I have become obsessed with The Great British Baking Show. You know you’ve watched too many episodes when you hear Mary and Paul’s voice in your head while baking. Just yesterday I made a sourdough loaf that ended up being undercooked in the center. As I sliced into the bread all I could hear was Paul saying, “that’s raw. I’m not going to eat that.” I think I have to detox for a couple of days. On the bright side, I did get some dessert inspiration from their chocolate episode. One of the contestants made a chocolate tart that looked absolutely divine. I wanted it. And so, the following morning, I woke up and made myself a heavenly tart. I call this a triple threat chocolate tart, loaded with caramel, peanut butter mousse, and chocolate. Look out Paul, I’m coming for you!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This triple threat chocolate tart is not for the weak. It’s that one dessert that gets you weak in the knees because it’s so rich and heavenly. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth every second.
Let’s start by making the chocolate tart crust. The crust is the only part of the pie that needs to be baked. Mix together all-purpose flour with cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt, and cold butter using a pastry cutter. Blend in the butter until it’s well incorporated and the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add the egg yolk and heavy cream and knead the dough until it becomes one cohesive mass. Wrap up the dough and chill in the fridge; chilling the dough before baking it will help prevent it from shrinking while baking.
While the dough is chilling, make the caramel. I will admit, caramel is my biggest nemesis. Some days I will get it perfectly right the first time and other days it will take me 2 or 3 batches. This method uses the dry caramel method in which the sugar is melted alone. Adding water and cornstarch can help prevent it from crystallizing but this is my basic go-to recipe.
If the sugar starts to brown more quickly on one side of the pot, gently swirl the pot to evenly distribute the sugar. Do not stir the sugar until it has reached the amber color because this can cause crystallization.
Slowly add the heavy cream to the browned sugar and bring to a boil. Watch out because the sugar will bubble vigorously! Finish the caramel with butter and chopped peanuts and cool completely.
Now back to the chocolate tart. Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick and transfer it to your tart pan. To easily transfer the dough without tearing it, take the bottom insert of your tart pan and slide it under the dough. Carefully lift up the insert and place it into the tart shell. Make sense? Good.
Blind bake the tart shell (meaning bake it with weights) to prevent it from puffing up. Remove the weights for the last ten minutes and continue to bake. I would normally say bake until golden brown but because of the cocoa, it’s already brown, haha!
Cool the tart shell completely and pour the caramel sauce on top.
Moving on to the third element, the peanut butter mousse. This mousse is everything I dream about. It’s silky, creamy, and so rich. To make the mousse, whip together creamy peanut butter with powdered sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla. Stir in a small amount of the whipped cream to loosen the batter and fold in the remaining whipped cream until everything is well incorporated. Spread the mousse in the tart on top of the caramel and let it sit for 1 hour in the fridge.
Finish the triple threat chocolate tart with the chocolate ganache and chill for another 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set. Now you can finally dig in.
Okay, so this tart tastes different at different temperatures. If you enjoy the tart immediately after, the peanut butter mousse will be very creamy and the tart will be quite indulgent. If you let the tart chill overnight or even for a couple of hours, the mousse will harden just a bit and the dessert becomes more firm. I honestly enjoyed it at both stages but it was easier to eat an entire slice after it has chilled. It might have been a little too easy to eat the entire tart…
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