Salted Espresso Caramel & Gianduja Tart

Salted Espresso Caramel & Gianduja Tart | Now, Forager | Teresa Floyd PhotographyWe’re in the thick of the holiday season and that means holiday party time. One of my favorite holiday party memories is from a couple of years ago. A dear friend invited us to celebrate the season in her home and the theme was “Pie Party.”  Some form of sweet or savory pie was to be contributed and people did not disappoint. Everything from gluten-free chicken pot pie, deep dish Chicago-style pizza “pie,” to a savory quiche (that was me stretching the boundaries of the term “pie”), and classic apple pie. Every inch of the large farmhouse style kitchen table was covered in delicious food. People ate themselves merry and conversed into the late hours.

Gianduja & Salted Espresso Caramel Tart | Now, Forager | Teresa FloydWhether you’re attending an office party or an intimate gathering of close friends, food is usually at the center of the party. If you’re looking for a special dessert to create for the event, this Salted Espresso Caramel & Gianduja Tart would be a lovely option. It’s comprised of a tender almond tart dough, a layer of salted espresso caramel, and a top layer of gianduja milk chocolate ganache. Gianduja is a mixture of hazelnut paste and milk or dark chocolate. In this case, I’ve gone with milk chocolate. The salted caramel cuts down the sweetness of the ganache and you’re left with a silky coffee, hazelnut, and milk chocolate tart. Feel free to simplify the recipe further if needed. Skip the caramel layer and go all milk chocolate ganache. Maybe leave out the hazelnut paste from the ganache and just do straight-up milk chocolate ganache over the layer of caramel. You get the idea. Baking requires you to follow a recipe, but there’s still room for making your own mark. Wow the party guests with this holiday tart and enjoy the party!

Salted Espresso Caramel & Gianduja Tart | Now, Forager | Teresa FloydSalted Espresso Caramel & Gianduja Tart 

Makes one 8″ round tart, 10 servings


Vanilla Bean Almond Tart Dough

6 oz (170g)  unsalted butter, room temperature
Pinch  sea salt
4 oz (112g)  powdered sugar
2 oz (57g)  almond flour
1  large egg
1/2  vanilla bean, split & seeds scraped
13 oz  (368g)  cake flour

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Rest 8″round tart ring on baking sheet.

In a stand mixer bowl, using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, salt, powdered sugar, almond flour, egg, and vanilla bean seeds until combined. On low speed, add flour and mix just until dough comes together. Pour out dough onto clean work surface and gently press dough together with your hands. Press dough into 1/2″ thick disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour or overnight.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness. If dough is too stiff, let it rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes until pliable. Transfer dough onto tart ring and gently press dough into the sides of the ring. Using a paring knife, trim the excess dough off the rim of the tart ring. Prick dough, all over the bottom, with a fork.* Line tart dough with a large round of parchment paper (simply cut out a big circle of parchment that’s slightly larger than the tart ring) and fill with pie weights (or dry beans or rice). This prevents the dough from puffing up while baking. Bake for 30 minutes, removing parchment and pie weights half-way through, until crust is golden. 

*Tip: After pricking the dough, carefully transport the freshly lined tart ring onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes or until tart dough is frozen solid. Remove from freezer and proceed with the process. Freezing the tart dough prevents shrinkage while baking and gives you a perfectly clean tart shell. It’s not a required step, but if you’re concerned about tart dough shrinkage try this tip.


Salted Espresso Caramel 

4 oz (114g)  heavy cream
1 Tbsp  coffee beans, medium grind
1/8 tsp  sea salt
1/2  vanilla bean, split & seeds scraped
4 oz (114g)  sugar
2 oz (57g)  water
2 oz (57g)  38% milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 Tbsp  unsalted butter

In a small pot, bring heavy cream, ground coffee beans, and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and cover. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard coffee grounds. Add vanilla bean seeds to coffee cream.

Place milk chocolate in a large clean bowl. In a medium-sized saucepan (with high sides), bring sugar and water to boil. Cook sugar until it becomes golden-amber in color. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in steeped coffee cream until smooth. The mixture will bubble up and sputter loudly, so don’t place hands too close to the pot when whisking in the cream. Immediately, pour coffee caramel over milk chocolate and whisk to combine. Whisk in butter to finish. Let caramel cool slightly. Pour into baked tart shell and spread to evenly coat the bottom. 


Gianduja Milk Chocolate Ganache 

2 oz (57g)  roasted hazelnuts, finely ground into a paste*
4 oz (114g)  heavy cream
Pinch of sea salt 
5 oz (142g)  38% milk chocolate, melted
3 Tbsp  unsalted butter, room temperature

*To roast hazelnuts: Preheat oven to 350F. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Nuts should be fragrant and lightly toasted. Place warm nuts into a food processor and grind until it becomes a paste (nuts will break down and become a fluid paste/nut butter).

Combine hazelnut paste and melted milk chocolate in a large bowl. In a small pot, bring salt and heavy cream to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the hazelnut-chocolate. Stir mixture together, stirring from the center and working your way outwards as the mixture combines. Stir in butter (or use an immersion blender) until no butter streaks remain and ganache is smooth. 

Pour ganache over the salted espresso caramel and spread evenly to the edges of the tart. Let set until ganache is firm, preferably overnight. Decorate tart with chopped toasted hazelnuts or any way desired. Cut tart into servings and enjoy. 

6 thoughts on “Salted Espresso Caramel & Gianduja Tart

  • After seeing this on IG, I knew I had to come check this tart out. It would be devoured at any gathering because it is absolutely gorgeous with the elegant gold leaf and is perfectly executed. There’s so many layers of flavor in this tart, it is absolutely luscious… and I love the addition of coffee beans! Thank you for this Teresa!

    • Hi Traci! You are so sweet. Coffee and hazelnut go so well together that I couldn’t help but add them to this tart. Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words. Congrats on Vanilla and Bean! It’s a beautiful space where one can go and loose themselves in the gorgeous photos and delicious recipes. Always love seeing your work. Happy Holidays!

  • I have a question. I have been making tarts for a while now and noticing upon baking the sides of the tart shell shrink. I use pate sucre and the ingredients that you are mentioning. How to prevent the sides of the tart from shrinking upon baking?

    • Hi Eva, that’s a great question and a common tart dough problem. Allowing the dough to rest after it’s been made is a good start (it allows the gluten in the dough to relax and prevents major shrinking). Also, try freezing the dough after it’s been lined and trimmed in its tart ring. Pull it directly from the freezer and proceed with the par-baking process. This will give you a perfect shell. Best of luck!

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