While I’m all for shortcuts, the one thing I don’t cut the corner on is proper caramel sauce – nothing from a bottle or ready-made can EVER replace a proper homemade caramel sauce. I like to use sugar with flavour AND sweetness, and while boring white sugar gives you the latter, my favourite unrefined, Natura Light Muscovado Sugar, gives you both – double whammy! And because just two layers of deliciousness is never enough, I’ve topped these tarts with dark chocolate (the good stuff) and a sprinkling of sea salt for some salty crunch. Cheating never tasted THIS good!
200g (half a packet) shortbread biscuits (I used Eet Sum Mores)
1 tbsp melted butter
¼ cup water
½ cup cream
200g good-quality dark chocolate, melted (I use AFRIKOA 70% Dark Chocolate)
sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-forced). Grease 4 x small spring form tart tins. Place the shortbread biscuits in a food processor and pulse until very fine – almost powdery consistency. Add the butter and mix to form a consistency similar to wet sand. Use a teaspoon to press the biscuit crumbs into the prepared tart tins to form a pastry case then bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool thoroughly. To make the caramel, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the mixture reaches 140C on a thermometer or until soft crack stage – when a little caramel dropped into a cup of water forms a soft ball which gets hard after a minute. Add the cream and butter and swirl until combined. Remove from the heat and pour into the baked pastry cases. Allow to cool completely then spread with the melted chocolate. Sprinkle a few sea salt flakes on top and allow to set – if you can wait that long that is!