Don’t be afraid of this recipe, even if you’ve never worked with puff pastry before. This is very easy to execute, especially if you use purchased cajeta or dulce de leche.
Cajeta is a rich Mexican caramel sauce made from goat’s milk. You can find cajeta in some Latin markets, or you could use purchased dulce de leche, which is made with cow’s milk. For those of you who might be inspired to make your own cajeta, I’ve included a recipe as well. Or you could use a previously posted recipe for Dulce de Leche.
Mexican chocolate is sold in a hexagonal shaped yellow box, usually in the international aisle. If you don’t wish to make a special purchase you could substitute regular semisweet chocolate for the Mexican chocolate and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a few drops of almond extract.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17.3 oz. package), thawed
½ cup cajeta or dulce de leche
1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
½ cup whipping cream
One 3.16 oz. disk Mexican chocolate, chopped
4 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Ice cream for serving
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a heavy baking sheet with nonstick spray, or line with a sheet of parchment paper. I used the sheet of parchment paper that was rolled around the puff pastry.
Sprinkle just a bit of flour on your counter and lightly roll out the pastry sheet to a 12 by 12-inch square. Cut the sheet of pastry in half to form two 12 by 6-inch rectangles. Set aside one piece in the fridge to remain cold while you work on the other one. Transfer one piece of the pastry to the prepared baking sheet. Spread with the cajeta or dulce de leche. Make sure the cajeta is at room temperature so that you can spread it easily; if it’s not at room temperature, warm it up slightly in the microwave. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds, leaving a 1-inch border along all the edges. Brush the edges of the pastry with some egg white.
Take the remaining piece of pastry out of the fridge and fold in half the long way. Make diagonal cuts along the fold, about 1 inch deep, every 2 inches. Unfold the pastry and lay it over the piece on the baking sheet, pressing edges together lightly to seal. Turn the edges under, about ½ inch, and press the edges together with the tines of a fork. Brush the tart all over with the remaining egg white, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a rack.
While the tart is baking, bring the whipping cream to a boil in a medium saucepan and immediately remove from heat; add both chocolates. Let sit for one minute, then whisk until melted and smooth. The sauce can be made two days ahead of time; rewarm before using.
Slice (a serrated knife works well), and serve with ice cream and the chocolate sauce. Excellent choices of ice cream would be vanilla, cinnamon, or dulce de leche.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit, May 2003 issue
Photo credit: Linda McElroy