One of the benefits to being in the Baked Sunday Mornings baking group is that I get some great ideas from the other bakers in the group -- not only for the recipes from Baked Explorations that we're all making, but also for completely unrelated recipes. In writing up our most recent assignment of strawberry Jell-O salad, talented baker Bourbonnatrix mentioned how much she likes pretzel crusts and referenced an "insanely delicious" chocolate dulce de leche pretzel tart. Bourbonnatrix had adapted the tart recipe from Amandeleine, who in turn had created it by combining elements from two different recipes from Food and Wine and epicurious.com. I decided to try Amandeleine's chocolate caramel pretzel tart recipe.
You make the pretzel crust for this tart by combining butter, crushed pretzels, powdered sugar, flour, and an egg. You chill the dough, roll it out, line a tart pan with the dough, chill the crust, and then blind bake it. Amandeleine warns that the dough will be very sticky. In fact, it is ridiculously sticky. I made this tart twice, and rolling out the dough between two sheets of parchment was no problem -- but getting the dough off of the paper and into the pan in one piece is comically challenging. Some patching was definitely required.
After the crust is baked and cooled, you brush on a thin layer of melted chocolate. Then you fill the crust with chocolate ganache (heavy cream and chocolate) and caramel (water, sugar, cream, butter, vanilla, and salt). You top it off with more crushed pretzels and some drizzles of reserved ganache.
Take 5 candy bar without the peanuts and peanut butter, or perhaps a Twix, if they came in pretzel a pretzel variety (why on earth don't they have pretzel Twix?!).
This tart definitely reads more like a candy bar than a tart, but I didn't mind at all, because it tastes like a really, really, delicious candy bar. I am always a fan of salty-sweet desserts, but this particular combination of pretzel, chocolate, and caramel is just perfect together, and the fabulous crunch of the crust and pretzels along with the chewy caramel puts this tart over the top. Tom declares this to be his favorite tart of all time. Just looking at the picture above makes me very sad that I don't have a slice to eat right now!
Recipe: "Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Tart," recipe from Amandeleine.