As a child, my love for caramel slice resulted in possibly immoderate consumption, each time I baked. Here is a grown-up’s version, where baked condensed milk is replaced with a real, rich, chewy caramel – just remember to take care when cooking the caramel. As soon as the sugar starts to become golden, keep a steady eye on the pot and be very careful when adding the butter and cream. This can also be made as a large tart, set in the fridge and kept for another day, just remember to allow the tart to come to room temperature before cutting.
Makes: 6 tarts
Preparation time: 30 min plus cooling
Cooking time: 20 min
1 x packet sweet shortcrust pastry
6 x fluted individual tart rings
220g caster sugar
80g unsalted butter, cubed
90ml pure cream
½ tsp salt flakes
200g good-quality 70% dark chocolate
200g pure cream
Pre-heat oven to 170C. Take the shortcrust pastry, cut discs 3cm wider than the tart rings and prick all over with a fork. Gently press pastry into the bases, trimming the edges with a small knife afterwards. Chill in fridge for 10 minutes to firm up the pastry, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden and brown.
In a small pot, bring water and sugar to the boil. Clean down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush if sugar crystals begin to form. Watching carefully, the sugar syrup will begin to turn light yellow and then golden brown. As soon as the caramel is golden brown, carefully add the butter, whisking to combine, and then the cream. Take the pot off the heat, stir in the salt and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then pour carefully into the pre-cooked tart bases. Set for 30 minutes, and then finish with the chocolate layer.
Whilst the caramel is cooling in the tart bases, chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. In a small pot, bring cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Stand for 2 minutes and then whisk to combine. Pour carefully over the set caramel layer, and chill for 20 minutes to set the chocolate.
Serve at room temperature, with an extra sprinkling of salt on top.