baking

my chocolatey valentine

chocolate tart

Look, you don’t need some faux-holiday to indulge in some serious chocolate, but if you’re going to celebrate or anti-celebrate valentine’s day, chocolate overkill is a pretty good way to go.  Sometimes chocolatey goodness is equated with sickly sweetness like so many embarrassingly fleeting high school crushes.  At some point, a chocoholic’s taste matures and broadens, and you realize that the intensity of cocoa tastes better when it bites back a bit. So for those of you craving more complexity in your chocolate, I present to you a chocolate tart with bite.

This tart is potent, spicy, rich and just a bit sweet – dare I say a bit more adult than those crushes of yore.  This is not for the faint of heart, the bit of pepper adds a subtle kick but the ginger really heats things up.  The chocolatey-ness is so intense, a tiny sliver is all you need and it goes well with whipped cream or ice cream.  If you love your desserts with a bit of spice, you have just found your true valentine.

Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust

Bon Appétit, December 2007, Molly Stevens

Crust:

8 oz gingersnap cookies

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Pinch of salt

Filling:

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

For crust: Preheat oven to 325°F. Finely grind gingersnap cookies in food processor to yield about 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups. Add melted butter and salt; mix until moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and sides of 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom.  Place pan on rimmed baking sheet.

For filling: Combine bittersweet chocolate and cream in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk over low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat. Whisk yolks, egg, sugar, flour, pepper and salt in medium bowl to blend.  Very gradually whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until smooth and blended. Pour chocolate filling into crust. Bake chocolate tart until filling puffs slightly at edges and center is softly set, about 30 minutes. Transfer to rack. Sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger over tart. Cool tart in pan 20 minutes. Gently remove tart pan sides and cool tart completely.

12+ servings

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