Baked Sunday Mornings: Easy Candy Bar Tart

This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, the Easy Candy Bar Tart, is basically a gigantic candy bar that happens to be in the form of a tart. It has a layer of caramel and nuts sandwiched between a chocolate cookie crust and a layer of chocolate ganache.

The tart is very easy to make, although I needed a little extra time to make the chocolate cookies for the crust -- I usually bake my own instead of buying chocolate wafers. (I normally use Faux-reos whenever I need chocolate cookie crumbs, but I have even used chocolate biscotti crumbs, if I happen to have them handy.) I was glad that the recipe specified not just the number of cookies required, but also their weight and the volume of the crumbs, because otherwise it would be have been difficult to guess the Faux-reo equivalent of 30 chocolate wafers (and the weight and volume measurements turned out to be spot on -- six ounces of my Faux-reos is only 14 cookies, but it yields exactly one and a half cups of crumbs). 

I made two tarts seriatim. I ground the cookies for the first crust, added in a tablespoon of sugar, and then dumped in six tablespoons of melted butter. The mixture became on oily mess. I added more cookie crumbs, but it was still very greasy. I added even more crumbs until the mixture seemed workable, and I pressed it into a pan with a removable bottom and baked it for 10 minutes. When I took the crust out of the oven, there was a puddle of melted butter sitting on top. I blotted off the oil and put the crust back in the oven for a few minutes. More butter pooled on top, and I blotted it off. The crust looked okay, but I was worried about how it would turn out.

So when it came time to make the second crust, I ground six ounces of cookies, added a tablespoon of sugar, and added melted butter a little at a time until it seemed like the crust was the proper texture. I didn't measure out the butter, but I estimate that I probably used only three tablespoons. I pressed the crumbs into the crust, baked it, and it came out beautifully dry, with not an extra drop of butter anywhere.

The filling for the tart is caramel (sugar, water, cream, butter, salt, vanilla) and toasted walnuts. You pour the filing into the baked crust, chill the tart, and then spread on a topping made of chocolate, butter, and corn syrup. You chill the tart again to set the topping before slicing and serving.
The first tart I made (the one with the greasy crust) was stubbornly stuck in the pan. I had to fight with it and use the blade of an offset spatula to cut the sides loose. The second tart, with the less buttery crust, popped out with no effort at all. But once they were out of the pans, both tarts sliced easily and cleanly, revealing beautiful cross-sections of cut walnuts.
For me, the dominant flavor in this tart is the chocolate topping. I used Scharffen Berger 62%, and it was a little more potent than I had expected. The second most prominent component was the crunch of the walnuts, followed by the granular texture of the cookie crust. The caramel was soft and creamy. While the caramel was good, I was actually hoping that it would be chewy, more like what you would get in a candy bar. I also think that the caramel could have used a touch more salt (or perhaps I should have used salted nuts).

This was a very good, very pretty tart. It did not blow me away. But if you have a candy craving, this is sure to hit the spot.

Recipe: "Easy Candy Bar Tart" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


Candy said…
Such a pretty presentation!
Unknown said…
First of all - so impressed that you make your own cookies for the crust! Seriously going above and beyond. I also found myself wishing the caramel was more chewy. The whole thing was a bit sweet for me, which usually isn't a problem.
Susan said…
Just perfect despite any trouble you had with it!
Beautiful tart. Perfectly plated.
Anonymous said…
Beautiful job-- both the sliced and unsliced photos are gorgeous! :)