A bunch of us were chatting on twitter about how much fun it would be if we could all bake together one day. While it would be amazing to do that with us all in the same kitchen, it would take a miracle or time-travel or something like that.. See, we all live practically a world apart. OK.. so how can we do this..**scratching heads**. What if I picked one recipe for us all to make and we virtually share our results with each other via blog posts, facebook and twitter? Just seeing these creations is going to drive us all crazy.. and no scratch n’ sniff either.. but we’ll have fun seeing our friends creations, reading about their thoughts and process, and, of course, test driving their version of this recipe.
With me so far? OK.. next step: which recipe? After allowing this idea to ferment for a week or so, I decided to pick a recipe I first published in Fine Cooking a few years back. The recipe has three elements: press -in crust, filling & topping; it’s neither too easy nor too complicated; it’s decadently chocolate and it is more sophisticated than even the most glam hats seen at the Royal Wedding. (I’ve always thought this tart would make a pretty bonnet…) Check out the pic on Finecooking.com Oh.. and did I mention it’s killer chocolate..in a good, healthy way, of course.
Here’s the twist: Instead of everyone making the exact same recipe, I propose we all start with this same basic recipe (delicious as is, I promise) and then everyone can “switch-it up” in anyway they want. You know me.. I’m just crazy about bakers adding their own person tastes and touches to my recipes. I’m a big believer in the collaborative effort – makes everything better, even chocolate.
Want an example? I’ll tip my hand and say that I’m thinking of “switching in” some sweet curry powder in the filing and adding some toasted coconut somewhere.. As you can tell, I’m still working on Hedy Goldsmith’s cookbook and she’s rubbed off on me just a wee bit.. I might even say that I “Hedy-isd” my own recipe 😉
Sound like fun? Well, come on into the kitchen with us and share your spin on this Chocolate Truffle Tart.. There’s no deadline.. I’ll be posting my version later this month.
Oh, and a BIG ps: This is a NO Winners – NO Losers Event – Just good fun! That means you’ll have to channe that competitive spirit into your creative process and make this tart a super star. (sidebar: there are no rules about posts…. we all love some *snark* and some *giggles*, right?)
After seeing everyone’s recipes, I know I’ll end everyday sweetly. Can’t wait to see your pix & posts!
EDIT to say: How about we all try and post by the end of May. No pressure.. I’ll do a round up of the #baketogether posts in early June!
Chocolate Truffle Tart
Check out how pretty she is..
Makes 1 tart or 12 servings.
For the crust:
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon dark rum (or other flavored liqueur)
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch table salt
For the topping
1 package (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the crust:
Heat the oven to 375°F and have ready a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
1. In a small bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs (ARE YOU SWITCHING THIS UP??)and sugar (AND ANYTHING ESLE YOU FANCY) until well blended. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and mix and smear the crumbs and butter until well blended and evenly moist. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and press evenly onto the bottom and sides of the pan. To keep the crumbs in the pan and not covering my hands, I cover the crumbs with a piece of plastic wrap before pressing the crumbs. I also use a straight-sided, flat-based metal measuring cup or a tart tamper to press firmly but anything with a flat bottom will do the trick. Bake until fragrant and slightly darker brown, 10 to12 minutes and set on a rack to cool.
To make the filling:
1. In a heatproof medium bowl, melt the chocolate, half and half, and butter in a microwave or over simmering water. Remove from the heat and add the rum (OR YOUR SWITCH-IN FLAVORING), vanilla and salt. Whisk the mixture until well blended. Set aside, whisking occasionally, until room temperature and slightly thickened, about 1 hour. (For faster cooling, refrigerate the filling until thickened to a pudding consistency, about 30 minutes, whisking and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula every 5 minutes.)
2. With a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the crust and spread evenly. Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate until the filling is set, about 4 hours and up to 1 day before proceeding with the recipe.
To make the topping:
1. In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla (OR YOUR SWITCH-IN). Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat on low speed until smooth. Increase speed to medium high and beat until cream is thick and holds firm peaks. (DO YOU WANT TO FOLD SOMETHING IN HERE??)
2. Using a small metal spatula, spread the whipped cream over the chocolate filling leaving lots of swirls and peaks. Cover loosely and refrigerate up to 8 hours. (DO YOU WANT TO SPRINKLE THE TOP WITH SOMETHING? IF SO, DO IT JUST BEFORE SERVING)