Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dark Chocolate Tart

I was going to keep giving you cookie recipes from my cookie baking bonanza, until I was hit with an epiphany Wednesday at work around lunch time.  It went something like this: "oh my god.  The chocolate tart".   And then I proceeded to feel guilty the rest of the day because, well, the chocolate tart.  I forgot to write and tell you about the chocolate tart.

It was going to be my birthday cake when I was home in November, but got bumped back to Thanksgiving when I found an incredibly recipe for cinnamon roll cheese cake, and begged my mom to make that for me instead.  See, I wanted to make the chocolate tart myself, bask in the glory of it's deliciousness, take all the credit for it and then post it on here.  It was that last part that I sort of, kinda, just until this Wednesday, forgot. And I am so sorry, because this tart is a chocolate orgy in your mouth, in the absolute best way possible.

If you do not love chocolate, this is not for you.  But if you can't help but order the chocolate lava cake whenever it appears on a menu anywhere, even though you know it'll probably just disappoint you, you have found the one.  It is thick, dense and fudgey, yet the top kind of gets crackly almost like a brownie.  You're basically eating solid, silky chocolate in a gingersnap crust, and let me tell you, it doesn't get better than that.  This tart is so good that when I realized that the slice I took on the plane with me to let Ben "try" got lost, never to be found, I almost cried.  Real tears.  It's just that good.

And I know that this is the day before diets and cleanses and all other manners of trying to purge holiday weight begin.  And I know that I've been holding out on you since Thanksgiving with the perfection that is this tart.  And I apologize.  But look at it this way, what better way is there to end this season of gluttony then to enjoy a slice of pure chocolate heaven while forgetting for those moments the fact that tomorrow you'll eat nothing but egg whites, carrot sticks and water?  Right?  Right!

Whatever rationalization you need to tell yourself to get this tart into your oven, onto a plate and into your mouth, I promise, it'll be worth it.  And then just resolve tonight that you'll be better tomorrow...
 Happy New Year!!!

Dark Chocolate Tart
The smitten kitchen strikes again!

As a head's up, my pictures do not do this tart justice.  It is pretty and even if your's doesn't come out picture perfect, frankly once people have tasted it, they won't give a crap.  We did gussie ours up with some fresh cranberries and whip creme, but of course, there are no pictures of that...

Also, our was a hodgepdoge of chocolate.  There were a few ounces of German chocolate thrown in there, some Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips and a few ounces of Baker's unsweetened.  And it all came together beautiful.  For the crumb crust, I had to use more butter and next time I won't pulverize the gingersnaps (homemade by my momma, of course) as finely.  Maybe that'll help with the crumbliness.

1 2/3 c. gingersnap cookie crumbs
l/4 c. melted butter (I had to use more)

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 large egg yolks (save the whites for meringues!  yum)
1 large egg
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. fine ground black pepper
Large pinch of kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Chop and whir gingersnap cookies in food processor until you have enough.  Add melted butter and pulse a few times until mixture comes together.  Press into 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Firmly press onto bottom and up sides of pan, using a coffee cup or straight-walled measuring cup to help form the sides.  Place on rimmed baking sheet.

In medium sauce pan over low heat, combine chocolate and cream.  Whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth, remove from heat.  In separate bowl, whisk remaining ingredients thoroughly.  In small batches, gradually mix in chocolate and cream mixture into egg mixture, beating well after each addition so chocolate filling is well blended and smooth.  Pour filling (trying not to steal too many taste tries...) into prepared crust.

Bake tart in 325 degree oven until filling puffs slight at the edges and the center is softly set, about 30-32 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.  After 20 minutes, remove tart pan gently, as the crust will be very crumbly.  Allow tart to completely cool.  Slice and enjoy!

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