Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart
This tart… oh my gosh.
Chocolate shortbread crust + homemade salted caramel + chocolate ganache + fleur de sel.
That all adds up to one heck of a dessert!
I’ve had this recipe clipped from a Donna Hay magazine for way, way too long. Last week I was flipping through recipes, looking for ideas for Sunday dessert, and this totally leapt off the page at me.
Not only did the combination of components sound absolutely phenomenal, but I’m really partial these days to recipes that can be made in steps… bonus if each step can be completed within the amount of time that a 7-month old naps :)
I’ve been crazy about the combination of chocolate, caramel and sea salt since my sister started making stops at a local chocolate shop last summer and showing up to our house with baggies of chocolate-covered salted caramel. Everyone in our family has become a little obsessed with them, then a few weeks ago, she brought a bar of super dark chocolate with sea salt. The salt is flaked and provides little bits of crunch when you bite into the bar. It’s basically one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, so when I saw this tart, with all of its chocolate and caramel and salt, I knew it would be a big hit.
This chocolate crust is tender and topped with a super simple caramel filling made from just sugar and water. (The recipe calls for superfine sugar, which I order from King Arthur Flour, but if you don’t have any, you can just run regular granulated sugar through a food processor or coffee/spice grinder.) The caramel sets up in the perfect consistency – it’s firm, yet still soft and just a bit gooey when you dig into it with a fork. Add chocolate ganache to the equation and you have a heart-stopping dessert that will leave folks oohing and aahing over an empty plate.
If you’re looking for an incredibly impressive dessert that has a wonderful balance of sweet and salty, and varying textures, this is your recipe. Plus, each component can be completed easily and relatively quickly, which makes this a perfect recipe for assembling ahead of time.
Three years ago: Peach Strudel
Four years ago: Honey-Fig Scones
Five years ago: Lemon Bars
Six years ago: Potato-Bacon Torte
Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart
For the Crust:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup (80 g) powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup (28.67 g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1½ cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Caramel Filling:
- ¾ cup (178.5 ml) heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1½ cups (300 g) superfine sugar
- ½ cup (125 ml) water
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) fleur de sel, or other flaky sea salt
For the Chocolate Glaze:
- ½ cup (119 ml) heavy cream
- 5 ounces (141.75 g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- Fleur de sel, to garnish
- Make the Crust: Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and process until pale in color, about 10 seconds. Add the cocoa powder, flour, egg and vanilla and pulse until a soft dough forms (about 10 1-second pulses). Turn out into a round 9-inch tart pan and press into the bottom and up sides. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough is baked through. Set aside.
- Make the Caramel Filling: Place the cream and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and warm until the butter has melted; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil, without stirring, until dark golden and the mixture reaches 340 degrees F on a thermometer. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture (be cautious, as it will bubble up). Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the fleur de sel and pour into the pastry shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.
- Make the Chocolate Glaze: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer. Refrigerate until set, at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional fleur de sel before serving. Leftovers should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Huge hit with children and adults at one family function. Gone in less than 60 seconds!
Hi, Can the caramel sauce be made a day or two before you assemble and serve it?
Hi Christy, Yes, absolutely!
Hi, please suggest what can be used instead of egg in this recipe .
Agree caramel was far too cooked- tasted borderline burnt, and was absolutely rock solid! Would’ve broken our teeth on it if I hadn’t microwaved them first. Could still only eat half. Pastry was good though.
I just made this tart. But my tart shell seems to be stuck to the pan. I cant seem to wiggle it off. Any tips?
Is there any substitute for eggs in the crust? Have a kiddo with allergies. Thanks!
Lovely recipe! I just made this tonight and everything turned out beautifully. Slicing held together gorgeous, and the centre is salty and a tad chewy and absolutely luscious with the glaze on top. Huge hit for all!
Tried making the ganache TWICE! As I was strirng the cream into the chocolate it started getting granular. Did I say TWICE? yes. I made a double batch, could that have been the issue?
I tried to use this caramel filling for a salted caramel wanut tart but when it cooled it crystallized. Any idea where I put have gone wrong? It looked smooth when I poured it in. Not sure what happened.
