- We've used the combination of those three flavors once before since I've been in TWD, for brownie caramel cake that was chosen almost exactly a year ago. That time I substituted macadamia nuts and toffee bits for the peanuts.
- I wanted to emphasize the salted edge of the caramel, so I decided to use roasted salted pecans from Trader Joe's. The best part is that they are already chopped in tiny pieces, just perfect for adding crunch to the tart.
- There are several components in this tart, all of which need to be prepared and chilled in advance of assembling the tart.
- I was a little bit wary about over-handling the tart dough, and unsure about how high to press the dough in my tall tart pan, so I think my crust could have been thinner/tall, thus holding more filling.
- I don't have a ton of caramel-making experience (and truth be told the idea of making caramel is still pretty scary to me) so this skillet method was new and different for me. Because there is a relatively small quantity of sugar in the skillet I had to tilt the pan to measure the temperature, even though my digital thermometer has the sensor in the tip. One thing I did that really helped: I held my skillet in the air above the burner, checking the temperature – and lowered it to the burner at intervals to better control the heat.
- In the recipe Dorie gives both time and temperature for the last step of the caramel. I was glad to have the thermometer; mine reached the correct temp in half the time – just over a minute.- My caramel cooked to a deep amber, producing a very strong toffee flavor
- When I assembled the tart, I had too much ganache. I filled the tart shell as high as I dared, then froze the leftover ganache. I've learned that ganache in the freezer will never go to waste.
- For some reason the recipe is very specific: "refrigerate the tart for 30 minutes - no longer". I followed that exactly (I was afraid not to!) but my ganache ended up a bit soft. That just wasn't enough time for it to set properly. I was much happier with the texture of the piece I left in the fridge overnight:
The entire book group was enamored with this tart, and all the members were quite vocal (and quotable) in their reactions:
SF: "You taste this and it makes your toes tingle"
JT: "This is the taste of love"
AT: "The toffee notes are my favorite flavor"
HY: "This might be the best thing you've ever made"
Thanks to Carla of Chocolate Moosey for choosing this week's deliciousness! You can find the recipe for the Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart, on Carla's tart post, or on pages 355-357 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.