Caramel Espresso Tart

This decadent tart features cookie-like pat-in-the-pan crust, a layer of salted caramel and espresso pastry cream. It is topped with billowy whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel. The flavours are reminiscent of a caramel macchiato coffee! Adding whole milk powder to the whipped cream helps it to stay stable and not melt after a few hours. If you don't have any, you can leave it out. I would then suggest topping each slice with whipped cream and caramel as you serve them.
Servings: 8 yield(s)
Prep Time: 240 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 265 mins
Ingredients
    For the Tart Crust
  • 192 g all-purpose flour (1 1/3 cups)
  • 65 g granulated sugar (5 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 142 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (10 tbsp)
  • For the Espresso Pastry Cream
  • 100 g granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 500 ml half-and-half cream (2 cups)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 22 g cornstarch (3 tbsp)
  • 55 g unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces (4 tbsp)
  • For the Salted Caramel
  • 200 g granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 55 g unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces (4 tbsp)
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • For the Whipped Cream
  • 250 ml heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole milk powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
    For the Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180 C. Place a 9-inch/23cm round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom on a baking sheet.
  2. Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and mix to combine. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of your tart pan.
  3. Bake the crust for 30 - 35 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the crust is golden and firm to the touch. Let cool completely.
  4. For the Espresso Pastry Cream
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch. Set aside.
  6. If using a vanilla bean, cut the bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds from one half with the back of a knife. Wrap up the other half to use another time.
  7. Heat sugar, cream, espresso powder and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a light simmer.
  8. Slowly whisk one cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolks, to temper them. Then slowly whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining cream. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, about 30 seconds. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes after the mixture thickens, whisking constantly.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract, if using. Remove the vanilla bean, if using, and pour the mixture into a bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the top of the mixture and chill in the fridge for 3 hours to set.
  10. For the Salted Caramel
  11. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, water, and salt over medium heat. Do not stir! Instead, gently shake the pan every so often until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture turns an amber caramel, about 5 - 10 minutes. The final colour of the cooked caramel should be that of a dark copper penny,
  12. Off heat, carefully whisk in cream, then butter and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. When the mixture has thickened and cooled slightly, pour the 3/4 cup of the caramel over the bottom of the crust. It helps to pour it over the entire surface of the crust, rather than the centre, and then spread as needed to fill any gaps as the caramel hardens quickly. Chill in the fridge until ready to assemble the rest of the tart. Reserve the rest of the caramel at room temperature for topping the tart.
  13. For the Whipped Cream and Assembly
  14. Once your pastry cream has fully chilled and set, pipe it over top of the caramel in the tart. Smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  15. Place the cream, icing sugar, milk powder and vanilla in a chilled bowl. Whip to stiff peaks. Mound over top of the tart.
  16. Pipe or drizzle remaining salted caramel decoratively over the whipped cream. If the caramel has hardened too much, you can soften it in the microwave for 20 seconds.