Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Chocolate-Bourbon Tart

This year Alex and I were responsible for bringing dessert for dinner on Christmas Eve with his cousins.  Given Alex's love of all things bourbon and my love of all things chocolate, this dessert seemed like the natural choice.  Note to self - next time I decide on a "simple" dessert recipe based purely on the number of ingredients, I should also take a gander at the steps.  Because this recipe wasn't hard, but it took a LONG time to put together.  First you make the pastry for the tart shell, then you chill, then you blind bake, then you cool, then you bake some more, then you chill again...  It goes on more like that for awhile.  But, this tart has one of the best tart shells that I have ever tried.  It has a lot of steps, but it is totally worth it.  It has great rich, chocolatey flavor and just the perfect amount of sweetness/saltiness.  It also had a really lovely texture - flaky, without being dry.  I know that I'm not doing it justice, but I honestly can't think of the right words to use to describe it.  Pastry just isn't my forte.  I am definitely going to save it for future tart-making experiments.  I was a little nervous that the filling would be too bourbon-y, but it wasn't at all.  The filling was darkly chocolate-y and the bourbon added a nice smoky flavor and depth.  If I didn't know that the bourbon was in there I'm not sure I would have recognized it, but I would have known that it was definitely not a straight-up chocolate filling.  The filling isn't too sweet and it has nice smooth texture.  Some tart fillings are too ganache-y, while others are too custard-y.  This filling was almost like a textural cross between a custard and a brownie.  It was interesting.  I didn't like the filling quite as much as I liked the crust, but it was quite pleasant and I would make it again.  It would be a really good addition to any potluck or holiday dinner with multiple desserts.  I might try it with other flavors and/or liquors - some orange zest or Grand Marnier would be an interesting twist.  And stout could work with a few minor modifications.  We served the tart with vanilla ice cream, which provided some additional creaminess and sweetness.  I thought it was a really nice and festive combination.

Recipe after the jump!

Chocolate-Bourbon Cocktail
Available at Food & Wine

For pastry
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For filling
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bourbon
1 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
5 large eggs, at room temperature
In a small bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa powder and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until it is well blended. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until just combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat just until a soft dough forms, about 5 seconds. Press the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°. On a floured work surface, working quickly, roll out the pastry to an 11-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the pastry to a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the pastry over the bottom and up the side of the pan. Trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate the shell for about 20 minutes, until firm.

Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 30 minutes, until almost cooked. Remove the tart shell from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes, then gently remove the foil and weights. Return the shell to the oven and bake for about 12 minutes longer, until dry. Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart shell cool to room temperature. Just before filling, refrigerate the tart shell for a few minutes until slightly chilled.

Put the chocolate and salt in the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. In a small saucepan, heat the bourbon with the sugar over moderate heat, stirring a few times, just until the sugar is dissolved; try not to let the bourbon boil. Pour the warm bourbon mixture over the chocolate. Add the pieces of butter and the eggs and beat at moderate speed until the mixture is creamy and shiny.

Set the tart shell on a large baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling has risen and the top is cracked in places. Transfer the tart to a rack and let it cool completely. Unmold the tart and refrigerate it overnight. Using a sharp knife, cut the tart into thin wedges and serve.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment