The last time I shared a Dorie Greenspan recipe, it was for Peanut Butter cookies, and I said I would not be sharing another recipe from her book, Baking: From My Home To Yours.
This isn’t a retraction, because I meant every word. It doesn’t mean I can’t share the pictures.
Typically, I don’t make a lot of desserts. Making them promotes eating them, and eating them makes me fat. However, this weekend I was cooking for a different family than my own, and I found myself in the mood for an actual dessert. After flipping through Dorie Greenspan’s book (and actually forcing myself to avoid the cookie section — it’s so hard to do) I came upon the tarts.
I love tarts, their thick, flaky crusts, their sweet, creamy puddings, their deliciously delectable toppings — you get the picture. Since I needed a chocolate fix, I settled on the Chocolate Cream Tart with Chocolate Shortbread Crust. Since I have now made two successful batches of shortbread, I thought that an attempt at a shortbread crust was now fitting.
The crust itself was amazingly simple. All ingredients are put into a food processor and pulsed until combined. The instructions indicated that everything would end up in pea-sized lumps, stuck together by very cold butter. Somehow mine was powdery and not lumpy. To get the “stickiness” in action, I used a wooden spoon to compact everything down, then it was turned out into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
It is then supposed to be frozen or baked with a weight, so the dough doesn’t rise. I did refrigerate it for about 45 minutes; I did not freeze the crust. So when I stuck it into the oven to bake for 25 minutes, I checked on it about half way through the bake time and gently flattened it out with my spoon, then put a large, glass Pyrex measuring cup on top to keep it from rising again.
The crust was then set into the refrigerator to cool while I made the chocolate custard.
Again, for such a delicious and rich dessert, this was very simple. I don’t know why I always associate complete desserts with difficulty — maybe because when I typically try to make a dessert, I like to choose something that has a lot of steps to it. This doesn’t.
The ingredients go into a pot and get whisked. As it cooks, it will begin to thicken. This only took me a few minutes. I’m not one for constant manual whisking (I’m a slacker) but this didn’t annoy me one bit. It was pretty quick, to be honest, and turns into a sweet, thick custard that you’ll want to keep sticking your fingers into.
In the above photo, you can see how it becomes lighter in color and thicker. Melted chocolate is added, then the custard is poured into the shortbread shell.
This is refrigerated until cooled, and a delicious whipped topping is smothered over the top, consisting of heavy whipping cream, sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. The entire package is amazing and an incredible chocolate overload. Any chocolate lover would be happy with this. I would recommend small slices, as it is intense. The whipped cream is also a must on this, as you’re already dealing with chocolate on chocolate and need a little light, special something to go on top.