I received a book in the mail a little while ago that I was really looking forward to. It was described to me as full of classic Italian recipes (already sounding like a no-brainer right?). There was another little catch though, these weren’t just Italian recipes, these were Italian dessert recipes.
Needless to say, I ran out as soon as I knew it was coming to buy some cannoli molds. I haven’t been brave enough to make those yet, but I keep the molds in my top kitchen drawer, so that they’ll taunt me every day until I actually do.
I didn’t even realize when I was first talking about the book that it was Grace’s Sweet Life, from THE Grace’s Sweet Life (I think I stoped hearing anything after “Cookbook of only Italian desserts”. She’s only a fellow blogger that I absolutely love following. Her recipes are flawless, her pictures beautiful, and what I really love is how knowledgeable she is about her cooking (and how she gets back to everyone who has a question, something I saw that inspired me to do the same). She’s also funny, sweet, witty, etc, etc. Basically, you’ll wish she was your next door neighbor as much as I wish she was mine.
So, visit her site, and buy her cookbook, because it is fabulous! It’s less than $13 on Amazon, and this isn’t your typical book store cookbook, where the team working just thought half of the recipes “sounded” like they’d be good and were never actually tested. These are tried and true, beloved Italian recipes that have stood the test of time, and I would hanker to bet a few very serious about their cooking grandmothers. It is a steal.
On to the recipe! Did I mention this is a chocolate tart? Well, Grace isn’t playing around here. It is a chocolate tart, with a chocolate crust, chocolate filling, and a chocolate glaze. Now that is what I call a chocolate tart!
First off, such a cute little book! I love that the volume and weight is given!
First up, make the crust. Get some butter in a microwave safe bowl.
Add the cookie crumbs.
Stir them all together so that they’re evenly moistened.
Dump them into your tart tin (you want a tin with a removable bottom).
Press them evenly into the bottom and sides of the tin.
Perfect! Now just throw it in the oven for about 10 minutes, until it starts to puff (careful not to over cook, it can be hard to tell with chocolate crusts so don’t look for that typical “browning”).
Here’s the cooked crust. See how the bottom has raised bubble areas, that’s what you’re looking for! Just set it aside to cool now.
On to the filling! Throw some bittersweet (60%) chocolate in a bowl.
Add some butter.
Make a double boiler and melt.
Perfect! Let it cool down a bit now for 5 minutes.
Break some eggs into a second bowl.
Whisk them up quickly.
Add in the sugar, cream, salt, and vanilla.
Whisk it all up.
Add the cooled chocolate.
Whisk it in.
Now strain the tart filling into the shell. This is just to catch any little bits of egg that may have cooked in the heat of the chocolate. For the first time ever though, I didn’t have any. That was a really good feeling.
You can tap the tart a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles that may be stuck in it (they’ll rise to the surface). Then just use the point of a pairing knife to pop the bigger ones for a better presentation. Or like me, who was cooking it for Bo for Father’s Day, you can leave it and call it a rustic chocolate tart. When you want to half-ass something, or skip making it pretty, just call it rustic and everyone will know it was supposed to look like that. Now, toss it in the oven and bake until the edges are puffed and the center is still a little jiggly, 20 – 25 minutes.
Here’s the tart out of the oven. Come on, how to you not want to run and make this right away! And we aren’t even finished yet!
Next up, while the tart is cooking, make the mascarpone cream. Oh, did I not mention the mascarpone cream? It’s only this delicious, ever so slightly tangy, perfect finish to this tart. Put some heavy cream, icing sugar, and vanilla into a bowl. Beat until soft peaks form.
Yep, that’s nice looking.
In a second bowl, beat some mascarpone until smooth and creamy.
Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone until uniform.
Beautiful. Now put it in the fridge to firm up.
Onto the chocolate glaze. Now, you’re supposed to use bittersweet here again, but I ran out and had to use semi-sweet chips. So, measure out the chocolate.
You’re also supposed to warm the cream in a saucepan and then pour it over the chocolate. I was getting tight on time, and I didn’t want to hand wash the pot (ok, so really, I just didn’t want to wash the pot), so I poured the cream over the chocolate and then microwaved it for 45 seconds and stirred it together. Then stir in the corn syrup and warm water. I forgot to take a few pictures here, sorry.
Pour the glaze onto the center of the tart.
Use an offset spatula to spread it around the tart, leaving a bit of a boarder unglazed. Now just let it stand for about an hour, so that the glaze sets.
I know, there are no words. I’m going to take Grace’s lead here and give you this link on how to shape the mascarpone cream quenelles. Don’t be scared by them, I saw it on tv once a few years ago and after I tried it was surprised how easy it was to do. It’s especially easy when you don’t hold yourself to a ridiculous standard (something I rarely do). If you don’t want to though, just slap it on with a spoon. A quennelle won’t make it taste any better than it already does.
Remember: This is a chocolate tart… a very chocolate tart. I do not see this as being a bad thing, and neither did Bo. Just don’t go thinking you need to any more chocolate somewhere. Man on man am I ever wishing I still had a piece of this in the house!
Recipe reprinted courtesy of Grace’s Sweet Life and Ulysses Press.
Here’s your printable:
Legal hum dum: I received my copy of Grace’s Sweet Life for free, but all the view expressed are my own. I was not required to saw anything, nor did I recieve any compensation outside of the book. The recipe is re