So you’ve decided to become an alcoholic. Good for you. I’m sure you’ve put plenty of thought into this, what to drink, when to drink, and all of the other more complicated issues with this life changing decision. However, I’m willing to bet there was one oversight – dessert. What you’re missing is that ever crucial piece that will hurdle you from drunk to comatose…and I have the answer for you – Chocolate Bourbon Tart. It’s chocolate, it’s bourbon, it’s a tart…need I say more?
I saw this recipe in Food and Wine magazine, and decided to try this for dessert on Sukkos.
Two things – first of all a disclaimer – I don’t really know the issues that are coming out about bourbon and the hechsher issues that have ensued, so for all bourbon questions – ask our dear “Phoenix Fresser,” our resident rabbi.
Second – bourbon, the inferior, non-heimish, americaner version of a real drink, is what the recipe calls for, and it goes well with the chocolate, so I wouldn’t waste some good whiskey on this, but hey it’s your descent into alcoholism, so it’s your call.
I started by making the dough part of the tart.
Start by combining the 1.5 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and sift this all together. What that does is aerates the dry ingredients, and makes it better for combing with the liquid/fat component of the tart.
Then take the 2 sticks of margarine (or butter…gasp!) and 1/2 cup of sugar, and beat together. This is called “creaming the margarine” and what happens here is: the very rough sugar basically punches holes in the fat, ans creates a lot of air bubbles, and the added air bubbles creates the airiness you want in most baked goods.
Now in order to facilitate the sugar-punching, you want the margarine really soft, hence why some recipes call for “softened margarine/butter.” So you can leave the margarine out for a while, and let it get soft on it’s own, or if you in a bind, you can try what I did. Take the margarine, and put it on some parchment paper, and cover it with another piece of parchment paper, and roll it out with a rolling pin. Rolling it out will create some heat, and soften it a little.
All right, so once the margarine is softened, and it’s creamed with the sugar, take the dry ingredients, and add it slowly. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and mix to combine.
Once combined, flour a work surface, and spill the dough out on it. The dough is going to be really sticky, but do your best to try and shape it into a disk, and wrap it in saran wrap, and put it in the fridge for like an hour to chill.
After about an hour, take the dough, and roll it out, using a lot of flour to prevent the rolling pin from sticking to the dough, and from the dough sticking to the board. Then you want to transfer the dough to the tart pan. I found an easy way to do that is by rolling the dough around the pin, and transferring it the tart pan, and un-rolling it. Once inside the pan, you want to press the sides against the sides, and an easy way to do that is with a measuring cup, and put some flour on the bottom of the measuring cup, and press it against the sides.
Then take silver foil, or parchment paper, and put some beans on top to weigh down the dough, and bake for about 30 minutes at 350, remove the tart from the oven, take off the foil/beans, and bake another 15 minutes. The whole point of this – is to prevent the dough from puffing it up when it bakes.
While this is baking – make the filling. Take 12 ounces of bitter or semi- sweet chocolate – I used Trader Joe’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips, and place it in a mixer with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Then, take 1/2 cup of bourbon, and 1 cup of sugar, and over medium heat, heat it up, stirring often, until they combine.
Then take the hot bourbon-sugar mixture, and while still hot, pour over the chocolate chips, and let the chocolate melt, and mix to make sure it’s all melted. Then add 2 sticks of margarine (softened) and 5 eggs, and mix on medium speed until combined and shiny.
Pour the mixture in the pie shell, and bake for another 35-40 minutes, until the filling has risen, and the top is cracked in a few places.
Chocolate Bourbon Tart
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted margarine/butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted margarine/softened, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- PREPARE THE PASTRY: In a small bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa powder and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the margarine with the sugar at medium-high speed until it is well blended. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until just combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat just until a soft dough forms, about 5 seconds. Press the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. On a floured work surface, working quickly, roll out the pastry to an 11-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the pastry to a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the pastry over the bottom and up the side of the pan. Trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate the shell for about 20 minutes, until firm.
- Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 30 minutes, until almost cooked. Remove the tart shell from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes, then gently remove the foil and weights. Return the shell to the oven and bake for about 12 minutes longer, until dry. Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart shell cool to room temperature. Just before filling, refrigerate the tart shell for a few minutes until slightly chilled.
- PREPARE THE FILLING: Put the chocolate and salt in the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. In a small saucepan, heat the bourbon with the sugar over moderate heat, stirring a few times, just until the sugar is dissolved; try not to let the bourbon boil. Pour the warm bourbon mixture over the chocolate. Add the margarine and the eggs and beat at moderate speed until the mixture is creamy and shiny.
- Set the tart shell on a large baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling has risen and the top is cracked in places. Transfer the tart to a rack and let it cool completely. Unmold the tart and refrigerate it overnight.