Saturday, November 29, 2008

dark chocolate tart with gingersnap crust

chocolate tart with gingersnap crust

I know that a lot of you think that I break my back in the kitchen each week, slaving over the most exacting steps in this recipe or that. But the fact is, I get more lax every year. I don’t feel as badly when things don’t go perfectly and I don’t feel any need to prove my cooking prowess by making my own pâte feuilletée when it will probably keep me cooking until midnight.

gingery ginger snapsgingersnap crumb crustdark chocolatechocolate tart with gingersnap crust

And this is the perfect example. Each year, I make two desserts for each family and I take requests. This year, both asked for chocolate and that brought me to this recipe I’ve had bookmarked forever which is so easy, it almost felt like cheating. What would Thanksgiving be if I wasn’t tired from totally miscalculating how long it would take to cook everything on Wednesday night and pulling pies and cheesecakes out of the oven at 1 a.m.? Could I break with such glowy traditions?

You bet I could.

chocolate puddle

One year ago: Rugelach Pinwheels
Two years ago: Salted Chocolate Caramels, Zucchini, Ham, Basil and Ricotta Fritters

Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2007

The tart has a shiny, almost crackly top light a brownie and an interior that is exactly like a truffle, which is to say that if you don’t like your chocolate desserts intense — like flourless chocolate cake or pot de creme-level intense — this is definitely not the tart for you. My family was in the former camp, nibbling at half-slices and pushing them away. But Alex’s family wanted seconds. Guess what they’re getting again next year?

The original recipe calls for an ingredient I loathe — candied ginger. If that’s your thing, by all means, go for it. Instead, I made this the way I saw fit, with a couple pinches of cinnamon and salted butter in the crust, and it came out exactly as I’d hoped.

Makes 10 servings

Crust:
8 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 32 cookies), coarsely broken
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted

Filling:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Softly whipped cream, for serving

For crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Finely grind gingersnap cookies in processor (yielding 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups). Add melted butter and process until moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet.

For filling:
Combine finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and heavy whipping cream in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk over low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat. Whisk egg yolks, egg, sugar, flour, ground black pepper, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Very gradually whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until smooth and blended. Pour chocolate filling into crust.

Bake chocolate tart until filling puffs slightly at edges and center is softly set, about 30 minutes. Transfer to rack. Cool tart in pan 20 minutes. Gently remove tart pan sides and cool tart completely.

Cut tart into thin wedges and serve with softly whipped cream. I’d keep it unsweetened, but that’s just personal taste.

Do ahead: Chocolate tart can be made 1 day ahead. Cover tart and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.


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