This tart. Oh man, this tart. It's just too good. I made this heavenly creation in the morning and it was a sheer test of my willpower to not eat the entire thing. I ate (read: inhaled) that slice sitting there on the plate and immediately glared at the tart. I glared at it. It was daring me to eat more, just one more slice, maybe two, no one will know. I didn't need to share this with anyone, I could have it all to myself. Despite the temptation, I resisted! Sort of... I had another slice, but after that I stopped. I'd be a terrible drug addict, I'd never be able stop. I guess I am a bit of a drug addict, except my drugs are desserts. My willpower dissolves when it comes to desserts of almost any kind. It's always, "Oh, just one more cookie" or "Maybe another bite of cake" or most often, "You're not going to finish that? Well, I can't let it go to waste, just give it here"
Sometimes I'm pretty good at rationing my baked goods. I've had to learn to do this, otherwise I'd have a serious weight issue. Whenever I make something, I portion it out into tupperware. I usually give me boyfriend half of what I make and sometimes I'll bring a little something for my coworkers. I'll then put most of my share into the freezer (if it's freezer friendly) and keep only a little bit out. It's worked quite well for the most part, but now my freezer is getting a bit full. It currently contains nutella scones, mint chocolate thumbprint cookies, chocolate bites, and banana muffins. Yet, I just can't bring myself to put this tart in the freezer. I'm terrified that when it's thawed, it won't be as good. I can't risk it.
This tart looks quite labour intensive but it's not too bad. You can make the crust or you can buy a pre-made one. I've had it with a pre-made crust and it was still really good, so if you're strapped for time or uneasy around pastry, it won't be the end of the world. However, I strongly suggest making the crust. That way it can be as chocolatey as possible! I find there's also a sense of pride that comes with making something completely from scratch.
If you do decide to make the crust, you have to "blind bake". I had never tried it before this tart, but it turned out fine. Don't get scared by the term if you're unfamiliar with it! It just means that you bake the crust first with some type of weight on it so that it retains its shape. There are things made for this called pie weights, but you really don't need to spend money on that. It's like spending money on a snuggie. Do you really need a snuggie? You have sweaters and you have blankets, so you don't need a snuggie, you just want something new to buy. Instead of pie weights, I used uncooked white rice. You can also use dried beans! All you have to do is put a piece of parchment paper over the tart and fill it with rice or beans. Make sure the parchment is pressed into the little nooks and crannies so your crust bakes evenly. When you're done with that, you can just put the rice back in the packet. No waste!
I found that this recipe made too much dough and filling, so I thought I would make a second tart! I rolled out my dough, but unfortunately, it was too crumbly and I couldn't even get it into the tart tin without it tearing beyond repair. However, I made the crust the day before and had it in the fridge, so that may have played a part in the crumbliness. If you've got extra dough left over, you might as well try to make a second tart. Double the deliciousness!
Recipe from Cook With Jamie
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
12 1/2 oz. (354 grams) good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Get out your 11 inch tart tin with a removable bottom. Grease your tart tin with butter.
For the pastry, in a large bowl, cream the butter, then add the sugar and salt. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and eggs. I found it easier to quickly beat the eggs before adding them to the mixture. This can all be done by hand or in a (very large) food processor. When it comes together a bit and looks like coarse breadcrumbs, get in there with your hands and work it a little until you have a ball of dough. Be careful not to overwork it. Flour the dough lightly and then wrap it up in plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour (or in my case, 20 hours).
Lightly flour your work surface. Get out your dough and start rolling it out. It might be quite hard if you've kept it in the fridge longer, so just be patient when rolling it out. Line your greased tart tin with it, poke the bottom a few times with a fork, and pop it into the freezer for half an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust 'blind' (read above) for 12 to 15 minutes until it's firm. I found the bottom didn't cook as much as the sides, but it all turned out well in the end, so don't fret if the bottom doesn't look too firm. Take it out and reduce the temperature of the oven to 325 degrees.
While the crust is baking, make the filling. Put the milk, cream, and sugar into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly bring it to a boil while stirring it every so often. When it has boiled, take it off the heat and whisk in the chocolate. When I was young, I tried making a custard and ended up curdling the eggs and ever since then, I've been terrified of curdling any egg in anything. I whisked the chocolate mixture quite a bit before adding the eggs, one by one and whisking like a fiend.
Put the baked tart back in the oven (sans rice/beans and parchment) and pull the oven rack out. If you've got a manageable sized saucepan, just pour the filling into the tart. If your saucepan is bulky or awkward, pour it into a pitcher and then pour it into the tart. Gently push the oven rack back in place. Bake the tart for 15 minutes. When you take it out, it should still have a good wobble to the center. The filling is meant to be silky smooth and overcooking it will prevent that.
Let it cool completely before serving it. It goes great with creme anglaise or whipped cream or just on its own!