If you want to pull out all the stops on Valentine's Day, this tart is the way to do it. It combines two perfect couples -  chocolate & bourbon and caramel & sea salt - into one luxurious dessert! Enjoy the recipe by Churchill Downs Executive Chef David Danielson.

Bourbon Chocolate Tart

Bourbon-Sea Salt and Chocolate Caramel Tart

Tart Shells

  • 1 ¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour 
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar  
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Six 4 ¼ x ½ inch tart shells with removable bottoms

In a stand mixer or you can use a hand mixer; cream the butter and sugar.  Add the egg, the yolk and the vanilla.  Beat to combine. The mixture may have a curdled look to it, but when you add the flour and beat, it comes back together. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tartlet pans on a rimmed baking sheet.  Spray the center of the pans only.  Do not spray the sides. Divide into 9 equal sized balls. Divide 3 of the balls in half. So there are now 6 large and 6 small balls. Roll one large piece into a rope about 12 ½ inches long. Fit into the side of the pan, making sure the ends overlap. Press into the side of the tart shell, overlapping the two ends. Flatten one small piece and place it in the bottom of the shell making sure the edges are well sealed together. Prick with a fork. Bake 18 to 22 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely.  Remove the sides of the pans. Remove the bottom.

Bourbon –Sea Salt Caramel

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 can sweet condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter cut in to small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt

*candy thermometer is needed for this recipe

Bring sugar, corn syrup and ¼ cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan or medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in sweetened condensed milk and butter.  The mixture will bubble vigorously, whisk until smooth.  Fit pan with a candy thermometer and return to medium low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thermometer registers 240 F. remove from heat and whisk in bourbon and kosher salt. Pour into cooled tart shells and let cool.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 16 ounces chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Place the chocolate into a medium mixing bowl.  Heat the heavy cream in a heavy quart-sized sauce pot. Heat the cream on medium high heat until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Gently stir several times until chocolate mixture is smooth.  Pour ganache over the top of the cooled caramel in the tart shells.  Sprinkle with some flaky sea salt to finish. Allow to cool so it well set before serving.

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