I made a lemon cake for a 90th birthday party last month. Knowing that my friend, the hostess, would much rather eat chocolate, I also baked this decadent, intensely rich Dark Chocolate Tart.
Dark Chocolate Tart
Living in a house of chocoholics, I am well aware a non-chocolate dessert might not be the best way to cap off a celebratory meal. If I’m making coconut bars for a gathering, I’ll bring some brownies, too. The plates of Christmas goodies I pass along to my friends and neighbors includes nut, caramel and ginger treats, but also plenty of fudge or chocolate truffles.
My friend, Gini, was hosting a party for her mom and requested a lemon cake. But, like my family, Gini loves chocolate. She’ll come over and watch me bake just so she can lick the bowls. One of her sisters put a bug in her ear as she queried, “Why can’t we have a chocolate cake??” Well, her mom didn’t want chocolate. But I made sure those chocoholics weren’t neglected by baking up this luscious dark chocolate tart.
A Food and Wine Favorite
Since this was for a special occasion, I went to the Food & Wine website to find the perfect chocolate dessert. This dark chocolate tart is a classic from Alain Ducasse. With a cocoa pastry, silky bittersweet chocolate filling and ganache topping, it was certain to satisfy those deep chocolate needs. I think it was a hit!!!
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 12 ounces bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin (I use Knox brand)
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Imperial sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- Raspberries and sweetened whip cream, to serve (optional)
- In your mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour with the butter, sugar, cocoa, almond flour and salt for about a minute, till butter is broken up. Mix in the egg just until a soft dough forms. Scrape the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap, then roll into a 12-inch round. Place the plastic wrapped dough onto a baking sheet and freeze till firm, about 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Peel off the top sheet of plastic and flip the dough onto a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Remove the remaining plastic and when the dough is malleable enough, gently press the dough into the pan. Trim the excess dough (I usually use the rolling pin and roll over the rim which breaks off the extra dough).
- Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (you can also use dried beans). Bake for 30 minutes, until the tart is almost fully baked. Remove the parchment and weights and bake until the shell is cooked through, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 250°.
- To make the filling, combine the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and let stand until melted, 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the egg yolk, then slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the chocolate cream. Thoroughly whisk this custard into the chocolate cream in the saucepan. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake until set around the rim but still a little jiggly in the middle, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours.
- To make the glaze, sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and let stand 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, whisk the cream, sugar and cocoa over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin into the cocoa mixture, then the milk chocolate and whisk until melted. Pour the glaze over the tart and spread to cover the filling using an offset spatula. Refrigerate the tart until the glaze is firm, 30 minutes. Serve with berries and whipped cream.