Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baked Chocolate Tart

This recipe came from a good friend and old roommate who was kind of well-known for this chocolaty baby. I have kind of stolen it from him and proceeded to make it a bagillion times since I moved, and I love it.

I believe the recipes originally come from Jamie Oliver, the young, hip, British punk-star chef. You'll notice that he gives some of the measurements in weights rather than in cups. This made me a little angry at first, and I tried to do all sorts of weird conversions to figure out how much flour they were actually asking for. After a time or two, I just sucked it up and got a scale. It really is easier, and you get much better results when you use a precise amount. Don't be intimidated, and if you don't have a kitchen scale, just call me and you can borrow mine (I have two).

for the crust (makes 2 crusts)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • just over 1 pound of flour (about 3 3/4 - 4 cups)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup very cold milk
for the chocolate tart
  • 5 ounces unsalted butter
  • 5 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 7 ounces white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 heaping tablespoons sour cream
for the shell (must be done in advance)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (I do this in a food processor, but you can do it with hand beaters or a pastry cutter if you want, although I can't imagine why you would want to). Cream together the butter, sugar, and salt. Then pulse in the flour and egg yolks, but be careful to not overbeat, lest you run the risk of tough dough. The mixture should look like big breadcrumbs. Add the milk, and gently work it into the dough. It should be kind of a big ball at this point.

Break it in half and form two long log shapes. Wrap them separately in plastic wrap. Place one in your freezer for the next time you want to make a tart, and place one in the fridge for at least an hour to solidify and firm up. Cut the dough into thin slices (around 1/8" to 1/4''), and arrange them on a greased tart pan with a removable bottom. Pinch the borders between the slices to fill in any cracks. Bake for up to 15 minutes, until the crust has colored barely (you'll bake it again with the tart, so don't go overboard).

for the tart
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Melt the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt together in a pan placed over another pan of boiling water. Stir constantly, making sure it doesn't get too hot. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, then beat in the syrup and sour cream. Stir in the chocolate, mixing well.

Pour the chocolate into the tart pan, then bake it for 40 to 45 minutes. It will puff up quite a bit, which is kind of normal, so don't panic. It will crack and settle when it cools.

I like to serve with a sauce made of raspberries and a little sugar with fresh whipped cream.

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