Phil Howard's comprehensive and thorough salted caramel tart recipe will yield a luxurious dessert, with praline macaroons and ginger and vanilla ice cream adding further decadence. The sweet dough recipe yields one kilo, so freeze any excess and use for another dessert

Method
1.
For the sweet pastry, sift together the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and salt before adding into an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the chilled butter and turn the mixer onto a medium speed
2.
Combine the dry ingredients with the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the paddle is still running, add the eggs and allow the pastry to just come together
3.
Transfer the pastry from the mixing bowl onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for 15-20 seconds to bring together until smooth. Pat down to a thickness of 5cm and wrap in cling film. Allow to rest in fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or ideally overnight
4.
For the salted caramel filling, place the caster sugar in a heavy-based pan and place over a high heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan to keep the sugar moving as it caramelises. Stir gently with a wooden spoon if needed
5.
As soon as the caramel achieves a rich hazelnut-bronze colour, add the Madeira and allow it to boil away vigorously. WARNING: the caramel may spit, so make sure you stand away from the pan
6.
Slowly pour in the cream and whisk briefly to combine, then add the salt and briefly whisk again. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool
7.
Lightly beat the muscovado sugar with the egg yolks in a bowl, then add the caramel cream and whisk to combine
8.
Pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Skim off any bubbles from the surface, then set aside in the fridge to chill
9.
For the macaroons, place the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds
10.
Combine the caster sugar and water in a heavy-based pan and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar
11.
Cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 113°C on a sugar thermometer. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer set to full speed until loose meringues form
12.
Gradually add the hot sugar syrup, whisking continuously for 5 minutes, until the meringue has cooled and is thick and glossy
13.
Using a large metal spoon, fold in the icing sugar and almond mix and the praline paste until you have a smooth, glossy, deflated mixture. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle
14.
Pipe 2cm rounds at 5cm intervals on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Dust the macaroons lightly with icing sugar and set aside for about 20 minutes, until just dry to the touch
15.
Place in an oven preheated to 150°C/gas mark 2 and bake for approximately 12 minutes, until the macaroons are firm to the touch, have risen slightly and have formed an aerated ring at the base
16.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then lift the macaroons off the tray and set aside to cool completely. Store in an airtight container
17.
For the praline cream, bring the milk to the boil in a heavy-based pan. In a bowl, mix the eggs and egg yolk with the caster sugar and cornflour until combined
18.
Pour the hot milk into the cornflour mix and stir until thoroughly combined. Return to the pan and bring back to the boil, whisking constantly. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat
19.
Soak the gelatine in cold water for approximately 5 minutes, or until softened. Squeeze out any excess moisture, then add to the mix and whisk until melted. Add the butter and whisk until smooth
20.
Transfer the mix to a bowl set over ice and whisk until cooled. Whisk in the praline, then lightly whip the cream and fold it in also. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle and store in the fridge
21.
For the ice cream, combine the milk, cream, glucose, trimoline, orange zest and ginger in a heavy-based pan. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the pan along with the empty pod, bring to the boil
22.
Meanwhile, lightly whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl. Add the hot milk mix and whisk to combine, then pour back into the pan. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture reaches 84°C - until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon
Making crème anglaise or custard
When stirring the mixture on the heat be sure to use a flat edged spoon, moving it continuously along the base of the pan so the mixture does not catch
23.
Pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl set over ice to cool quickly. Cover and keep in the fridge. Churn the ice cream up to 3 hours before use, then store in the freezer until ready to serve
24.
Remove the tart mix from the fridge 1 hour before cooking and the pastry 30 minutes before rolling
25.
Roll out the pastry on a cool work surface to a thickness of 3mm as round as possible. Dust the pastry sparingly with flour as you go to prevent it from sticking to the surface
26.
Place the rolling pin at one edge of the pastry round and loosely roll up the pastry around the pin. Carefully unroll it over the tart ring, set on a heavy flat baking sheet
27.
Carefully manoeuvre the pastry into the tart ring to line it, trying to avoid tearing or stretching it. Ensure the pastry is tucked right into the corners of the ring. If it tears, either push it back together again or patch it up with excess pastry and some egg wash
28.
Allow the excess pastry to hang over the rim of the ring. Prepare 2 large sheets of cling film, big enough to hold the baking beans and overlap the tart edge. Lay the sheets together for strength
29.
Line the pastry case with the stuck together cling film, then fill with baking beans. Place in an oven preheated to 160°C/gas mark 3 and bake for 20 minutes, or until the rim of the pastry case is golden. Remove from the oven and lift out the cling film with the baking beans. Return the tart case to the oven
VideoVideo: Line a tart tin
Baking blind
When baking blind, you could use uncooked rice or lentils in place of ceramic baking beans
30.
Bake for a further 5–10 minutes or until the base is a pale golden brown. Remove from the oven once more, brush any cracks with beaten egg (or repair larger ones with a tiny amount of raw pastry) and set aside to cool
31.
Return the tart case to the oven and heat up for 5 minutes. Then, remove again and fill with the caramel mix. Carefully return the tart to the oven
32.
Reduce the heat to 110°C/gas mark ¼ and bake for 40 minutes - or until the filling is just set when the tart is gently moved to and fro (the cooking time will vary according to the temperature of the mix when it was poured into the tart case)
33.
Remove the tart from the oven and set aside to cool. While it is still warm, trim off any excess pastry using a small serrated knife: cut away from the tart, angling the blade as horizontally as possible, so that crumbs don’t fall on to the filling. Leave to cool completely
34.
To assemble the final dish, sandwich together 8 pairs of macaroons by piping a small quantity of praline cream onto the flat base of 8 halves, then topping with the other halves
35.
Using a large, sharp serrated knife, portion the tart into 8 portions. Wipe the knife between cuts to ensure a polished finish
36.
Dust each portion generously with icing sugar and use a blowtorch to caramelise the surface (optional)
37.
Lay out 8 plates. Pipe a small dot of praline cream on to the centre of each plate and set a piece of tart on this (it will stop the tart from moving). Stand a macaroon on another dot of praline cream. Finish with a scoop of ice cream
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Ingredients

Sweet pastry

  • 470g of plain flour
  • 180g of icing sugar
  • 60g of ground almonds
  • 4g of salt
  • 240g of unsalted butter
  • 100g of egg, organic

Salted caramel filling

  • 280g of caster sugar
  • 50ml of Madeira
  • 1l of double cream, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 70g of light muscovado sugar
  • 270g of egg yolk

Praline macaroons

  • 135g of icing sugar
  • 150g of ground almonds
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 100g of egg white
  • 15g of praline paste
  • 50ml of water

Ginger and vanilla ice cream

Praline cream

  • 200ml of whole milk
  • 55g of egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 25g of cornflour
  • 3/4 gelatine leaf
  • 50g of unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 35g of praline paste
  • 40ml of double cream

To finish

  • icing sugar, for dusting

Equipment

  1. Sugar thermometer
  2. Blow torch
  3. 30cm tart ring

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