Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chocolate Cream Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

whole chocolate cream tart

It's finally my turn to pick the recipe for TWD!! I was so excited to finally choose, but nervous at the same time. It's a big responsibility to choose a dessert for so many people ;) Anyway, after many vacillations I ended up choosing the Chocolate Cream Tart, which, according to Dorie, is a dressed-up version of a very American dessert, chocolate cream pie.

[chocolate cream tart recipe]
[chocolate shortbread tart dough recipe]

back side of tart slice

I was really happy with my pick! Although it had several components, it wasn't all that difficult to put together, and the combination of ingredients was amazing. As some people commented in the P&Q this week, the assembled tart was much tastier than each individual component.

tart slice with bite on fork

The tart is made with a chocolate shortbread crust, filled with a chocolate custard and topped with whipped cream. Dorie's recipe is not too sweet and really packs a lot of chocolate flavor.

The main flavor note is from whatever chocolate you use in the custard filling, so I used a very dark chocolate.

chocolate custard ingredients

The custard is similar to other custards we've made — whisk the egg yolks together with sugar, cornstarch and salt, temper the mix with boiled milk and then add the rest of the milk, and thicken over heat. Butter is whisked in at the end.

whisking eggs in saucierafter adding in milk
thickened custardwhisking in chocolate
chocolate fully mixed inwhisking in butter

I made the custard ahead of time and chilled it in the fridge until I was ready to make the rest of the tart. The crust is basically the same as the crust we made for La Palette's strawberry tart, except for the substitution of cocoa powder for half of the sugar.

Don't forget the salt! It's such a small amount, but really adds a kick. I usually add a little bit more salt than called for.

flourcocoa powder
powdered sugarbutter

(Sorry... forgot to take a pic of the egg yolk ;) )

The crust is assembled in the food processor, then pressed into a buttered tart pan. Dorie warns not to go overboard mixing the dough to keep a sandy texture... I think I did overmix a little, but it was still delicious!

dry ingredients in food processordry ingredients mixed
butter about to be cut inmixed dough
dough pressed into panbaked shell

Once the crust is cooled, fill it with the chocolate custard and then make the whipped cream :) (NOTE: I realized after publishing that I used the entire pint of heavy cream instead of the 1/2 cup called for in the recipe! That's why there is soo much delicious cream ;) )

whipped cream ingredients

Don't forget the chocolate decoration on top! Dorie suggested making chocolate curls with a vegetable peeler. I'm sure the curls would have been prettier if my chocolate was room temperature, but I didn't really want to wait.

chocolate curls

Then top the tart with whipped cream, and decorate!

tart with whipped cream on top

finished tart



Chocolate Cream Tart

Ingredients:
For the filling:
2 cups (475 g) whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp (12.5 g) sugar
3 Tbsp (7 g) cornstarch, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz (200 g) bittersweet chocolate, melted
35 g (2 1/2 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature

1 9-inch Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough, fully baked and cooled

For the topping:
1/2 cup (120 ml) cold heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbsp (11 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate shavings or curls for decoration, or cocoa powder for dusting


To make the filling:
Bring the milk to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until well-blended and thick. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk — this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they don't curdle — then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly (make sure to get in the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the melted chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the custard or, if you want to cool the custard quickly, put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the custard occasionally until it is fully chilled, about 20 minutes. (If it's more convenient, you can keep the custard, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

When you are ready to assemble the tart, whisk the chocolate cream vigorously to loosen it and to bring back its velvety texture. Spoon the cream into the tart shell, stopping just short of the crust's rim (you may have some left over) — you want to leave room for the topping. Smooth the top and, if you are not serving the tart immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap against the cream and refrigerate the tart until needed (or up to 6 hours).

To make the topping:
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks.

Spread the whipped cream over the tart and smooth it with a metal icing spatula or, if you prefer swirls, go for them. Serve the tart now or refrigerate it for up to 2 hours before serving. When you are ready to serve the tart, scatter chocolate shavings or curls over the top or, if you'd prefer, lightly dust the top with cocoa powder.



Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough

156 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
22 g (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
26 g (1/4 cup) confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
127 g (9 Tbsp) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, cocoa, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in — you should have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses — about 10 seconds each — until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change — heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly and sparingly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Press the dough into the buttered pan. Press evenly over the bottom and up the sides, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy-handed — press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but no so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To partially or fully bake the crust:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius, Gas Mark 5).

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust as necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack (keep it in its pan).

To fully bake the crust:
Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Keep a close eye on the crust's progress — it can get too dark in a flash. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

To patch a partially or fully baked crust, if necessary:
If there are any cracks in the baked crust, patch them with some of the reserved raw dough as soon as you remove the foil. Slice off a thin piece of the dough, place it over the crack, moisten the edges and very gendly smooth the edges into the baked crust. If the tart will not be baked again with its filling, bake for another 2 minutes or so, just to take the rawness off the patch.

