This recipe is obviously one for chocolate lovers. It starts with a chocolate tart dough that comes together quickly in the food processor or by hand. After the tart shell is baked, it’s filled with a lusciously smooth chocolate and cream mixture (see, just like truffles). After some time in the fridge to set up, this tart is ready to eat. I changed things up a bit by using a different type of chocolate than I typically would in a recipe like this. Remember when I visited Monticello a few months ago? I watched a chocolate making demonstration and tasted a colonial-era chocolate recipe while I was there. (I wrote about some of the history of chocolate in colonial America in that post, so I won’t go into detail again here.) The flavor was so unique, different than the chocolate we’re used to today. I thought that the spices in that chocolate would fit well in a recipe like this, and I was right. Hints of the cinnamon and orange come through in this tart, giving it a little bit of winter warmth and making it perfect for this time of year.
Even though I can’t make a tart to send to each one of you, I do have a little surprise that you can use to make your own. The people at American Heritage Chocolate were generous enough to give me two chocolate packages to send to readers, so head on over to the giveaway page for your chance to win!
To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside. Add the flour, cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the top of the flour mixture and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 48.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If it's been longer than an hour, let it rest until it becomes workable. Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 13-inch round. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan and remove the excess from the top. Place tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375º. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet and press a 12-inch square of aluminum foil into the frozen shell and over the edge and fill with pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove foil and weights and continue baking for another 5-8 minutes, just until the shell is set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the filling, place the chocolate and butter in a large, heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate and butter. Let stand for 2-3 minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk together until smooth, then whisk in the liqueur. Pour the filling into the prepared tart shell and smooth the top. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the filling is firm. To serve, transfer the tart to a cake stand or other serving platter. Use a thin, sharp knife to cut, wiping the blade between slices.
Cook's Illustrated Holiday Entertaining, 2009 via Annie's Eats