Guinness, Chocolate, and Caramel Tart


A bittersweet, dark, Guinness chocolate layer sits atop chewy caramel and salty pretzels for a rich dessert that's sure to wow. Plan ahead as this takes quite a bit of prep and cooling time. Make sure to read through the entire recipe before starting. Serve this tart at room temp, topped with some whiskey whipped cream, extra pretzels, and a sprinkle of sea salt to taste.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 50 mins
1 9-inch tart


Pretzel Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups finely crushed pretzels

  • cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • teaspoon salt, or to taste


  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 ½ cups white sugar

  • ¼ cup light corn syrup

  • ¼ cup water

Guinness-Chocolate Topping:

  • 11 ¼ fluid ounces Irish stout beer (such as Guinness® Extra Stout)

  • 1 ¼ ounces dark chocolate, chopped (such as Ghirardelli(R) 72% Cacao Twilight Delight bar)

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao)

  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

  2. Mix pretzel crumbs, brown sugar, melted butter, and salt together in a bowl until mixture resembles wet sand. Pour into the tart pan, and press very firmly and evenly up the sides and into the bottom of the pan.

  3. Place tart pan onto a baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely in pan, about 30 minutes.

  4. Combine heavy cream, butter, vanilla extract, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook until butter is melted and mixture begins to bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside, and keep warm.

  5. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large light-colored saucepan with high sides. Cook over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until mixture is amber in color, 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and very carefully whisk in reserved cream-butter mixture, as caramel mixture will bubble up and steam; stir constantly.

  6. Insert a candy thermometer into the mixture and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel reaches 245 degrees F (118 degrees C), 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully pour caramel into an even layer in the baked and cooled crust. Allow caramel layer to cool until set, 1 to 2 hours.

  7. Prepare the chocolate layer. Pour stout beer into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until stout has been reduced to 1/4 cup, 20 to 25 minutes. Pour reduced stout into a large bowl. Stir in chopped chocolate, chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla; set aside.

  8. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until just simmering, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour over chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Carefully pour melted chocolate over the cooled caramel layer, making sure not overflow the pan.

  9. Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles that may arise. Allow chocolate layer to cool and set up completely, 1 to 2 hours.

Cook's Notes:

The brand of pretzels used in the crust matters, as some are saltier than others. I used Rold Gold, which were not that salty, thus I added extra salt to the crust for a better sweet-salty balance. If your pretzels are saltier, you may not need the added salt. Adjust to taste. Also make sure that the pretzels are crushed very fine (I ran them through a food processor to achieve this) or it will be difficult to press the crust into the pan.

Make sure to use a candy thermometer for the caramel. It needs to reach approximately "firm ball stage" at 245 degrees F (118 degrees C). This allows the caramel to set up firmly, but still be soft enough to eat. However, a softer caramel may be achieved by cooking it only to "soft ball stage" at 240 degrees F (115 degrees C), though this may not set up as nicely as a layer. The time it takes to reach this temperature can vary substantially, so be sure to use the thermometer for accuracy.

You will probably have extra chocolate that won't fit; only pour as much as needed to fill the tart shell and cover the caramel without overflowing the pan. Save the extra for another use.

It's important to serve this tart at room temperature, as the caramel hardens substantially when chilled. This tart may be made up to several days in advance, as long as it is kept chilled; but be sure to bring it back to room temp before serving. For easier cutting, run a sharp knife under hot water, then dry it off on a towel. The warmed knife should allow for easier and cleaner cuts.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

369 Calories
22g Fat
43g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 369
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 14g 68%
Cholesterol 58mg 19%
Sodium 198mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 41mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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