Hello dear readers,
In a couple of hours I’ll be boarding a plane to fly back to the US, so I’ll be ringing in the new year at home. It’s been a great two weeks in Vietnam and Hong Kong, filled with family and, as always, a surfeit of good food. Below is one of my favorite photos I took during my trip, on a bus ride rounding the Hong Kong harbor – one of the prettiest views in the world, in my quite-biased opinion:
I didn’t get to bake while I was in Hong Kong (although I ate way more egg custard tarts than was probably good for my cholesterol), so for my last post of 2011 I thought I’d post a chocolate tart I made for a holiday party a few weeks back. We actually had back-to-back potluck parties one weekends, and the hubby generously offered to help bake, although he warned that he didn’t want to have to roll any dough out because “it’s too hard.” Hey, I have a 2012 resolution for you!
Because I didn’t want to scare away my kitchen help, I came up with a tart that used a crushed chocolate cookie crust – the easiest homemade crust possible. Ok, I didn’t want to be make things that easy; I baked the chocolate cookies and then crumbled them up in the food processor. It adds a little more time and effort to the recipe, but I think it’s worth it, and for some reason guys seem to get a kick out of pulverizing things to tiny bits in a food processor.
Pressing crushed cookies into a tart tin also gives you the opportunity to use the wonderful dough tamper, which Rick Rodgers rhapsodized about. I also like using this little tool when I’m blind baking any tart crusts, to push down any dough that might have puffed up; oftentimes, I don’t even bother with using pie weights and just tamp down any puffy spots. Works a charm.
To make the tart holiday-worthy I filled with a layer of white chocolate peppermint cream, and topped it with a dark chocolate ganache – can’t get any easier, right? The white chocolate filling is meant to be soft and just this side of gooey, so keep the tart refrigerated and take it out about 15-20 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. Rich but not too sweet, I like to think of this as the big cousin to Andes mints and peppermint patties. I kind of wish I still had some of this waiting for me when I get home.
Have a wonderful New Year’s, all of you, and the sweetest of wishes for 2012!
Chocolate Cookie Crust (adapted from Serious Eats)
- 7 tablespoons (100 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (170 g) sugar
- 1 cup (140 g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
- 3 tablespoons (43 g) unsalted butter, melted
White Chocolate Mint Filling
- 8 oz (227 g) white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (100 g) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 8 oz (227 g) bittersweet (72%)chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup (200 g) heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- For the cookie crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or with foil. Set aside an 8 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Combine butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer. Cream for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add to stand mixer and beat until combined. Mixture will be loose and crumbly.
- Pour out mixture on prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway. The cookie crumbles will start smelling very fragrant.
- Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.
- Place cookies into food processor and pulverize into even, fine crumbs. Pour out crumbs into a medium bowl and add the melted butter. Stir with a spoon to combine.
- Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of tart pan. Bake tart shell for about 10 minutes in the 350 degree F oven. Remove and let cool before filling.
- For the white chocolate filling: Place white chocolate in a medium bowl.
- Bring cream to a boil on the stove and pour over the white chocolate. Let sit for a minute and stir to fully combine chocolate and cream. If the chocolate does not fully melt, you can place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until combined. Do not leave on too long or the chocolate could burn.
- Add in the peppermint extract and butter and stir until combined.
- Pour mixture into tart shell. Refrigerate for about an hour until set.
- For the dark chocolate filling: Place dark chocolate in a medium bowl.
- Bring cream to a boil on the stove and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute and stir to fully combine chocolate and cream. If the chocolate does not fully melt, you can place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until combined. Do not leave on too long or the chocolate could burn.
- Add in the butter and stir until combined.
- Carefully pour mixture into tart shell over the white chocolate filling. Refrigerate for about an hour until set.
A delight! Looks amazing ! Happy New Year!
Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more says
Oh that looks so good, I want to try that. And yeah boys like smashing things, it makes them feel tough.
I'm At Home Baking says
This looks very tasty & easy to make!
Choc Chip Uru says
This tart looks beautiful and I bet tastes perfectly refreshing! Best of luck for the new year my friend 🙂
What a wonderful way to ring in the New Year! All the best to you for 2012 🙂
[email protected] says
Happy New Year 🙂 Hope you’ve had a lovely time in HK! I’m spending New Years with my family too it’s a lovely feeling isn’t it hehe
HAHHA I know what you mean about egg tarts! I swear I’ve been over eating so much!
