Salted caramel, rich dark chocolate ganache, and light creamy mascarpone layered up in a delicious Oreo crust. This indulgent tart is far easier to make than it looks, and is completely irresistible!
Last Friday night this tart came with me to a barbecue, arranged with the hot weather in mind. We started off outside in the start-of-the-weekend sunshine, but it got cold very quickly and we ended up huddled inside around the radiator, heating turned up to full blast. Hello, British summertime? Its time for you to come out now!
I’m a little bit confused with the weather at the moment. I’m sure someone promised a heat wave? The papers were splashed with stock pictures of people lying on beaches and sprawled out on deck chairs. Temperatures set to soar into the 30s they announced. Yet here I am debating whether I should put my winter coat on today. What went wrong?!
Dubious heatwave aside, the slightly chillier than planned weather didn’t stop us from tucking into deliciously tender barbecued chicken, home made burgers, and grilled sweet potato fries. For pudding there was this. Indulgent and rich, but still light enough to enjoy after a barbecue.
Start with a base made of crushed Oreos, dark, a little bitter, and the perfect crunch. Next, a thin layer of salted caramel, set soft so it melts in the mouth. Move up to a thick, decadent layer of dark chocolate ganache. Rich, smooth and heavenly. Finally, top it off with fluffy whipped mascarpone. The mascarpone keeps things light, softens the richer flavours, and compliments the dark chocolate perfectly. The salt in the caramel, and the mascarpone work together to make sure the tart doesn’t become too sickly or too sweet.
You’ll happily polish off an entire slice of this, and want more.
Although it takes a little time building up the layers, the recipe is surprisingly simple.
The only slightly tricky layer is the salted caramel, which can be intimidating if you’ve never made it before. There is a fine line between sugar not caramelised enough, and sugar burnt to a bitter acrid brown.
Homemade caramel though, is so worth it. Once you master the technique you’ll wonder what you were ever worried about, and I can almost guarantee you’ll want to find an excuse to put it with everything. Salted caramel is one of my flavours. Sweet and salty, perfectly balanced. I could eat it off a spoon (and probably do a little more than is strictly good for me…).
I found this tutorial from Izy Hossack really helpful. She uses gifs to show you the right techniques, and the colours to aim for. If you at all unsure about salted caramel go and have a look. Even if you’re a caramel old hat, its worth having a look just for the shots of beautifully swirling bubbling sugar! There’s something strangely therapeutic about watching the golden sugar bubble up.
Once the caramel is made, the tricky part is over. The rest of the tart is so simple it really does take minutes to throw together.
The ganache comes together in seconds. Pour hot cream over chocolate, leave it to stand, then stir until smooth. The mascarpone is simply whipped up with a little bit of icing sugar then spread thickly on top. A little grating of chocolate is all you need to finish it off perfectly.
Impressive, indulgent, and completely irresistible!
– For real salted caramel fans you might want to double the quantities of the caramel ingredients to give you a thick, generous layer of caramel.
– The ganache is best made with good quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage. You can make it with milk chocolate if you really want to, but the dark better balances out the caramel, and it goes so well with the Oreos.
– If you’re not a fan of Oreos, you can substitute with digestive biscuits.
- 250g Oreos
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
- ----- for the salted caramel
- 118g granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 16g butter
- 7 tablespoons double cream
- ½ teaspoon flaky maldon sea salt
- --- for the chocolate ganache
- 350ml double cream
- 350ml dark chocolate
- ---- for the topping
- 400g mascarpone
- Lightly grease a 28cm loose bottomed tart tin. Line the bottom of the tin with a circle of greaseproof paper.
- In a blender, or in a heavy bowl using the end of a rolling pin, crush the Oreos until they are in small crumbs, Add in the melted butter and stir to combine.
- Pour the biscuit and butter mixture into the prepared tin. Use your hands, or the back of a metal spoon, to pack the crushed biscuits into the tin, building the biscuit up around the edges of the tin. Put into the fridge to chill and set.
- Next, make your salted caramel. Put the sugar and water into a heavy based pan. Put over a medium heat, and stir together until the sugar has melted. Take your spoon out of the sugar and don't stir again. Gently swirl the pan as the sugar browns.
- When the sugar reaches a golden colour, turn off the heat. Add the butter and swirl to combine. Add the cream and stir it in, then stir in the salt.
- Pour the caramel over the cooled Oreo base. Swirl the tin around to make sure you have a tin even covering of caramel over the whole base. Put back into the fridge.
- Next, make your ganache. Break the dark chocolate into a large heatproof bowl.
- Gently heat the cream over a medium heat until just at boiling point. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for two minutes, then stir together until all the chocolate has melted. Pour the ganache over the caramel layer, and return to the fridge until set.
- Place the mascarpone in a large bowl. Whip until light and smooth. Spread over the ganache, and decorate with grated chocolate.