This week’s petit plaisir took a bit more time, but I think you’ll find it will be worth it. Saturday was spent treasure hunting and then working in the kitchen on one of the, dare I say, best desserts I’ve had the opportunity to whip up in the kitchen. And all of the credit goes to Rick and Michael Mast, authors of the cookbook Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook (released in 2013). While initially this Chocolate Chocolate tart may appear daunting, it’s really quite easy. Just remember to alot yourself a couple of hours, as the tart will need to set in the refrigerator for two hours prior to enjoying.
The crust – scrumptious. The filling – decadent. And the topping – sweet and crunchy. Impress your dinner guest or treat yourself as I did last night. You won’t believe you’ve made such a gourmet sweet treat, but trust me, you can. The added sweet touch of the honey to the filling is delightful and the candied almonds – a signature not to forget.
Pair with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of Zinfandel, this is a dessert to keep at the ready. Simply luxurious indeed.
Chocolate Chocolate Tart
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ½ cup maple sugar or (packed) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- A 9”-diameter tart pan with removable bottom
- Pulse cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and 1¼ cups flour in a food processor to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat egg yolk and 3 Tbsp. ice water in a small bowl; add to flour mixture and pulse until dough just comes together. Form into a ¾”-thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12” round. Transfer to tart pan; lift up edges and let dough slump down into pan, then gently press into edge of pan. Trim dough, leaving about a 1” overhang. Fold in overhang; press to adhere. Prick bottom with a fork. Chill in freezer 15 minutes
- Line pie with parchment paper or heavy-duty foil, leaving a 1½” overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is dry around the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and bake until crust is firm and looks dry all over, 5–10 minutes longer. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let crust cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Toast almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until slightly darkened, 6–8 minutes. Let cool.
- Bring almonds, maple sugar, maple syrup, salt, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and cook, stirring often, until mixture turns mahogany, about 5 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and stir vigorously until almonds are coated with crystallized sugar (they will look sandy). Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet; let cool, then coarsely chop.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
- Combine chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream, honey, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking to dissolve honey. Pour cream mixture over chocolate mixture; let stand 2 minutes. Whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour filling into crust and chill until set, at least 4 hours.
- Top tart with maple almonds just before serving.
Petit Plaisirs from the Archives:
~No. 1 . . . a book for living well
~No. 6 . . . a cookbook for easy, yet delicious meals (10 minutes is all you need!)
~No. 5 . . . a sweet treat for the morning