These Baileys Chocolate Caramel Tarts are outrageously good! With their crispy and buttery tart shell, Baileys Irish Cream salted caramel filling, and glossy chocolate topping, they are delicious and absolutely gorgeous.
This recipe yields 7 mini tarts, but they’re very decadent and many people would find half of a tart to be a satisfying dessert. So depending on your audience, this can either feed up to 14 people or 7 very happy people!
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse briefly until everything is well-blended.
Add the cold cubed butter and pulse until it is in small pea-sized pieces.
Add the egg yolks and pulse in long 5-second bursts until the dough starts clumping together.
Turn the dough out of the food processor and knead it lightly several times to incorporate any extra flour. At this point, the dough can be wrapped and refrigerated for several days. If you’re ready to use it now, spray seven 4-inch tart shells (with removable bottoms) with nonstick cooking spray.
Press the dough in an even layer into the bottom and sides of each pan. Place the shells on a baking sheet and freeze them for 30 minutes. While they’re in the freezer, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray the tops of the tart dough with nonstick spray, then press a square of foil onto the shells, shiny side down, and fill the foil with dry beans, rice, or pie weights.
Bake the tart shells for 15-18 minutes, until the sides start to take on a little color and the centers no longer looks raw, then carefully remove the foil and weights. Bake for an additional 7 minutes, until the shells turn golden brown. Let them cool completely before filling.
To Make the Baileys Salted Caramel:
Unwrap the caramels and place them in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add the Baileys and salt. Microwave the caramels in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
At first they will resist melting, but after 1-2 minutes they will soften and melt together. Switch to a whisk once they start to melt, and whisk the caramel until smooth and free of lumps. Let it cool to room temperature before filling the shells.
To Make the Baileys Chocolate Ganache and Assemble:
Before you make the ganache, start assembling the tarts. Remove the cooled shells from the tart pans and place them on plates.
Divide the caramel between the shells—each shell should get about 2-2.5 oz of caramel, coming about halfway up to the top of the shell. Use a small spatula to smooth the caramel into an even layer. Once every shell is filled with caramel, make the ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the heavy cream, Baileys, corn syrup, and salt into a saucepan and place the pan over medium heat. Bring the cream mixture to a simmer, and once small bubbles appear all along the sides of the pan, pour it over the chopped chocolate in the bowl.
Let the hot cream soften the chocolate for one minute, then gently whisk them together, until all of the chocolate is melted and your ganache is smooth and shiny. Add the room temperature butter and whisk it into the ganache until incorporated.
Pour the ganache on top of the caramel in the tart shells, filling each one up to the top. Gently tap the tarts against the counter to smooth out the chocolate and remove any air bubbles.
If you’re making these in advance and have time, you can let them set at room temperature—this will keep the ganache shiny and will give your chocolate a lusciously soft texture. If you need to speed the process up, refrigerate the tarts until the chocolate is set—this is faster, but the tops of the tarts often get dull during the process of refrigeration and coming back to room temperature.
Once the chocolate is set, decorate the tops however you’d like—add a sprinkling of large flaked sea salt, a drizzle of caramel, a touch of gold leaf, a chocolate truffle—or all of the above! For the best taste and texture, you DEFINITELY want to enjoy these tarts at room temperature.