I made this for Christmas dessert. I followed instructions to the tee. However, it doesnt seem like it set up. Do you need to keep it refrigerated right up until serving? I kept it out, and when it came time to serve, it was a gooey mess!! Should the caramel have been firmer? The taste was incredible!! Help!
The caramel section of this recipe says bring it to 340 F and that seems crazy since that is past hard crack even….pretty sure it is suppose to say 240F? I double checked with other recipes, even your own Twix tart, and it says 240F. Hopefully no one wasted ingredients trying this out.
Hi Amy, I cook the caramel for my salted caramel sauce to 350 degrees. Don’t forget, you’re adding butter and cream, which softens and liquifies the caramel.
I thought the temp was weird too. I let it get up to about 300 before I called it. It was getting too dark and I didn’t want to break my grandparents’ teeth on this tart. I’m still in process of cooking it so we shall see how it turns out! Fingers crossed.
Hello. I’ve been meaning to make this for a long, long time. I am wondering if I make it for a dessert auction, how long it would be okay to leave sitting out at room temperature before it starts to “melt”/get too soft??
Hi Juli, I’ve left this out all day at room temperature without an issue.
This is delicious. It’s like a giant, more sophisticated Twix bar. Per the comments saying the caramel was too hard/chewy, I took my caramel off around 320 degrees, but then thickened it for around 8 minutes after adding the cream & butter. Turned out perfectly. Firm enough to pick up with a fork, but gooey enough that it was easy to eat. I recommend getting it out of the fridge 30 mins-1 hour before serving. Great step-by-step instructions.
How do you thicken the caramel mixture after adding the dairy? Put it back on the stove??
I love salted caramel and made start making myaelf once but after cutting into it and putting the rest back in the fridge the caramel had all squished out the sides from the slice I had out. Does this receive so that when storing the leftovers or does it hold its shape.
Hi, thanks for the lovely recipe. It looks amazing. Is there any harm in using 40-50% chocolate instead of a dark for the ganache? So like a darker milk chocolate.
Hi Max, Not at all! I actually prefer a milkier chocolate with caramel myself :)
Silly question but do I take the tart out of the pan to serve?? Never baked ina tart pan before and I’m wondering if I serve it from the pan (like pie) or remove it (like a cake) to serve
Hi Hanna, Most tarts pans have a removable bottom, so you can slide the sides off, sort of like a springform pan.
I had such high hopes for this! I made this for mothers day yesterday and the caramel was so hard and chewy! I could barely cut it :(…..and I followed directions perfectly! Perhaps the caramel needs less time on the stove? I would love to try and make this again with some tips to make perfect caramel.
Hi Leanne, Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear this didn’t turn out for you. It should definitely be a soft caramel. I assume you used a thermometer? After you put it back on the heat, did it thicken before that 5 minutes and did you keep cooking for a full 5 minutes? That could have been the issue.
Looks delicious decided to try…
worst measurement guide what size cup are you referring to ?
The caramel did not work at all probably because of the measures given , it also needs a lot longer than 30 mins in the fridge to set the caramel before pouring on the chocolate .
My finished tart looks great but tastes awful …. very disappointing an afternoon wasted ?
This tart is AMAZING. However, it is very rich. You absolutely can get 10 servings from this recipe.
My caramel was a bit runny. I probably took it off the stove a little too soon. No worries. Everything still tasted amazing. Believe it or not, if you add a little dollop of fresh whipped cream, lightly sweetened, it actually made the tart a bit less rich. Two of my guests preferred it that way. Regardless, this recipe is a keeper!!!
A question, can any of the steps be done in advance? Like say make the crust and bake the night before and then do the caramel and ganache in the morning?
Hi Elissa, Yes, you could totally do that!!
I plan to make this for Thanksgiving. It looks amazing. But I don’t know what kind of dark chocolate to get? Unsweetened? Semi-sweet? Bittersweet? Is there a % of cocoa I should use? (I bought one that is 62% cocoa). What kind should I use??
Hi Nancy, Yes, 62% would work perfectly. I normally go for anything between 60-70% when a recipe calls for dark or bittersweet chocolate.
