Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It Was a Close One - Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Tart

This was a near disaster. Can you imagine the anticipation of a perfect chocolate truffle tart, only to have it turn into a complete and utter failure? The Horror, the HORROR! Thankfully, it turned out well in the end, and I even learned a few things in the process. Has chocolate ever seized on you? Meaning that when you add a bit of liquid to the chocolate mixture, it begins to clump up? I'd never experienced that before, and I was immediately convinced I had ruined the luscious chocolate tart I'd been trying to create for my Sister. She was alarmed by my cries of distress, and in her older sister wisdom, she calmly stepped over to the computer to find the remedy online. The solution was to add more liquid (cream) until the mixture became smooth again.

The reason chocolate seizes, is that the chocolate itself is dry, without any water contact. When liquid hits it, the sugar and cacao absorb it and clump together. To fix that, more liquid needs to be added so that the chocolate becomes saturated and turns into something more like a syrup.

So, the near disaster became a learning opportunity, and the tart was saved. Not only was it saved, it was divine. Literally, a chocolate truffle filling. Rich and completely decadent. I caught my sister several times in the following nights, sneaking a slice here and there once my nieces had gone to bed. I also caught my Father and my Mother sneaking slices as well, until two days later, when the tart had completely and mysteriously disappeared...

All I know is, I only had one slice.

And if I didn't, I was sly enough to sneak them when no one else was around. But really, who's to say?

A side note concerning the crust: I used the extra pine nut crust I had from the Lemon Tart recipe I'd made the previous week (it was a tart happy month in our house) and I thought it was perfect for this, but I'm sure a basic crust recipe would do just fine. Feel free to substitute.

Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Tart
adapted from several sources

6 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate (such as Scharffen berger)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt

While your tart crust is baking, prepare the chocolate truffle filling. Add chocolate and butter to a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Melt and stir frequently. When the mixture is thoroughly melted, add in the sugar and vanilla. Whisk the eggs, salt and cream together in a medium mixing bowl until well-combined. Add a small amount of the chocolate into the egg mixture, and then slowly add the mixture back into the chocolate, mixing until smooth and glossy. Pour the mixture into the baked tart shell. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until the chocolate filling has set. It should shake ever so slightly when done. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, and then chill in the refrigerator, uncovered, for two hours until the filling has set and firmed completely. Dust with a small amount of cocoa powder, if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment