Sweet and salty is the new cool kid on the block. Whether it's salted caramel sauce, chocolate covered pretzels or bacon and maple syrup, there's no denying that the combination of sweet and salty is truly magical. So I have taken this glorious combination and made the ultimate sweet and salty Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Tart.
Featuring a crispy pretzel biscuit base, a slathering of homemade salted caramel and a thick layer of rich dark chocolate ganache, plus a few pretzels for decoration, it is a truly decadent dessert.
Are you a caramel fan? I can't get enough of the stuff, whatever form it comes in. And now that I know how to make gorgeously creamy salted caramel at home with just four ingredients, I am more tempted than ever. The biscuit base for this tart is made using both digestive biscuits and salty pretzels.
You could use graham crackers instead if you have access to them or any other mildly sweet plain biscuit. You could also use store bought salted caramel if you prefer to make this a quick and easy dessert, but homemade salted caramel is worth the extra trouble.
Once you make the biscuit pretzel base and pour your salted caramel on top, it's time for a little chocolate ganache. Or a rather thick layer actually. I used dark chocolate so it has a rich depth of flavour and isn't too sweet. You will need to give yourself plenty of time for the tart to set, even overnight if you can.
The homemade caramel is super soft and gooey - just the way I like it and is best served cold. If you adore pretzels, caramel and chocolate, then this one is for you. I promise it's a little slice of sweet and salty heaven.
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Tart
Makes one 9 inch / 23 cm tart
Pretzel biscuit crust
1 and 1/2 cups (120 grams) digestive biscuits or graham crackers
1 cup (100 grams) pretzel pieces
2 tablespoons (30 grams) caster sugar
1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter
Salted caramel layer
1 and 1/2 cups (340 grams) caster sugar
1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, chopped, room temperature
1/2 cup (120 ml) thickened or heavy cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups (230 grams) good quality dark chocolate
1 cup (240ml) thickened or heavy cream
Extra pretzels for decorating
Prepare your loose base tart tin by greasing well with butter. Throw your biscuits and pretzel pieces into a food processor and whizz until they resemble fine crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, you could put them into a sealed plastic bag and bang them with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Add the sugar and the melted butter and whizz again until the biscuit crumbs are nice and wet or combine in a large mixing bowl with a spoon. Pour the biscuits into your prepared tin and press into the bottom and up the sides using your fingers or the back of a spoon. Once the base is as smooth as possible, pop into the fridge.
Now onto the salted caramel. In a medium sized saucepan, add the caster sugar and pop onto a medium-high heat. Let the sugar slowly melt, swirling the pan occasionally or giving it a stir with a wooden spoon. Once the sugar completely melts it should be golden in colour, let the sugar bubble away until it turns a slightly darker amber colour, but watch it like a hawk as it can burn very quickly. Once the sugar is completely melted and is dark golden in colour, throw in the chopped pieces of the unsalted butter, and whisk immediately. It will bubble up rigorously so whisk quickly until the butter melts completely.
Then remove the caramel from the stove and slowly pour in the cream whisking rigorously as you go. (Make sure your cream is at room temperature otherwise it will simply seize and burn.) Once the cream is incorporated, add your salt and whisk again. Then return your caramel to the stove on a medium heat and heat it reaches soft ball stage (235 F / 118 C). I recommend popping in a candy thermometer at this stage to take out the guesswork as you need to be really careful not to burn your caramel.* Once the caramel is done, remove from the stove and set aside to cool. When the caramel has cooled down slightly, remove your biscuit base out of the fridge and pour the caramel over the top. Pop back into the fridge to set for 1-2 hours.
To make the chocolate ganache, chop the chocolate into small pieces and pop into a heatproof bowl. Add the cream into a small saucepan and pop on a medium heat until it starts to simmer. Once the cream is warm but before it starts to boil, pour the cream over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave to sit for 2-3 minutes. Then whisk the mixture until it becomes silky and smooth. Grab your tart from the fridge and pour the chocolate ganache over the caramel. Return the tart to the fridge for 4-6 hours or even better, overnight. Press a few pretzels on top of the tart and devour.
*If you don't have a candy thermometer handy, you can test the caramel to see if its ready by using this technique HERE.