From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering
I changed the recipe to use store bought caramels melted with cream. Making homemade caramel sauce can be extremely dangerous, so take caution if you venture to make your own.
This dessert is extremely rich, but tastes out of this world. It can be made a day or two in advance. You could also add 1-2 tbsp of liqueur to the chocolate truffle mix or even arrange sliced strawberries, fresh pineapple or mango on top of the chocolate, but underneath the caramel topping. In this way, both the chocolate and caramel help the fruit stay looking and tasting fresher. This is best served at room temperature.
Makes at least 8 portions.
- 2 cup whole pecans (8oz bag)
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 oz. very soft unsalted butter (you can get away with salted butter)
- 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
- 12 oz. bag (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ of 14 oz bag of soft caramels, unwrapped (use the kind for making candy apples; the bin kind can be a pain to unwrap).
- ¼ cup milk or cream.
- Additional whipped cream and chocolate curls for garnish. To make your own whipped cream, combine one cup of liquid cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and one teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract. Whip until stiff.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Blend nuts, sugar and cinnamon in processor until nuts are finely ground, but not a paste.
3. Add butter and blend until well combined. Press nut mix onto bottom and about one inch up sides of 9” tart pan/spring form pan with removable bottom. It will also work in 9” pie plate if a spring form pan is unavailable.
4. Bake until golden brown - about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.
5. Bring whipping/heavy cream to simmer in microwave. Add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Heat gently if not smooth enough. Put 2 tbsp chocolate mix in Ziploc snack bag and retain. Pour chocolate into crust. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
6. Put caramels and milk in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until totally smooth.
7. Allow caramel to cool slightly, but pour over set chocolate filling before caramel gets too hard. Warm Ziploc bag containing the 2 tablespoons of reserved chocolate. Snip corner from bag and pipe a continuous circle of chocolate radiating out from the center of the dish. Take a toothpick, knife or skewer, and gently drag tip through chocolate circle from outside to center to form pattern (see photo). Refrigerate to set.
8. To garnish: Spread or pipe whipped cream around edge, or all over top. Place few chocolate chips in cheese grater and grate some on top, or sprinkle with chocolate curls.