Decadent Chocolate Caramel Tart
This chocolate caramel tart is a show-stopper! Delicious and pretty, it is surprisingly easy to make even with that homemade caramel layer!
I kind of feel like I just need to let the pictures do the talking with this insanely decadent chocolate caramel tart recipe.
But you know me. I always have something to say. So the pictures are going to have to be ok with me blabbing for a second, too.
This caramel tart.
It is the dessert dreams are made of. The dessert people lose their minds over.
The dessert that will change lives and make you very, very, very popular (prepare yourself).
The best news? It is honestly quite simple, and I promise I’m not just saying that.
Months ago my brother and I were talking about a really popular caramel tart-pie thingie circulating on Pinterest.
He took one for the team, made it…and was really underwhelmed.
But we both knew we couldn’t live a full, productive life until we had a successful chocolate/caramel dessert combo in front of us.
Fast forward several months, and this decadent chocolate caramel tart number (with a tasty little chocolate cookie crust) has become one of the most defining desserts of my life.
I’ve made it at least eight times since September, and it is almost embarrassing (and kind of funny) how crazy this dessert makes people.
At first, I worried about having that much caramel in one place.
Would it be overwhelming? Too caramelly? Sickeningly sweet?
Oh me of little faith. What was I thinking?
It’s none of those things.
It is PERFECT.
Sandwiched in between that delightful, light crust and the velvety chocolate ganache, the soft, creamy caramel is exactly what this tart needs to be complete.
And. That luxurious caramel layer is homemade (which means it is crazy delicious)
Wait, wait, don’t panic!
If homemade caramel has you running for the storebought hills, you have to trust me that this caramel is so easy and so doable.
You don’t even need a candy thermometer. You just need eyeballs.
And, I’ve included a quick picture tutorial to show you exactly when to pull that caramel off the stove (you’re looking for a medium-dark amber color).
If you undercook it a bit, life will still plug along, and your caramel tart might be slightly softer. No biggie.
If you overcook it a little, again, there’s a good chance it will work out (with a slightly firmer consistency).
There’s a little wiggle room here (however, please avoid smoke, strong burned smells, fire, and breaking people’s teeth out, thanks).
And making homemade caramel for this tart will undoubtedly make you feel like a rock star that can accomplish anything life throws at you!
Flat tire? Bad hair day? Bickering children?
Ha! None of those challenges stand a chance in the face of one who can make a homemade chocolate caramel tart.
Basically, you’re getting a new lease on life with this chocolate caramel tart recipe.
I won’t go so far as to say it’ll solve all your problems.
But goodness, just look at it? It certainly won’t hurt, will it?
Feel free to ask any questions about the recipe in the comments!
This is the perfect dessert for your holiday table (or just to drop off on a friend’s doorstep who needs it – instant therapy and love right there).
I’ve included a note or two in the recipe – but just to clarify, I use this tart pan (super inexpensive), but I think you could make it in a regular 9-inch pie plate.
The advantage of a tart pan is that the removeable bottom makes for easier slicing and a prettier presentation.
One Year Ago: Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
Two Years Ago: Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Three Years Ago: Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
Four Years Ago: Salty Sweet Granola and Coconut Yogurt
Five Years Ago: Killer Crunch Brownies
Chocolate Caramel Tart
- ½ cup (113 g) salted butter, softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup (38 g) powdered sugar
- ¼ cup (21 g) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (142 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (424 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup (113 g) salted butter, cut into 4-5 pieces
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (85 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped, (can use good-quality chocolate chips)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Fleur de sel, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- For the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a bowl using a handheld electric mixer (or just mixing by hand), combine the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, egg yolk, vanilla and flour. Mix until combined (it may be crumbly but will hold together when pressed).
- Crumble the mixture over the bottom of a 9.5- or 10-inch tart pan (can also use a 9-inch pie plate). Press evenly up the sides first all the way around the edges and then press the remaining crust mixture evenly over the bottom.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- For the caramel, in a heavy bottomed saucepan (important so that the heat conducts evenly!), combine the sugar, water and corn syrup (try not to splash the mixture up on the sides of the pan). Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the mixture is a medium-dark amber color, tilting the pan just slightly every couple of minutes to swirl the mixture – don’t swirl or tilt the pan too quickly or get the caramel mixture up high on the sides of the pan. The exact cooking time will depend on how high/low the heat is on the stove.
