Chocolate Dulce de Leche Tart

I bookmarked this Chocolate Dulce de Leche Tart when I started following David Lebovitz’s North American tour, but a small party was the final incentive to whip it together. I didn’t read the directions thoroughly so I was completely unaware that this tart takes nearly three hours to make when you add the resting and cooling times to the baking times.

Chocolate Dulce de Leche Tart

ADAPTED from David Lebovitz via Williams and Sonoma

NOTES I made this for a small get to together and got rave reviews. One of them wasn’t even a fan of chocolate and he ate my slice and his slice. However to my personal taste, I thought it was much too sweet and recommend using bittersweet rather than semisweet chocolate.

6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 g) salted or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (35 g) powdered sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (35 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt

8 ounces (230 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (310 ml) whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 teaspoon dark rum
1 cup (240 g) dulce de leche
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling over the tart

To make the crust, beat the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the yolk and mix until it’s fully incorporated.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. Add them to the butter, mixing just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. My “trick” is to saran wrap the top of the bowl and invert it onto a plate. It will be very crumbly but in the half of the hour, the moisture will redistribute and the dough will be a dark rich brown, darker than the reddish color of the cocoa powder.

Use the heel of your hand to press the dough into a 9-inch (23-cm) tart, pressing the dough up the sides of the pan until it reaches the rim. Sprinkle the salt over the bottom of the dough and press it into the pastry. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the chilled tart crust with aluminum foil and cover with a layer of pie weights, dried beans, or rice. Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes, remove the foil and weights, and then bake for 5 minutes more, until the tart shell is browned. Remove from the oven and decrease the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C).

While the tart is baking, make the chocolate filling. Melt the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and set a fine-mesh strainer over the top.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Heat the milk in a saucepan, then gradually whisk the warm milk into the eggs. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until it’s steamy and thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. (If it separates a bit, remove it from the heat, and whisk it vigorously to bring it back together.) You know it’s thickened enough when you’re able to dip the spatula in the custard and wipe a trail on the spatula with a finger. Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth.

Spread the dulce de leche over the hot tart shell in an even layer, being careful as you spread to make sure you don’t break the flaky bottom of the tart. (If the dulce de leche is very thick, let it sit in the tart shell for a minute or so, to let the heat soften it, which will make it easier to spread.) Pour the chocolate custard over the dulce de leche, smooth the top, and add a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt.

Bake the tart for 20 minutes, and then turn the heat off and leave the tart in the oven with the door closed to glide to a finish, 45 minutes. Don’t be afraid if it’s still very runny after the twenty minutes, it will firm up. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving. I popped it into the freezer for 20 minutes with no ill effects.

David Lebovitz recommends to serve the tart with softly whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or just as is.


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