Every December I am the lucky recipient of a box of books thanks to from my great friend J., who is in the business. It’s typically a mix of novels and cookbooks and when it arrives I can’t wait to rip it open, eager to devour each and every book.
This year one of the cookbooks was Tyler Florence’s Family Meal. The book is divided into three sections: Eating At Home (Me and My Family), Eating Together (My Friends, Neighbors and Extended Family) and Eating Out (My Favorite Restaurants). It took a while for me to get used to looking for a dessert recipe and finding it in the beginning of the book, but that’s my only gripe. The photos are gorgeous and certainly entice you to try the recipes.
It didn’t take me long to decide that the Chocolate Tart from the “Easy Dessert” section would be the first recipe that I made. It’s no secret that I’m a fool for chocolate and since I was searching for a dessert that wasn’t very complicated to serve at our New Year’s luncheon, this seemed like the perfect choice.
I must confess that I was taken aback when I saw that the crust was made with melted butter, as I’ve never made one like that. Then I remembered my hesitation with the olive oil crust for Erbazzone and decided that this probably would be just as easy as that turned out to be. I have to say although the crust was simple to assemble, it tended to crumble when I attempted to move it to the tart pan. The good thing is that it’s a forgiving crust and patching it once in the pan wasn’t a problem.
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg white, slightly beaten
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and add both sugars, and stir to combine. Stir in the flour, form into a disc and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough (I like to roll it between 2 pieces of parchment) to a 12″ circle. Carefully roll the dough onto the rolling pin and lay it over a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough evenly into every nook and cranny of the pan. Trim off the excess dough with a knife. * I found there to be a lot of extra dough and you can roll this into a log, freeze and slice thinly into rounds and bake them at 325 for quick cookies.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put the tart pan on a sturdy baking sheet so it will be easy to move in and out of the oven. Line the shell with aluminum foil and add pie weights (I use dried beans) to keep the sides of the tart from buckling. Bake the tart for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil and the weights. Use a pastry brush to coat the shell slightly with a thin layer of egg white. Return to the oven and bake for another 8 minutes, or until a golden color. Set aside to cool and lower the oven to 325 degrees.
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
8 ounces excellent-quality chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
Combine the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan and heat over medium-low until the mixture just simmers slightly around the edges. Take the pan off the heat, add the chopped chocolate and stir until it’s good and smooth. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Add the eggs and whisk until completely blended.
Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the filling is set and the surface is glossy. If the surface cracks, take the tart out right away-it means it’s beginning to overcook. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with plenty of freshly whipped cream! Serves: 6-8