Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rustic Chocolate Tart

Happy Valentines Day!! I'm not a Valentine's day connoisseur but this tart will surely win your loved one over.  My mom's friend saw this recipe in a magazine and showed my mom during their movie night, I know they are cute, and when she showed it to me we knew we had to make it pronto!  It's a basic crust with a delicious chocolate meringue-y filling.  The chocolate covered pretzel garnish added a nice subtle salty flavor to curb the intensity of the chocolate.  Definitely not as time consuming as the pretzel tart but just as delishh!!

You can use a food processor to make the crust but I just made it by hand shmooshing the butter to itty bitty pieces
  Mix 3/4 cup of flour 
 and 1/4 teaspoon salt

Then add chilled butter chunks
TIP: Cut then put them back in the fridge to make sure they are super chilly

Start cutting butter into the flour and salt or use a pastry cutter

I gave up with the knife thingy and just started to use my fingers --you want to coat the butter in the flour and make it until the largest chunks of butter are the size of pine nuts

Then drizzle 1 tablespoon of cold water (tossing while adding it) and continue to mix until mixture is just moist enough to be pressed together.

turn out onto plastic wrap and wrap up and flatten into a disc
chill for 30 minutes (or up to 3 days...but lets face it, no one is gonna wait 3 days to make this!)

Position the oven rack on the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees
And let dough sit for 30 minutes (or until able to roll out without cracking)
Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll out to about a 14 x 9 inch (about 1/8 inch thick)
Rotate and dusting with flour as you go...this is the step I chose to ignore.  Not smart.  

It's LOL (laugh out loud) haha I crack myself up...

Now fold in half with parchment and transfer to a pan to cook.  I had to call in reinforcements for this, the crust was slightly stuck.  There was flour everywhere.  But we did get it to the sheet semi in tacked (and it was simple to fix)

Reinforcement Mommy!

Once you get it on the parchment and on the pan  loosely form and roll edge, without pressing, to form a crust like a pizza (yumm pizza!)

Bake for 10-12 minutes (or until lightly golden brown)

Now time to make the delishh filling!
Melt 6 oz of bittersweet chocolate in the microwave on medium (50% power) for about 2 minutes.  Stir frequently until chocolate is almost completely melted.  Remove from microwave and stir until fully melted; set aside.  We did a mixture of different choco
lates: semi-sweet chips and milk

with 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar 

and 2 tbsp of vanilla extract 

Beat until soft peaks form.  

Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.  

Beat until peaks are stiff but not dry.  I have no clue what dry peaks look like...

I decided to use pretzels instead of walnuts because you know how I feel about the whole sweet and salty things (there the best!!)
 Pour in 1/4 cup crushed pretzels and melted chocolate

then fold until batter is uniform in color:
goodness...tastes great uncooked ;)

Remove crust from oven and reduce the temp to 350 degrees.  
Dollop the filling onto the crust

 and spread until 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 10 minutes...until the top is cracky and the inside is all fudgey, yummy and delishh!
Cool on a baking rack and serve cool or warm (tastes good both ways!)

BUT the best is drizzled with chocolate and then topped with chocolate covered pretzels!!!

For the Pretzels: dunk into a bowl of melted chocolate and then let dry on wax paper until ready to top
Break into pieces and place on top of the chocolate drizzle

Leslie and Jen came over to try it...

Just look how pretty!!! The feeling was out of this got the crunchy aspect of a merengue all nice and warm and fudge-esque.

Have a Happy Valentines Day!
With love and cupcakes,

Recipe (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens):
3/4  cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4  tsp. salt
5  Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
1 1/2  to 2 Tbsp. cold water
6  oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (not to exceed 62 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
2  egg whites, at room temperature
1/8  tsp. cream of tartar
1/2  tsp. vanilla extract
1/4  cup sugar
1/8  tsp. salt  
1/4  cup crushed pretzels
Chocolate covered pretzels ("crushed" --broken into pieces)
Chocolate drizzle  
  1. To make crust, in bowl thoroughly mix flour and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cut butter in chunks and add to bowl. With two knives or pastry blender, cut butter into flour, tossing to coat with flour until largest pieces are size of pine nuts and remaining resemble coarse bread crumbs. As you work, scrape flour up from bottom of bowl, and scrape butter from knives or pastry blender. Do not let butter melt or blend completely into flour. Drizzle 1-1/2 Tbsp. cold water over flour mixture while tossing and mixing, until just moist enough to hold together when pressed. Add remaining water if needed. Turn out on plastic wrap. Gather into flank disk, pressing in any loose pieces. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
  2. Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Let dough stand 30 minutes at room temperature, or until pliable enough to roll without cracking. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 14x9-inch oval, about 1/8 inch thick, rotating and dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Brush excess flour from dough; fold in half to transfer to a piece of parchment slightly larger than dough. Unfold dough. Loosely fold and roll edge, without pressing, to form rimmed crust. Place parchment with pastry on baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown (crust edge will be a little raw inside).
  3. Meanwhile for filling, melt chocolate in microwave on 50 percent power (medium) about 2 minutes. Stir frequently until chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from microwave. Stir until melted; set aside.
  4. In bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and 1/8 tsp. salt. Beat until whites are stiff but not dry. Pour pecans and melted chocolate over whites; fold with spatula until batter is uniform color. 
  5. Remove crust from oven. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Dollop filling on crust. Spread to 1/2 inch thick. Bake 10 minutes, or until surface looks dry and slightly cracked (fudgy inside). Cool on baking sheet on rack. Serve warm or cool. Cover and refrigerate after 2 hours or up to 24 hours. To serve, sprinkle pine nuts and chocolate shavings. Makes 10 servings.


  1. You're killing me here. They don't have pretzels in the UK!

  2. Hey Carly - they sure do! Most supermarkets have them in the snacks section

  3. Wow! Does that ever look good! I will have a slice please.



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