Chocolate, pecan and salted caramel torte
Prep time: 1 hr 30 mins
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole.
Prep time: 1 hr 30 mins
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Nutritional information (per serving)
For the caramelised pecans
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g pecans, roughly chopped
For the salted caramel sauce
- 200g granulated sugar
- 100g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
- 150ml double cream
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
For the chocolate crisp
- 40g Belgian milk chocolate
- 60g cornflakes, crushed
For the brownie base
- 100g Belgian dark chocolate (with 70% cocoa solids), chopped
- 125g unsalted butter
- 40g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 75g pecans, roughly chopped
- 25g caster sugar
- 75g light muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
For the chocolate ganache topping
- 150ml whole milk
- 125g Belgian dark chocolate (with 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
- 125g Belgian milk chocolate, broken into pieces
- 5 tbsp (100g) salted caramel sauce
- 200ml double cream
- a little melted milk chocolate, to finish
Step by step
Make up to the end of step 4 a few days ahead. Store the caramelised pecans in an airtight container – I use a jam jar. The finished torte will keep for 3 days in the fridge
- Begin by lining a deep rectangular tin, about 20cm x 30cm, 5cm-deep, with baking paper.
- Make the caramelised pecans. Put the sugar and 25ml water in a medium-sized saucepan and bring them to the boil without stirring – just shake the pan gently, which will help the sugar dissolve. Then simmer until it is a light golden colour. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the roughly chopped pecans. Pour the mix onto a baking tray lined with baking paper; leave to cool and set.
For the salted caramel sauce, heat the sugar and 50ml water in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and, still without stirring, leave to simmer for about 5 minutes until it turns a light golden colour. Remove from the heat and add the butter – the caramel will bubble up. Stir until the butter has melted and slowly pour in the cream, taking care as the mixture will sputter. Return the pan to the heat and gently simmer for a minute. Stir in the sea salt and set aside to cool.TipInstead of pecans, try using dried sour cherries that have been soaked overnight in brandy or rum.
- For the chocolate crisp, gently melt the milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Roughly crush the caramelised pecans with a rolling pin, set a few aside, then mix them into the melted milk chocolate and cornflakes. Pour onto a sheet of baking paper or silicone, spread the mixture out loosely and leave to set.
- For the brownie base, preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Melt the chocolate and the butter together over a pan of barely simmering water. Mix well and leave to cool slightly. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the pecans and the sugars. Pour in the melted chocolate and butter and the eggs, and mix together. Pour the mixture into a deep rectangular tin, about 20cm x 30cm, which you've lined with baking paper – make sure the paper comes above the edge of the tin, as it will make it easier to remove the torte later on. Bake the brownie for 15 minutes – it will be slightly undercooked – and leave to cool in the tin.
- For the chocolate ganache topping, heat the milk in a saucepan until it comes to the boil and remove from the heat. Add the dark and milk chocolate, and stir until melted. Mix in 5 tablespoons of the salted caramel sauce and leave the mixture to cool. Whisk the cream until it just starts to hold its shape and fold into the ganache mix.
- Spoon 8 tablespoons of the ganache topping over the brownie base and spread it out thinly. Crush the chocolate crisp to crumbs and mix in a pinch of sea salt. Scatter over the ganache, then pour over the rest of the ganache. Smooth the top and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Lift the torte carefully out of the tin, using the baking paper to pull it out. Peel the paper away from the sides and, using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the torte. Drizzle over just a little melted chocolate, then cut the torte into squares. Place the reserved crushed caramelised pecans onto each square. Store in the fridge and serve chilled.