Glitz and Glam Chocolate Tart with Chai Caramel

Chocolate Tart with Chai Caramel Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

For the Oscars I thought it would be fun to do a dessert with some bling! There’s nothing like adding gold leaf to a decadent chocolate caramel tart to make it worthy of a black tie affair. I was cozied up in my pajamas with a room full of my girlfriends, but despite our lack of proper attire we sipped champagne and ate gold leaf.

I had lofty aspirations of seeing all of the nominated films, but alas life got in the way and I only saw a couple of them. The film getting all the buzz this year is Slumdog Millionaire, and it is one that I saw. I must say I loved it! The movie, set in India, was complicated, gritty, suspenseful, endearing and touching. All of the qualities that a great movie should have. This movie, along with the newest addition to my cookbook collection La Maison du Chocolat*, was the inspiration for this chocolate tart with chai caramel. I started with the classic combination of chocolate and caramel, but I added the spices of India to the mix.

Cheers and may your favorite film win!

Makes 6-8 Individual Chocolate  Tarts from La Maison du Chocolat:

For pastry:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 egg yolk, room temperature

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For Ganache:

6 1/2 ounces really high quality bittersweet chocolate

2 ounces milk chocolate

1/2 vanilla bean

1/2 cup heavy cream

For the Chai Caramel by Zoë (I added this to the above tart, because I like the combination and thought the spices would compliment the chocolate!)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon corn syrup (prevent the sugar from crystallizing)

1 cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

4 whole cardamon pods

2 tablespoons black tea, very strongly brewed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

pinch salt (If you like a salty caramel add 2 pinches)

1/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche


Edible Gold Leaf

salt (coarse)

Chocolate tart pastry dough sliced | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

To make the pastry:

Place the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a mixer and blend until smooth. Add the egg and egg yolk one at a time and scrape down bowl after each. Add the flour and mix quickly, do not overwork the dough.

Form the dough into a log that is about 2-inches thick. Wrap really well in plastic and refrigerate for about 2 hours. This can be made days ahead and even frozen.

Tart pastry dough rolled out | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Once the dough is chilled cut off a 1/4-inch thick slice and roll it very thin, about 1/16-inch.

Tart pastry dough in tartlet molds | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Place the dough in your individual Tartlet Mold (SMALL FLAN RING or even English Muffin Rings work well). You will get about 6-8 tarts depending on the size of your pans. Once all of your molds are filled, refrigerate the dough and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pie weights on tart pastry dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Fill the chilled dough with foil and Pie Weights ( I use a combination of beans and pie weights. I like the way the weights conduct heat and help with even baking, bu they are expensive so I do a combo!)

Chocolate ganache in tart pastry crust | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake for about 20-25 minutes. They are done when they are light golden. Let the tart shells cool at room temperature.

Make the ganache:

Place the chopped chocolate in large bowl. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise down the middle and scrape out the seeds. Put the heavy cream in a sauce pot on medium heat. Place the vanilla bean and seeds in the cream, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate to the cream, remove the vanilla bean. Make sure all the chocolate is submerged in the hot cream. Let sit for about 3 minutes then stir gently until perfectly smooth.

Pour the ganache directly into the tart shells. Don’t fill all the way to the top, you need to leave room for the caramel. If the ganache sets up before you are ready then just spoon it into the tart shells and smooth it out with a small spatula.

Allow ganache to set at room temperature.

Boiling sugar, water and corn syrup for caramel | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Make the chai caramel:

In a medium sauce pot bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil. Be careful not to get sugar on the sides of the pot or you may get crystallization. Without stirring, allow to boil until the caramel just starts to turn color. Add the spices and stir slightly until the caramel turns a nice amber color. I like a darker caramel, but you will determine what is right for you.

Pouring chai tea into caramel | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Carefully add the tea to the hot caramel. It will sputter so be careful.

Chai Tea Caramel Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add the butter, salt and then the sour cream.

Chai Tea Caramel Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Stir until smooth. Allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes until it is thick. If you add to the chocolate tart when it is still hot you will melt the ganache.

Chocolate Tart with Chai Caramel Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Spoon the caramel on the tarts.

Chocolate Tart with Chai Caramel Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Using a dry, clean paint brush add the gold leaf to the tart. Sprinkle with a bit of the sea salt.

Chocolate Tart with Chai Caramel Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I served the chocolate tart with chai caramel with a bit of blackberry coulis! Do not refrigerate the tarts or the pastry will get soggy.

Let me know if your favorite movie won!

* Thanks for the beautiful book Jen!!!

Happy Mardi Gras!!! If you flambé bananas on top of this tart you will have the ultimate Bananas Foster! 😉

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32 thoughts to “Glitz and Glam Chocolate Tart with Chai Caramel”

  1. What a beautiful dessert! I’m a big chai fan, so I’d love to try making it . . . or at least the chai caramel for another dessert combination. Please let us know spices/quantity (not in recipe) to add to the caramel, though the photo gives an idea. Also, a few days ago I baked the Devil’s Food recipe into a layer cake with the cream cheese frosting. . . much appreciated by the birthday celebrant and all others! Thanks a lot!

  2. I’ve got a recipe for something similar with a sable to this from Julian Rose when he came to do a chocolate class here. I’ve not gotten around to making it but will once I get a tart pan. I’ll just have to watch out for the cream being added to the hot sugar (I’ve heard burn stories).

  3. Hi Matthew,

    Do be careful adding the sour cream or anything else to hot caramel. Just add it slowly and use a long handled whisk or spoon.

    Hi Bret,

    I put a link to the gold leaf on the site for Amazon. You may be able so get it locally, but I’m not sure where???

    Thanks! Zoë

  4. Oh holy yum does that look tasty. The chocolate tart is one of my favorite things to get when I am (all too rarely) visiting Paris. This one looks just as good with even more glamour–I’ve got to try to recreate this at home!

  5. THAT looks like a great idea lady!! So glad that the book brought a little bit of something to your thinking…figured it would! I think we need to get together so I can try these out! 🙂

  6. I made this tart over the last weekend and it was lovely and luscious. My family was quite happy. I am going to write a short piece about it this week for my blog. It was the perfect chocolate/caramel combination. Thank-you!

  7. I am always to find more recipes that use chai spice. It is one of my favorites for tarts, ice cream, scones, anything edible. Thanks for this recipe

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