, ever use corn syrup again in my pecan pies or tarts! I baked this for a sunday church service and it literally disappeared within 10 minutes! Got so many compliments. Followed the recipe EXACTLY as written and i wouldn't add or change a thing. Sooooo good!

Super recipe! Filling was not overly sweet, showcasing the pecans as the stars. I used unfiltered, raw honey in the filling but did not drizzle the top. Added a dash of cardamon and cinnamon to crust for spice, and a TBs of ice water to have it come together, as I used my hands to mix the dough. A dollop of fresh whipped cream was added at serving. yum!

Watched an episode of Chef's Life last night from Season 2 (think it was episode 8?) in which Chef Vivian Howard noted that she soaks the raw pecans in cold water (and then dries them off) before putting them in the oven because it and concentrates the roasted pecan flavor AND helps keep them from burning while toasting.

This is by far the best dessert ever. I didn't toast the pecans first because they would be plenty toasted for me in the baking process. I did use homemade caramel sauce instead of the honey and the taste was outstanding. I like the caramel better than the honey. Other than that, made the recipe as stated, baked it for the suggested time. The crust is just wonderful. Make this tart, you willnnot be disappointed.

I made this for Sunday dinner a few days ago and my entire family (even those that don't normally eat nuts) was blown away with this. The caramel pecan tart is way better than pecan pie. It was great and easy to make. Next time I am going to try another reviewers suggestion to drizzle the tart with melted chocolate. I will be making this often. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

This is the best pecan bars ever! I used tart pan which made it so pretty. A Keeper!

Made this a couple of times when the recipe first appeared in SL Mag. I don't care for pecan pie, because of all that jellied syrupy filling in it, but this is my idea of pecan pie, chalk full of nuts minus the "jelly stuff." Deliciously rich tart. -)

I made these as bar cookies and everyone now wants the recipe. It's not inexpensive to make with 3 1/2 cups of pecans, but it's so worthwhile.

This is SOOOOO delicious. I've made it twice for my boss, who says it reminds him of a French dessert because it's so wonderfully buttery. Made it in a springform pan both times, and both times I drizzle melted dark chocolate on top. Make this!!

This is a great pecan tart recipe. The tart is much tastier than pecan pie that has the sugary goo filler between the crust and layer of pecans. I used a spring form pan which made for easy cutting and serving. A tart pan would have been more decorative but I used what was on hand. The crust was easy to make and suitable for the filling. I took an earlier reviewer's suggestion and used caramel ice cream topping instead of honey loved the flavor. To add a little extra pizzazz, I lightly drizzled some melted dark chocolate over the top the tart. I’ll make this recipe again next Thanksgiving and for other special occasions.


You will need the following ingredients to make this Caramel Pecan Tart recipe: Pecans, All Purpose Flour, Powdered Sugar, Unsalted Butter, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Unsalted Butter and Whipped Cream.

Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cool.
Pulse flour, powdered sugar, and ¾ cup butter in a food processor 5 to 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pat mixture evenly on bottom and up sides of a lightly greased 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cool.
Bring brown sugar, honey, &frac23 cup butter, and whipping cream to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in toasted pecans, and spoon hot filling into prepared crust.
Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes or until completely cool.


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