Easy Decadence

It's no wonder that people find themselves feeling blah when January rolls around. The holidays have just passed and we're spending time removing festive decorations, shoveling what seems like a never-ending dump of snow, and trying to lose a zillion pounds by limiting ourselves to gazing longingly at bushels of carrots and celery. Maybe it's time to just be a little extra good to ourselves and the rest of it will work its way into our routines. Maybe a warm bath, a little reading by the fireplace, and a slice of a decadent dessert are just what we need when the season fights hard to make us sigh.

What if I told you an elegant chocolate salted caramel tart like this could be made in a little over a half hour, is easily stored in the refrigerator for at least a week (if it lasts that long), and pairs really well with your favorite nightcap? Grab your tart pan and a can of sweetened condensed milk - the secret to quick caramel - and get ready to be impressed.

If you'd rather use milk chocolate in the topping, you can do that. My preferences lie with dark chocolate and I do think it looks prettier, but the instructions do not change if you switch the dark chocolate chips out for milk chocolate ones. You can also omit the almonds if nuts are not your thing.

Simple treats like this one are enough to remind us that this post-holiday season of chill and snow really does have a silver lining - the weather does tend to keep us at home a bit more and gives us a chance to pamper ourselves a bit and remember that being good to us is an important part of moving into and through a New Year. So enjoy a small slice of heaven and raise a glass to the season of self care!

Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart

  • 1 package pie crust dough, unrolled and pressed into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable base
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 - 3 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/3 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips
  • Sea salt flakes, for topping
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds, for topping

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool while you prepare the caramel filling.

To make the caramel filling, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine – the butter may not incorporate fully.

Once it starts bubbling and the sugar is completely melted, pour in the sweetened condensed milk, whisking as you go. Whisk constantly until you see steam coming off the caramel (~ 4 minutes), then remove from the heat. Add the salt (adjust to taste), then pour the caramel into the tart crust.

Bake the tart in the 325°F oven for 15 minutes or until the edges of the caramel surface are golden and the surface has a “skin” on it, but the caramel is still soft and the centre jiggles slightly. Cool the tart on the counter while you make the chocolate glaze.

To make the chocolate glaze, place the cream and chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Microwave in two separate 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth. Pour the chocolate carefully over the base. Smooth the top and sprinkle with sea salt flakes and almonds.

Refrigerate for 1 ½ hours to allow the chocolate to set. Remove and bring to room temperature before slicing to serve. Use caution when removing the tart pan sides from the base of the pan.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes

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