Oh my goodness. I’ve just realized that it’s Valentine’s day and I haven’t posted a recipe yet.
Which is such a shame because this recipe … it kinda TOTALLY rocks!
It’s all about a rich chocolate mousse encased in a dark chocolate pastry shell and then topped with light meringue: torched to perfection. Consider it a s’mores tart only without any graham crackers. Or marshmallows. So not a s’mores tart at all. It’s a double chocolate tart made for lovers. Or non-lovers. Or platonic friends. It’s a tart that shows that *special* someone that you care about them; and that you want them to eat something delicious on the *most* romantic day of the year.
You might think it’ll be too sweet. It’s not.
You might think it’ll be too decadent. It’s not.
You might think you can’t possibly make it. You can.
All you need to do is break it down into three simple steps:
Chocolate pastry dough – easy
Chocolate mousse filling – super easy
Meringue – simple
That’s it. I have faith that you can make this. Quite frankly, this is a good tart. You should make it for that reason alone. Forget Valentine’s day; bake this because you love to bake and you love chocolate.
double chocolate tart
¼ c. cocoa powder
1 ½ c. flour
125 g cold butter, cubed
½ c. icing sugar
3 egg yolks (save the egg whites for the meringue)
1 tbsp iced water
1 egg white
Place the cocoa, flour, butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor (using the dough blade) and process until the mixture is incorporated. Not quite breadcrumbs, slightly larger than that.
While the motor is running, add the egg yolks. Once they have been incorporated, add the iced water. You’ll notice that this is when the dough really comes together.
ps – you’ll notice that in the photo above I added the egg yolks at the beginning. no big deal. the pastry still comes together.
That’s it. You’re done. Place the pastry dough in your tart pan – I start by putting it all in the middle of the pan and then by using my fingertips, I gently press the dough along the base and up the sides. I’ll be honest, I get enough pastry dough to line both a 9-inch tart pan and a 9 x 3 rectangular tart pan.
Brush the tart base with your lightly beaten egg white and then chill for 20 minutes.
Heat your oven to 325 F.
When you’re about ready to pre-bake the tart shell, use a fork to pierce the top of the dough – go crazy! You want to ensure that the dough doesn’t puff up as it bakes, so pierce away!
Bake on a low rack in your oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Time to make the decadent chocolate mousse.
2 tbsp butter
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, separated
¼ c. sugar
½ c. heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla
Using a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat and beat the chocolate with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Transfer chocolate to another bowl, use a whisk to beat in the egg yolks. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill.
Beat the egg whites with half the sugar (2 tbsp) until they hold stiff peaks. Set aside. Beat the heavy cream with the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar and the vanilla until it holds in soft peaks.
Remove the chocolate from the fridge and spoon a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. It will lighten the chocolate a bit. Fold in the remaining egg whites, a little at a time. You want to be gentle because this is where the airiness of the mousse comes from.
Fold in the cream.
Refrigerate until chilled, and slightly thickened. This isn’t a very stiff mousse, but it does become gorgeously thick as it chills.
Fill the pastry shell with the chocolate mousse. Return to the fridge while you make the meringue.
bakers note: I decided not to make an Italian or Swiss meringue for this tart and stuck with the traditional French meringue. Any of the meringue types will work – this is just the simplest version.
3 egg whites
good pinch of cream of tartar
1/3 c. sugar
In the bowl of a stand-mixer, using the whisk attachment, slowly start to beat the eggs until they foam, add the cream of tartar. Increase the speed until you’re at medium-high speed, and slowly add the sugar. Once the sugar is fully incorporated, increase the speed to as high as it’ll go. Beat until you get stiff peaks when you lift the whisk attachment out of the bowl.
Cover the layer of chocolate mousse with the meringue; then grab that torch of yours – and torch the meringue until it’s toasty and golden!
Chill your tart in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.