Oh yes, this is a rich, silky, take-your-time-savoring-each-bite bittersweet chocolate dessert. I use pâte brisée (shortcrust) for the pastry shell with a pinch of extra sea salt to balance the rich filling. Love chocolate and sea salt together – “miam, miam”! Topped with a big dollop of handmade Chantilly cream, this is pure heaven.
During a basic French technique class I taught at Pie Ranch we made three different tarts: lemon, chocolate, and strawberry plus a range of savory dishes too. All the ingredients (aside from the chocolate) were grown on site – including the wheat for the flour.
Shortcrust is a handy recipe to memorize and have on hand. Who knows when you’re going to have to whip up a dessert? It’s easy to make, extremely forgivable (my middle school kids whip this up in no time), and can be used in many sweet & savory ways. I like to make it by hand but it takes about 30 seconds to make in a Cuisinart – 30 seconds people!
It’s also a great way to showcase a single ingredient whether it’s a seasonal fruit or an expensive chocolate.
I should warn that this is not an overly sweet chocolate tart and I like it this way. Sweetened whipped cream will make up for it if you’re not a death-by-chocolate fan. Or you can add sugar to the filling too!
Totally off subject but funny nonetheless, the Urban Dictionary translates the French expression of “Miam” as the following:
The French equivalent to “yum,” or “yummy.”
- For Pâte Brisée:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup cold unsalted European style butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup ice water (you will NOT use all of this)
- For Filling:
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
- 9 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scrapped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For Pie Crust:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips pressing the two ingredients together, until the texture resembles cornmeal. Or you can put it in a food processor and pulse with on-off presses.
Add a few tablespoons of the ice water mixing until a crumbly dough begins to form, add more water little by little until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead it three times until it is pliable. You don't want to overwork the dough or it will be tough.
Divide dough into two and flatten the dough into rounds, cover with saran wrap and chill for at least an hour to allow the gluten to rest. (you can freeze one dough disk and reserve for another time). When ready to use allow the dough to come up close to room temperature and then roll out to fit tart pan or pie dish. Prick dough with a fork all over the bottom to prevent bubbles.
Preheat oven to 350˚F and blind bake the tart shell by covering the inside of the tart with tin foil and filling with baking beans (or any dry beans). Bake for 15 to minutes or until it is just cooked and beginning to turn golden brown.
For the chocolate tart:
Put chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Bring cream to a boil with vanilla pod and vanilla bean seeds (If you are not a death-by-chocolate fan and require a little more sugar in your bittersweet chocolate dessert then add the sugar to the cream over the heat and whisk in), then pour cream over chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Gently stir with a small whisk starting with small circular movements until little by little the mixture becomes smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl and then whisk into melted chocolate.
Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake on 350˚F until filling is set but still a tiny bit jiggley in the middle (no more than a quarter size of the center should jiggle) 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely before slicing – this is a custard setting and it needs to set.