Chocolate Caramel Tart

by Amy on 26 November 2013

Chocolate Caramel TartWith Thanksgiving just a couple days away, I thought it was the perfect time to share a new dessert recipe that would be *amazing* for your holiday dinner table. A Chocolate + Caramel Tart, topped with sea salt. Swoon! I bookmarked this recipe a while ago, but was waiting for the right occasion to make such a decadent, over-the-top dessert. Conveniently, a fab group of food bloggers and I had our monthly supper club last weekend, and the menu was cozy comfort food – homemade pierogies with all the fixins. The combination of chocolate + caramel is wonderfully comforting to me, so I knew that the supper club would be the perfect occasion to make + share this tart for dessert.

And y’all, the results? Holy moly, this is one fabulous dessert. It starts with a flaky, buttery, chocolate crust. Then, it’s topped with an ooey, gooey sweet homemade caramel layer. Then, a layer of super-rich chocolate ganache, sprinkled with wonderfully-addictive sea salt. Everything combined is scrumptious – rich, delicious, + indulgent. While it’s pretty simple, skill-wise, to make, it does takes a bit of time, as some of the layers need a few hours to set before you can proceed to the next layer. So, start it a day ahead so you have ample time to complete it. I hope lots of you try this for your upcoming holiday dinners — I know you + your families will love it!

Chocolate Caramel Tart

Chocolate Caramel Tart

serves 8, adapted from Saveur


1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks, preferably at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. crème fraiche

1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Gray sea salt for garnish


1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 350˚. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is pale and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Transfer dough to a 9″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and press dough evenly into bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

2. Make the caramel: In a 1-qt. saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tbsp. water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, cream, and crème fraîche (be careful – the mixture will bubble up) until smooth. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm, 4–5 hours.

3. Make the ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour ganache evenly over tart and refrigerate until set, 4–5 hours. Sprinkle tart with sea salt immediately before serving, slice, and serve chilled. (Note: the sea salt will dissolve on the ganache after about 30 minutes, so *do* wait until immediately before serving to sprinkle it on top!)

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leah | So, How's It Taste? November 26, 2013 at 8:44 am

Goodness! I’m speechless over this one. This sounds like something I would absolutely love!

2 alexandra @ sweet betweens blog November 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

This was so so very good. Thanks for bringing it along! Can you believe I’ve not yet made my own caramel? Recreating this tart is the perfect excuse for me to tackle that next kitchen skill.

3 amy November 26, 2013 at 9:09 am

You’re welcome! And you definitely need to try making your own caramel. As long as you have a good thermometer + a little patience, it’s easy. And yes, some people can do it just by look, no thermometer needed, but I’m not one of them! =)

4 Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner November 26, 2013 at 10:00 am

Be still my heart! This is absolutely gorgeous. I need to make this ASAP! Sorry if this is a stupid question…but does “dutch-process” mean? Can I use the standard run of the mill unsweetened cocoa powder?

5 amy November 26, 2013 at 10:19 am

Hi Tina! Dutch process cocoa powder is slightly less acidic than regular cocoa powder, and has a deeper cocoa flavor. That being said, you could definitely just use regular run-of-the-mill cocoa powder and it should turn out just fine! Good question. =)

6 Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry November 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Oh my! Every thanksgiving table deserves one chocolaty dessert and this recipe is it.

7 Choc Chip Uru November 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I don’t think I have ever seen a more beautiful chocolate caramel tart in my life – need. this:D


8 Kelly November 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful looking dessert! I love the flavor combinations here, the cocoa, caramel and chocolate ganache sound heavenly and so decadent. Perfect for impressing all your guests. Pinning, thanks for sharing Amy and hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

9 amy November 26, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Thank you so much, Kelly! Hope you and your lovely family have a fab Thanksgiving, too!

10 Kathryn November 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Oh, this tart! It combines pretty much my two favourite flavours and it looks absolutely beautiful. No wonder it was such a big hit!

11 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel November 26, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Absolutely gorgeous!

12 Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction November 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm

This tart looks perfectly decadent! So pretty!

13 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar November 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm

That slab of caramel in the middle is totally making my mouth water. YUM!

14 angela@spinachtiger November 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm

This is one of your prettiest pictures. I pinned it, chocolate and caramel are my faves. Happy Thanksgiving.

15 amy November 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thank you so much, Angela!

16 Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen November 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm

It sure looks fabulous!! Loving the salt too, omg yum!

17 Monet November 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm

This is STUNNING. I love seeing that layer of caramel…makes me want a slice right now. And the salt on top is the perfect touch. Thank you for sharing!

18 Mimi @ Culinary Couture November 26, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Ok, this is going to be my cheat meal for this week. I can’t resist!

19 Todd @ HonestlyYUM November 27, 2013 at 10:14 am

This is one serious dessert. I’m talking jaw-dropping, contest-winning, hang-up-the-apron-and-retire dessert. There’s never enough chocolate at the Thanksgiving table, so I think this dessert is a must this year. Thanks Amy!!

20 Dina November 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

it looks delish!

