November 2, 2013

Vegetarian Challenge - Days 4-5 (Chocolate Coffee Tart)

I finally had time to bake something this weekend. I've been making all these fish recipes and cheesy dishes as well as practically drinking bowls of queso dip at Mexican restaurants, but I finally had a chance to make some dessert. I decided to make a chocolate coffee tart, which was sent off to my dad. Luckily, I had enough pie crust dough and chocolate filling to make a tartlet for myself, which was promptly stolen by my grandpa, who decided it needed some alcohol. That addition is up to you, but the base recipe is included below.

You may be wondering what I've been eating for the past two days besides queso dip. I had some pasta and macaroni and cheese, but I also went out to dinner, where I had a quesadilla one night and a giant stromboli on the other. Strombolis are like calzones; they are full of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and whatever else you want to add. I have a picture of mine below. Try not to get too jealous. The garlic rolls were pretty fantastic, too, so I just had to photograph them.

I didn't even miss meat while I was stuffing myself with copious amounts of various cheeses. I certainly didn't miss all the antibiotics found in meat, since 50% of antibiotics produced are used for animals to speed growth and reduce disease. Though the number is a little shocking, the goal is reasonable; however, those antibiotics create antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are more difficult to treat in humans. In addition to antibiotics, humans also consume trace amounts of pesticides, growth hormones, drugs, and other chemicals used in the process of raising and processing meat. Furthermore, charring meat can produce carcinogens.

But back to the tart. I use my basic pie crust recipe and fill it with the same chocolate fudge filling I use in my chocolate truffle tartlets, which is just a combination of milk, cream, chocolate, and egg yolks. It does need to be baked, but just until set. The filling should be fudgy and rich without oozing everywhere. I top it all off with some fresh whipped cream; I add some instant coffee powder, since it is a chocolate coffee tart. As per my grandpa's suggestion, you can always add a splash of Kahlua or other coffee liqueur when the cream is almost stiff. If you aren't a coffee person, you can omit the coffee entirely and replace it with another extract, like vanilla, peppermint, or coconut. Maybe I'll actually get to eat some if I try a new flavor.

1 Recipe Sweet Pie Crust, Baked (See Below)
1 2/3 Cup + 1 T Cream
1/3 Cup Milk
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
2 T Butter
2 Egg Yolks
1 1/3 tsp Instant Coffee
1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 300F.

Combine 1/3 cup cream and the milk in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Whisk until smooth. Combine the egg yolks and 1T cream, then add to the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared tart shells and bake for 10 minutes for tartlets or 15 minutes for a tart or until bubbly and set.

Meanwhile, whisk the coffee into the cream. Whip until it holds stiff peaks, then beat in the powdered sugar. Spoon onto the cooled tart(s).

Pie Crust:
1 1/4 Cups Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Stick Butter, Chilled
1 Egg Yolk

Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until small pieces remain. Combine the egg yolk with a tablespoon of cold water and add in. Pulse until it begins to form a ball, adding more water as necessary. Chill.

Preheat oven to 375F. 

Roll the dough out to fit a 9-11" tart pan or 8 4" tartlet pans. Grease a sheet of foil, then press onto the tart pan(s). Fill with pie weights and bake until firm, 10-20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, then bake until golden, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Makes 1 9-11" Tart or 8 4" Tartlets
Pie Crust Recipe Courtesy Bon Appetit

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