Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie—Chocolate Cream Tart

Chocolate Cream TartHomemade chocolate pudding spooned onto a chocolate cookie crust with a dollop of whipped cream. My kids were in heaven. As were our neighbor's kids. One of mine licked off just the pudding and whipped cream and handed the cookie part back to me to finish!

I was at a popular dessert spot in Ottawa the other day called Memories. Situated downtown in the bustling Byward Market, it's a dessert-focused café I've been visiting since moving to Ottawa. At one time, all the desserts were listed on a big whiteboard tempting us with cheesecakes, chocolate oblivions and pies. I had my first ever café au lait there served in a bowl. I awkwardly figured out the best way to hold the bowl without burning my fingers and tried to confidently display l'air de Paris without spilling any coffee down my chin.

As I was looking over the dessert menu at Memories this weekend, nothing was tempting me. On a menu, I'm always looking for the banana foster, molten chocolate cakes, toffee pudding, bread pudding or even floating islands! I like to eat something I don't make at home, or at least something I don't make often. Now that I'm baking so much, it's getting more difficult to enjoy a dessert at a café.

I liked what I ordered at Memories, which was a thin meringue on top of a lemon tart on top of an almond cake on top of a crust with a raspberry swirl. I'm just getting spoiled, and rounder in the process.

What do you look for on a dessert menu?

Makes 8 servings (I halved the recipe.)

Chocolate Cream Tart Ingredients
For the Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup confectioners' sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

For the Filling:
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

For the Whipped Cream:
½ cup cold heavy cream
1½ tablespoons confectioners' sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

You can find the recipe for Chocolate Cream Tart in the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or here. To see how the rest of the TWD group fared with this week's recipe, click here and then click on each blogger! Thanks to Kim of Scrumptious Photography who chose the recipe for this week.

Chocolate Cream TartTasting Notes
This pie was silky, velvety, rich and chocolatey with a crunch from the shortbread crust. I might try using a less bitter chocolate or Dorie's Chocolate Pudding as the filling next time, but this was a winning dessert.

Links to Other Chocolate Cream Tarts
• Alpineberry: Chocolate Truffle Tart with Vanilla Crème Brûlée
• Eggs on Sunday: Strawberry Chocolate Cream Tartlets
• Serious Eats: Bittersweet Chocolate Tart

Recipe for Next Week (May 5)
Megan of My Baking Adventures has chosen Tiramisu Cake on pages 266-268.

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    Y said...

    That looks like the perfectly portioned tea-time treat, for something as rich as chocolate and cream in a tart :)

    Ramya Kiran said...

    that looks delicious. Lovely presentation.

    Jacque said...

    Oooh, looks like you figured out how to make this tart look interesting, LOL. I find it so hard to photograph purely chocolate items.

    I agree, I'm growing less impressed with desserts out, although I have my favorites at certain restaurants. I also now look at the hefty price and think to myself that I could make that at home for a lot less.

    Amanda said...

    OMG I love the little mini, it's perfect! I absolutely was in love with this tart too! So creamy and delish. Even better after a day in the fridge MMMMMMMMM

    angela@spinachtiger said...

    Shari werent' these just delicious. Yours are so beautiful. My look like whoopie pies. LOL.

    Jennifer said...

    Oh my goodness, those tarts look fabulous!!!! Your pictures are always so amazing!!!

    Jeff said...

    I would be blocking your kid out for a chance to lick the handle. That was always my favorite part of mom baking too.

    Cafe au lait in a bowl?? Man that would throw me off. I am not coordinated enough and need a handle.

    Looks amazing!

    Anonymous said...

    They look wonderful!

    Kayte said...

    Okay, now we have a great idea...I had no idea it would be acceptable to lick off the whip cream, eating the raspberry, and handing the rest back to you to eat! I think I like this idea! LOL! It looks gorgeous, elegant, and absolutely delightful. Love the new picture-in-picture photos.

    Sippity Sup said...

    Another lovely dessert. You keep this up and I am going to have to put my eyeballs on a diet! GREG

    lisaiscooking said...

    Beautiful tart! On dessert menus, I look for lemon or berry flavors, and caramel always gets my attention.

    Welcome to our crazy blessed life said...

    I LOVE anything with chocolate and raspberry. Your little tarts are so cute!
    Mmmm what do I order for dessert. We don't often order dessert out but I love fruit tarts or super chocolaty.

    Soy*Baby said...

    I love your photos. How do you get them to pop out of the main photo like that? Must be some crazy html code. I've always been drawn to cheesecakes and creme brulee however lately I've been going for the cheese plate on the dessert menus.

    vibi said...

