I have a tendency to overdo it when I travel. I get excited and want to do everything. The more guidebooks and blogs I read, the more plans I make. My friends and family remind me that “You can’t do everything” and I politely ignore their advice.
This was the case during my last trip to Paris. By the time I left for the airport, I had something planned for nearly every minute of the six days I was staying in the city. The trip started off well and every meal, tour, and experience was beyond my expectations. I was on a traveler’s high but eventually, the jetlag and exhaustion from going non-stop set in and I hit a wall. That’s not a good feeling when you’re in the first few days of over a month of non-stop travel.
By the fourth day of my trip, I was exhausted. I stayed out way too late (blame it on Anto!) and was planning on ‘calling in sick’ to the cooking class I had scheduled for the next morning. I had visions of sleeping in, getting room service, and taking it easy.
Luckily my fear-of-missing-out kicked in and I got my butt out of bed and headed up to Montmartre for the Cook’n with Class Morning Market Class. Although my head hurt and I was running on 3 hours of sleep, I wasn’t about to waste a precious day in Paris.
The Cook’n with Class Morning Market Class starts with a guided visit to a traditional Parisian market to buy the ingredients to use in the cooking class. We met Chef Constance and she led us through the market with stops at her favorite butcher, boulangerie, cheese shop, fish monger, and produce stand.
We didn’t have any recipes or a menu for what we would cook that afternoon. We visited the different shops and simply bought what looked good that day. It’s a much different philosophy than how I normally cook. I often pick recipes and menus and then buy the ingredients accordingly. In this case, the ingredients wrote the menu.
When I asked Constance what we would make that day, she said she wasn’t sure yet, but whatever we made would be simple and the ingredients would shine.
After finishing the shopping, we headed back to the school to get cooking. With the theme of focusing on our ingredients, Constance suggested we make a simple tart that would showcase the rich French butter and a high-quality dark chocolate that the school had on hand.
Our group decided on a classic French salted caramel chocolate tart made from a pâte sablée crust to highlight the fabulous butter, a rich chocolate ganache filling with dark chocolate and fresh cream, and a salted caramel sauce because we wanted to use even more of that butter. We garnished the tart with a sprinkle of the finest French sea salt.
Constance encouraged us to keep our cooking simple. The best dishes are often the ones where the cook does little but help the ingredients shine. It was a good reminder not to overdo things, whether cooking or traveling.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the following people for their help in this recipe:
Thank you to my Aunt Nancy for giving me the cake plate (Depression glass!), cake server (vintage!), and napkin (also vintage!) for a Christmas present. Nancy has a great eye and the patience to find treasures at a flea market. I lack both of those. Aunt Nancy, you are welcome to gift me more food props at any time 🙂
Thank you to Mona Quintanilla and Jess Chen for testing the recipe.
Thank you to Chef Constance Deledalle and Cook’n with Class Paris for inspiring the recipe.
French Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart Recipe
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This recipe for the French Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart is part of Food Network’s Comfort Food Fest. Check out these great Valentine’s Day recipes from my fellow contributors:
Feed Me Phoebe: Dark Chocolate Vegan Truffles with Matcha Green Tea
Creative Culinary: Chocolate Pecan Tart from Chef François Payard
The Hungry Traveler: French Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
Dishing with Divya: Rock Truffles
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Easy Chocolate Fudge – 2 Minute Microwave Recipe
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Devil Dog Cupcakes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Homemade Chocolate Sauce
Red or Green: Chocolate Spice Bark With Sea Salt
The Mom 100: Chocolate Banana Cake
Taste with the Eyes: Chocolate Pots de Creme with Passion Fruit
Healthy Eats: 5 Chocolatey Reasons to Stay in This Valentine’s Day
Swing Eats: Nutella Panna Cotta
FN Dish: 5 Chocolatey Treats Better Than a Box of Store-Bought Truffles