Friday, April 6, 2018

Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart

Father time has a way of running things when it comes to spices and ingredients. Some things hold up against time and others deteriorate quickly. I read somewhere that poppy seeds are bad when we buy them here in the US. This means that we have no idea of what a fresh seed tastes like.

Today, I realized that my espresso powder became a victim. That big plastic jar with the screw on lid was no match to the Texas weather. Instead of a powdery substance like cocoa, I opened to find a brick. Even though it said store in a cool dry place, I thought that my damp clay round that I used to keep brown sugar from getting hard would do the trick. Now I have a clay piece stuck to the espresso brick as an indication that humidity is the enemy.

This recipe requires a touch of espresso powder, so I just scraped off enough of the brick to get what I needed. I will have to look into storing and packaging the next time I purchase. Considering how much I used versus how much was wasted- I was not at all pleased.

Diverting my attention, I moved forward with the task of creating a chocolate tart. At the end of the project, one bite of the rich chocolate filling and crispy crust of this decadent dessert made me forget all about the espresso issue. Pairing the the vanilla whipped cream topping with the rich dark chocolate filling that was laced with a hint of coffee flavor truly was nothing short of being a deliciously genius idea.

Ah, the powers of chocolate-not only a tasty indulgence, but a bit magical in the way it makes a person feel. I do recommend that we all experience the magic of chocolate every once in a while and this particular tart is a great choice. This recipe makes one 9 1/2 inch or 3 five inch tarts.

Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart
adapted from Sur La Table

2 1/2 tbs Dutch cocoa
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 oz or 1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
1 egg yolk

16 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tbs espresso powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup heavy cream

1 tbs sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbs cream stabilizer ( optional)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbs cocoa nibs (optional garnish)

For the crust, start by filling the bowl of a stand mixer with sugar and butter. Cream mixture together by beating on medium high speed for a total of 3 minutes, stopping at one minute intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg until blended.

Using another bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa. Then fold it into the sugar mixture until no dry streaks remain. Shape dough into a flat disk and place in tart pan. Press and form the dough into the sides and on the bottom-covering all areas evenly. Then take a long sharp knife and cut off the excess dough from the top edge of the tart. Once completed, place in refrigerator 1 hour or chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take chilled tart out. Using the tines of a fork, make small holes in the bottom of the dough. Then cover the surface of the dough with parchment paper and place pie weights on top. Place tart in the oven and let bake for 15 minutes. Take tart out of oven and remove weights and parchment paper. Return tart to the oven and let bake for an additional 15-17 minutes. Remove and place on rack to completely cool.

The filling starts with placing the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl, preferably a pasta bowl. Smooth the chocolate pieces evenly in the bottom of the bowl. Take a small saucepan and whisk the cream, salt and espresso powder together. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and whisk as it cooks. Once the mixture has come to a boil, remove saucepan from heat and pour over chopped chocolate pieces. Let the mixture rest and then stir until all the chocolate is melted. Pour the filling into the tart shell. Let cool to room temperature and then cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator and let chill for a minimum of one hour and up to 8 hours or overnight in order for filling to set.

After the tart filling is set, prepare the whipped cream topping by beating together all the topping ingredients, with the exception of the cocoa nibs. Beat until soft peaks form or the cream holds its shape. Top tart with whipped cream as desired and then sprinkle on the cocoa nibs, if using.
                                 **LAST YEAR:Walnut Mini Loaves**