Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chocolate Cashew Coconut Tart in Chocolate Crust



For Thanksgiving a number of years ago, I was responsible for cooking the whole meal and decided to do it right. One of the successes that day was a tart recipe I found in Bon Appetit that season. I thought I would try and repeat my luck again this year with the assistance of my 10 year old niece. This tart has a number of ingredients that all balance together to form slices of chocolate richness.


Ingredients
Crust
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water


Filling
- 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 9.25-ounce can (about 2 cups) lightly salted roasted cashews
- 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut



Crust & Topping
- 5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 ounce of white chocolate (topping only)



Preparation
Crust:

- Spray 11-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray.
- The recipe calls for blending the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a food processor for 5 seconds, but I just had my niece use her clean fingers to mix together the dry ingredients.



- Add butter and blend until moist sandy texture forms - this we also did with our fingers.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water and blend until dough comes together.
- Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. You'll feel the butter start to melt as you press the dough, so don't take too long.




- Chill crust 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place crust on baking sheet and bake crust until dry-looking and slightly puffed, about 18 minutes. - Cool crust on rack completely
- Keep the oven on 


Filling:

- In a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring brown sugar, cream, maple syrup, and ginger to boil, whisking gently until sugar dissolves.



- Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Adjust heat to maintain low boil; cook until thermometer registers 222°F, whisking occasionally, about 8 minutes. There was no candy thermometer at my parent's apartment, so I just followed the 8 minutes guideline and everything worked out just fine.

- Mix in cashews and coconut and cool the mixture for 20 minutes.

- Place chopped chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl.
- Cook at medium setting in 15-second intervals until soft and beginning to melt.
- Stir until completely melted and smooth.
- Brush enough chocolate over inside of crust to coat completely - I used more than half to create a nice chocolate coating on the crust.
- Freeze crust until chocolate is cold and hard, about 15 minutes and reserve remaining melted chocolate for drizzling over the top of the tart.
- Pour filling into crust.



- Place tart on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling is beginning to darken on top and is bubbling thickly, about 35 minutes. 
- Transfer tart to rack to cool completely.


Topping:

- Remelt reserved bittersweet / semi-sweet chocolate in microwave.
- Drizzle chocolate over tart in lacy pattern. I used a spoon to just drizzle over the tart, but you can also spoon the chocolate into a freezer bag, snip the corner of the bag, and pipe the chocolate for a more precise drizzle.
- Melt the white chocolate in microwave and drizzle over tart.  I used the bag method of drizzling for the white chocolate because even melted, it was too thick to successfully drizzle using the spoon.


Note

The tart can be made 1 day ahead. It will store covered at room temperature.

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