Thanksgiving was wonderful, and this last minute tart that I whipped up was a real success at the meal. Finding out that there were only fruit pies for dessert, I thought some chocolate was needed. Because really, when isn’t chocolate needed? This tart filling is a basic standby for me, but I thought the ginger crust would make it special, and it did! All in all this takes a total of about 45 minutes start to finish. It tastes like hours in the kitchen, but is so easy to make! By the way, the filling is wonderful with any kind of crust you might want to use, or even on its own, baked in ramekins as a kind of flourless chocolate soufflé.
Ginger Tart Shell
1 ½ cups, Ginger Snap or other ginger cookie crumbs
5 tbs melted unsalted butter
1 tsp powdered ginger
-Preheat oven to 350
-Pulse the cookies in a food processor or blender until crumbs
-Add ginger to the crumbs
-Add melted butter and mix with a fork or spoon until all crumbs are well coated
-Place a 9” round fluted removable bottom tart tin on a cookie sheet (remember the tart tin has removable bottom, you want to keep the tart as flat as possible) and press crumbs into tin.
-Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges have changed color
-Place tart, still on the sheet pan, on a cooling rack
*The best trick for getting the crumbs into the pan besides fingers, is to cover the bottom of a glass or cup measure with plastic wrap and gently press the crumbs in the sides, making sure the bottom is as even as you can make it. This gives the sides a nice edge, and keeps the bottom fairly smooth and flat.
Rich Chocolate Tart
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped or in chips (if you can find the mini semi-sweet chips, even better)
1 cup plus 2 tbs of heavy cream
1 tsp of vanilla
-Preheat oven to 300
-Lightly whisk the eggs, set aside
-Boil the cream, turn off the heat, and add the chocolate directly into the pot. Stir with a rubber, heat proof spatula until all combined (if there are still a few lumps of chocolate, don’t sweat it, but try to get it as smooth as possible)
-Pour 1/3 of the chocolate into the eggs and mix quickly with the spatula. Once combined, add the rest of the chocolate and mix until combined.
-Add the vanilla
-Pour mixture into the tart shell, leaving a rim of crumbs. You might have some extra chocolate left over; you can pour this into ramekins or mini tart tins and bake them too.
-Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tart is glossy, the edges have puffed slightly, and the chocolate no longer jiggles. If unsure, use a wooden skewer and test the center. Don’t worry about any air bubbles; they’ll be covered up anyway.
-Let cool completely before putting it in the fridge. It can be left uncovered, but if you want to use foil, be sure to tent it so it doesn’t stick to the chocolate.
-Before serving, dust with unsweetened cocoa powder (use a sifter or fine gauged, hand-held strainer). You can also decorate the tart with whole or chopped up candied ginger and omit the powder.
*A wonderful addition to this tart is fresh spiced whipped cream. Simply add a teaspoon of allspice, cumin, cinnamon, or another sweet spice to the cream before whipping. Personally, I always add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to fresh whipped cream too; it gives it some extra sparkle.
**By the way, in case you were curious, simply place the tart on top of a glass to remove the sides of the tin. And, unless you have a 9” round spatula, keep the tart on the removable bottom part of the tart tin while serving.