Ch. 13: A Pretty Tasty Chocolate Tart

Chocolate is a staple in our pantry. At any given time, we have a selection of semisweet, bittersweet and even white chocolate on hand, ready for the next recipe. Given this, chocolate always has a recurring role in many of the desserts I make because we love the flavor and really, what’s better than a dessert with some silky chocolate running through it? I was looking through recipes and found this one from Tasty. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of the company- mostly because their recipes don’t have the best track record for producing the food as promised. Tasty’s biggest aim is to get people in the kitchen, and so they tend to oversimplify recipes to the point that they lack basic skills and skip over the rationale as to why certain things are done. It’s an abstracted look at baking / cooking which they remedied through some later in-depth series. Still, upon seeing that it was developed by Rie McClenney- a trained pastry chef and arguably one of the best talents there- I knew I had to give it a shot as her reputation precedes her. 

I took some liberties with the recipe by opting to use the leftover pie dough I had made a few days prior for the custard pie, swapping that for the chocolate crust that Rie had called for. (I guess I was still confident after my non-disaster that was Caramel Walnut Shortbread.) I pressed on, filling my tart pan and blind baking. Due to the different doughs, I ended up blind baking mine about 10 minutes longer than Rie instructed, in order to get that deep golden color from traditional pastry. Next came the filling which was a breeze to put together. One reason I opted for this recipe over others was that it’s baked in order to set the filling. I have a recipe for chocolate tart that I’ve made many times and like the flavor of, however that one is merely cooked on the stove which makes the filling susceptible to getting soft in the heat- certainly not what we want in Guam weather. The water, butter and espresso are cooked until hot before being added to some chopped chocolate and sugar. The mix is then whisked until smooth until the eggs are added. The finished chocolate filling is then poured into our pre-baked pie crust and set to finish off in the oven. After being baked, I removed it from the oven and saw it was speckled at the top with a bunch of little bubbles- not exactly good considering the recipe title is “the silkiest chocolate tart”. Still, I pressed on, giving it the necessary time out in the oven. 

It’s worth noting that- like many other reviews of the recipe- my tart wasn’t set after the 12-15 minutes that Rie suggested. I ended up baking it nearly double the recommended time, looking for that same jiggly visual cue.When it came to serving, I decided to keep it simple. I ditched the raspberries mostly because they’re nearly $10 for a small carton and because fresh berries here aren’t quite as good. I ended up finding a cute little template my mom had found from Ross many years ago which, when used with powdered sugar, gave the tart a fancy flower pattern along the edges. It cut up nicely and the tart, although not as smooth as promised, was delicious and rich althesame. It was tasty, but not nearly the “silkiest chocolate tart” I had set out for. So the search continues…

My Go-To Pie Crust Recipe:

2 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour
2 ½ tablespoons of Granulated Sugar
1 cup and 1 tablespoon of cold Butter
2-4 tablespoons of cold Water

Quantities make 2 discs of pie dough which can be kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks or the freezer for several months.

In a food processor, pulse the flour and sugar to combine. Add in the cold butter and pulse until the butter incorporates into the flour. It should be the size of small peas. Drizzle in two tablespoons of cold water and pulse. Continue adding only enough water so that the dough comes together.. Empty onto a floured surface and roll into a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to rest for an hour.

Alternatively, the dough can be prepared without a food processor. Whisk the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2″ pieces and add to the bowl. Toss to coat the butter in flour. With a pastry cutter or your fingers, break down the butter until the size of small peas. Drizzle in two tablespoons of cold water and pulse. Continue adding only enough water so that the dough comes together.. Empty onto a floured surface and roll into a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to rest for an hour. Prepare crust per recipe instructions.

Full Recipe | Method by Rie McClenney from Tasty

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