Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Promise me?

Promise me you'll make this?  Like tomorrow?  Or maybe for New Year's Eve?  Just promise, ok?  If you don't do alcohol, you are excused, but the REST of you...you must make it.

I had an inkling this would be good.  But, I wasn't sure it would be audible-sigh-with-every-bite-good.
It is.
This is the Don Draper of tarts, my friends.  Cool, smooth, rich, decadent, you-know-it's-not-good-for-you-but-you-want-it-anyway tart. 

Chocolate Kahlua Tart
{adapted from Martha Stewart Living}

for the crust:
2 cups whole blanched almonds
10 TBSP unsalted butter
Oreos (about half of a package)
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

for the filling:
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa (I use Hershey's Special Dark)
2 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
pinch kosher salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 TBSP unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
6 TBSP sugar

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 375.

Place the almonds on a single layer on the sheet and bake for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned.
Remove from the sheet and cool completely.

In the microwave, or on the stove over low heat, melt the 10 tablespoons of butter.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, you'll need to scrape some Oreos.  The original recipe calls for chocolate wafer cookies, but I couldn't find them.  And, you know, I think Oreos are pretty darn tasty.
Twist the Oreos and scrape out the insides.  You only need the cookie part.  What you do with the insides is between you and your kitchen.  You'll need about half the package.

In a food processor, process the cookies until finely ground.  You'll need 1 and 1/3 cups of cookie crumbs.  Place in a large bowl and wipe the food processor bowl clean.

Process the almonds in the food processor...it's loud, you might want hearing protection...until finely ground.

Add the almonds to the cookie crumbs along with the espresso powder, salt and butter.  Stir to combine.
{This is what espresso powder looks like.  You'll find it on the coffee aisle next to the Sanka.}

Press the crust into and up the sides of a 10-11" tart pan with removable bottom.
{I used a heart-shaped pan and had some extra crust leftover.  Mr. E suggested using it as ice cream or yogurt topping.  Did I marry well, or what?}

Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temp to 325.  Bake the crust on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes.  Set on a wire rack to cool completely.

Whisk together the Kahlua, cocoa, egg yolks (reserve the whites), espresso powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Once melted, whisk in the Kahlua mixture.  Continue whisking and heating over the pan of simmering water until the mixture has thickened and reaches 160 degrees.  Set aside to cool completely.

Beat the cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Whisk the reserved egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl of a mixer over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reached 140 degrees.

Remove from heat and transfer the bowl to the mixer.  Beat with the whisk attachment, starting on medium speed and gradually increasing to high, until the mixture is shiny and cooled.

Use a rubber spatula to fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the beaten egg whites.  Then fold in the whipped cream.
Spread into the baked and cooled tart shell.

{You might have some left over.  Grab a spoon and dig in...but please sit down first as fainting may occur.}

Chill the tart for at least 1 hour.


Remember at the beginning of the post?  You promised.  You must make it now.  Your life will be all the better for it...you have my word.

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