Hi. I want to make mini 4″ tarts. Do you know how many mini tarts this will make?
Oh gosh, I am not sure!
I can’t find dutch coco anywhere near me. Is regular Hershey coco powder ok?
Yes, regular unsweetened Hershey’s cocoa powder will be fine.
The crust is amazing! I will use this recipe again. The caramel was so hard and mine came out burnt. It puzzled me that I would cook it beyond the hard crack temp of 300 degrees but I trusted that it would be fine since I have made many of your recipes they come out awesome. 340 degrees was too much for caramel. I would make this again with a different caramel recipe.
Thanks for your great recipes. Keep up the great cooking!
Making this while my 7 month old is awake…I’d rather die than run the food processor during his nap – looks delicious – from one mama to another – thanks!
HA! I made that mistake exactly once and since then I will only use the food processor while Joseph is awake too! LOL! Hope you enjoyed this :)
I made this last night. I’m very excited to bring this to Thanksgiving today.
I have to mention, the sugar burned twice trying to get it to 340. The third time it got to 300 when it reached the proper colour. I immediately took it off the heat and added the dairy. The third attempt has the right taste and colour. I’m hoping it’s texture is good.
This recipe looks fantastic, just a quick question- do you think it is necessary to refrigerate the shortbread dough at all before attempting to put it in the tart tin? Like putting it in the fridge as a disk before rolling it out?
Secondly, when baking the tart crust, do you think pie weights/beans are necessary to keep the bottom from puffing up too much?
Thank you for your delicious recipes!!
Hi Tricia, No need to refrigerate the dough first. You don’t need to weight it down because it’s not a traditional pie crust – it’s sort of like a shortbread cookie. Enjoy!!
I made this! Thank you for the step by step direction, I couldn’t have made this on my own
Could you substitute store bought caramel sauce?
I have never made caramel sauce before anything that requires a candy thermometer intimidates me lol
not sure if I am up to the challenge :)
Hi Laura, I definitely encourage you to try it! A store-bought caramel salted caramel will not set up that firm, so just know that if you use it, your caramel layer will be more ooey-gooey.
Hi!! Your receives are amazing and pics are super Divine.
I have one query! Do we put hot caramel sauce in the baked tart crust?? Or cool and then put?? Won’t the crust get soggy if hot caramel is poured?? Not sure at all so thought to check with you.
Hi Tanisha, Thank you! Yes, the hot caramel should go into the baked crust – it will not turn soggy. Enjoy!
Oh dear! I just measured my tart pan and is `10″!!! will that work?
Hi Fredda, Yes, the layers might just be a bit thinner.
is it possible to swap out the all purpose flour for a gluten free mixture or almond flour?
Hi Kate, I’ve never used a gluten free mix so I couldn’t say for sure how it might affect this particular recipe.
I made this Thanksgiving weekend. My oldest son went for seconds! He wanted me to leave the leftovers for him….it wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be so the flavours were good. I didn’t have flaky sea salt, so used regular sea salt. I would make this again for chocolate/caramel lovers. There is a very fancy dessert place in town, and my son said it could belong there easily…so it was a hit!! Thanks! (Canada)
I made this a few weeks ago and it was a hit! I burned the caramel the first time because of uncooperative utensils (couldn’t get what I needed out of the drawer fast enough). But redeemed myself the second time. So, so delicious.
I slightly overcooked the caramel to 360, so the taste by itself was a little burnt, but in the crust with the sweet chocolate ganache topping it was perfectly balanced. The filling wasn’t hard but thick and perfect. Amazing recipe!
I can’t thank you enough for this recipe, I made it for a friend party and it was the star of the show :) . I did tweak it a little bit,since I was making cheesecake at the same time, I’ve put a very very thin layer before the caramel and bake it for a few minutes. The results were amazing nevertheless I beleive it would be equally heavinly without the cheese. So guys if any of you have been hesitating , just go for it. Really as Michelle said ” your friends will be oohing and ahhing about it ..”
Thanks again :)
Wow, this looks absolutely delicious!
Hi…looks so divine…however, what is Fleur de sel?
