Weekends that include an afternoon with a chocolate tart cooling on the table can only be counted as successful. Doesn’t matter how filled up it was with non-chocolatey activities, a weekend that finishes with a healthy dose of chocolate and a pillow of whipped cream fall firmly into the category of good. Double the points if it wasn’t even you who brought the dessert into being.
This tart is easy to make and easier to enjoy. It’s a riff on Baked’s chocolate tart with whiskey, except for us it was minus the whiskey. Not because we’re teetotalers, but just because we didn’t have any handy. We’ve made this tart a few times recently and it’s so good and so simple, that I thought we should share. I use ‘we’ here only loosely. James has always been the one to make the tart, I only hounded him about the process and asked him to freeze periodically throughout so that I could share photos with all of you.
10 ounces shortbread cookies, mashed (we used a little less than 2 boxes of Walker’s)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ounces butter (if unsalted, add a pinch or two of salt)
3/4 cup cream
1/3 cup whole milk
6 ounces dark chocolate
3.5 ounces milk chocolate (we used a bar of Divine)
(the original recipe calls for 5 oz. dark and 4 oz. milk)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (or more) vanilla (we’ve been using vanilla bean paste, lately)
For the crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. The original recipe calls for a springform pan. This would be useful to folks interested in being able to serve this dessert neatly. For tiny apartment dwellers, or anyone who enjoys throwing caution to the wind, a tart pan will do just fine.
2. Smash your cookies to smithereens If you have a food processor, have at it. If you prioritize cocktail muddlers over food processors, like we do, muddlers come in handy here. (A plastic bag and a large mug could also work well). The bottom line, smash your cookies any way that you can, until they are reduced to very fine crumbs. Combine with sugar and salt, if using.
3. Pour melted butter over the crumbs and combine with a fork. Once combined, turn the mixture into a lightly greased pan (whichever sort you’re using), and press it into the bottom and up the sides. Use your fingers. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes, or so.
(If you’re using a ceramic dish like we did, let your tart pan warm up again a bit before the next step).
4. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust until it is dry to the touch. We left ours in for about 10 minutes. Remove crust from the oven and let cool. Increase oven temp to 325 F.
For the filling:
1. This couldn’t be easier. Over medium heat, stir together the cream and milk. Don’t skimp on the full fat stuff, unless you’re not into things that are tasty, in which case, do. Let the mixture simmer. Don’t walk away from the stove. Nothing is worse than scalded milk.
2. Remove the pan from the burner and add the chopped up chocolate bits. Whisk everything together and then set aside so that the chocolate mixture can cool.
3. Next step is to add your eggs. Taste a bit of the chocolate to be sure that it’s not so hot that your eggs will cook when you put them in. Use a fork to beat in your egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and a tablespoon of flour. (You can do this step separately if you’d like as the original recipe suggests, but just plopping everything in works out just fine as long as you whisk well).
4. Pour filling into the tart crust and bake for 20 minutes. The edges should be set, but the center should be jiggly, like most things that are yummy. Remove from the oven and cool.
5. This tart is best served with a giant heaping mound of vanilla scented whipped cream, but we brought ours to a festive dinner with friends, so we waited to do the mounding until it was ready to be eaten. We came home with a clean dish. A good sign, I think.