This great dessert contains three of my favorite ingredients……chocolate, caramel and nuts!
The base of our turtle tart is a thin layer of brownie cake. It cooks for about 12 minutes because it is only a thin layer. Then we make a caramel layer which goes over your choice of nuts. Chopped pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts are my favorites. To finish the dessert, a layer of delicious chocolate ganache goes on top.
Chef’s Tip – When slicing this tart (or any tart with chocolate), always put your knife under hot water then wipe clean between each slice. The warmth of the water will make your knife go easily through the chocolate.
For the brownie cake bottom
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans and/or hazelnuts)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the caramel nut layer
- 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate ganache layer
- 1 pound of bittersweet chocolate, chopped (We use Callabaut chocolate but any good quality chocolate will do. Avoid using chocolate chips as they have additives that do not melt correctly for this recipe)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
To prepare the pan and the brownie layer
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a pot, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, cocoa powder and flour. Stir to combine on low heat until sugar is melted. Turn off heat and whisk in the eggs. Add the vanilla extract and the nuts. Use a spatula to place the brownie batter into the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
Place the springform pan on a cookie sheet. I do this incase some of the mixture leaks from the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 12 to 14minutes – until the cake is firm. Be careful not to overcook. Remove from oven and let cool while making the caramel.
To make the caramel layer
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar and honey. Place a candy thermometer in the pan. Youc an get these at most hardware stores. Be sure it is a CANDY thermometer and not a meat thermometer. A candy thermometer goes up to a higher degree of measurement.
Bring the mixture to a low boil and cook until the mixture reaches 275 degrees. It will boil quite a lot. If you do need to stir it, use a wooden spoon. While the mixture is cooking, scatter the remaining nuts over the brownie base.
When the mixture is at the correct temperature, turn off the heat.
Carefully pour in the heavy cream and the vanilla. Stir with wooden spoon until combined. It will bubble quite a bit. Make sure that you use a pot that is deep enough to accomodate a little boiling.
Carefully pour over the nuts. Smooth out if necessary with an offset spatula.
Let cool until firm before putting the chocolate filling on top. I usually place the tart in the refrigerator to firm up while I am making the chocolate ganache topping.
Place the chocolate and cream in a stainless steel bowl that is large enough to fit on the pot of water without touching the water. Put on a simmer and melt the chocolate and cream, stirring occasionally.
Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm….overnite if possible. When ready to unmold, take a sharp small knife and go around the edge of the pan. Undo the springform mold.
To unmold the tart
Carefully flip over and remove the metal bottom and parchment paper. You may need to use a small knife to get the parchment paper off the bottom of the tart.
Place ANOTHER pan, or the plate you would like to serve the tart on, on top of the brownie bottom. Flip over. Tthe ganache topping should now be on top.
To slice, place a chef’s knife under hot water. Wipe dry then slice cake down the center in half. Place knife under water and dry it each time you make a slice. Continue slicing the cake until you have a total of 12 slices. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with chocolate and caramel sauce.