While rolling out the dough for this tart my husband called from work for our ritual lunchtime chat. I could tell right away that he was not in the brightest mood. As I rubbed flour across the rolling pin and began to flatten the round of dough on the table he vented his frustrations about employees, morning traffic and extra meetings. I listened quietly, as I always do when he is in this mood, agreeing that morning traffic is terribly frustrating and extra meetings are indeed inconvenient.
When he paused, and I was sure he was feeling less angry I took a deep breath, and hoping to make his day better said, “I am making a chocolate tart for dessert. It should be done by the time you get home.”
“…. Really… a chocolate tart… that sounds really good right about now…” His voice sounds brighter, more cheerful. I know I am getting to him. I go in for the kill.
“Yes, sweetie. Its full of dark chocolate and cream in a sweet flaky dough, not like pie crust at all, more like a sweet shortbread cookie full of chocolate truffles. I even have whipped cream for the top. We can eat it while watching the newest episode of IRT: Deadliest Roads.” This is his favorite show right now. “Does that sound like a plan?”
“That sounds great! What’s for dinner?” I got him. He has forgotten about traffic, employees and meetings. His mind is now on more important things… like what kind of pasta pairs best with sausage and mushrooms.
Chocolate Tart for a Happy Husband
Recipe from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. My favorite and most used cookbook.
- 6 oz dark chocolate, chopped or use good quality chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- one baked and cooled sweet tart crust, recipe on bottom of post
1. Warm cream in a stainless steel bowl. I used a double boiler method for this step. To do this place a medium-sized bowl over a pot 1/3 full of very warm, but not boiling water. Put your stove on low to keep the water hot. This is a gentle way to melt chocolate without burning it. Be sure to keep all water away from the chocolate or it can seize and will be ruined.
2. When the cream is almost too hot to touch, remove from the heat, add the chocolate and gently stir to melt and completely combine. Careful, if you stir too quickly your chocolate will form bubbles.
3. When the chocolate and cream are completely combined, but still very warm pour chocolate into the pre-baked tart crust. Gently tap the side of the tart pan to even out the filling.
4. Leave tart to cool for an hour then very carefully move it into the refrigerator until completely firm, about 2-3 hours.
5. You must eat this with whipped cream and a glass of milk, there is no other way.
This tart is just screaming for flavor additives. Peppermint, almond, rum, brandy, orange and that’s just the beginning.
Pate Sucree (Sweet Tart Dough)
- 1 stick of butter, softened on the counter for 15 minutes
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1. Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until fluffy and creamy.
2. Add salt, vanilla and the egg yolk. Beat until combined.
3. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is crumbly and most of the flour is mixed in. Mix the rest by hand until all flour is gone and the dough forms a ball.
4. The dough must be refrigerated before rolling so place the ball onto a long piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand into a disk shape. Wrap in the plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to two days. You can also store this in the freezer for a couple of months, but you have to refrigerate it overnight to thaw before using.
5. When ready to use take dough out of the fridge 20 minutes before you are ready to roll so it can soften a little. I found it easiest to roll the dough between two sheets of floured wax or parchment paper until it is 1/8 inch thick.
6. Remove the top piece of wax paper and slide your hand under the dough and on top to support it. Then carefully flip it over onto a tart pan. Its okay if it breaks a little, you can reroll it, or just patch the cracks with extra dough. Very carefully remove the last piece of wax paper and tuck the dough into the tart pan edges.
7. Trim the edges with your fingers and save the extra dough for jam thumbprint cookies. Prick the dough all over with a fork and place the whole thing in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to rest. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350F.
8. Bake shell in the oven for 15 minutes or until it’s a light golden brown. Halfway through baking check the tart and very gently pat down any bubbles that might be forming. When its finished baking cool the shell completely before filling and unmolding.
Fill tart shell with any kind of sweet no bake fillings and enjoy!