Tarts can be filled with anything you can dream of, which makes it a perfect choice for this month’s Sugar High Friday, hosted by Life in the Flow. I decided the tart theme was a perfect opportunity to build on a recipe for Millionaire’s Shortbread I learned during the caramel SHF back in February. The resulting creation, the Millionaire’s Tart, is filled with caramel and chocolate ganache on top of a shortbread crust, just like the original cookie inspiration. To help the tart live up to its name I planned to decorate it with gold leaf, but after learning it costs $55 per pack I decided to let the smooth ganache filling stand on its own.
Chocolate and caramel is a classic combination, and taste wonderful together in any form (in fact, Andrew said it reminded him of a Twix. I prefer to think of it like Millionaire’s Shortbread, but he’s right!) I love the simplicity and smooth texture of the filling, and think it works well in the crumbly shortbread shell. The end result is so rich I challenge even the most serious chocoholic to finish one by themselves.
I referred to a variety of sources to find recipes for the Millionaire’s Tart. I used Nigella Lawson’s shortbread, Jacques Torres chocolate tart filling and made my own caramel center. The components are easy to make and put together, and can be completed in less than 2 hours. I recommend eating it straight out of the refrigerator once the ganache has set, making it a perfect dessert for a hot summer day.
To assemble the tarts:
1) Bake the shortbread tart shells and set aside to cool.
2) As the tart shells are cooling, make the caramel filling.
3) Spoon the caramel filling into each tart shell, completely covering the bottom of the shell.
4) After the tart shells are filled with caramel, make the ganache.
5) Pour the prepared ganache over the caramel, completely filling the shell. Chill in the refrigerator until set.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Roxanne’s Millionaire’s Shortbread in How to be a Domestic Goddess
Makes six 4.5″ tartlets
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
12 tablespoons of butter
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Put the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter, clumping the dough together to form a ball. Roll out the dough onto a flat surface until 1/8″ thick and cut circles large enough to cover a 4.5″ tartlet pan. Using a spatula, carefully place the dough circles on top of the tart pan and press the dough in along the bottom and sides of the pan, making sure the dough is evenly distributed.
Cover the dough in the tart pan with foil by lightly pressing foil to along the bottom and sides. Fill the foil with rice or pie weights, which will help the tart keep it’s shape during baking. Place the tart shells in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the weights and foil liner from the tart shells and place the shells back into the oven to bake uncovered. Bake for another 20 – 25 minutes or until they turn a light golden brown and are no longer doughy.
40 unwrapped caramels
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
5 tablespoons butter
Place all ingredients in a medium sized glass bowl. Microwave in 1 minute intervals, stirring until the mixture is completely combined and smooth.
Chocolate Tart Filling
Recipe by Jacques Torres in Dessert Circus
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pour the heavy cream and honey into a 1 quart heavy bottomed saucepan and place over a medium-high heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized mixing bowl and make ganache by covering with the hot cream. Add the cream in 2 additions, each time letting the mixture stand for about 30 seconds to allow the heat to spread throughout and then stirring slightly to combine. Once all the hot cream has been added, gently stir the ganache until all the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth. Add the butter and whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
Use a ladle to spoon the ganache into each tartlet shell, completely filling the shell. Fill slowly and allow the ganache to settle. When all shells are filled, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate until set, about 1 1/2 hours.