Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024


Esther Clark’s No-Bake Salted Ginger Caramel Chocolate Tart

This tart is unique in that it doesn’t require any baking, making it a great go-to entertaining recipe that can be prepared in advance. Its star is a thick layer of ginger salted caramel and a just-set, buttery chocolate ganache. The ground ginger adds just enough warmth to mellow the sweet caramel and rich chocolate topping. Use a good-quality chocolate if you can, as it makes all the difference – and, of course, a good-quality ground ginger.


Serves 10

For the base
80 g (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
300 g (101⁄2 oz) dark chocolate biscuits (cookies)
30 g (1 oz/scant 1⁄4 cup) blanched hazelnuts
2 tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened chocolate) powder, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon ground ginger

For the caramel
75 g (21⁄2 oz) unsalted butter
75 g (21⁄2 oz/scant 1⁄2 cup) soft brown muscovado sugar
75 g (21⁄2 fl oz/5 tablespoons) double (heavy) cream
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt flakes, plus extra for sprinkling

For the chocolate ganache
200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) double (heavy) cream
150 g (5 oz) good-quality dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa solids
2 tablespoons golden (light corn) syrup

To serve
Crème fraîche


  1. Grease the base of a shallow 20 cm (8 in) springform sandwich cake tin (pan) and line with a disc of baking parchment. Tip the biscuits, nuts and cocoa into a food processor and grind to a medium-coarse, sandy texture. Add the butter and ginger and blitz briefly until the mixture clumps together. Push the mixture into the base of the prepared tin and freeze for 30 minutes.
  2. To make the caramel, place the butter, sugar, cream, ginger and salt into a medium-sized saucepan and simmer over a medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, pour into the case and freeze for a further 1 hour.
  3. For the ganache, heat the cream in a large saucepan over a low heat until steaming. Combine the chocolate and golden syrup in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over them, whisking constantly until the chocolate has melted. Pour this mixture over the caramel, then sprinkle with salt flakes and leave to set in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
  4. When ready to eat, push the tart out of its tin. Place on a plate and leave to come to room temperature for 30-40 minutes. Serve sliced with a dollop of crème fraiche. The tart will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Extra ideas

  • Add 2 teaspoons ground ginger to a chocolate cake recipe for a warming, spicy edge.
  • Find your favourite mince pie recipe in the festive season and add 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground ginger to the pastry or mincemeat filling.
  • Apple, ginger and Calvados crumble – Make your favourite apple crumble recipe, and add 2 teaspoons ground ginger to the crumble topping and 50 ml (13⁄4 fl oz/3 tablespoons) Calvados to the apple filling


The Modern Spice Rack (£22, Hardie Grant) by Rachel Walker of Rooted Spices and recipe writer, stylist and Leiths Diploma alumna Esther Clark is a new book that encourages cooks to think more creatively – and more frequently – about what’s in their spice rack. All too often ‘back of the cupboard’ syndrome see wonderful spices forgotten, while we reach for the one or two seasonings we know best. Clark’s recipes promise to spice up our life with a grating of fresh nutmeg over toasted crumpets, fennel seeds in our lemon pound cake, urfa chilli in our red pepper pasta, and star anise with plums in a gorgeous pavlova.