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the butter, cream and vanilla. The hot mixture will bubble vigorously. Stir to combine (don’t go too crazy scraping down the sides of the pan).
- Pour the caramel over the baked crust. Refrigerate until the caramel is set and no longer warm, 1-2 hours (make sure you set the tart on a really flat surface in the fridge or else it will set up tilted or uneven).
- For the ganache, place the chocolate in a small or medium bowl. Heat the cream (in the microwave or on the stove) until simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 1-2 minutes. Stir to combine until the chocolate is glossy and smooth. Spread the ganache evenly over the caramel. Chill until the chocolate is set and is no longer melty/soft. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of fleur de sel, if desired.
- Keep refrigerated until serving. For neat, even slices, I run my long chef’s knife under hot water, wipe dry and slice (repeating as needed to get clean slices).
Recipe Source: adapted from this NYT’s recipe
57 Comments on “Decadent Chocolate Caramel Tart”
This recipe worked perfectly! Alas, husband and I found it a little TOO decadent for our tastes. But, just wanted to let the lovers of caramel/chocolate know out there that this recipe is a winner if that’s your thing!
Happy New Year Mel!
I was in charge of bringing a few desserts to Christmas with my inlaws, and I wanted to try something new that would WOW everyone. SO, I decided to make this tart, even though I had never made a tart before or homemade caramel either! And WOW FACTOR was achieved! Your picture tutorial was so awesome and very much needed, so thank you so much for putting that together! I also brought the coconut tres leches trifle and that was suuuuuper fantastic! So, thank you for helping me rock it in the kitchen!
I’m so happy this worked out for you, Heidi! And glad the wow factor was high! 🙂
hi Mel! Love your recipes. Just made this for the first time. the carmel took about 35 minutes to change color- I think I had my heat too low! under the pictures, it says to add salt after you take the carmel off the heat but there is not a salt measurement below. Should I add some to the carmel?
Hi Katie – sorry for the delay in responding. I need to edit the picture collage, but no, I don’t usually add salt to the caramel (I did a time or two which is why I put it on the picture collage and then decided using salted butter, it doesn’t really need an extra pinch). Hope this worked out!
I don’t have any corn syrup on hand. Any idea what I could use as substitute? Agave nectar or honey maybe?
I haven’t tried those substitutions so I’m not sure how that would work – sorry!
Question, I have a 12 x 2 tart pan. Suggestions on how to alter the ingredients?
Love, love your blog! Merry Christmas!
If you can figure the ingredients, I’d probably increase everything by 1/4. That’s just a guess, but should be pretty close.
I made this for a Christmas dinner with friends. It won rave reviews. It was easy and I made it the night before. I will definitely be making this again.
So happy it was a hit, Heather! Thanks for letting me know!
I made this last night and the caramel didn’t turn out at all! It never turned medium amber color. After simmering for about 30 minutes I finally just took it off and finished the recipe hoping it would magically turn into caramel 🙂 It was grainy and pretty white. Pretty much it was just sugar! Any ideas? I haven’t made caramel before. The crust and ganache were awesome!!
That’s strange, Ellen! My guess is that it needed even more time on the stove. I know that sounds crazy because you already simmered it for 30 minutes, but the sugar/water mixture will definitely caramelize if left to cook long enough. It could be a difference in each of our stoves and the temperature of the burners.
It took us nearly 45 minutes for ours to turn amber colored. Be patient. Caramel takes time! It was so worth it!
I just teased my grandson ( a sugar demon ) with these pics and asked him if he’d like me to make this. I will for Xmas, but I think I’ll tame the sugar demon with mini muffin size.
They look delish (I’m a caramel lover); I’ll report back.
What do you think a graham cracker crust would be like? I think good! But, I’ll do it your way first – only fair!
Hey Sandra – the graham crust is definitely worth a try! Hope you like it!
I just made the caramel last night and since I didn’t have any cream on hand, I used evaporated milk and it was outstanding! It only took 10 minutes too. Thanks
That’s good to know, Christine!
Would it be alright to use gluten free flour? Do you think it would effect the texture of the crust?
I’ve never made a chocolate tart before, but this one looks so incredible that I’ll have to try it myself. Thanks for posting!
Looks delicious, and rich. How many slices do you get from one tart? And, have you doubled it with success, or is it better to make two batches? Thank you!
