Our Godchild hit a major milestone this month. Olivia graduated cum laude from Poly Prep Country Day School in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. For four years she has left her home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and travelled to school, a considerable journey. There she has excelled. This is a special moment for us because we were there the night she was born and she’s been an important part of our lives literally every day since.
So of course, we wanted to throw her a Graduation Dinner Party with her other honorary Godfathers and our dear friends, Shawn and Terry. Andrew asked the Graduate what she wanted him to bake for the occasion. Olivia’s answer was that she loved Andrew’s Shortbread cookies the most but that she was thinking that Chocolate and Berries would be wonderful too. The result was this remarkable tart. First there’s the crust which is called “Press-In Cookie Dough”. It’s especially good to use when the tart fillings don’t require baking like this Bittersweet Chocolate tart. Secondly, there’s the wonderful filling, rich in chocolate suffused with great raspberry flavor, topped with simple chocolate shavings. You’ll note that Andrew didn’t top the tart with raspberries. Our strawberries this year are just spectacularly good. So in addition to topping the tart with three of them, he also macerated them and served them on the side with a big dollop of whipped cream. Local raspberries won’t arrive till much later in the season.
The tart is from two separate recipes from one of the Dean of Bakers, Nick Malgieri. Andrew took an intensive three hour class from Nick at ICE. I am happy to report that it has absolutely nothing to do with Immigration and everything to do with Culinary Education. (The I stands for Institute.). There Andrew was immersed in baking…. in just three hours. By contrast, Olivia’s Graduation dessert took far less time—about two hours including the fridge time for the crust.
In his book “The Modern Baker” (DK Publishing 2008), Malgieri wrote“ Nothing could be simpler—or better—than this tart. The flavor of the filling is of course entirely dependent on the quality of the chocolate you use, so hang the budget and get the best available—you only need a single pound. We’re fortunate that chocolate now comes labelled with its cocoa content—the actual percentage of ground up roasted cocoa beans in the mixture. For this tart, I would choose any chocolate in the 65 to 70 percent range.” I’m sure this recipe will make you a fan of all things Maglieri so I’ve included a couple of Malgieri inspired recipes from Chewing the Fat. Alright…Ready, set, start. Here’s this recipe for which you will need a 10-11 inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Bittersweet Chocolate Raspbery Tart
A perfect summer recipe for a Chocolate Tart infused with berry flavors.
- For the Crust:
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- For the Tart Filling:
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 10 oz. (275 gram) package of frozen raspberries in syrup.
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, melted and cooled
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- One tart crust (recipe baked and cooled)
- 1 tablespoon chocolate shavings for finishing
- Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
- Step 1 First, make the Crust:
- Step 2 Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. beat with the paddle on medium speed until whitened, about 5 minutes. Beating the butter and sugar aerates the mixture, and the air helps the dough bake to a light texture.
- Step 3 Add the egg yolk and continue beating until it is absorbed and the mixture is smooth. Use a large rubber spatula to incorporate the flour.
- Step 4 Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and shape the dough into a rough cylinder. Press the dough into the pan, working from the center to the outside, and making sure that the sides end up covered with a uniform thickness of the dough. If it is too thin at the top of the sides, it will burn in the oven. Once the dough has been pressed into an even layer all-around, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 2 days.
- Step 5 About 20 minutes before baking, set an oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 350℉. Use a fork to pierce the bottom of the dough at 1 inch intervals to keep it from puffing up when baking.
- Step 6 Bake the tart shell for 20-25 minutes, until the shell is evenly golden. Check occasionally after it has been baking for 5 minutes. If large bubbles appear on the bottom of the crust, slide out the pan and quickly pierce the bubbles with a fork to flatten them. Cool the cooked shell on a rack completely before filling.
- Step 7 Then, make the tart.
- Step 8 Defrost the frozen raspberries in syrup.
- Step 9 Combine the cream and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and whisk well to mix. Place over medium heat and bring just to a slight simmer—about 140˚F. Pour the cream into a bowl and cool it to 110˚F—you’ll be able to insert a fingertip in the cream and leave it there without any burning sensation.
- Step 10 Pour the cooled cream mixture over the chocolate and use a small whisk to mix it in, just to combine smoothly, without whisking air into the mixture.
- Step 11 In a fine mesh strainer, strain away the seeds from the raspberries in syrup, pressing the pulp through the strainer with a rubber spatula into a medium saucepan. Bring the puree to a boil over medium heat reduce the heat so that the puree simmers and let it reduce to about ½ cup. Let it cool. The add it to the chocolate ganache.
- Step 12 Let the ganache stand at room temperature until it is cool to the touch, about 85˚F.
- Step 13 Whisk in the butter a couple of tablespoons at a time. The butter has to be really soft –the consistency of stiff mayonnaise—or it will form lumps.
- Step 14 Once all the butter has been incorporated, scrape the filling into the prepared tart shell and smooth the top. Refrigerate the tart for an hour to set the filling.
- Step 15 After the filling has set, bring the tart to room temperature for an hour or two before serving.
- Step 16 Scatter the chocolate shavings in the center of the filling and dust them very lightly with confectioners’ sugar.
- Step 17 Serving: Unmold the tart and slide it to a platter. Serve it with a few fruit if you like.
- Step 18 Storage: Keep the tart at a cool room temperature for up to half a day before serving. Wrap leftovers and keep at a cool room temperature no more than 24 hours more after serving.
Here are two more Nick Malgieri recipes you may enjoy.