21 Suzy November 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Oh. My.
This is gorgeously decadent! Thanks for sharing.
Do you have any advice about how to get such a lovely, clean cut on the slices?

22 amy November 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Hi Suzy! I like to run the knife under hot water before slicing – that’s a trick I learned from my mom! =)

23 Amy (Savory Moments) November 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm

This looks absolutely amazing! What sweet decadence! The sea salt on top definitely puts it over the top!

24 Katherine November 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Wow, this is an absolutely gorgeous tart (the first photo is so lovely). I already have my Thanksgiving pie started this year and I’m wishing I had seen this sooner because I’m dying to try it. Fortunately Christmas is just around the corner so I’ll have another excuse to indulge soon enough :]

25 Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health November 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

i want a big slice of this.

26 Adri November 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

What a beautifully elegant dessert! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

27 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) November 28, 2013 at 6:29 am

Looks delish Amy and Happy Turkey Day. Eat, Drink, and Live Well!!

28 Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl December 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I just fell in love with this tart, it looks absolutely perfect! I would surely take more than one slice.. yum! :)

29 Anne ~ Uni Homemaker December 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm

What a gorgeous tart, Amy! I definitely would love to have this on my holiday table. So rich and luscious! Thanks for the recipe. Have a great week!

30 ashley - baker by nature December 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm

My chocolate loving heart is going wild over this beauty!!!

31 Natalie @ The Sweets Life December 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm

meant to comment on this last week and tell you what a fantastic sounding recipe! plan to make sometime soon!

32 easyfoodsmith December 4, 2013 at 12:45 am

Absolute beauty! Love the first pic of the post…so so so tempting. I am going to bookmark this for my new year’s party :-)

33 Julia December 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

I may just have to make this for Christmas… it looks awesome!

34 amy December 5, 2013 at 9:33 am

You totally should, Julia! It’s perfect for a holiday dessert table since it’s so fancy schmancy. =)

35 Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker} December 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

Ok, this caught my eye on Pinterest. Just beautiful! I will be making this for Christmas! I am so looking forward to it!!

36 Josies - Frozen Yogurt Nutrition Facts December 11, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Really a piece of delicious tart, become hungry now and love to eat. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep sharing.

37 Nick December 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Amy – how far in advance did you do each step? I want to make it for NYE. Can I do it a whole day in advance? Or will it get too hard and cold in the fridge?

38 amy December 30, 2013 at 7:59 am

Hi Nick, I did the crust and the caramel the day before the party, the ganache on the morning of the party, and that gave everything plenty of time to set. Just remember, you need about an hour for the crust to cool before proceeding, 4-5 hours for the caramel to set before proceeding, and 4-5 hours for the ganache topping to set. So yes, you can definitely do it a whole day in advance – it won’t get too hard and cold in the fridge. Just pull it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving so it can warm up a bit. And don’t sprinkle the sea salt on to the top until the very end – it dissolves slowly, so it looks best when it’s been freshly sprinkled on. Enjoy! And report back how it goes!

39 Mai September 13, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Tried it, and the caramel totally didn’t thicken at all, no matter how long I waited. Followed the ingredients and instructions exactly. Had to add a bunch of corn starch to it, which completely ruined the whole thing. Definitely won’t be making again. I guess the ‘fearless’ part of the title comes from willingly eating stuff like this. Epic, disappointing fail. If you were a company, I’d demand a refund.

40 amy September 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Hi Mai. I am neither the author nor developer of this recipe – Saveur is, as I linked to in the post. It’s actually not unheard of or large companies to refund the cost of your ingredients if you followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t turn out, so you may want to reach out to Saveur to see if they’ll do so. Here’s the direct link to their recipe: And since you asked, the “fearless” part of my blog name means different things. It means that I fearlessly try recipes that may be challenging … like this one. Caramel can be extremely finicky, even for experienced bakers. And if a recipe doesn’t turn out for me, it means that I don’t stomp my feet and curse at it and give up. It means that I figure out what went wrong, so I can master that recipe. Since I wasn’t in your kitchen with you, I can only guess. Did the caramel not cook long enough? Did it not reach a high enough temperature? It’s hard for me to guess from here. You may want to read through the comments on the Saveur recipe I linked you to, as they discuss many reasons why caramel doesn’t thicken, and all are fixable. Best of luck in your future culinary endeavors! Cheers, Amy

41 Pepe December 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

I really want to try this cake but in my country we dont have corn syrup. What to use instead? Tks

42 amy December 14, 2014 at 9:54 am

Hey Pepe! What country do you live in? I can certainly help you figure out a substitute. =)

43 Jocelyn November 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm

What if you dont have a candy thermometer? Is it essential?

44 Amy November 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Jocelyn, good question. You don’t need a candy thermometer if you trust yourself to just “eye” the caramel and be able to identify when it’s done. You should cook the caramel until it’s dark amber-colored and smells toasty, but not burnt. At that point, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, cream, and creme fraiche as the recipe describes. Many people who don’t trust that their candy thermometer is calibrated correctly actually prefer to use the color/smell to judge when the caramel is ready, rather than use a thermometer/temperature. So yes, you can do it without a thermometer!

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