A little goes a long way with this tart. Even the slices in my pictures in the post are probably larger than needed. I’d say you could easily get 10-12 slices (they would be thinner) and if you are serving people that are ok with super rich desserts, you could go for 8 slices.
Hi Mel…Love your blog. Just wanted to know what if I made this without the egg yolk? Still doable? I would love to make this for a friend, but she has an egg allergy.
I haven’t tried it, but I definitely think you could leave it out for allergy reasons. The crust might be a bit more crumbly, but I’d say try it!
This is light corn syrup correct???
Ok. I’m going to be real. The fanciest salt sitting in my cupboards is pink Himalayan sea salt. I know it’s not French, or Fleur de sel, but will it work? Whoever built my house thought a pantry wasn’t a necessity, and they were wrong. It makes me have to pick my culinary battles…
Haha, I get it. Salt purists look aside, but yes, I think a sprinkle of any mild, coarser-textured salt could work pretty well.
What is fluer de sel ? I want to make this tart, sounds so good.
Have a question, what is Fluer de cel? Need to make this tart. I love your site, you
are so cute and funny. Enjoy it so much.
Hi Juanita – it is French sea salt. I usually snag it on Amazon.
You are right, I definitely need this in my life. Thank you for not only a delicious sounding recipe, but also for a post that made me laugh out loud.
🙂 You’re welcome, Annette. Thanks for not thinking I’m a total dork.
Do you think it would work to make in a springform pan if you press the crust up only as high as the tart pan sides would be?
Ah, yes, I think that’s a great idea.
I’m looking for an easy, foolproof caramel sauce recipe. Could this caramel be used as a sauce?
Yes, I think so! But I’d pull it off when it is a lighter amber color (than in the picture tutorial) so it stays pourable.
I would like to make this in a square pan & cut out squares to put on a platter. Would it be better if I could make it in a larger square pan so it wouldn’t be that thick, and easier to cut into squares. Kind of like a sheet pan of this recipe.
Does the caramel need to be stirred while cooking? I’ve got other caramel recipes that require it to be stirred the entire time. This one sounds so easy and yummy!
No, I don’t stir it. It cooks pretty quickly…I’ll swirl the pan a little to help it cook evenly, but I don’t stir.
I’ve been making this “Sweet and Salty Cake” with salted caramel and chocolate ganache frosting for years. https://www.marthastewart.com/332919/sweet-and-salty-cake
The caramel has similar ingredients to yours, but the big difference is that the cream is heated separately and then added after the correct temp/color is achieved. Is your method easier? I find the prior mentioned one, super easy and almost foolproof.
Also, if you haven’t made this cake before, it’s AMAZING!
I don’t know that the method in this tart recipe is easier – just different. But overall, it certainly is a simple caramel recipe. The cake sounds delicious!
I always warm up the cream before adding. The cream will blend easier with the hot, melted sugar and less “seizing” happens.
Mel, this looks wonderful! Will the crust become soggy if made a day in advance?
No, it keeps really well!
Any idea now far ahead of time this could be made?
Hi Julie – I think this could be made a day ahead of time with good results. We’ve eaten leftovers of this for several days, and it is still delicious (the crust gets a little softer each day, though)
Do you happen to know the temp of the caramel when you take it off the heat please?
Hi Jennie – I don’t. For this recipe, I really just go based on color (and also it’s a pretty small amount so using a candy thermometer would be a bit tricky since it wouldn’t submerge in the caramel very far.
I’m really bad at making caramel (I don’t have a heavy bottom pan which is what I blame to not take a hit at my culinary self esteem ), but I’ll try again for this! This looks like heaven in a tart pan!
Try it, Becky! 🙂
Looks amazing. Have you tried with GF flours or could you recommend one to try with this?
I haven’t, but I bet a GF flour blend for the all-purpose would work well (sorry I can’t recommend one – I know a lot of readers have had success with the cup-4-cup type blends)
Can this be made in an 8×8 square pan. I am wondering because I want to take it to a pot luck and would rather small square slices.
Can this be made in an 8×8 square pan. I am wondering because I want to take it to a pot pick and would rather small square slices.
Hmmm, that’s a really good question. The layers will be thicker – but it’s worth a try! One thing to note is that the caramel does soften a bit at room temperature. Still delicious, but you can see from my pictures that in some of them, the caramel is sliding out on the sides just a little bit (had probably been out of the fridge for 30 mins)