    You are absolutely right... it is getting harder and harder to enjoye desserts in restaurants, or cafés. Kinda nice in a way cause it means we are doing such great jobs no? LOL Can you tell I'm a positive person always trying to find the good things in all! LOL LOL

    C'mon, I'm sure this tart will stay unbeaten for a long time (at least in your children's eyes!)

    Very lovely, cute, sweet minis, Shari!

    Cathy said...

    We loved this one too! Your pictures are beautiful. I love how one of your kids licked the cream parts off and handed you the shell - that is so something one of mine would do. I am with you - it is harder to enjoy desserst in restaurants once you know you can make something even better at home!

    Jennifer said...

    That looks so rich and satisfying!!

    snicketmom said...

    Hmmm, I want to go to Memories. It is kind of cool that you are liking your own desserts more though and becoming more picky! Your tart looks great and your pictures are beautiful.

    kimberly salem said...

    They look beautiful and delicious! So glad you liked this recipe. You are so right about being spoiled for a restaurant dessert ;) I usually just have a margarita instead of dessert!

    Jennifer said...

    I totally agree with you about ordering at a restaurant, unless I'm having a really strong craving for something, I always try to order something I wouldn't make at home. (Not just for the dessert, but for the entree, too.)

    Mary Ann said...

    That made me laugh about the child who gave you the empty cookie shell back! Your little tarts are so cute.
    I am the same way. It is really hard for me to order dessert because I always think that I could probably make something that tastes just as good or most the time better.
    Your cheesecake looks amazing too!

    Anonymous said...

    Yours is gorgeous! And I have exactly the same experience when I'm buying dessert at a cafe or restaurant now. It needs to pass the "yeah, but do I already make this at home?" test. Spoiled and round. That sums it up well....

    Anonymous said...

    Your tart looks fantastic! I love it.

    Kara said...

    Oh gorgeous! I have been to Ottawa twice and I fell in love with the Byward Market. I wish we had something like that here in Atlanta.

    Christie @ Fig & Cherry said...

    I always look for something with freshly whipped cream or homemade custard. Or creamy like a pannacotta.

    If your Chocolate Cream tart was on the menu, I'd definitely order it! It looks amazing! :)

    Unknown said...

    I'm a sucker for a molten chocolate cake :) Your tart looks so cute! I hear you on the bittersweet chocolate though. It was a bit much for me.

    Katrina said...

    What awesome looking little tarts! GREAT! Mmmm!

    Monica H said...

    Delish! And so beautiful (as always) I just wish I could lick the pudding bowl.

    Carol Peterman/TableFare said...

    These couldn't be prettier and the fresh raspberry garnish looks delectable! All of this TWD pastry experience we are gaining does raise the bar.

    Elyse said...

    I can admit it: I'm a chocoholic. I'm a chocoholic, and these tarts are my dream come true. I love how preciously yours turned out. The cookie "cups" are just great!

    NKP said...

    They look beautiful! I love the raspberries and the pink background.
    What to I look for? Something fruity. Peach or apple pie.. with ice cream.

    Treehouse Chef said...

    This looks so decadent and so delicious!

    pam said...

    I love your little tarts! So cute!

    Piggy said...

    Gorgeous looking tartlets! I love the raspberry on top!

    Jules Someone said...

    That looks just amazing! Nice work!

    Leslie said...

    These are perfection! I love all of your process photos, too!

    Anonymous said...

    Your tart is so cute! Its so pretty I'd be hesitant to eat it and ruin the look!

    jb said...

    These tarts look absolutely divine, and are oh so adorable!

    Di said...

    Looks great! This one was a big hit with my girls, too. They also liked the insides better than the crust. =)

    Unknown said...

    You have such a beautiful site. It is absolutely one of my favorites. You have such a way with food and presenting it. You really are a food artist.

    AmyRuth said...

    Shari, interesting question...I unfairly judge a restaurant by its desserts whether made in house vs boxed junk. In my medium midwestern University town we have many locally owned restaurants and some actually make their own. Lovely!!! Thats is what I look for most often.
    BTW Your little tarts look as though they were born to be in a chic cafe! Perfecto!!

    TeaLady said...

    Beautiful little bites of major yum!!!

    It isn't a little hard to go into a bakery these days and look at something and say, "Ya know, I made that just last week!!" Love this group!!!

    Claudia said...


    Maybe you changed the ingredients on the list you published. It is not 7 tbsp of cornstarch in the filling. I checked on the book and it says 3. It looks delicious anyway.