Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Shortbread Crust
If you’re not in the habit of using the word “ridonculous,” you’ll want to christen it after a bite of this bittersweet chocolate tart. It’s been a favorite of our family’s for nearly 20 years. This tart serves a crowd, so it’s perfect for the holidays.
This luscious tart is very rich, so a slender slice is all you’ll need. A single 10-inch tart will feed 12 or more.
Bittersweet chocolate with a dollop of writer’s block
I hadn’t really been planning to let you in on this sorry state of affairs; but as I’ve been sitting here for quite a few minutes now without a single word to say about this incomparable chocolate tart, it seems I have no choice.
The writer’s mind is a vessel for metaphor; and with spring palpably on its way today, a girl’s prose should be awash in buds and birds and blossoms. The American literary tradition was built on days like this. So then, tart, why the blank stare?
A chocolate tart beyond compare
I can only think that perhaps when I say that this luscious tart, which derives from the beautiful, if somewhat impenetrable, book The Art of the Tart by Tamasin Day-Lewis, is beyond compare – well, that perhaps I mean it literally. Beyond compare. Eschewing all metaphor. Yes, that must be it, right?
Or maybe I’ve been bewitched by the dark and sultry magic of the perfectly smooth, intensely rich filling, which stops just inches shy of absurdity, repenting for its textural opulence with its sparely sweet taste. Maybe the crisp, eggy shortbread shell, whose heady aroma invites you to dive straight into the mixer, has simply driven me to distraction. People have taken vows of silence for less-divine awakenings, I’d bet.
For the dough
- 12 tablespoons cold butter, diced
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
For the filling
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoons butter
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
For the dough:
- Place the butter, powdered sugar and egg yolks in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Pulse until combined but still speckled with butter. Add the flour and run the machine just until the dough comes together when you pinch it between your fingers (see photo above). Turn dough out onto a large piece of parchment, knead a few times to bring it all together, and pat it into a disc shape. Wrap well in parchment and chill for about half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove dough from the fridge and let it rest on the counter for 15 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your work surface, and roll out the dough with a rolling pin to an approximately 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough very carefully to a 10-inch tart pan, pressing on the dough lightly so it sits snugly against the bottom and sides of the pan. Prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Place a piece of parchment paper over the shell, making sure to cover the edges. Spread plenty of dried beans over the parchment, covering the whole bottom of the tart shell. Bake for 15 minutes this way, then remove the parchment and beans and return the shell to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
For the filling:
- Raise the oven temperature to 375F. Place the eggs, yolks and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for about five minutes on medium-high speed, until thick and fluffy. Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for one minute. Stir to combine thoroughly – the residual heat should completely melt both the butter and the chocolate as you stir. (If not, continue to microwave in short bursts until you can stir the mixture to a complete melt.) Pour the chocolate and butter mixture, which should be just warm, into the mixer with the sugar and egg mixture, and mix until well combined.
- Pour the filling into the tart shell. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until just set. Let tart cool before serving.