I have made this chocolate tart once with much success, and was determined to let my whole brood taste it. So I thought, what better occasion than our Christmas dinner? The key here is a good quality chocolate, because really for this particular one - the chocolate rules! The crust is however also a delight and provides a nice complement. And even though there are no nuts in the crust, it has a certain nutty bite to it - where does it come from?! In any case, everyone except my dad was bowled over by the tart - he said it's not cake (which really Pa, its not) - but just melted chocolate! Horrors, but it really is not the flaw of the recipe but my complete disregard of proper measurement on the second one I baked ( which happened to find its way to my dad). I knew it, I placed too much chocolate just so I never have to store a small piece as I knew it wont be enough for whatever baked goods I would be thinking of next. Anyways, here's the recipe:
Bittersweet Chocolate Tartlets
freely adapted from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet
For the crust:
8 tbsp butter (1 stock), melted
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the filling:
1 cup cream (I used all-purpose cream)
2 tbsp sugar
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Callebaut 60%), chopped
1 large egg
Preheat the oven 350 degrees. In a bowl. combine butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and flour. Mix until just blended. The dough should be very soft and moist.
Gently press the dough into the tart pan. The recipe calls for 8 4-inch wide by 3/4 deep fluted tartlet pans. I used an 8-inch wide tart pan. Press in the dough as thinly as possible.
Place the pans in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Meanwhile, heat the cream and sugar in a small saucepan to boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate and whisk together until combined. Whisk the egg into the mixture just before taking the shells out of the oven.
Remove shells from the oven and turn off heat. Pour the filling into the shells. Return the tart to the oven and leave them there for abour 5-10 minutes, or until the filling is just beginning to set about the edges.
Because I messed up with the measurements of the filling, mine did not set quickly. I had to turn the oven on again to 350, and it took about 20 minutes to set.
Place the tart on a wire rack to cool. Just before serving, sprinkle with your choice of toppings. The first one I made I served plain, and the Christmas tart I sprinkled with chopped mixed nuts. Other than nuts, Ms. Medrich suggests cocoa nibs, dried cherries, anise seeds and chili powder.