I’ve been making a bittersweet chocolate tart for years – my go-to extreme chocolate dessert. Never fails, deceptively simple, and always a hit. Very similar, it has a chocolate cookie crust, and a bitterswet truffle filling. Finished off with a decorative sprinkle of cocoa.
This recipe is a bit different – and more complicated. Similar crust, but the filling has egg yolks and is baked rather than just chocolate and a bit of cream. Also, the suggestion is to have crushed biscotti and white (and milk) chocolate incorporated into the filling, prior to a quick bake. I might have not been as interested before, but I had an amazing ‘chocolate creme brulee” with some goat cheese sorbet in San Jose – I kind of hoped that the filling would have a similar texture…
So, to begin, the chocolate tart dough is made. There are a number of steps, whirling the dry ingredients in the food processor (no, I’m not making this by hand), then adding the butter, and finally an egg yolk mixed with some ice water.
Generally, this ends up all squished together. This was much dryer than I was used to, but eventually, it ended up all in a ball, then I divided it into 6ths to prepare for it’s “rest and relaxation in the freezer” to chill.
The recipe says to roll out the dough, and place it in an oiled tart pan. The oiled part – ok. The rest…. well, you’ll see.
The first one – sure! But after that, it went downhill. I could have frozen every piece and then put it in the tart pan, but that wasn’t really happening. In my normal version – I just put the dough in the pan, and form it – I think it works well enough. I forgot to mark the one that was done “correctly”, so I may never know. It gets another chill after the tarts are formed.
While that’s all chilling and baking, it’s time for the filling. The recipe says to melt the chocolate over simmering water. Well, I decided – microwave! Since there was a lot going on, there was no hurry, but it really just took about 1 minute, since It had time to hang out while I was doing other things.
Then, about a zillion egg yolks (ok, 8) are whisked together, then sugar added. Then about a third of that’s added to the chocolate, then it’s all folded in together to make the filling base. For some of the tartlets, I folded in some of the requisite additions – namely white chocolate chunks (the recipe says milk chocolate too) and crushed biscotti. I was a bit reluctant – so reserved a couple without all of that.
The tarts get filled. I had just received some different salt (and I love, love chocolate with sea salt), so decided to mix things up. For the “plain” tartlets – a sprinkle of Hawaiian pink salt, for one of the tartlets with the white chocolate and biscotti – a bit of hickory smoked salt. The other two – I left the “classic”.
Then they were baked for a short time – only 12 minutes to set the eggs. Unfortunately, the special salt didn’t stay as pretty, but that’s ok. They still look beautiful!
In the end, for me, it was a bit of a toss-up. The plain chocolate with the salt finish was quite wonderful. The additions of the white chocolate and the biscotti made it sweeter, and maybe a bit more rich. Both were versions I would not turn away!! The smoked salt along with the additions… hard to say, but that might have been the favorite. Whichever way – a fantastic dessert!