Food can bring your family together and create roots when you make time to sit down and share homemade food with those you love. Amy Green’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Chess Tart is inspired by those precious moments.
Everyone has dishes from their childhood that bring back memories. For me, there are two - my Grandma Ruth’s apple crisp and her chocolate pie. Those were standard fare at our holiday table. Yeah, I guess you could say they’re just recipes, but if you look deeper, those recipes connect me to the people I love most - my family. They bring back memories of laughter, joy and belonging.
Recreating that same sense of love and togetherness for my husband and three boys is a priority for me. I want them to have memories of sitting around the table, sharing food and life with the people who love them, who will always be on their team, and support them in achieving their goals and dreams. I want them to grow deep roots that will give them the courage and strength to create a life they love.
The first time I met my husband’s family, his grandma handed me her recipe for chess pie and told me that’s what he likes for dessert. I’ve had a good laugh over that moment many times, but this was my Joe’s grandma’s way of telling me how important homemade food is for family connectedness.
I decided to marry my Grandma’s chocolate pie with my husband’s favorite dessert. It’s my way of starting a new tradition born from our separate roots. I’ve failed at the chess pie thing before - it’s basically butter, eggs and sugar. Anyone who knows my food knows that it isn’t my typical dessert. But, HERSHEY’S Kitchens Sugar Free Chocolate Chips made this dessert work for me.
Why a tart and not a pie, you ask? Instead of a thick, rich layer of custard, you get a thinner layer with a tart. My version is not quite as indulgent as the original, but it’s still decadent. In fact, Joe gave his stamp of approval and if my Grandma Ruth were still here I’m sure she would too.
What foods give your family roots? How are you making time to spend time around the table with the people you love most?
Serves 10 - 12
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put the teff, arrowroot and coconut sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times until the mixture is combined. Drop the butter evenly around in the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture is the consistency of coarse sand. Turn the food processor on and stream the cold water in. Process for 15 - 30 seconds, or until a dough forms.
Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of an 11” x 8” rectangular tart pan. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes, just until crust is set. Remove from oven and let crust cool completely before making the filling.
Cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces. Put 8 tablespoons of the butter and the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 second increments, stirring in between until partially melted. Once the butter and chocolate are partially melted you can continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of arrowroot, 1/3 cup coconut sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until combined. Add 4 eggs and whisk until combined. Pour the chocolate filling into the bottom of the cooled tart crust. Make sure that the filling is evenly dispersed.
Put the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and sea salt caramel chips in a clean microwave safe bowl. Heat for 15 second increments, stirring in between until partially melted. The sea salt caramel chips melt faster than the chocolate chips. Take care not to overheat. Once melted, whisk in the remaining teaspoon of arrowroot, 1/3 cup of coconut sugar and vanilla. Whisk in the remaining two eggs until combined.
Transfer the caramel mixture into a spouted measuring cup. Pour the caramel mixture in large dots into the chocolate mixture in 9 different areas. Use a bamboo skewer to swirl the caramel into the chocolate, making sure to get the caramel into the edges and corners so that every slice of the tart contains chocolate and caramel.
Bake for 23 - 27 minutes, until the tart filling is firm and jiggles just slightly when shaken. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired. Store in the refrigerator. Let the tart come to room temperature before serving.
Note: To make this tart completely refined sugar-free, replace the sea salt caramel chips with sugar-free chocolate chips. Make the tart filling in one part. Bake and serve as indicated.
*Note: Teff flour and arrowroot can be sourced online or at your local health food store. Many health food stores are willing to order specialty products if they aren’t a part of their typical stock.