This dessert is best served warm from the oven. If you are pressed for time or want to serve this either as one large tart or as individual servings to dinner guests, you can make the chocolate pastry crust ahead of time and chill and mix up the filling to have ready to pour into the chilled shells just before serving.
A couple of helpful tips Chef Olson shared were:
- Sifting. Yes, you may have gotten out of the habit of sifting but it really is necessary for a good outcome, especially when adding cocoa powder and/or icing sugar. While flour comes to us presifted these days, cocoa powder and icing sugar are two ingredients that will be a bit lumpy if you don't sift first.
- Separating the egg yolk from the egg white. Do you do it by the pour from one shell to the other, back and forth method? Or do you have an "egg separator" utensil? The easiest way to separate eggs is through your fingers. Yes, your hands get a bit gunky but you will find that the white will flow through your fingers easily while the yolk stays in your hand. And if by chance the yolk should break you can easily get the yolk out of the way of the white soas not to contaminate your whites that you want to whisk up fluffy. I've been doing it with my hands ever since the class and it is ever so much easier. I'll never switch back.
- Preventing soggy crusts: This tip applies not only to this chocolate tart but to any custard or fruit pie that you bake the crust first and do not want for the pie to become soggy later from the filling after sitting in the refrigerator. Simply brushing the crust with egg white as soon as you remove it from the oven and before adding the filling will create a barrier between the crust and the filling and will help prevent having a soggy crust. Try it! It works.
Warm Chocolate Orange Tart
(Makes 8 individual tarts or 1 large tart)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup cake & pastry flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg white, lightly whisked
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Dutch Process cocoa powder sifted
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted (but still warm)
- 1 oz (2 Tbsp) orange liqueur
- For the crust, beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth, then add the egg yolks all at once and beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until evenly combined. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap and chill until ready to use.
- Knead the chocolate pastry dough once or twice on a lightly floured work surface to soften, then roll out the dough to a circle just less than 1/4-inch thick. Cut circle of the pastry to line a tart pan or, you can make individual tarts by lining eight 4-inch fluted tart shells (removable bottom is ideal), pressing the dough into the shell(s) and trimming away any excess. Dock the pastry with a fork. Chill the tart shells for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chilled tart shells onto a baking tray and bake them for about 18 miutes, until you see that the pastry has an even, dull finish. As soon as the tart shells come out of the oven, brush the surface of the shell with 1 lightly whisked egg white (this creates a seal to prevent the filling from seeping in and making the crust soggy). Allow to cool while preparing the filling.
- For the filling, whip the remaining 3 egg whites until foamy then slowly add 1/4 cup of the sugar, whipping on high speed until the whites hold a soft peak when the beaters are lifted. Set aside.
- Whip the 3 egg yolks with the remainin 1/4 cup of sugar, the vanilla and orange zest by hand until pale and thick. Fold the egg whites into this yolk mixture. Gently whisk in the cocoa powder, then whisk in the melted chocolate and orange liqueur. Pour this into the cooled tart shells and bake for about 8 minutes (oven still at 350 degrees F) until the tarts just begin to lose the shine around the edges, but the center is still dark and glossy. Allow the tarts to cool 2 minutes, before carefully removing from pan to serve warm.
The Mister and I enjoyed this rich chocolate tart with a glass of ice cold milk. The orange zest and liqueur adds just the perfect hint of orange to balance out the richness of the chocolate. Delicious!
I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend!
Until next time,