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Chocolate-Espresso Tart

This dessert is triply indulgent. The cocoa shell forms a crisp foundation for two decadent fillings: creamy, tangy mascarpone cheese and rosettes of silky-smooth espresso-flavored chocolate ganache.

  • servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality ground espresso beans
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment paper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 large egg

Cook's Note

Better than a box of chocolates, this dessert is triply indulgent. The cocoa shell forms a crisp rectangular foundation for two decadent fillings: creamy, tangy mascarpone cheese and generous rosettes of silky-smooth espresso-flavored chocolate ganache. To turn out smooth ganache every time, make sure the mixture is at room temperature before whipping. Any warmer or colder, and its cream is likely to seize or become grainy.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the ganache: Put chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl, and set aside. Bring cream and espresso to a boil in a small pan. Pour through a fine sieve over the chocolate; discard solids. Let stand 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.

  2. Step 2

    Make the tart shell: Sift flour, salt, and cocoa powder into a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cream. Shape dough into a thick rectangle; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment paper to a 16-by-6-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Press dough into a 14-by-4 1/2-inch rectangular flan frame set on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Trim dough flush with top edge. Prick all over bottom of shell with a fork. Bake until firm, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Unmold.

  4. Step 4

    Put ganache into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (such as Ateco No. 828).

  5. Step 5

    Smooth mascarpone cheese over bottom of tart shell with an offset spatula.

  6. Step 6

    Pipe ganache rosettes, one next to the other, on top of mascarpone to cover.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, February 2006

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Reviews (6)

  • slko 7 Apr, 2014

    Made this for a dinner party and everyone loved it. I liked the rich chocolate taste of the crust, which wasn't too crumbly or too crisp but just right. The dough *is* very sticky but freezing it for about 30 minutes before and after rolling between parchment made it pretty easy to use. I jazzed up the mascarpone a bit by adding 2T of cointreau. The flavor of the ganache was lovely. In order to keep the gloss, I did not whip it (that would turn it into a mousse).

  • kjgjam22 23 Sep, 2012

    Making this for a dinner with girlfriends later today. The crust is difficult to work with. Very soft and sticky. I followed directions. during baking the sides did not hold up. I basically have one giant cookie. The ganache is very tasty. Hope when put together it will taste good.

  • kjgjam22 23 Sep, 2012

    Making this for a dinner with girlfriends later today. The crust is difficult to work with. Very soft and sticky. I followed directions. during baking the sides did not hold up. I basically have one giant cookie. The ganache is very tasty. Hope when put together it will taste good.

  • Greencrazed 12 Feb, 2012

    I made this today. It tasted fabulous, but it was a lot of work and the crust was difficult to work with. The dough was VERY sticky. Be sure to follow the chilling instructions.
    It would also be a good idea to make the crust well in advance of the ganache. Also, if you want your ganache to look like the photo in the Pies and Tarts book, omit the whipping of it in the mixer. I wish I had. The ganache loses the smooth glossy look it has in the photo when whipped.

  • mimi204 8 Sep, 2011

    I agree with margalaco, the pastry is tricky to handle being a sweet crust. I froze the dough and found it was only way i could handle it with any success. As soon it got too soft I simply put it back in the freezer. I thought this was delicious and would make again. For confident cooks only!

  • margalaco 1 May, 2011

    The final presentation is wonderful and the taste is good but not extraordinary. The crust is a bit difficult to manouver, so I would say it is not so easy to make.