Sunday, December 18, 2016

Chocolate Custard Tart

The smaller version of a fruit pie is a fruit tart. However, when it comes to cream pies, we do not think of cream tarts. There is a lot of different cream pies that can be converted over. So if you are ever wanting a taste of a cream pie, but a whole pie seems to much to have around-consider a tart.

With that thought, I bring you a recipe for a chocolate custard tart. One of the highlights of this special dessert is the silky dark chocolate cream filling. The other is an oatmeal shortbread shell with grated chocolate. If that is not chocolatey enough, the interior is brushed with chocolate ganache. Lastly, each piece has a dollup of fluffy whipped cream on top.

Lots of chocolate and lots of texture contrast come together for a delicious, one of a kind dessert. This makes one 10 inch tart or 12 small tarts (3-4 inch rings). Be sure to allow for the 8 hours needed for the custard filling to set up prior to filling the tarts.

Chocolate Custard Tart
adapted from The Olives Dessert Table

Ingredients/Chocolate Cream Filling
6 egg yolks
4 1/2 cups of milk
1 tbs vanilla extract
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (chopped or chips, room temp)
3 tbs butter
4 1/2 tbs cornstarch
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients/Oatmeal Crust
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup or 2 sticks butter (room temp)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup grated semi-sweet chocolate (optional)

Ingredients/ Chocolate Ganache
1 cup semi sweet chocolate (chopped or chips)
1 cup heavy cream

Ingredients/Whipped Cream
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbs of cream stabilizer (optional)

The custard will be the first component to make. Fill a bowl with the sugar and sift in the cornstarch and salt. Mix together and pour in 1/4 cup of milk. Stir batter until blended. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk the yolks together. Empty the milk mixture into the bowl of egg yolks and whisk together. Set aside.

Take the remaining amount of milk and pour into a saucepan over medium heat. Let come to a boil and remove. Turn the stand mixer on medium low and as it mixes, add the hot milk in a steady stream. Place a strainer over a saucepan and pour batter from the stand mixer bowl into the strainer. Discard the solids.

Take out a shallow heat proof bowl and add the butter. Microwave until butter is melted. Mix the vanilla extract into the melted butter. Add the chocolate and form an even layer on the bottom of the bowl. Pour the milk/egg mixture over the chocolate. Let sit, without stirring, for about 5 minutes. Once the five minute interval has passed, mix the custard until all is combined.

Empty custard into another shallow bowl, smoothing out evenly. Place plastic wrap over the custard and edge of bowl. Place in refrigerator for a minimum of eight hours and a maximum of 2 days.

For the oatmeal crust, start by creaming the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using another bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Stir the oats and chocolate (optional) into the sifted mixture. Empty the dry ingredients into the creamed butter/sugar mixture. Stir together until combined, making sure the oats and chocolate are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Flatten mixture into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1/2-1 hours. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a flat surface by dusting lightly with flour. Remove the chilled dough and roll out into one circle (about 10-10 1/2 inched in diameter) if making one tart. For several small, divide the dough into 12 of the same sized pieces. Each piece will be formed while the remainder are in the fridge. Take each piece of dough and roll out into a circle, exceeding your tart diameter by 1/2 an inch.

Place each piece of dough into the mold and press into the sides and bottom evenly. To have a smooth edge to the tart, press the excess dough down over the top edge of the tart, using the edge as a cutter.  Refrigerate lined tart(s) for a minimum of 30 minutes or covered, up to 3 days.

Once chilled, tarts are to be prepared for baking. Cover dough tightly with foil and fill with pie weights, beans or rice. Bake the covered tart shells for about 14 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove weights and foil. Place back in oven for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

As it cools, the ganache can be made. Place the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips evenly in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Set aside. Take out a saucepan and fill with the heavy cream. Put filled saucepan over medium high heat and let the cream come to a boil. Remove saucepan and pour hot cream of chocolate. Cover and let sit for 2 minutes. Then uncover and whisk until smooth.

Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of the oatmeal shell with the ganache. Refrigerate coated shells for about 30 minutes. Then fill tart shell(s) with chocolate custard, mounding slightly beyond the height of the shell. Place in refrigerator again. Also place a steel bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes for the whipped cream topping.

Remove chilled bowl from the freezer and fill with all whipping cream ingredients. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Then prepare a piping bag and fill with whipped cream.

Take out tart(s) and pipe cream on top. Now it is time to serve.

Tips and Notes:

1. Dough for shell was difficult to work with due to whole oats and chocolate. Consider grinding up oats after measuring and eliminating the chocolate in the dough, for a smoother crust.

2. You may have excess filling if not mounding high enough. Should you not want such depth of filling try cutting back ingredient measurements.

3. I found I had too much ganache and whipped cream. Since they both do not take that long to prepare, start by making 1/2 the amount. You can always make more, this way you will not have so much wasted as excess.

4. The best shallow bowls to use are microwave safe pasta bowls.
                               **LAST YEAR:Dark Chocolate Fingers**