Chocolate Shortbread Caramel Tart Recipe
This Chocolate Shortbread Caramel Tart is heaven, if I may be so bold. It was born from yet another lockdown bout of insomnia when I lay awake pondering chocolate based desserts. 4am isn’t the best time to be thinking about food, but some of my best recipe ideas crop up during those dark hours. This soft dark shortbread with a rich caramel centre is a dream to make and eat, and you have my inability to nod off to thank for it.
This gem is based on my Cherry Shortbread Tart, which is one of my most utilised recipes. I vary the fillings on a weekly basis, but with this Chocolate Shortbread Caramel Tart, it reaches a whole new level of deliciousness. The base and top is dark chocolate shortbread and the filling is a generous whole tin of caramel, so this is not a light offering. A thin slither was plenty for me, but evidently not for the men in my life who preferred more of a wedge. I served mine with some Ovaltine ice cream *recipe coming next week*. It’s malty softness was perfect, however, a lake of double cream would also work here.
I am now sleeping with a notebook beside my bed for fear of missing out on any nuggets of culinary wisdom in the night. So far this tart is the only real gem, but I’ll keep you posted.
Carnation caramel has been on the missing list during lockdown. In fact, I did have to resort to the old school, and slightly alarming, process of boiling tins of condensed milk for my caramel brownies at one stage. Thankfully, it’s back now and I’m keeping a steady supply for my new favourite dessert.
Make a start by buttering, generously, an 8 inch or 20cm loose bottomed flan tin and pre heating your oven to 160 degrees fan assisted. Next, either using your food processor, a stand mixer or a bowl with a spoon, beat the soft butter, vanilla and caster and brown sugars until they’re lighter in colour and texture.
Scrape down the sides then add the flour, cocoa and salt and mix again.
Stop when you have a soft, chocolatey dough.
Press half the dough into the base of your buttered tin, in a reasonably level layer.
Empty the whole tin of caramel onto the base and carefully smooth into an even layer. Be gentle doing this as you don’t want to disturb the shortbread base.
Sprinkle the remaining half of the dough on top of the caramel, dotting it over the surface until it’s covered.
Place the tin onto a baking sheet then put into the pre heated oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
Your chocolate tart is cooked when it’s firm, the caramel is bubbling and it’s smelling irresistible. Leave the tart to cool in the tin, for ease of removal, until it’s just warm. Then serve in modest, or generous, slices with the cream based accompaniment of your choice.
This is simple entertaining at it’s finest. Perfect if you’re easing yourself back into cooking for guests, who will almost certainly be far more appreciative than your ungrateful family members.
Chocolate Shortbread Caramel Tart Recipe
Serves 6 to 8, it’s quite rich
You will need a well buttered 8 inch or 20cm loose bottom flan tin
230g soft butter
100g caster sugar
40g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
280g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 x 400g tin Carnation Caramel or dulce de leche
Ice cream and/or cream and berries to serve
Pre heat your oven to 160 degrees fan assisted and butter your 20cm loose bottom flan tin.
Either in your food processor or stand mixer or bowl with a spoon beat the soft butter, caster and brown sugars and vanilla until lighter in colour and texture.
Weigh the flour, cocoa and salt then add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until you have a soft chocolatey dough. Press half the dough into the base of your buttered tin forming an even layer.
Empty the whole tin of caramel onto the base and carefully spread into an even layer taking care not to disturb the shortbread case. Crumble the last half of the chocolate dough onto the caramel in a rough layer.
Place the tart on a baking sheet and place in the oven for around 45 to 50 minutes or until it’s firm, the caramel is bubbling and smelling divine. Leave to cool on a wire rack until the tart is just warm.
Carefully remove from the tin and serve in modest wedges with ice cream and/or cream and some summer fruit, if you like.
Any leftovers will keep, well wrapped, in a tin for a couple of days.