My goodness. We made it. Well, I made it anyway. The last couple of months have been totally hectic in the lead up to the silly season. I am so, so happy I finally made it to Friday. I'm going to clean my bombsite of a kitchen tonight, and then tomorrow begins a couple of days off! There is Christmas meal extravaganza Christmas eve at Jill's, then we are heading there for Christmas day too. It's always a time I get a little bummed i'm not home with my family, so I am so grateful we have somewhere to go to spend with our second family!
I'm going to keep this short, but I wanted to pop the recipe for this chocolate tart up before the madness kicks in and I forget about it. This is a riff on the chocolate peanut butter situation I made a few weeks ago - I had a zillion messages asking for the recipe so I figured I had better listen and get it up here!
This is a simple chocolate tart - there is a press-in crust made with home made chocolate sugar cookies. It gets chilled for a hot second, then filled with a silky ganache (seriously, I can, and do eat this stuff with a spoon). You can keep it plain, but I infused it with a little earl grey because I couldn't help myself. The taste of the tea is very subtle, but I love it. You can stop here if you like, and have an epic chocolate tart, or you can keep going and get all fancy with some swiss meringue buttercream ombre blobs, which take it up just a notch. The ombre is made by making one batch of buttercream, then removing some, adding a little dark chocolate, removing a little more, more chocolate, etc etc. It's all piped on using a star tip (my secret weapon), and then we have ourselves a show stopping dessert! It can be made well in advance, and would be perfect for a holiday dinner party or dessert table. Merry Merry from Me and Mine to You and Yours! Stay safe these holidays! xx
A few wee tips:
- If you are making a riff of this and not using the tea, you will only need to use 270g (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp) of cream - I account for some of the liquid being absorbed by the tea leaves.
- The original recipe I made was a peanut butter chocolate tart. You can absolutely make it peanut butter if you want - just sub the milk chocolate for a peanut butter variation! Same goes with dark chocolate etc.
- I made this in a rectangle tart tin (14" x 4") - if you want to make it in a round, use a 9" removable bottom tart tin and use 1.5 cups cream, (start with 2 cups, infuse, then re-measure and use 1.5 cups), 550g chocolate and 6 Tbsp butter. This recipe is a good guide.
- I made the base for this using a home made cookie. The cookies themselves are epic, and you should make them. They are also very moist so only needed a tiny bit of butter. If you use a drier cookie, you may find that you need to increase the amount of butter needed - you can always add a little more as you are mixing up the base if you think it needs it. You can use whatever base you like - just tweak the butter amount as needed.
- I use a french star tip for this - I have a bunch in all different sizes. They are amazing for piping, and make easy blobs look super pro!
Milk Chocolate Earl Grey Tart with Ombre Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Makes one 14" x 4" tart, serves 8-10 -
Chocolate sugar cookies
226g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g (1 ½ cups) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
250 (1 2/3) All-purpose Flour
25g (1/4 cup) dutch-process cocoa
25g (1/4 cup) black cocoa (alternatively use more dutch process)
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
400g Chocolate Sugar Cookies
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Milk Chocolate Earl Grey Filling
1 1/2 cups (360g) heavy cream
2 Tbsp loose leaf Earl Grey Tea
415g Milk chocolate, finely chopped
4.5 (68g) Unsalted butter, at room temp
Ombre Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1/2 cup (123g) egg whites, or 4 large egg whites
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
16oz (455oz, or four sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate
1/4 cup (25g) dutch process cocoa
- PROCESS -
CHOCOLATE SUGAR COOKIES
Preheat the oven to 350˚f /180˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla paste, and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until well combined. Scrape bowl again to ensure that the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Place approximately a cup of sugar in a bowl. Scoop tablespoons of the mixture using a #70 scoop, and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the sugar to coat completely. Place evenly spaced apart on the baking sheet, leaving room for spreading (11 per half baking sheet works well). You will need to bake your cookies in several batches.
Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes, until puffy and barely golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan - during this time they will deflate and crackle slightly. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat sugar rolling and baking process with remaining dough.
Place the cookies in the work bowl of a food processor and blitz until it resembles fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter. Stir well to combine. Press into the bottom and sides of a rectangular 14" x 4" removable bottom tart tin, using a drinking glass or measuring cup to compact down. Transfer to the fridge while you prepare the filling.
In a medium pot over medium heat, heat the heavy cream until just shy of a simmer. Add the tea leaves, stir well, and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Strain, pressing down on the tea leaves. Re-measure the cream, and top up to 1 cup and 2 Tbsp if needed. Return to the heat and heat to just shy of a simmer.
While the cream is heating, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Once the cream is hot, pour over the chocolate and butter, and immediately cover the bowl with a plate. Leave to stand for 7-8 minutes, then whisk well. It will look curdled to begin with, but will quickly turn into a smooth ganache. Whisk until completely smooth. Pour the filling into the chilled tart crust, and tap to remove any air bubbles. Place in the fridge to firm up for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
Fit 4-5 piping bags with french star tips of different sizes.
Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
While the buttercream is mixing, melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl in 30 second increments in the microwave.
Remove about 1/4 of the buttercream, and place into one of the piping bags. Add about half of the melted chocolate, and mix to incorporate. Remove 1/3 of the buttercream from the bowl, and place into the second bag. Add the remainder of the chocolate and mix to combine. Transfer half of the remaining buttercream to a third piping bag. Sift in the cocoa, and mix well. Transfer the rest of the buttercream to the fourth bag.
Pipe blobs of varying size on the surface of the tart, leaving it as sparse or as filled in as you like. Transfer to the fridge to allow the buttercream to set slightly. Allow to stand at room temp for 15 minutes or so before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.