Do you really need an occasion to make a chocolaty dessert? Any day could be reason enough, but there are many occasions ahead from Super Bowl parties or Valentine’s Day to Academy Awards parties that warrant a deliciously rich chocolate dessert that includes layers of flavor with a splash of rum, whiskey or bourbon. This is a great recipe for those among us who have pastry phobia or pastry impatience, notes chef and caterer Serena Bass, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. The end result is so ridiculously delicious that you will feel vindicated in the effort you have made. If all the steps are making your eyes roll, skip the pastry and just make the filling.
For the tart, just use half and freeze the balance; it freezes perfectly for at least two months. This is simplicity at its finest and creates a sensation, notes Bass. She says she used to make the pastry, let it rest, roll it out, freeze it, fill it with beans, bake blind, and eventually pour in this fantastic, rich, chocolaty filling before baking the whole thing. Sometimes faux dieters would scrape the filling off, eat the chocolate part, and leave the hours-of-effort shell. Eventually she decided to make double the filling and just bake it in cocotte dishes like a chocolate pudding. Top with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Makes 8 servings
11⁄4 cups Heckers or King Arthur all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 cup iced water
1. Place flour, butter, and salt in bowl of a food processor and pulse 10 times. Pour in water and pulse 8 times.
2. Let damp crumbs sit 5 minutes, tip into a sealable plastic bag, and gently but firmly form a 3⁄4-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. Remove dough from refrigerator and leave at room temperature 15 minutes, until just pliable but still cool. Roll out to a 12-inch circle and, making sure it’s centered, drape over a 91⁄2-inch tart pan with removable base.
4. Lift up pastry and ease it down into corner of pan, pushing it in with a knuckle then pressing in gently but firmly with your thumb against the vertical side. This will give you a strong pastry wall to hold the filling.
5. Run a rolling pin over top of pan to cut off excess pastry. Dock the base several times with a fork. Place shell, uncovered, in freezer 30 minutes.
6. Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425°F. Remove shell from freezer and line with aluminum foil, allowing 3 extra inches on each side. Tuck foil into corners well and fill 1⁄2-inch deep with pie weights or dried beans.
7. Bake 20 minutes, remove foil, and bake 10 minutes uncovered, until there are no uncooked patches and pastry is golden brown. When removing from oven, wait 10 seconds to let foil cool. You can then pick it up by the four corners with your bare hands; just avoid the beans as they will be hot.
8. Shell can be baked a day ahead, left in pan to cool, and filled and baked the next day. Just wrap with plastic wrap when shell is totally cold and store unrefrigerated.
9. For the tart filling: Reduce the oven heat to 350°F. Pour the filling into the shell and bake for 10 minutes if the shell is warm and 12 minutes if the shell is cool. Remove the tart from the oven (the center will still be jiggly), and allow to cool without refrigerating. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Chocolate Tart Filling
Makes 6 servings in cocotte dishes
Makes enough filling for 2 tarts
16 tablespoons (2 sticks), unsalted butter cut into tablespoon slices
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons Medaglia d’Oro espresso powder
4 extra large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄4 cup whiskey, bourbon, or Myers’s dark rum
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons Droste Dutch process or Ghirardelli cocoa
11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
1. Butter 6, 1⁄2-cup, ovenproof cocotte dishes. Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until just melted.
3. In a deep, medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and alcohol very well. Sift in flour, cocoa, and salt, and gently whisk together. Add chocolate mixture and stir to incorporate.
4. Using a 1⁄2-cup measuring cup, carefully fill each cocotte dish. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving warm with whipped heavy cream or ice cream.
Nutrition Info Chocolate Tart (per serving): Calories 473 (285 from fat); Fat 32g (sat. 20g); Chol 114mg; Sodium 356mg; Carb 42g; Fiber 3g; Protein 6g