First and foremost, I am not a pastry chef. I don’t really eat sweets or desserts…ever. Unless Vanilla Coke counts as a dessert then…well…I’ll leave that for another day. I grew up in a household that never finished a meal with a dessert. We ate loads of fried foods, and processed sugary cereals, but never dessert. However, I realized that I needed to teach myself to make desserts, in order to become a well-rounded cook. Luckily, my wife loves a good dessert and she happily tastes all of my wonderful creations...and wretched disasters.
Baking is an exact science. The difference between the correct measurement and eye-balling it determines whether the dish is a success. Therefore, I will be posting exact measurements and a traditional recipe format. FINALLY, I can hear many of you say…I hear you trust me.
For the crust – ½ stick butter cut into ½ inch pieces. Allow the butter to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes for softening. 9 chocolate graham crackers.
Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 20 seconds. You want a fine crumb consistency. Add the butter. Pulse till mixed.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan with olive oil. It works! If you’re not that brave, just use more melted butter. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature for 25 minutes.
For the chocolate layer – 1 ½ cups of heavy cream, 1 tbs corn syrup, 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips, 2 tbs unsalted butter (cubed small), 2 tbs coffee liqueur.
In a saucepan over medium heat bring the cream and syrup to a boil. Take off the heat. Add chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the butter and the coffee liqueur. Empty it onto the graham cracker crust. Cool entirely, and then chill.
For the Filling - 1 cup heavy cream, 1 ½ cups mascarpone cheese (30 minutes at room temperature), 3 tbs powdered sugar, 3 tbs cold espresso, 2 tbs coffee liqueur. Caramel sauce for finishing.
Whip the cream in a bowl to soft peaks. In another bowl, beat the cheese till softened, then add the powdered sugar and beat till silky and velvety. Slowly but surely, beat in the cold espresso and coffee liqueur. Now gently fold in the cream and chocolate. Spoon the filling into the graham cracker crust on top of the chocolate layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ready to serve.
Run a sharp knife around the side of the pan to loosen the tart. Remove the side of the pan and slide the tart onto a plate. Dust with a generously with powdered sugar.
To Plate - Spoon caramel sauce on the center of a plate. Place a portion of the tart on top. Drizzle with some more caramel sauce.
That’s it for now…till we exchange a few words again…Peace!