Salted Chocolate Tart

How about a little slice of heaven?

This particular slice happens to be called a salted chocolate tart. It's a July 2008 Sunset recipe I tried out last Sunday for Conservative Family Dinner.

I know some people might resist the notion of salt atop a lovely chocolate tart, but trust me on this. Those little grains of sodium-loaded goodness are key to the tart's flavor. Even Kid Sister, who'd rather do without the salt atop my favorite Smitten Kitchen Chocolate Toffee Cookies, agreed the salt was necessary for this creation.

(In case you're saying well, heck, I can't make this if it has salt, I'd like to bring you this public service announcement: Salt is OK in moderation if you're in good health, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and keep active. Limit sodium intake in processed foods, and you can indulge in a few flakes atop your chocolate tart. That is all.)

Making this tart requires some time, and based on the length of the recipe I thought it might be a bit ambitious. But Conservative Hubby requested it, and you know I'm a sucker for chocolate, so I decided to give it a try. In case you're so inclined to attempt it yourself, here are the details.

For the Crust
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened) and 3/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, then add to butter mixture and mix until combined. Add 5 large egg yolks.

Mix on low speed just until dough comes together. If small pieces remain, knead dough to blend them in. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Unwrap the dough and set it on a lightly floured work surface. With short strokes from the center outward, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle.

Transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan and, using your thumb, press the dough into the sides and bottom corner. Trim dough flush with top edge.

Line shell with parchment paper and completely fill it with dried beans, pie weights, or a mix of dried beans and rice if you're short on beans and must improvise. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the dough 10 minutes, then remove the parchment and beans and return to the oven until dough looks dry, about 5 minutes. Set on a rack to cool slightly.

For the Filling
Put 8 ounces extra-bittersweet top-quality chocolate (chopped) in a medium-size heatproof bowl.

In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/4 cup brewed coffee and bring to boil over medium heat.

Pour hot liquid over chocolate and let sit 3 to 4 minutes, then gently stir until smooth.

Break 4 large eggs in a large bowl and slowly pour in warm chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until incorporated.

Pour warm filling into still-warm tart shell.

Bake until filling has risen slightly, appears dry on the surface, and seems firm when shaken slightly, about 10 minutes. Set on a rack and let cool completely.

For the Glaze
Put 4 ounces extra-bittersweet top-quality chocolate (chopped) and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup in a medium bowl.

In a microwave-safe container, heat 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream to boiling; pour over chocolate. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened) and stir slowly until smooth, working in one direction to prevent air bubbles from forming (if butter doesn't melt completely, which mine didn't, microwave in 5-second intervals to warm slightly).

Pour glaze onto center of tart and use a small spatula to push glaze to edges. Let sit at least 15 minutes to set up before slicing. Serve with Maldon salt for sprinkling.

(You can refrigerate the tart for up to 8 hours ahead of time, but you'll want to bring it to room temperature before serving. Trust me, it's much tastier when it's not too chilled.)

Now enjoy, you salt and chocolate lovers you.

1 comment:

rachel. said...

sweet chocolate and salty, um, salt, is my favorite combination. definitely going to try this!