I don’t know if i should blame it on my French heritage or my Piscean nature but i have a knack for meditating on the small moments and little pleasures of life. Shhh… don’t tell anyone now but I actually enjoy digging my hands in coffee beans, skipping stones and popping bubble wrap. I am shameless.
Today, i had one of those ‘instant Kodak’ moment when the delicate ‘brulee’ layer of this passion-fruit tart cracked to the gentle pressure of my spoon opening the door to unimaginable creaminess. I was in heaven for a split of a second. The seductive passion-fruit flavor, the slightly chewy chocolate brownie and the crisp caramel working together as a team for my own selfish enjoyment.
But i needed to make sure those stolen moments of pure bliss weren’t the fruit of my over-reactive imagination, and that my bias toward anything chocolate wasn’t affecting my judgment – so i set up a sort of clinical trial on a subject at hand – Mrs Big Bossman. I needed objectivity. Here’s what i got:
- Mmmmmmmmmmm. It’s gooood. Nooo it’s better than that! Wow…amazing! (she said with her eyes closed)
Surprising results can occur when matching passion-fruit and chocolate. Try it at your own risks. Side effects may include nonsensical babbling, sweating, chills and a post-coital tone of voice.
Passion-fruit ‘Brulee’ Tart w/ Brownie crust
(adapted from Chef Rob Feenie)
- 4 oz. bittersweet Valrhona chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup flour, sifted
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- butter for mold
- flour for dusting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup passion-fruit purée (or melted passion-fruit sorbet)
- granulated sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Whisk in the cocoa powder. When chocolate is melted, remove from double boiler and keep warm.With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Continue mixing while adding eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix in flour and salt. With a spoon, fold the warm chocolate mixture into the batter and blend well.If you are making individual servings, use an 11- x 7-inch metal pan. For a tart, use a 9-inch springform pan. Line pan with parchment. Butter and flour it. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top. Batter should be no more than 1 inch deep. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and cool in the pan.
Heat butter and cream over double boiler and stir until blended. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and yolks over hot water until slightly warm. Slowly whisk butter mixture into eggs, followed by the sugar and purée. Place the bowl in a water bath or transfer the custard to a double boiler over barely simmering water, and stir until the spoon leaves a trail when pulled through mixture. Remove from heat and strain.
Preheat oven to 250°.For individual servings, cut chocolate base into six 3-inch rounds. Use a separate cutter for each tart so that you can leave the base in the cutters, using them as a mold. Place the cutters on a parchment-lined baking sheet and fill to the top with the custard. For springform tart, remove the chocolate base from pan and discard parchment. Wash sides of pan. Dry thoroughly and replace chocolate base. Pour in custard and smooth the top. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes for individual rounds or 20-30 minutes for springform pan. Remove from oven and run sharp knife around edge to keep custard from sticking to sides of pan or molds-this will prevent cracks in the filling. Cool at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, run a knife around edges of molds or pan and remove desserts. Sprinkle custard evenly with granulated sugar and caramelize with small torch.Serve with crème anglaise and chocolate sauce, or simply with a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar.
Tags: Chocolate, Tart
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
Chocolate, Dessert, Recipes, Tart