Nutrition Facts from NutritionData.com:
per 1/8th of recipe
[click to show or hide]



slice of tart with whole tart in background

Thanks to everyone who is baking along with me this week! :) I hope you loved the recipe as much as I did! Check out everyone else's tart on the TWD blogroll!

close up of tart with slice taken out

70 comments:

Carolyn said...

Looks beautiful of course! Can I ask, what do you use for lighting??

chocolatechic said...

I heart you for picking this dessert.

I was absolutely FABULOUS.

kimberly salem said...

Thanks Carolyn! :) For the final shots, I use a flash with a giant softbox and a white reflector for fill. For the shots in the kitchen I just use the overhead lights.

kimberly salem said...

Tanya, I figured this was right up your alley :) I loved it too!!

Karen said...

Beautiful photos!! I would like to ask the same question as Carolyn! I am going to make this tonight so I hope it turns out as lovely as yours!

shira said...

that is drool worthy. looks soooo good

Cristine said...

Gorgeous pictures! Thanks for picking a FANTASTIC recipe! I really enjoyed it!

Mary Ann said...

Beautiful! I love your pictures as I always do and thanks for a great choice!

Memoria said...

Wow!! Thank you for the step-by-step photos and detailed instructions. I know that it is more trouble to do all of that, but it is so helpful and interesting to other bakers and readers. I really appreciate it.

Isabelle said...

merci beaucoup Kim pour le choix de cette recette ! ta tarte est magnifique et tes photos superbes :)

Cathy said...

We did love the recipe as much as you did! And your pictures - amazing as always. Thanks for this great pick, Kim!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a gorgeous tart! Really scrumptious looking! a real beauty!

Cheers,

Rosa

vibi said...

HO! Boy! I was starting to worry here! I had been staring at your blog for a while thinking ...she will post, she will post, yet nothing changed from last the Amaretti tort!

But alas... you finally came through! YES! I starting to really miss ya...

Beautiful take on the tart, and a very, very nice choice, thanks a million Kim! I had fun making it and we enjoyed it a lot!

Sara said...

Beautiful. It looks like a great choice, I wish I had the time to make it!

Pamela said...

Oops! I just realized I forgot to add the butter to the pastry cream. Oh, well!! Thanks for a great choice, Kim. It was a fabulous dessert and I will be making it again!

Emily Rose said...

thank you so much for choosing this recipe- I loved it so much!! your photos are amazing!

Jamie said...

Looks great! I love the shaved chocolate!

Sabrina said...

Another fabulous job! You are so talented!
Thanks for picking the recipe this week. I didn't have time to make it... But i can't wait to when im not so busy!

Jinphotography said...

love it. yum...

bakingwiththeboys said...

This was heaven. Great pick.

Secret Server said...

This was sooo good. Thanks for picking it. Your pictures are beautiful and so detailed!

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

I LOVED this! Thanks for a great pick this week! =)

MacDuff said...

Love love love it!!! Thank you - this was one of my favorite TWD recipes in a long time! And your photos are gorgeous. I got a little shell shocked by the nutrition facts, but I supposed they could be worse...

Thank you!

steph (whisk/spoon) said...

it's beautiful! and darn tasty too--thanks for a super pick!!

Chris said...

Great pick - and gorgeous pix to boot! Glad it turned out so well for you. I thought the custard was fab!

Joy said...

Beautiful photos of your pie! Thanks for such a great pick this week!

Leslie said...

Kim, this was the best yet. If you or Dorie ever need errands run, laundry done, someone to wait in line for you at the DMV, let me know. I am so indebted to you for picking this dessert, and Dorie for figuring out how to make it perfection on a plate. Your photos are, as usual, gorgeous.

My Famous Recipe said...

Thank you SO MUCH for selecting this delicious tart. I'll be making this again and again!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Beautiful photos, no surprises there, thanks for picking this one, it is half made right now, but I will finish when I get home tonight and I am sure my guests will love it.

Kimberly Johnson said...

Great pick this week! Your tart looks fantastic!

Amanda said...

Thank you for this fabulous pick! Because there wasn't a picture with the recipe, I probably wouldn't have tried it right away. I think many of us are so visual that we feel the need for a sneak peek at the finished product before diving into a recipe. That's what I love about TWD, it has brought me out of my comfort zone and fine tuned my baking skills, those which I didn't even know I had until last fall. LOL Thanks again!

Anne said...

This was a fun choice Kim! Your tart looks gorgeous and I love the generous whipped cream... yum!

pinkstripes said...

Beautiful pics as always! Thank you for selecting this recipe. I loved it!

Carol Peterman said...

My husband thanks you for this pick. He loved it, just chocolate and no funny stuff! I added additional salt to the crust too, in fact, I doubled it. Really delicious, Thanks!

SiHaN said...

i'm loving the photos! and the choice of course! the tart turned out amazing even though i didn't follow the recipe strictly. BUt the custard cream was enough to make me go gaga! thanks Kim!

somethingsweetbykaren said...

looks gorgeous. thanks for choosing this one, we loved it. especially that pastry cream... i'm surprised i got to fill up my tart shells with how much i kept quality controlling it. :)

Erin said...

