A couple of weeks ago we had friends round for dinner. I made two curries (one prawn, one veg), so wanted something easy for pudding, and hit upon the idea of melting peanut butter into shop-bought caramel sauce to make a topping for vanilla ice cream. It was a roaring success. Attacking the leftover sauce with a spoon the following day – just like Nigella (ha!) – I noticed it had set into a pleasing squidginess. “Hmmm”, I wondered, “what would this be like in a tart with some chocolate on top?”. The answer? AMAZING. Here’s the recipe:
You need: A 20cm diameter loose-bottomed cake tin (non-stick, to prevent sweary moments); 1 jar of shop-bought caramel sauce – I used the Caramel Dipping Sauce from Waitrose (steer clear of any that are artificially sweetened); 2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter; 100g digestive biscuits; 20g nuts (I used pecans); 50g butter; 200g dark chocolate; 200ml double cream.
Step 1: Bash your biscuits (and your nuts. Fnar) – put the digestives and pecans into one of those closeable plastic bags, wrap in a clean tea towel and whack repeatedly with a rolling pin. This is immensely satisfying. Once you have something resembling the second picture below you can stop.
Step 2: melt the butter in a small pan, then stir in the biscuit and nut rubble and combine. Tumble the mixture into your cake tin and distribute evenly – a potato masher did this very effectively. Pop the completed base into the fridge to firm up.
Step 3: Melt the caramel sauce and peanut butter together on a low heat – it really doesn’t take long, you just want them to combine smoothly.
Step 4: Once it looks like the picture above remove it from the heat and leave to cool slightly – it shouldn’t be too hot so this should only take 5 minutes. Take the base out of the fridge and pour the nutty caramel over, making sure to smooth it out to the sides of the tin. Put it back in the fridge.
Step 5: Break up the chocolate into small pieces – I left it in the packet and used the rolling pin again – and melt it into the double cream. Do this over the lowest heat possible and DO NOT LET IT BOIL (if it boils it’ll go all grainy and that’s just horrible). You want it to be all smooth and glossy – once all the chocolate has melted take it straight off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Step 6: Take the tart out of the fridge and pour the melted chocolate on top of the caramel. If you’re a complete perfectionist you can smooth out the little air bubbles – I just gave it a jiggle. Return the tin to the fridge – I made this on Saturday afternoon and we had it after Sunday lunch, but I think a couple of hours in the fridge would probably be enough.
Step 7: Remove from the fridge and gently loosen the sides with a palette knife dipped in hot water before pushing up the base to release the finished tart. Pop onto a serving plate before dividing into portions. Then eat! We had it with creme fraiche, which has the right sharp kick to balance the rich sweetness of the tart. I can’t describe in words how good it was – the first spoonful made me swoon. Plus it was so easy! I URGE you to make it – it’s just perfection on a plate.