2011 has started off like every other year. I make honest attempts to limit my sweet intake. I purchase bags of fresh fruits and vegetables hoping that I will be too preoccupied with peeling, blanching, sautéing, and such to even think about dessert. Then I slowly (well, a little bit faster than that) slip back into my old routine... baking something decadent almost every day.
I had to give half of this Bittersweet Chocolate and Coffee Mascarpone Cream Tart away to my neighbors so I wouldn't continue to cut slice after tiny slice, and nibble, endlessly, throughout the day. I then left the remaining portion on the counter, unrefrigerated, thinking it would no longer look appealing nor tempt me... but I was wrong about that. It actually tasted really, really good when two days old and at room temperature. This tart will serve many, thanks to its rich, dense, and fudgy consistency. A tiny slice is enough (altho' you may want many tiny slices as I did). Of course, the coffee mascarpone cream is a perfect way to top off the bittersweet chocolate... and so goes 2011.
… Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Coffee Mascarpone Cream …
recipe by Francois Payard
• 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1 large egg yolk
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 1 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 teaspoons water
• 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1. MAKE THE TART SHELL In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour with the confectioners' sugar and the salt. Add the butter and egg yolk and pulse until a soft, crumbly dough forms. Transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Pat the dough on the bottom and up the side of the pan in an even layer. Refrigerate until firm.
2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line the tart shell with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the shell for 30 minutes, or until golden around the edge and dry in the center. Remove the parchment and weights and cover the rim with foil. Continue to bake the shell for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a rack; let cool.
3. MAKE THE FILLING In a small saucepan, heat the cream with the milk over moderate heat until small bubbles appear around the edges. Off the heat, add the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the egg; the mixture will thicken slightly.
4. Set the tart shell on a baking sheet and fill with the chocolate custard. Bake for 25 minutes, or until set around the edges but still very jiggly in the center. Transfer the tart to a rack to cool, then refrigerate until chilled.
5. MAKE THE TOPPING In a very small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the coffee extract and cook over low heat just until the gelatin melts; let cool slightly.
6. In a large bowl, beat the cream, the mascarpone and the sugar with an electric mixer until firm peaks form. At low speed, scrape the gelatin into the bowl and beat to combine. Dollop the cream onto the tart and swirl decoratively. Sift cocoa over the cream. Refrigerate until tart is firm before serving.
TAKE a LOOK: