Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Jameson Chocolate Walnut Caramel Tart

Servings: 8
In the 200 years since it was first produced, Jameson has become the world's leading brand of Irish whiskey. While increasing its global reach, Irish whiskey has made its mark on Irish cookery, especially in desserts, where its distinctive taste complements a wide range of flavors. The combination of whiskey and chocolate is especially delicious, and when nuts and caramel are added, as in this tart, the results are superb.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick/2 oz/56g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Caramel Sauce:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick/2 oz/56g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, broken up into small pieces
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick/2 oz/56g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons Jameson Irish whiskey (or any other good brand of Irish Whiskey)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

To Start the Crust:
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the butter and shortening and pulse 8 to 12 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of the water and process for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the dough comes together. Add the remaining water if necessary and pulse again. Dust a work surface with flour. Turn out the dough, form it into a ball, then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling.

Butter a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to a circle 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to the prepared pan, fold in the excess dough and press with your fingers to form thick sides. Freeze for 30 minutes, or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. Line the crust with foil, fill with pie weights or dry beans and cover with a piecrust shield. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the weights, foil and shield, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes more, or until the crust is browned all over. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Maintain the oven temperature.

To Make the Caramel Sauce:
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Continue cooking until the mixture turns golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Pour the caramel mixture into the tart crust, spread evenly over the bottom and freeze for 15 minutes, or until set.

To Make the Filling:
Sprinkle half of the walnuts and all of the chocolate pieces over the caramel. In a large bowl, combine the corn syrup, brown sugars, butter, eggs, whiskey, vanilla and salt. With an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Pour over the chocolate and walnuts. Sprinkle the remaining half of the walnuts over the top.

Bake the tart for about 50 minutes, or until the filling is nearly set in the center. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Release the sides of the pan. Dust the tart with confectioners' sugar, slice and serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles and Fools by Margaret M. Johnson.

Date: March 3, 2006