Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chocolate Cream Tart & Snickery Squares

I try not to post too many recipes from one of my favourite baking books, Baking, otherwise I'd end up posting the whole cookbook. And then there's Tuesdays with Dorie members posting a new recipe from the book every week! But as I completely adore this book, I must frequently bake from it. I'm combining two goodies into one post, and will share the recipe for my favourite of the two though they're both yummy.

I've been dying to make the snickery squares since I was part of TWD and missed out on that week. They were dangerous to have lurking in the fridge - it's hard to resist the lure of shortbread, chocolate and caramel combined into one. One problem I had was that the dulce de leche oozes around and doesn't harden/stiffen at all in the fridge. Maybe it's because I made my own dulce de leche? Anyway these bars are a real treat and I'm sure would be devoured by anyone you share them with.

Then there's the chocolate cream pie. A chocolate shortbread tart filled with chocolate cream, topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream and then some chocolate shavings on top. I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of fruit pies/tarts - it's all about the cream fillings (and curds)! Though I guess curds are fruity, but a lemon meringue pie is much different from an apple pie. Anyway, loved this tart though it was really rich.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Orange Dreamsicle Tart
Key Lime Pie
The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart
Coconut Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Tart
Adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours

Makes 8 servings

For the filling:
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

1 9-inch Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough, fully baked and cooled (recipe below)

For the topping:
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate shavings or curls, for decoration

To make the filling:
Bring the milk to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until well blended and thick. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk - this will temper, or warm the yolks, so they don't curdle - then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the melted chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. Transfer to a container with an airtight lid and refrigerate, or to cool quickly you can put the bowl in an ice bath and stir the custard.

When you are ready to assemble the tart, whisk the chocolate cream vigorously to loosen it and to bring back its velvety texture. Spoon the cream into the tart shell, stopping just short of the crust's rim (you may have some left over) - you want to leave room for the topping. Smooth the top and, if you are not serving the tart immediately, refrigerate the tart.

To make the topping:
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks.

Spread the whipped cream over the tart and smooth it. Serve the tart now or refrigerate it for up to 2 hours before serving. When you are ready to serve the tart, scatter chocolate shavings or curls over the top.

Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 tbsp (9 tbsp) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, cocoa, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in - you should have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change. Turn the dough out on to a work surface and very lightly and sparingly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Press the dough into a 9 inch tart pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, butter side down, tightly against the crust. (If you do like I did and don't butter the crust, your crust may stick to the foil which will be sad.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If this crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.


Tia said...

both look SO GOOD!!!

Ricki said...

They both look superb--and while I'm definitely a chocolate fan, I think the snickery bars would appeal a bit more, whether or not the dulce de leche firmed up! ;)

Chef Aimee said...

These sweets are BEYOND sweet looking! I want it all!

Joanne said...

I have that problem with certain cookbooks as well...I'm sure it borders on copyright infringement! But hopefully no one pays attention enough that they'll realize the whole book is featured on my blog.

Both of these look amazing, but I have to say I'm especially loving the snickery squares. I'm just more of a dulce de leche than a chocolate fan I guess!

Memória said...

The chocolate cream tart looks amazing!!! That is what I would want right now.

Rose&Thorn said...

Okay, you can stop now - I have just picked up 5lbs reading this post - could be that I licked the screen too hard?
I am in a chocolate phase now - which does not go well with my running and dieting phase.
Full marks on these recipes.

grace said...

i, for one, don't mind a little oozy dulce de leche. lovely treats! :)

Dana said...

In my dessert world, the richer - the better. I would rather have a sliver of something really chocolatey than a whole slice of something wimpy. This looks right up my alley!

Natalie... said...

Mmm i love the look of both but especially the snickery bars!! They look AMAZING!

kickpleat said...

I think I'd take the snickery bar too! Looks delicious and uber-sweet. Yum.

Johanna GGG said...

oh yum - not sure which I would taste first - they both look so good (and just saw recent pic of abby hiding in your partner's clothes - she looks so cute but I bet would be out of hiding for these)

Maria said...

I want to taste both of these! Yum!

J said...

Can I just tell you! I made Dorie's Chocolate Cream Tart about a year ago and I think about it all the time! The chocolate shortbread crust is indescribable! What a great cookbook.
The snickers dessert is tempting me as I type!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

I used to really like you!! You are killing me with these yummies. DAMN now I am going to have to go to boot camp 5 days a week!! HEHEHE

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That top picture is amazing! I want, I want!

Katrina said...

Love them both, but the snickery squares are especially addiciting! And I swear you have a fabulous looking streusely apple pie on here that I drooled over a few years ago! ;) I'll have to go look for it and see what you had to say about it.

Allie said...

I love the snickery squares, delicious! Haven't tried the chocolate pie yet, but I guess I'll have to!

Pam Walter said...

Whoa! These both look very yummy! Like you say...too dangerous to have laying around in the frig.

Anonymous said...

I think I am going to dream about that chocolate cream tart now! wow!

theUngourmet said...

Oh my, it's just downright dangerous (dangerously good!) over here today! I so want to try those Snickery Squares!

jennyjen said...

Yes please! Decadent & delicious!

Karly said...

Both of those look amazing. I'm drooling!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Oh yum! I've made the snickery bars and they were fab. I don't think the storebought dulce de leche I used got very firm but they were soooo delicious. Now it looks like I need to try this tart pronto.

Sweets By Vicky said...

I alwaysalwaysalways want to make those snickery squares but always seem to chicken out. They do look insanely yummy though!