Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Salted Caramel Nutella Chocolate Tartlets

Chocolate Caramel Tartlets - made April 19, 2013, recipe adapted from David Lebovitz
I had one of those baking weeks where I had two key ingredients on hand (a quart of milk and a little sour cream) but was missing other key ingredients (buttermilk, heavy cream). So naturally when I was looking for something to make when I met my cousins for dinner last Friday, I kept coming across recipes that needed buttermilk and heavy cream.  Honestly, it's like going to a black and white ball and you've got the strappy shoes and the little black dress but only eye-searing pink or lime green accessories. You either make do or you go without. I had no time to go to the store or I was being stubborn and wanted to use up what I already had before I bought something else.  Or I was just going to improvise.  Which is what I did with these tartlets. 

I had all the ingredients for the tartlet dough so that was easy enough.  The dough turned out somewhat soft so I chilled it for 30 minutes first before rolling into dough balls, dropping in mini muffin tins and using my tart shaper from Pampered Chef to make the tart shells.  I love this thing.  It's such a huge time saver and makes neat little shells, not to mention it minimizes working the dough too much with your hands.
Since I didn't have heavy cream to make the caramel, I used ready-made salted caramel from Williams Sonoma which I warmed up slightly for easier pouring and filled the cooled and baked tart shells with the caramel.  I also couldn't make the ganache because I didn't have heavy cream so I topped off the caramel with a layer of nutella, also warmed slightly for easier pouring.  A few sprinkles of fleur de sel and ta da! - Salted Caramel Nutella Chocolate Tartlets were born.  These may not have been what David Lebovitz had in mind (his original recipe is below) but it worked for me.  If you need a little chocolate, caramel and/or nutella fix, these are bite-sized goodness.  The tart shell was chocolaty but not sweet so it made for the perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the caramel topped with the hazelnut chocolate of the nutella.  Plus the sprinkling of fleur de sel brought a bit of the salty to go with the sweet.

Chocolate Dough
4 ounces (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (110g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (35g) rice flour
(or use 1 cup, 140g, all-purpose flour, total)
6 tablespoons (50g) cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process

Salted Caramel Filling
4 ounces (115g) soft, salted butter caramels
3 tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream

4 1/2 ounces (130g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons (90ml) heavy cream
flaky sea salt
  1. To make the tartlet dough, beat the butter and the sugar just until smooth in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or by hand. Add the egg, salt, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, rice flour, and cocoa powder, then mix it into the creamed butter.
  2. Butter the indentations of two mini-muffin tins with 12 places in each, or one mini-muffin tin with 24 places. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll each into a 3/4-inch (2cm) ball. If the dough is too soft at this point, chill for 30 minutes.  As you work, put the dough balls in the indentations of the muffin tins. Take your thumb and press the dough down in the center of each indentation, then use your thumb to press the dough up the sides (or use tart shaper if you have one).  Freeze the pans of dough for 20 minutes (I refrigerated instead of freezing and that worked fine).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  4. Bake the tartlet shells for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough appear dry and cooked. Remove from oven and use the handle of a wooden spoon to widen and smooth the inside of the little tartlet shells (or use the tart shaper if you have one), pressing the dough that’s puffed up somewhat firmly against the sides. Let cool completely, then remove the tartlet shells from the muffin tins – the tip of a paring knife might be needed to help aid them out – and set them on a wire cooling rack.
  5. Make the caramel filling by warming the cream with the caramels in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Divide the caramel into each of the tartlet shells.
  6. Make the chocolate ganache by heating the cream in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then whisk the chocolate into the cream until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Top each tartlet with some of the ganache and take a butter knife or small metal spatula and swipe off the excess. Sprinkle each tartlet with a few grains of sea salt.


  1. These look so naughty but nice. Please do drop me a line on ca4ole@gmail.com if it's ok with you if I link to it on my blog - carole's chatter. Cheers

    1. I sent you an email but yes, please feel free to link - thanks!