Hi Joan, It is flaky sea salt… you can typically find it at specialty kitchen stores like Williams Sonoma or Sur la Table. You could also order it from King Arthur Flour or Amazon. Another type of flaky sea salt is called Maldon.
Hi! Im from Holland and I don’t know what cups are.. Do you know how much that is in grams or something else I can measure with a scale or in milliliters? (sorry for my bad englisch).
Hi, Anna….one cup is 250 mL.
Has anyone made mini tarts with this recipe? I was thinking of using the Pampered Chef mini tart pan and was wondering how many tarts this recipe might make and how many minutes should the crust bake for. Thanks!!!
Oh my does this look delicious!! I actually have this recipe pinned as well and I keep looking at it…. you did a phenomenal job!! I am dying to check out this chocolate shop as well. Thanks for the recommendation!!
Poor Megan (previous comment). I, too, was not eating sugar. Now I am. Thanks to you, Michelle. How can I resist all my favorite things in one amazing dessert?
OH. MY. GOODNESS.. why did I look at your blog at 7:48 am?? This looks INCREDIBLE. Also, I’m not eating sugar right now, so this is torture. This turned out BEAUTIFUL!
Uhhhhh WHERE has this tart been all my life? I need like 3 slices, stat!
Oh my!! I’m thinking this is something I’m going to have to make for myself when my next Birthday rolls around! :D Thanks!!!
This looks absolutely heavenly – I can just imagine how rich and gorgeous those layers of tart crust, salted caramel and chocolate ganache would taste. Perfection in a tart!
This looks delicious. I can’t wait to make it (my cooking list is getting so long, why are there so many great recipes to try, haha)!
Oh wow…time to buy a tart pan for sure. This looks heavenly!
Ain’t this perfect?! Those amazing layers, that richness. Pure joy for any chocoholic like myself.
This is so gorgeous! I honestly would probably eat the whole thing haha!! :)
This looks amazingly delicious. You got me at “each step can be completed within the amount of time that a 7-month old naps.” Just curious, is this when you do most of your baking? My daughter is 11 months and I find it hard to squeeze in recipes between her naps/independent play time. And by the time she goes to bed, I’m usually too exhausted to do more than scrape together dinner..
Hi Megan! Yes, during the week I do all of my playing around in the kitchen when Joseph is sleeping :) It’s a lot more sporadic than it used to be, and some days I get NOTHING done, but I just try to get organized a day or so in advance… if I have a plan of what I want to make, I can get right to it once he’s asleep. He also goes to sleep for the night pretty early (6:30/7:00), so if it’s something quick and easy, I’ll do it after he goes to bed so I still have some time to relax before bed.
I suppose having a plan is a crucial step. I’m not so good at planning ahead and it makes it hard to be productive in the kitchen. You’re definitely an inspiration!
Oh, my – I think you finally outdone yourself.
This looks amazing!! Posts like this make me hate being low carb! Ugh… why can’t caramel and chocolate be low carb?!?
Also, just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy seeing the pics you send of Joseph!
Aww, so glad you enjoy seeing our little guy! :)
Looks absolutely amazing!
Am for sure trying this one!
OMG! The tart looks absolutely sinful — sinfully good that is. It’s a good thing that the past few posts I’ve been concentrating on veggies. Now my eyes can indulge in coveting your tart. I am pinning and saving this for a special occasion. Thank you for sharing.
Positively perfect!! This looks unreal!
The original recipe https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/chocolate-salted-caramel-tart doesn’t call for superfine sugar, I’m wondering if there is an advantage to using it?
Hi Wendy, Oh that’s weird, I have the actual clipping from the magazine and it does specifically call for superfine sugar. I just checked the link you posted and it seems that the entire recipe is just a little bit different – many of the ingredient quantities are different and the instructions are slightly different. I’m not sure which one was published first!
How strange! I did notice that a number of the quantities of ingredients were also different but I thought you’d just tweaked the recipe to make it your own. I’m sure both of them would be equally delicious!
What a show stopper!
Love it and well-done Michelle on yet another amazing dessert
This tart looks completely dreamy. I don’t think I’ve seen a version with a chocolate shortbread crust. And I know that salt is just going to be perfect. Can’t wait to try this myself.