Tuesday, January 29, 2013

“Forrest Gump” Chocolate Tart on a Pretzel Cookie Crust, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel, & Gourmet Chocolate Truffles

“Forrest Gump” Chocolate Tart on a Pretzel Cookie Crust, Salted Caramel, Chocolate 
Ganache, Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel, & Gourmet Chocolate Truffles
My momma always said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Don't y'all just love the movie, Forrest Gump? It's a Southern classic, and I don't know many people who didn't like it. It has everything that I love about the South... the charm, the scenery, the crazy people you can meet, and the home grown comfort feelin' you get when you watch it. If you haven't seen it, then you're crazy... and need to go and rent it right now!! I especially love that it is filmed partially in Savannah. I mean, the famous bench he sits on in the movie is just one block from my apartment. How cool is that? I think that's why I love Savannah so much, it's just a special city that will always hold a dear place in my heart. I could see myself living here forever, it's pretty much my soulmate. Anyway, on to the food. I have been wanting to make a salted caramel-chocolate ganache tart for a long time. It can honestly make any girl swoon. It's every thing we need to cheer us up or something decadent to enjoy with your loved ones. Well, when we were watching Forrest Gump the other week, I thought to myself, "Man, I wish I could turn a box of chocolates into a real dessert." So, why not combine the two for one monstrous, uber chocolate tart? And that's how the Forrest Gump Tart was born. I started off by making a sweet & salty pretzel cookie crust, and then topped it with a layer of salted caramel and chocolate ganache. After the tart has begin to set slightly, I pressed about 15-20 gourmet chocolate truffles into the ganache. We bought our truffles from our favorite chocolatier, Wright Square Cafe. We included a variety of different flavored chocolate truffles... dark, milk, caramel, coffee, white chocolate, espresso, etc. After the tart has been garnished with the chocolates, I also sprinkled some Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel on top for an even more salty kick. Because we all know about my obsession with salt on desserts. It's seriously becoming unhealthy at this point. Lemme tell you, every single one of my friends raved about this dessert. I had four people immediately requesting that the recipe be posted on my blog. So, ask and you shall receive!! This would be a great dessert for a small dinner party with your couples friends, a girls night, or a home-cooked dinner date with your man. But, I especially think this would be absolutely perfect for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner. It's not the easiest dessert to make because I know some people struggle with making caramel, but I'm confident y'all can pull it off as well! It's also something you can assemble the morning of, and then just slice after dinner. Ladies, make sure to remember this tart in a couple weeks for Valentine's Day coming up, your man would love it!! Enjoy :)
The Perfect Sweet + Salty Dessert
For the Pretzel Cookie Crust:
8T + 4T Unsalted Butter, 8T at Room Temperature & 4T Melted
1/3C + 1T Light Brown Sugar, Packed
3T Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
½C AP Flour
1½C Pretzels (crushed into the size of small peas or old-fashioned rolled oats)
1/8t Baking Powder
Pinch of Baking Soda
½t + ¼t Salt

For the Salted Caramel Layer:
1 ½C Sugar
3T Light Corn Syrup
¼t Salt
6T Unsalted Butter
6T Heavy Cream
1T Crème Fraiche 

For the Chocolate Ganache Layer:
½C Heavy Cream
4oz Bittersweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped

For the Tart:
Prepared Pretzel Cookie Crust
Prepared Salted Caramel Layer
Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling
Gourmet Chocolate Truffles, For Topping (we went to our local bakery and bought them)

1. For the Pretzel Cookie Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with Pam. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine 8T room temperature butter, 1/3C light brown sugar, and sugar in medium bowl. Beat the mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk; beat until pale and fluffy. Add in the pretzel pieces, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Turn the pretzel cookie mixture out onto prepared baking sheet; press out evenly to almost the edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 15-18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely. Using hands, crumble oat cookie into a food processor and process until it becomes wet sand, and then add melted butter, salt, and brown sugar. Pulse until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to two 9-inch-diameter glass pie dishes. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dishes. Place pie dishes with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
2. For the Salted Caramel Layer: In a deep saucepan, whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until the temperature reads 340 degrees. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter cream, and crème fraiche and whisk until smooth (the mixture will bubble up). Pour the tart into the prepared pretzel cooking crust. Let it cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes to an hour.
3. For the Ganache Layer: Bring the cream to a boil in a deep pot over medium eat. Put the chocolate into a mixing bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it sit 1-2 minutes, and then stir slowly with a rubber spatula or a whisk. Pour the ganache evenly over the chilled salted caramel layer and refrigerate for roughly 15-30 minutes or until the chocolate has cooled some, but has enough give to gently push the gourmet chocolate truffles, so that they will adhere to the tart itself, instead of falling off. Once the truffles have been added, and then return the tart to refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until all of the layers have set.
4. For Serving: Sprinkle the top of the tart with some vanilla bean fleur de sel, cut into slices, and enjoy while it is still chilled.

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