Friday, September 25, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Choc!

  If you're a die-hard chocoholic, this tart is for you.
Mr. Hawthorne picked it out for his birthday.
WARNING:  This is an intense chocolate experience.
Not for the neophyte.

One of the better cooking shows I watch is America's Test Kitchen.
You can actually learn stuff from this program.
They discuss techniques, review products and foods,
and show how they develop their recipes.
It's educational.
There are no food "personalities,"
so it's a refreshing break from anything on Food Network.

This is America's Test Kitchen's "Best Chocolate Tart." 

Chocolate Tart

Use a good quality dark chocolate containing 60 - 65% cacao.  I used Ghirardelli.
1 egg yolk
2 TB heavy cream
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
6 TB unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Beat yolk and cream together in small bowl.  Process almonds and sugar in processor until finely ground.  Add flour and salt; pulse to combine.  Dot butter over flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  With processor running, add yolk mixture and process until dough forms ball.  Transfer dough to to plastic wrap and form into 6-inch disk.  Wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic into 11-inch circle about 3/8-inch thick.  Place round on baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 375°.  Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan.  Gently ease and press dough into bottom and sides of pan, smoothing to an even thickness.  Freeze dough for 30 minutes.

Set dough-lined pan on baking sheet.  Butter a sheet of aluminum foil and place butter-side down into pan.  Fill with pie weights.  I use the same dried beans over and over.  Bake until dough is light golden brown, about 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

Remove foil and weights and continue to bake until pastry is rich golden brown and fragrant, about 8 more minutes.  Cool completely on rack.

1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp salt
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 TB unsalted butter, cut into thin slices and softened
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

Reduce oven temperature to 250°.  Bring cream, espresso, and salt to simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve.

Place chocolate in heatproof bowl.  Pour simmering cream mixture over top, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes to soften chocolate.  Whisk mixture gently until fully incorporated.  Pour eggs into chocolate mixture.  Whisk slowly until mixture is homogeneous.  Pour filling into tart crust, swirling to distribute evenly.  Bake on baking sheet 30-35 minutes.  Filling will be slightly wobbly.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 3 hours.

3 TB heavy cream
1 TB light corn syrup
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 TB hot water

Remove tart from fridge 30 minutes before glazing.

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer over medium heat.  Stir to combine.  Remove pan from heat, add chocolate, and cover.  Let stand for 5 minutes to soften chocolate.  Whisk gently until mixture is smooth, then whisk in hot water until glaze is homogeneous, shiny, and pourable.  Pour glaze onto center of tart, tilting pan to distribute the glaze evenly.  Do not spread with a spatula.  It leaves marks.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Mr. Hawthorne said this was the best chocolate tart he's ever had.

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