Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Tart

There is nothing more Valentine’ Day than chocolate. For me there is no better dessert than this chocolate tart. I have frequently made it with the Pillsbury pie crust and it has been much appreciated, but it is so very much better with this shortbread crust.  For special occasions I make it the way Francois Payard, the famous pastry chef recommends, as this recipe was inspired by his.

Pie Crust (makes enough for two 9½ pies. Use one and freeze the other.

·       1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
·       1¾ cups all-purpose flour
·       Pinch of salt
·       9 tablespoons of unsalted butter (softened)
·       1 large egg

Sift together the sugar, flour and salt into a bowl.
Place the butter in a food processor and mix until smooth (about 15 seconds).Scatter flour mixture over butter, add the egg and process until the dough forms a mass. Turn the dough onto the counter and divide in two. Shape each half in a disc form and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate the dough you will use for the pie for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Freeze the other for up to one month.
Remove dough from the fridge at let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Butter the bottom of a fluted 9½ inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Dust the work surface and the dough with flour. With a floured rolling pin roll out the dough and gently place over the tart pan. Press the dough into the pan and roll the pin over the top to cut off the excess dough with fluted the edges of the pan. Prick the bottom of the tart all over with a fork. Chill the tart shell for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter aluminum foil large enough to line the pie shell. Line the pie shell butter side down and fill with pie weights or dried beans to keep the aluminum foil in place. Place the pie pan n the oven. After 15 minutes remove the foil and weights and continue baking for 10 minutes more or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Filling

8 oz of chocolate (I use ½ Ghirardelli semi sweet and ½ Ghirardelli milk chocolate)
¾ cup of heavy cream
½ cup of whole milk
I large egg beaten
One prebaked 9½ inch pie shell (see above)

Preheat oven to 325F
Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.
Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Pour mixture over the chocolate Allow to stand for 20 seconds as it melts the chocolate then whisk until the chocolate is completely cooled (about 10 minutes). Whisk the egg into the chocolate. Pour the filling into the tart shell. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and the center is still soft. Allow to cool on a wire rack and serve warm. If you want to be decadent you can serve with your favorite ice cream, but it does not need it!

Gerard’s Wine Suggestion:
For me the best choice of wine to go with chocolate is Banyuls, a fortified wine from Languedoc Roussillon, France. Le village of Banyuls is on the Mediterranean, at the Spanish border. Made from 50% Grenache Noir, Cinsault et de Syrah, le Banyuls is a smooth, fruity, slightly sweet red wine with notes of coffee. It is an ideal accompaniment to chocolate. Chez Arlington Wine at $21.99.  For this kess adventurous and Port or Madeira will work also. 

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