Friday, March 15, 2013

Chocolate and more

I just love chocolate!!
especially my Chocolate nut biscotti (now available at

However, enough shameless self promotion! 
Here is a recipe for a great chocolate tart!

Makes one 9-inch tart, serving 12

Two ounces (1/2 cup) of toasted and skinned hazelnuts can be substituted for the almonds. We like this tart made with good-quality bittersweet chocolate containing a cocoa percentage between 60 and 65 percent; Callebaut Intense Dark Chocolate, L-60-40NV is our preferred brand. For best texture and flavor, the tart must be allowed to come to cool room temperature before serving; do not serve it chilled. Before serving the finished tart can be garnished with a dusting of cocoa powder, chocolate curls, or flaky sea salt. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream; if you like, spike the cream with Cognac or flavor it with a touch of vanilla extract.

1 large egg yolk
2 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 ¾ ounces) sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup (1 ¾ ounces) sugar
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 ¼ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into thin slices and softened
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature

2 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 tablespoon hot water

1. For the Crust: Beat egg yolk and cream together in small bowl. Process almonds and sugar in food processor until nuts are finely ground, 15 to 20 seconds. Add flour and salt; pulse to combine, 10 pulses. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; pulse to cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 pulses. With machine running, add egg yolk mixture and process until dough forms ball, about 10 seconds. Transfer dough to large sheet plastic wrap and press into 6-inch disk; wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm but malleable, about 30 minutes. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; before using, let stand at room temperature until malleable but still cool.)

2. Roll out dough between 2 large sheets plastic wrap into 11-inch round about 3/8-inch thick. (If at any point dough becomes too soft and sticky to work with, slip dough onto baking sheet and refrigerate until workable.) Place dough round on baking sheet and refrigerate until firm but pliable, about 15 minutes.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat over to 375 degrees. Spray 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray. Keeping dough on sheet, remove top layer of plastic wrap. Invert tart pan with bottom on top of dough round. Press on tart pan to cut dough. Using two hands, pick up sheet and tart pan, and carefully invert both, setting tart pan right-side up. Remove sheet and peel off plastic wrap. Roll over edges of tart pan with rolling pin to completely cut dough. Gently ease and press dough into bottom of pan, reserving scraps. Roll dough scrap into ¾-inch rope. Line edge of tart pan with rope and gently press into fluted sides. Line tart pan with plastic wrap and using measuring cup, gently press and smooth dough to even thickness (sides should be about ¼-inch thick). Using paring knife, trim any excess dough above rim of tart. Free dough-lined tart until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Set dough-lined tart pan on baking sheet. Spray 12-inch square of foil with nonstick cooking spray and press foil, sprayed side down, into tart pan; fill with about 2 cups pie weights. Bake until dry and light golden brown, about 25 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Carefully remove foil and weights and continue to bake until pastry is rich golden brown and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature on baking sheet on wire rack.

5. For the Filling: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Bring cream and salt to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring once or twice to dissolve salt. Meanwhile, place chocolate in large heatproof bowl. Pour simmering cream over chocolate, cover, and let stand 5 minutes to allow chocolate to soften. Using whisk, stir mixture slowly and gently (so as not to incorporate air) until homogenous. Add butter pieces and continue to whisk gently until fully incorporated. Pour beaten egg through fine-mesh strainer into chocolate mixture; whisk slowly until mixture is homogenous and glossy. Pour filling into tart shell and shake gently from side to side to distribute and smooth surface; pop any large bubbles on surface with toothpick or skewer. Bake tart until outer edge of filling is just set and very faint cracks appear on surface; filling will still be very wobbly. Cool to room temperature on baking sheet on wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, until filling is chilled and set, at least 3 hours or up to 18.

6. For the glaze: Remove tart from refrigerator. Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat; stir once or twice to combine. Remove pan from heat, add chocolate, and cover. Let stand 5 minutes to allow chocolate to soften. Whisk gently until mixture is smooth, trying not to create air bubbles, then gently whisk in hot water until glaze is homogenous, shiny, and pourable. Working quickly, pour entire amount of glaze onto center of tart. To distribute glaze, tilt tart and allow glaze to run to edge. (Spreading glaze with spatula will leave marks on surface.) Pop any large bubbles with tip of toothpick or skewer. Let stand until tart warms to cool room temperature, at least 1 hour. [Tart can be glazed ahead and refrigerated, but glaze looses its sheen with chilling. If desired, sheen can be restored by warming surface with a hair dryer on low setting for 1 to 2 minutes.]

7. To serve: Remove outer ring from tart pan. Insert a thin-bladed metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen tart; slide tart onto serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve.
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All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.