Tuesday, February 1, 2011

chocolate tart

what you need
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons cold water
170 grams bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Chocolate shavings (optional)

what to do
To make the crust, thoroughly mix flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cut butter in chunks and add to bowl. With two knives or pastry blender, cut butter into flour, tossing to coat with flour until largest pieces are the size of pine nuts and remaining pieces resemble coarse breadcrumbs.

As you work, scrape flour up from bottom of bowl, and scrape butter from knives or pastry blender. Do not let butter melt or blend completely into flour. Drizzle 1-1/2 tablespoons cold water over flour mixture while tossing and mixing, until just moist enough to hold together when pressed.

Add remaining water if needed. Turn out on plastic wrap. Gather into a flat disc, pressing together any loose bits. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees celsius). Let dough stand 30 minutes at room temperature, or until pliable enough to roll without cracking.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 14- by 9-inch (35cm - 23cm) oval, about 1/8-inch thick (3mm), rotating and dusting with flour to prevent sticking.

Brush excess flour from dough; fold in half to transfer to a piece of parchment slightly larger than dough. Unfold dough. Loosely fold and roll edge, without pressing, to form rimmed crust. Place parchment with pastry on baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown (crust edge will be a little raw inside).

Meanwhile, for filling, melt chocolate in microwave on 50 per cent power (medium) about 2 minutes. Stir frequently until chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from microwave. Stir until melted; set aside.

In bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Beat until whites are stiff but not dry. Pour pecans and melted chocolate over whites; fold with spatula until batter is uniform colour.

Remove crust from oven. Reduce oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees celsius). Dollop filling on crust. Spread to 1/2-inch (1.2cm) thick. Bake 10 minutes, or until surface looks dry and slightly cracked (fudgy inside).

Cool on baking sheet on rack. Serve warm or cool. Cover and refrigerate after two hours or up to 24 hours. To serve, top with chocolate shavings.


  1. I keep thinking I need one of those big Kitchenaid stand mixers. I don't really though, do I? Pretty much everything can be done with a hand mixer and other tools.

  2. hey Lisa i have a Kitchenaid mixer... best money i spent