I try not to post too many recipes from one of my favourite baking books, Baking, otherwise I'd end up posting the whole cookbook. And then there's Tuesdays with Dorie members posting a new recipe from the book every week! But as I completely adore this book, I must frequently bake from it. I'm combining two goodies into one post, and will share the recipe for my favourite of the two though they're both yummy.
I've been dying to make the snickery squares since I was part of TWD and missed out on that week. They were dangerous to have lurking in the fridge - it's hard to resist the lure of shortbread, chocolate and caramel combined into one. One problem I had was that the dulce de leche oozes around and doesn't harden/stiffen at all in the fridge. Maybe it's because I made my own dulce de leche? Anyway these bars are a real treat and I'm sure would be devoured by anyone you share them with.
Then there's the chocolate cream pie. A chocolate shortbread tart filled with chocolate cream, topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream and then some chocolate shavings on top. I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of fruit pies/tarts - it's all about the cream fillings (and curds)! Though I guess curds are fruity, but a lemon meringue pie is much different from an apple pie. Anyway, loved this tart though it was really rich.
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Orange Dreamsicle Tart
Key Lime Pie
The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart
Coconut Cream Pie
Chocolate Cream Tart
Adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours
Makes 8 servings
For the filling:
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1 9-inch Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough, fully baked and cooled (recipe below)
For the topping:
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings or curls, for decoration
To make the filling:
Bring the milk to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until well blended and thick. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk - this will temper, or warm the yolks, so they don't curdle - then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the melted chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. Transfer to a container with an airtight lid and refrigerate, or to cool quickly you can put the bowl in an ice bath and stir the custard.
When you are ready to assemble the tart, whisk the chocolate cream vigorously to loosen it and to bring back its velvety texture. Spoon the cream into the tart shell, stopping just short of the crust's rim (you may have some left over) - you want to leave room for the topping. Smooth the top and, if you are not serving the tart immediately, refrigerate the tart.
To make the topping:
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks.
Spread the whipped cream over the tart and smooth it. Serve the tart now or refrigerate it for up to 2 hours before serving. When you are ready to serve the tart, scatter chocolate shavings or curls over the top.
Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 tbsp (9 tbsp) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
Put the flour, cocoa, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in - you should have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change. Turn the dough out on to a work surface and very lightly and sparingly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
Press the dough into a 9 inch tart pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F.
Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, butter side down, tightly against the crust. (If you do like I did and don't butter the crust, your crust may stick to the foil which will be sad.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If this crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.