A layer of crumbly crust, a truffle-like interior, and an almost patent-leather-shiny glaze make this tart the chicest take on chocolate that will have you going back for more. In short, this decadent and delicious tart is perfect as a dinner party dessert. Serve up generous slices, each with a drizzle of Lavender Creme Anglaise, a dollop of Lavender Flavored Whipped Cream or a good quality vanilla ice-cream. Indeed, everyone will keep coming back for more!
Here are many tips when making the tart! It is essential to buy the right quality of chocolate, and what works best for the recipe you are baking. With some research, I found a few websites with great information. For instance, I am sharing The Kitchn website that I love to read, and that I can always find the information on the topics I am looking for on their site. Firstly, it is critical to use the right type for what you are making. For example, it could be for brownies, cookies, cakes, mousses, and tarts. Whether it is an elegant dessert or a great cookie, always choose the right one! Secondly, the quality of your baking chocolate is critical. Most importantly, it not the same as your favorite eating chocolate!
You should never bake with chocolate you wouldn’t eat out-of-hand. “I wouldn’t bake with an $11 artisanal bar,” says senior associate editor Claire Saffitz. On the other hand, “it should be delicious enough on its own to eat as a snack.” Back in the baking aisle, there are five main formats of baking chocolate: bars, blocks, wafers, chips, and cocoa powder. Examples of bars recommended are Guittard, Callebaut, and Valrhona brands. You can also use blocks that are 2.2-pound hunks. You will need to make sure you can use that amount because it can dry out with time.
Similarly, when buying wafer or discs, that are perfect for ganaches, glazes, and frostings, and are available in bittersweet, semisweet, milk, and white. As far as chips, it is best to buy a higher quality chip. The cheaper versions are full of stabilizers which give a waxy texture. Again, Guittard is the best brand when using chips. Finally, when looking for cocoa powder, there are two choices — natural or Dutch Process. Unless a recipe calls for the Dutch process, do not use.
Pick Your Percentage
While some varieties are interchangeable in recipes, I have a line up of the differences of chocolate:
Bittersweet chocolate hovers in the 70% cacao range and can be used interchangeably with semisweet. Anywhere you’d use one; you can use the other (and, to be honest, most of us don’t have refined-enough palates to taste the difference in a dessert). Your best bet for bittersweet and semisweet chocolate is a recipe where the chocolate is the star player, like a decadent pie or simple buttercream frosting.
Semisweet chocolate has a cacao content of around 60% and can be used interchangeably with bittersweet chocolate. You can find it in the form of baking chips, but we prefer buying it in a bar or block form. It’s a great all-purpose option to have on hand, as it plays well with other ingredients
Unsweetened wafer, bar, or block chocolate is very dark and bitter and crumbly in texture. It’s best for melting into other ingredients like butter and cream, because the consistency of the chocolate is chalky, without the smooth richness of bittersweet or semisweet. You should use in recipes where there’s a sweetener already present, like these brownies, which also contain bittersweet chocolate and a full cup of sugar. Remember that cocoa powder is also unsweetened, and you can use as a finishing touch, as in truffles.
Milk chocolate is sweeter and less bitter than dark and has a higher amount of milk solids and sugar. Instead of adding milk chocolate to a sugary batter, let it be the sweeter for recipes like pancakes and muffins.
Dark is for true chocolate aficionados. With a cacao content in the 70% and above range, it walks a tight line between bitter and almost too bitter. (That said, to confuse the matter between bittersweet and semisweet, you will find it referred to as “dark.”) Highlight the complex flavors of the cacao by letting it be the star of the recipe. Although dark can benefit from a little sweetness, too much will muddy your palate. Pudding, mousse, ganache, and glaze are all great candidates for dark chocolate.
There’s no cacao in white chocolate—it’s just cocoa butter and sugar. While it can be a polarizing flavor (it’s sweet), it can be great when combined with nuts and the right amount of salt—think white chocolate macadamia cookies. You also caramelize white chocolate to give it a nutty, toasted flavor
- For Crust:
- 9 (5- by 2 1/4-inch) chocolate graham crackers (not chocolate-covered), finely ground (1 cup)
- 5 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1/4 C. Sugar
- For Filling:
- 1 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
- 9 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate - not more than 65% cacao - chopped
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- For Glaze:
- 2 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
- 1 3/4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate - finely chopped
- 1 tsp. Light Corn Syrup
- 1 Tbsp. Warm Water
- Fresh Springs of Mint - for garnish
- Find the recipe for the Lavender Creme Anglaise in a link in the text.
- Make crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in the middle. You will need a 9-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep).
- Stir together all ingredients and press evenly onto bottom and 3/4 inch up side of tart pan. Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack 15 to 20 minutes
- Make filling:
- Bring cream to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.
- Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from the edge, but the center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as tart cools.) Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 hour.
- Make glaze:
- Bring cream to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup, then warm water
- Pour glaze onto tart, then tilt and rotate tart, so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
- Top with a fresh mint sprig, raspberries and Lavender Creme Anglaise - recipe linked in post!! For a special touch, shake over the top with powdered sugar!!