Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Ganache Custard Tart

I'm back! I had a fun round of food poisoning last week, and now that I'm recovered it was time to get back into the kitchen and bake.  I'm not one for Valentine's Day - never really have been.  You will never see anything cutesy, hearts, lovey-dovey on this blog, I just don't have it in me to do that stuff. I do find that stuff cute, but don't have it in me to make it.  So when I decided what I should post for Valentine's Day, I went with something that I would personally want to eat if I had a romantic night with my boyfriend (if I had one at the moment).  To me, I nothing says love like chocolate.  And bonus points to you if you bring me my favorite kind - then I know you really like me.  So this rich, chocolatey, smooth ganache custard tart was screaming at me to make it for the blog.  Let me tell you - amazing.  Extremely simple, and if you don't want to make your own tart shell, just use a pre-made pie crust from the store and bake it off. 

OMG - amazing is all I can say

doesn't it look tasty?

Chocolate Ganache Custard Tart
makes one 9" tart; 8-10 servings

10 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp Cognac
Prebaked Tart Shell

Tart Shell

6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on low speed until just smooth, about 1 minute.  Add the egg yolk and mix for 30 seconds on low speed.  Add the flour and salt and mix just until the dough comes together in a smooth, homogeneous mass.  Don't overmix.  Pinch off a jelly bean-size piece of dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and set aside.

Place the remaining dough in the center of a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom.  Use the heel of your hand to press the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan; try to get the dough as smooth as possible.  Use your fingers to press the dough up the sides and to the rim of the pan; make sure that the dough is not to thick in the corners.

Freeze the dough-lined tart pan until the dough is firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and prick the frozen tart dough about 10 times with a fork.  Bake the tart shell on the baking sheet for 7 minutes, then check if the bottom has puffed up; if it has, gently press it down with the back of a metal spatula.  Continue baking until deep golden brown, 15-20 minutes more. 

Remove from the oven.  While the tart shell is hot, if there are any large fissures, pinch off small pieces of the reserved unbaked dough, and use your fingertip to gently smooth them into the cracks until the cracks are filled (there's no need to bake longer as the heat from the still-warm tart shell will firm it up). 

Once tart shell is fully cooled - time to make the filling.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and cream or half and half.  Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. 

Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in the egg, egg yolk, and Cognac.  Pour the mixture into the prebaked tart shell, tilting and shaking it very gently to even out the filling. 

Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until the filling looks almost set but still quivers when the tart is gently jiggled, about 20 minutes.  Don't overbake.  Let cool completely.

Remove the tart pan sides by setting the tart on an overturned bowl or other tall, wide surface (a large can of tomatoes works well).  Gently press down on the outer ring and let the ring fall to the countertop.  Set the tart on a flat surface.  Release the tart from the pan bottom by sliding the blade of a knife between the crust and the pan bottom, then slip the tart onto a serving plate. 

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