The time and effort required to construct this amazing dessert is more than amply rewarded when you bite into layers of smooth chocolate cream, thick caramel and buttery macadamia nuts on a chocolate pastry crust.
INGREDIENTS (for 1 servings):
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/8 cups cake flour
- 7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon coffee liqueur
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, whole
In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup softened butter and 1/4 cup sugar until pale, about 3 minutes; beat in egg.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and cocoa powder. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and gather the dough into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in waxed paper; refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out chilled dough into a 10 inch round and about 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer dough to an 8 inch tart pan, pressing dough evenly into pan; prick all over with a fork and freeze for 10 minutes.
Bake tart shell in preheated oven for 12 minutes; transfer to a rack to cool.
To make caramel: In a small saucepan over low heat, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream to a simmer. In a heavy medium saucepan over high heat, gradually add 1/2 cup sugar in small amounts, stirring constantly, until it melts and turns golden brown. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly stir in hot cream; stir in 2 tablespoons butter and allow mixture to cool.
To make chocolate cream: In a medium bowl, combine semisweet chocolate and liqueur. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream to a boil and pour it over chocolate; stir mixture with a wooden spoon until chocolate is melted and very smooth.
Reserve 13 whole macadamia nuts and chop the rest. Pour cooled caramel into the cooled tart shell and spread evenly with a metal spatula; sprinkle chopped nuts over caramel. Pour chocolate cream on top and spread evenly.
Arrange 10 whole nuts around the edge of the tart to mark 10 slices; place remaining 3 nuts in the center. Refrigerate the tart for 1 hour or until firm; serve.