Have a safe flight back to the US and looking forward to your new posts in the new year!
Lori @ RecipeGirl says
It looks beautiful! Dark chocolate and Peppermint Cream sounds heavenly. Happy New Year!
I keep thinking of getting a tamper.
The tart looks luscious.
Happy New Year!
Even with pie weights, I get puffy spots sometimes. This tart looks outstanding and I wish I could be at one of your pot lucks. The view is beautiful as well. I hope you had a safe trip home. Happy New Year!
Alice Z. says
About the crust tamper, for this recipe you used it before you baked the crust, to press the cookies into the tart tin, but you can also use it after you bake a pie crust? Also, couldn’t you really just use a spoon or something to press down a baked crust in order to get rid of bubbles (no need to buy anything special)?
You can use a tamper after the crust is baked as well to press down any puffed up spots. Also, yes, you can use a spoon or anything else that fits, but I like the shape of the tamper because it’s perfectly flat on the bottom (unlike a spoon), and the rounded edge means you can also press the sides of tart dough in, so you get a nice sharp angle between the bottom crust and side crust. I agree with you, I generally don’t like cluttering up my kitchen with too many gadgets, but since tampers are so cheap (a couple of dollars), and I’ve found myself using it so often in my baking, I don’t really have reservations about endorsing them!
Very pretty tart.
Thanks for the tip about using a tamper. What a great idea. I will add this to my must have list for my kitchen.
Happy New Year!
Me And My Sweets says
The tart looks delicious! I made a Cherry Clafoutis for dessert for the New Years Eve. Also highly appreciated:-)
Happy New year!
Let Me Eat Cake says
I need to get my hands on that nifty tool and then go bake up this tasty tart! what a perfectly decadent way to end the year!
Wow!! Looks delicious!
Your blog looks fabulous! Glad that I discover it. Definitely one of my favorite blogs.
Jen Laceda says
This is something I definitely wanna try coz I love Andes mints. hahaha!!!
Hmm, that looks awfully familiar…and delicious!! 😉
Restaurant à Québec says
Looks great! Thanks for the recipee girl !
dark chocolate and mint is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Your tart looks really good. Im not good with baking, reading your post makes me want to go out now and grab any choco and mint pastry available.
OOH boy, your chocolate peppermint tart looks so gorgeous! I am a huge chocolate fan and yours not only looks delectable, but I’m sure is wonderful to eat! I love your photography. If you had a poster or print of your chocolate creation, I would frame it and put it up on my wall! Thank you!
Nicole Pritchett says
What if you only have a 10 inch tart pan? Making this today. Suggestions any one as I know baking is so precise!
Nicole Pritchett says
I do have an eight inch cute pie dish.
A 10 inch tart pan may be too big – I am not sure you will have enough dough for the crust. I try to scale my recipes so that there isn’t a ton of leftover ingredients, but I haven’t made this recipe in a while and I don’t remember if there may be enough dough to stretch for a larger pan. I don’t recommened the pie dish if doesn’t have a removable bottom as it may be difficult to remove the tart without it crumbling. The safest thing to do is to double the recipe and then you will be sure to have enough to fill the pan – obviously there will be a lot of leftover ingredient, but if you have a smaller pan somewhere you might be able to a smaller second tart. Or, you can make the crust and see if it will stretch to fill the tart pan. If it does, I believe there should be enough of the fillings to fill the tart. Another easy way to stretch the tart crust is you can buy some chocolate cookies (the thin almost kind), and grind them up in a food processor and mix with some melted butter. It’s basically the store-bought version of the crust and it might be a good fix in a pinch in case you run out of tart dough. Good luck!
How long can I make this beforehand?
You can probably make this a few days before and store in the refrigerator. Just take it out about 20 minutes before serving to let it come to room temperature. Thanks!
If I wanted to use crushed chocolate cookies as my based, how many should I use ? Can I tint the white chocolate green ?
About 1 cup of crushed cookie crumbs would work. Usually when I buy a package of chocolate wafer cookies, they’re enough for a crust. You can definitely tint the white chocolate green if you like with a few drops of food coloring!