Fancy No-Bake Chocolate Caramel Tart

published Feb 11, 2023
Fancy No-Bake Chocolate Caramel Tart Recipe

It couldn't be easier to make this chocolate caramel tart that looks as fancy as anything you would find at a restaurant, thanks to two very clever shortcuts.

Serves 8 to 12

Prep15 minutes

Cook10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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no bake chocolate caramel tart
Credit: Photo: Linda Xiao; Food Styling: Brett Regot

In the world of chocolate desserts, there’s nothing more impressive than a classic chocolate caramel tart. A tender crust filled with gooey caramel and topped with a glossy chocolate ganache is pure decadence, but making it at home can be quite the process; it’s not something you can easily whip up. That’s why I created this recipe, which forgoes the shortbread crust in place of a no-bake version and swaps out the homemade caramel for a clever shortcut version that’s equally as delicious. It’s an impressive dessert that looks as fancy as anything you would find at a restaurant.

Oreos and Kraft Caramels Are the Key to an Impressive Shortcut Tart

Two clever shortcuts help make this tart incredibly easy to whip up. The first is Oreos, which form the crust. Instead of making the chocolate crust from scratch and blind baking it, I combine crushed Oreo cookies with melted butter to make a pleasantly crumbly crust with a rich chocolate flavor. I press the crumbs into a tart pan with a removable bottom and chill the crust — no baking required!

The second shortcut is Kraft caramel candies — the small square candies found in the baking section of most well-stocked grocery stores. Instead of making a homemade caramel and having to worry about cooking it to the right temperature, I melt Kraft caramels with milk to create an instant, fuss-free caramel that tastes just as good.

Credit: Photo: Linda Xiao; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Tips for Making an Impressive Chocolate Caramel Tart

Before you head into the kitchen to make this tart, keep these tips in mind.

1. Use a tart pan with a removable bottom. Because this tart is made with a crumb crust, it’s important that you use a tart pan with a removable bottom to help get it out easily. These tart pans can be found in most kitchen stores or ordered online.

2. Chill each layer before adding the next. Each layer needs time to chill in the fridge before you can add the next. This helps set up the crust and caramel so that each layer in your finished tart will be nicely defined.

3. Sprinkle the ganache with flaky sea salt after it has set. Many recipes will instruct you to sprinkle the chocolate ganache with sea salt directly after pouring it on top of the caramel, but I recommend waiting until the very end. This prevents the salt from melting into the chocolate and keeps it crunchy.

Fancy No-Bake Chocolate Caramel Tart Recipe

It couldn't be easier to make this chocolate caramel tart that looks as fancy as anything you would find at a restaurant, thanks to two very clever shortcuts.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 8 to 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 20

    chocolate sandwich cookies (about 8 ounces), such as Oreos

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the caramel:

  • 54

    soft caramel candies (about 3 cups or 1.5 eleven-ounce bags), such as Kraft

  • 1/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 1 1/2 cups

    semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup

    whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Flaky salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

Make the crust:

  1. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 10-second increments until melted, 30 to 40 seconds total.

  2. Place 20 chocolate sandwich cookies (about 8 ounces) and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the cookies are the texture of sand, 30 to 40 seconds. Add the butter and pulse just until the cookie crumbs are moistened, 15 to 20 pulses. (Alternatively, crush the cookies in a large zip-top bag with a rolling pin, transfer into a large bowl, and mix the butter into the crumbs by hand.)

  3. Transfer the mixture into a round 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or clean hands to press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (press the sides first to make sure you have enough). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. About 10 minutes before the crust is ready, make the caramel.

Make the caramel:

  1. Unwrap 54 soft caramel candies and place in a medium saucepan. Add 1/4 cup whole milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the caramels are completely melted and the mixture is bubbling and smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Pour into the center of the crust. Spread into an even layer with the back of a spoon if needed. Refrigerate until the caramel is firm enough to touch without leaving an indent, at least 2 hours. Meanwhile, make the ganache.

Make the chocolate ganache:

  1. Place 1 1/2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup whole milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes total. Let sit at room temperature to thicken up as the caramel chills.

  2. Once the caramel is chilled, pour the chocolate ganache on top and spread into an even layer with the back of a spoon. (If the ganache has thickened up too much, microwave on HIGH power in 10-second increments until remelted.) Refrigerate until the ganache no longer looks wet and is firm enough to touch, at least 1 hour.

  3. Sprinkle with flaky salt, cut into wedges, and serve chilled. Refrigerate any uncut tart.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The crust can be made several days in advance before filling with caramel. Store in the refrigerator loosely covered in plastic wrap.

Storage: The leftover tart can be refrigerated in an airtight container or loosely covered in plastic wrap for up to 4 days.