Friday, July 28, 2017

Chocolate Espresso Tart in a Thyme Crust

Forget pairing coffee and dessert. You can now skip the beverage and go straight to this tart. The espresso is built right in. Just in time for the weekend, a chocolatey, espresso creamy filling wrapped in a thyme spiked dough. 

I saw a version of this in a German baking magazine and decided to groove it up by adding fresh thyme to the crust. A good move it turns out in the flavor department. Also a great use of all the fresh thyme flourishing in my garden. Win. Win.

You can weave a traditional lattice crust from the dough. Alternately, in general I like to save time and aggravation by using a nice shaped cookie cutter to top tarts and pies. It significantly reduced the prep time and looks just as fancy. Win. Win. Again.

The finished filling is in liquid form. Be aware, when you place the shapes over the top, they may move around a little but won't sink into the liquid. Use a butter knife to reposition any stray shapes. 

Mix a little espresso powder together with some powdered sugar and sprinkle over the top for some extra pretty. I garnished with additional fresh sprigs of thyme.

Chocolate Espresso Tart in a Thyme Crust

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8-10 pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus a teaspoon more or a few sprigs for garnish.
  • 3 eggs
  • 11 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1+1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liquor
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2  teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • Whisk together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt.
  • Knead in the butter and one of the eggs, beaten until the mixture forms a smooth dough, add in the thyme leaves and knead again.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
  • Grease and flour a 12"x8" rectangular tart pan, preferably one with a removable bottom.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll out 2/3 of the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle and transfer to the prepared tart pan.
  • Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the crust. Cover with a layer of parchment paper, add pie weights on top and blind bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Remove the pie weights and baking paper. 
  • In a saucepan heat the cream, milk and 1/2 cup sugar together. When the sugar dissolves add the chocolate chips whisking until they are melted. 
  • Whisk in the coffee liqueur and tablespoon of espresso powder.  Remove from heat.
  • Beat the eggs in a heatproof bowl.
  • Slowly pour some of the chocolate liquid into the egg whisking constantly until the eggs have been tempered.
  • Scrape the tempered eggs back into the saucepan and whisk to combine thoroughly. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  • Roll the remaining 1/3 of the thyme crust out on a lightly floured work surface. Use your favorite shape cookie cutter to create a crust pattern on top of the tart. 
  • Pour the cooled chocolate espresso filling into the blind baked crust.
  • Arrange the cutouts over the top of the tart.
  • Place in oven and bake for another 20 minutes or until the crust becomes golden brown.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the teaspoon of espresso powder and tablespoon of powdered sugar. Sprinkle over the top of the tart and garnish with the additional teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves or sprigs.
  • Cut and serve. 

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