DeMasco’s chocolate custard tart--chocolate crust, chocolate filling--is not
the kind of dessert I would choose for myself, but last week when Andrew’s old
friends came over for dinner I wanted to make something he would like. It is
good to eat and quite easy to make but seriously rich; I think you could almost cut it up into
square inches and serve them as truffles. As a tart, it should be sliced into exceedingly
thin wedges (i.e. not as pictured above) and served with barely-sweet whipped cream (and perhaps even then
it should be shared).
I was very proud when I lined my tart shell, for this was the first time my dough has ever reached high enough to be neatly trimmed away without my pushing and prodding it up the sides. Alas, it slumped during the blind bake. (Andrew, by the way, is always distressed by my use of beans in blind baking. “Are we going to be able to eat those?” This time I told him that now I keep them in a plastic bag marked “pie weights,” so they’ll be used many times. He thought I was joking and said, “Only a crazy person would do that.”) In fact,
Things only went downhill after the tart shell drooped. Trusted recipes failed to turn out, nothing got seasoned right, and my guacamole probably tasted like stress. At a particularly low moment, I absentmindedly stashed the cumin in a drawer of utensils, a distracting mistake from which I never recovered.
People were nice, of course, but I was a bit frantic with disappointment. Isn’t it hard to hold your tongue before guests when the meal you’ve prepared isn’t what you hoped it would be? I did, this time, but for goodness sake, if Betsy Ray Willard managed to keep a company recipe up her sleeve, I should manage it, too.
As for the tart—I’d like to try it with a layer of
caramel, or maybe try one of those other Twix-like tarts. The other half of the
sablé dough is waiting in my freezer.
CHOCOLATE SABLE DOUGH
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 ounces (2.5 sticks)chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and slat. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on low speed until there are no visible pieces of butter, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix just until incorporated. Add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing each in completely before adding the next. Divide the dough in half, shape into flattened disks, and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
Flour for rolling
1/2 recipe chocolate sablé dough
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%), roughly chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate (62%), roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Big pinch kosher salt (she calls for 1/2 teaspoon; even with a big pinch instead, this was still a rather salty dessert)
Very lightly sweetened whipped cream to serve
Lightly flour your work surface. Roll the dough out into an 11-inch round. Fit the dough circle into a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing it into the edges. Use a paring knife to trim excess dough at the top edge of the pan. Prick the bottom all over with a fork and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350.
When the tart shell is chilled, line with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights, rotate the pan, and continue baking until the crust is fragrant and feels dry to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes more. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and allow the crust to cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 275. Combine the chocolates in a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour about 1/3 of this mixture over the chocolate and VERY GENTLY whisk until the chocolate has melted completely. Gently, gently whisk in the remaining cream mixture.
the eggs in a bowl. Pour about 1/3 of the chocolate mixture over the eggs and
gently whisk just to combine. Return the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture,
add the salt, and VERY GENTLY whisk until smooth.
Fill the cooled crust with the chocolate custard. Carefully transfer the tart, on the baking sheet, to the oven and bake until the edges of the custard are set and the center is slightly loose, about 30 minutes (it was more like 45 for me). Transfer the tart to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature.