Sssssoooooo, do you recall that a couple of times I've mentioned that I need to make something with pomegranate juice? In case I haven't told you like a billion times already, it's because someone from Pom Wonderful sent me an entire gigantic box of lil baby Poms to play around with. That's right, I'm a blogging goddess.
A couple of weeks ago Crockett and I went to a place in Boulder for Denver Restaurant Week (yeah, I know), and one of our two desserts was a delicious salted caramel chocolate tart. I usually don't order chocolate desserts in restaurants, because my ex-pastry chef self has decided that they're usually a cop-out in the 'molten chocolate cake' vein, but this one was fanfuckingtastic.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Yes, indeed - on Saturday I invented Emma's Chocolate Pomegranate Caramel Tart. It's a mouthful, in name and reality, but truly it did come out genius. I'll walk you through the basics, in case you want to try at home. It'll probably take you about two hours from start to finish, but that can be stretched out if you need it to be.
First, make your a delicious crust with which to hold your tasty tart. I used a classic chocolate cookie crust from the Pie and Pastry Bible with slightly more salt than originally called for.
- 1 + 1/4 cups bleached all purpose flour (6.5 oz)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (.8 oz)
- a generous pinch of salt (if you have little fingers like me, that means TWO pinches, big as you can)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes (8 oz)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (3 oz)
- 1 egg
You're going to mix up everything but the egg and the butter (all the powdery stuff, basically), and then cut the butter into it. Crack the egg on top and stir it up with a fork a little before you mix it all together. Stir stir stir until it looks like it's mostly wet.
Even though it won't be completely sticking together, wrap it all together into a disk and throw it into the fridge. It'll stick together once you get take it out, when the moisture from the egg has dispersed.
Then, get together:
- 3/4 cup of pomegranate juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cream, heavy cream, or half and half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate
Find a saucepan that holds 4 cups, ideally - a little more won't matter but less is going to suck, trust me. Put the sugar and pomegranate juice into it.
Stir it around just enough to get all of the sugar wet, and then put it on either medium high or high heat (depending on whether you've made caramel before and how comfortable you are with insanely hot boiling sugar. It will get just as hot either way, but it will happen more slowly and therefore less frighteningly if you start on medium high. I use the kamikaze method - as high as it will go.) Don't touch it until it's done now, ok? Put another little pan on another burner with half a cup of cream or half & half, turning it up just enough to warm it.
The caramel mixture is going to start bubbling all over, and since it's already a beautiful red color, you won't be able to tell when it starts to caramelize. You can either use a candy thermometer or your nose to tell when it's time to pour the cream in - 380 degrees or when it smells like it's burning but still delish. If you haven't made caramel before, that burning smell will make you uncomfortable, but it's ok. Promise. Just don't let it go too long.
When you hit your key temp or ideal smell, take it off the heat and slowly pour in the warm cream, stir stir stirring. It will bubble like nothing has ever bubbled before, but that's ok too. Drop in two tablespoons of butter and stir until it melts and is all combined.
Chop up the chocolate and drop it in there too. Stir stir stir until it melts. Then set your delicious chocolatey pommy caramel aside, stirring it every so often so that it doesn't separate.
This would be the time to pull your dough out of the fridge. It'll be a lot more cohesive than it was, and you can roll it out until it's a little bigger than your tart pan, smoosh it into the pan, and stick it back in the fridge. I, sadly, couldn't find my 10 inch tart pan so I used a pie pan - it worked but isn't recommended.
Turn your oven to 375 and give it 15-20 minutes to preheat. (Don't believe it when it beeps. Ovens lie, man. They lie.)
If you have beans or baking beads, now is the time to bust them out. If you don't but you have orzo or rice that you can live without, you can use that instead. Line the tart shell with parchment, pour in the beans, and pop it in the oven for fifteen minutes. Pull it out, take out the beans, and stick it back in for fifteen more. Take it out and let it cool until it's just warm to the touch. Pour the caramel in (if it's not pourable, put it back on the stove and stir just until it is) and stick the whole shebang in the fridge.
Finally, make yourself some delicious ganache to pour over the top of the whole thing.
- 1/2 cup cream
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
Put the cream on the stovetop. (Use the same pan you used the heat the first portion of cream, if you haven't washed it already. Laziness will get you everywhere.) Turn the heat to medium high and heat it until there are little bubbles around the outside edge. Chop the chocolate as finely as you can while it's heating, then take the cream off the heat and drop the chocolate in. Give it a second and then stir stir stir - it will get all smooth and creamy and delicious.
When the caramel is firm to the touch from being in the fridge, pour the ganache over the top and smooth it out.
YUM. It's kind of tangy from the pom, and savory from the burning of the sugar, and chocolately from the... well, chocolate. It's fantastic.
If you have flaked sea salt, sprinkle it over the ganache. Seriously. Do it.
You guys, this is so fucking delicious I can barely believe it was my idea. I am so happy right now. Crockett is back and hates dessert and even HE ate some.
I would show you a picture, but I sort of put it in the freezer so that it would firm up enough for me to cut a slice while I was still in picture taking mode, and then it sort of slipped down towards the door, and then it sort of smooshed over the edge, and now it's not very photogenic anymore SHUT UP. It's still delicious. Really delicious. I'm a culinary genius. And a klutz. Whatever.