Holiday desserts come in many different shapes and sizes. There are the traditional pies, decorated and festive cookies, and fruitcakes galore. But my favorite kind of holiday desserts always include chocolate. This dessert is a fruit-and-chocolate hybrid, which has the best of both worlds -lusciously silky, smooth chocolate filling, and crunchy, tart cranberries. This tart starts with a sweet pastry dough base, called a pate sucree, which is simple to make and just needs a bit of chilling time before it's ready to use. The filling is a decadent chocolate/cream/butter combo, that gets poured into a par-baked tart shell, and finished off in the oven.
I originally made the sugared cranberries as a garnish to go with a Cranberry Margarita cocktail we had planned to serve, but we nixed the cocktail and had lots of leftover cranberries. We were happy to find the cranberries not only looked stunning sitting atop this tart, but they tasted incredible too! Sugared cranberries aren't really cooked, so their true tartness and crunch remains - but coated in a bit of sugar, they are entirely palatable and honestly quite delicious!
This dessert recipe comes from the popular Flour Bakery cookbook, available at Local Root, and one of our favorite cookbooks for sure. It's always nice to bake from a cookbook written by a local baker - and even more fun when we see our cookbook creations at home, and can go out and buy the very same thing straight from the bakery.
Below - find this wonderful recipe, requested by one of our readers after seeing these mouth-watering photos. If you're keen to try a chocolate dessert for your New Years celebration (or any other celebration really) - give this one a shot! It's easy enough, completely stunning, and an absolute treat to eat.
Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Tart from the Flour Bakery Cookbook, by Joanne Myers-Chang
For the tart shell 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour 1 egg yolk
Directions In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt until pale and light, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and beat on low speed until the flour mixes well with the butter-sugar mixture. Add the egg yolk and beat on low speed until the dough comes together.
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. **You can also stop at this point and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to two weeks.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and place a 10-inch round tart ring on top. (I used a long rectangular tart pan, which worked beautifully.) Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for about 30 minutes. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Lightly flour the work surface and sprinkle the dough with some flour. Roll into a circle about 12 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick, or a long rectangle about 2 inches longer and wider than the tart pan, if using a rectangular pan.
Roll the dough circle/rectangle around the pin and unroll it on top of the tart ring. Press the dough well into the bottom and sides of the ring, using scraps to patch up tears or missing bits. Trim the edge of the dough so it is even with the rim of the tart pan. Poke the bottom of the tart shell with a fork, so that air can escape when baking.
Refrigerate the tart shell for at least 30 minutes before baking. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F about 15 minutes before the tart shell is ready to go into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
For the chocolate tart 8oz bittersweet chocolate, at least 70%, finely chopped 3/4 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup milk 2 egg yolks 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/4 tsp kosher salt 1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa
Directions Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the cream and milk and scald over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan (do not boil). Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let sit for about 1 minute, then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Slowly whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the butter and salt and whisk until completely incorporated.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart shell, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to set and the middle is still a little bit soft-set (kind of like Jell-O). Let cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours, or up to 6 hours. Garnish as desired. (A simple dustnig of cocoa powder over the top just before serving is a nice touch, if you aren't adding any toppings like these sugared cranberries.) This tart is best at room temperature, but can be refrigerated as well. It should keep a couple of days in the fridge, in an airtight container.