Now that we've journeyed through homemade butter, ricotta, crème fraîche, buttermilk, mozzarella, and yogurt, I think you're ready for something more challenging and enriching.
If you've seen Lillie's blog, Butter Me Up Brooklyn, then you know how delectable and jaw-dropping her sweet treats are. If not, then you're in for a rare treat! For a last-minute Valentine's Day dessert, Lillie created this lovely and absolutely scrumptious chocolate tart for us. It's the sort of dessert that you eat with your eyes closed. What's more, we love Lillie's mantra--"Baking makes friends." On Valentine's Day, share this tart with a close friend. They won't likely forget it.
As far as dinner party menus are concerned, appetizers come and go, main courses get reflected upon fondly for a few weeks, but people remember what they had for dessert - for years to come. You could have just consumed the best dinner of your life, but the minute a cake stand arrives at the table presenting something sweet, all your ravings about the lamb roulade disappear instantly.
The tart pan is the greatest thing to happen to the dinner party - since wine. It is 10 dollars well spent. Why? The fluted edges do all the work while you get all the credit. Bake anything into a tart pan and it will surely be the star of the show but this tart can be our little secret.
It whips up in just about an hour so you have time to do more important things, like set the table, or find the extra wine glasses you have stashed up in the attic. The genius is in the crust. The foundation begins with staples from the pantry and then melted butter is added (so there is no need to wait for any ‘certain something’ to come to room temperature). Flour is stirred in at the end to create a stiff dough that presses easily into a tart pan. All you need is a bowl and a wooden spoon. There is no need to bust out anything fancy.
Simple, elegant, stunning - this tart makes a fabulous last act and is sure to become your new favorite dinner party dessert – for years to come!
In a medium bowl combine:
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
One egg yolk
Pinch of salt
Add and mix until smooth:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Add all at once and stir vigorously until the dough comes together in a smooth ball:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Press walnut-sized balls of dough evenly all around the edges of an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, then press the remaining dough into the bottom of the pan. Use your fingers to make sure the dough is spread evenly over the pan. Prick the dough lightly with a fork and freeze for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the crust from the freezer and press a piece of foil very tightly up against the bottom and up the sides of the crust. This avoids the need for using pie weights! Yay!
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and use a spoon to press back the dough if it has puffed up. Continue to bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Color equals flavor so be sure to let the crust cook until it is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
While the crust cools, make the ganache. Place in a medium bowl:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan and it is just at the point of boiling:
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and swirl the bowl so that all the chocolate pieces are covered with cream. Let stand for one minute (or until the chocolate has melted) then starting at the center of the chocolate, use a whisk to slowly mix the cream and the chocolate together until smooth and glossy. Add and stir until combined:
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt
Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell. Let stand for several hours or until the chocolate has set. Dust with:
if desired. Slice into small wedges and serve.