Thanks for choosing this recipe! I couldn't get enough of that pastry cream! Yours looks lovely!

Jill said...

Thank you for such a great pick. I knew I'd like this recipe, but I liked it even more than expected!

Cakelaw said...

Yum! I love the piled high cream on your pie - it looks fabulous. Thanks for picking this recipe.

Linda said...

This was a fantastic tart...a great pick this week. I love chocolate cream pies, and this definitely satisfied my craving.

Your tart looks so luscious...please save me a slice!!!

Jaime said...

perfect tart (i didn't expect otherwise!)

that is A LOT of whipped cream - i almost can't see the chocolate pastry cream!

Amy (SingForYourSupper) said...

Beeeeeeautiful!!! Great pick - we both (hubby especially!) really enjoyed this!! Thanks!

Di said...

Awesome pick this week! Everyone here really enjoyed it. My girls didn't really eat the crust, but I'm sure I'll be getting many requests to make the "chocolate pudding" again. =)

Natalie said...

Your pictures are always fabulous. I love your perfect chocolate shavings on your tart.

Rhiani said...

Thanks for hosting this week. I really enjoyed this recipe and yours looks gorgeous (did you make extra whipped cream? I doubled the recipe because I was using a larger pan, but still didn't get nearly the whipped cream volume you have!)

Tracey said...

Thanks for your choice this week! I was happy to practice my tart and custard making :) Great pictures - your tart looks amazing.

kimberly salem said...

OK, so after reading all of your comments I realized that I used WAY more cream than the recipe called for... d'oh!!! I used the entire pint!!! Sorry for the confusion (but I do love the way that extra whipped cream looks ;) )

Bridget said...

Thanks for a great choice - I really enjoyed it, and I thought it was a great way to finish up the month of chocolate desserts!

Piggy said...

Thanks for picking the recipe! I had fun baking the tart!

Teanna said...

Thanks so much for picking a great dessert! And of course, for taking the most beautiful photos of said dessert!

PheMom said...

I loved this one so thank you! Your photos as always are stunning and perfect!

Megan said...

Thanks for such a great pick - although I didn't actually get to eat any of the tart, I did lick the bowl and can attest to its greatness!

Passionate Baker said...

thank you SO much for this pick!
both my family and i agree that this is one of our top 3 Dorie recipes for sure. it was SO good.
you tart looks amazing !
thanks again!
<3

margot said...

Excellent choice; I was worried it would be too much chocolate, but it is so good. And your photos are amazing!

Jules Someone said...

What a great choice! And yours looks amazing.

Steph said...

Thanks for such a great pick!! I really enjoyed this, even though I went tartless.

Kayte said...

Well, with two 16 year old boys and one chocolate loving husband, this did not last two days around here. Great choice. They want me to make another NOW...can you imagine? LOL. All your photos are so gorgeous...the tutorials always wonderful...such a treat to come and visit here each week.

Kayte
www.grandmaskitchentable.typepad.com

Jacque said...

LOL, I saw all of your whipped cream and wondered if I messed up. Oh well, there's no such thing as too much whipped cream.

Your tart looks fantastic! thanks for the great pick :)

Judy said...

Thanks for choosing this chocolate tart. It has become one of favorites and will most likely be made again often in the future.

TeaLady said...

This was a great pick. All I can do is repeat what everyone else has said. Beautiful!! Perfect!! Delicious.

AmyRuth said...

Quite a lovely dessert, agreed!!! My only bump in the road was that my tart shell had cracks in the sides. Boo Hoo. Still it had no hinderance in my ability to scarf it down. I loved it....A very good choice, clap clap clap thank you Kim!! Yours is beautifully photographed and I'm so glad you loved it too.
AmyRuth

The ScootaBaker said...

Ahh, you'll be missed this week. But wanted to share the good news that I decided to kick that Costco $100 point and shoot to the curb and upgrade, a big upgrade, to a canon SLR! And I picked up Canon's 50mm f/1.4 on your suggest via your Amazon page! I really really can't wait!

-heather

Anonymous said...

Pure vanilla extract: not so much. At least make your own so you can control what goes in it. I have used bourbon vanilla beans(Juliet Mae Spices)and bourbon whiskey to make really special extract; but no flavor vodka works too. After you make your own, everything else tastes thin.

Eliana said...

This comment comes a little late because I've been behinf on my google reader but that you for your amazing photography. Your photos are cimply fantastic.

flfarmgirl said...

Tummy rumbles and trembles with my morning coffee. Your photo + my eyes+my brain =my intense desire for a slice of this tart. I can't stand looking at it another moment. Great photo!

amritac said...

GORGEOUS!!! Absolutely deadly....beautiful photography!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

This was a great pick! I enjoyed both making and eating it! :) I went the mini route, but your whole tart looks absolutely fabulous! Great job!

ega said...

that's nice picture....beautiful...if you wanna see my picture,come to my site...

Blender Benefits said...

what a great looking tart. I'm never really a fan of them, but I think I may have to try this one out!

Kentucky Wedding Photographer said...

Does it get any better than a chocolate tart?? I think not!

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