Sunday Dinner

Blanquette de Veau (Veal Stew)
Potatoes Fondantes
French Baguette

Warm Chocolate Tart

I like to think of this Sunday dinner menu as a seasonal transition.  It has the comforting foods of the cold season, but ushers in just a hint of lightness for the warmer springtime temps (at least that's how I see it).  And the tart speaks for both.  Served warm with a scoop of ice cream? Now that's comforting.  How about a sliver served by itself at room temperature or even cold? It hits the sweet tooth just right without being too heavy.  Not to mention it is super easy to prepare and on a Sunday when I'm busy in the kitchen, that is a bonus for me.

I added a touch of espresso powder, a little vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to enhance the chocolate flavor.  Speaking of flavor--since the tart is all about the chocolate, use a good quality chocolate.  With a ganache like texture, a dusting of cocoa powder gives it a truffle-like appearance.  A sliceable truffle with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?  Don't mind if I do☺.

Warm Chocolate Tart
serves 8-10

For the Tart Dough
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
9 Tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 extra large egg
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt

Cocoa powder for dusting
Vanilla ice cream 

For the Tart Dough
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour.   Process in short bursts until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the egg and vanilla and process in long pulses (about 5-7 seconds long) until the dough has started to clump.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto the surface.  Using the plastic wrap and the back of your hands, gently press the dough into a disk.  Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325º F.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  If refrigerated overnight, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle, flouring the dough and surface as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over an 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Fit the dough into the edge of the pan.  Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough.  Place the tart onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  

Line the tart pan with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Place on a rack to cool; maintain oven temperature.

For the Filling
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and milk.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.  Allow to stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate, then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Add the espresso powder and vanilla and whisk until combined.  Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk the egg into the chocolate mixture.  Pour the filling into the pre-baked tart shell.

Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes until the edges are set and the center still slightly soft.  Cool the tart on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream. (The tart can be made up to one day in advance.  Warm in a 250º F oven before serving.)

Source: Adapted from Simply Sensational Desserts by François Payard

1 comment:

  1. This tart looks gorgeous! I love when things can be served hot, room temp, or cold be just as good at each temperature!


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