Is it me, or does this just scream Valentine’s Day? It’s decadent and indulgent, a dark chocolate custard atop a buttery, shortbread crust. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough – how about the heaping mound of sweet whipped cream right on top? I’m pretty sure this is why we have Valentine’s Day. So we can eat things like this. Let’s just have another look, shall we?
I’m a big fan of a standard graham cracker crust, and even a good chocolate wafer crust – but this? Crumbly, buttery shortbread cookies pressed into a tart crust? Major win. But here’s the best part: the amazing shortbread crust is filled to the brim with a dark, slightly-sweet-slightly-bitter chocolate that thickens just the right amount. And just when you think the chocolate is going to be too dark, (is there such a thing?) the sweetness takes over and is further relaxed by a nice big hit of sweetened cream. You guys. I can’t. I don’t have the words to express just how luxurious this tart really is. Here’s the secret: good chocolate. Not just good chocolate, really good chocolate. REALLY, REALLY good chocolate.
Even better? Green & Black’s is Fairtrade certified. What the heck does that mean, anyway? Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know until several months ago, either. Essentially, it involves the production of certain foods (like cocoa, coffee, bananas, tea, and sugar) —in that they must be free of forced labor or poor working conditions for laborers. And perhaps most importantly, participating in a Fairtrade production chain can result in huge benefits for farmers. There are set “floor” prices, which protects smaller farms from fluctuating prices and from bigger, corporate farms from buying them when they are in a weaker market. Pretty awesome cause to support, right? Plus, you can just tell when good quality ingredients are used – and Green & Black’s is committed to creating a great-tasting organic chocolate bar – and I think the fact that they’re socially responsible just makes them taste even better. They’re a great company, and I invite you to support them next time you see them at your market. If you want more information about them, check out their website, their Facebook page and find them on Twitter.
I hope you give this recipe a try. It’s a true treat, and for a chocolate lover, you just can’t go wrong. Not a big dark chocolate fan? Swap it out for some milk chocolate and you won’t be disappointed. What’s your favorite kind of chocolate – are you a white, dark or milk chocolate fan? Let me know in a comment below, and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 cash equivalent gift card and a Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate prize pack of your own! Enjoy!
- 8 ounces shortbread cookies
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 5 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons good-quality vanilla extract
- 1 and ½ cups whipping cream
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar
- 2 teaspoons good-quality vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
- Prepare a 9-inch springform pan with a light coating of cooking spray. Set aside
- In a food processor, pulse the cookies into fine crumbs.
- Pour the crumbs into a large bowl, and add sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
- Pour melted butter over the top of the crumbs and combine with a fork until all crumbs are moistened.
- Pour crumbs into springform pan, and use your hand or a flat-bottomed cup to spread into an even layer, coming up the sides of the pan about an inch and a half.
- Place crust into the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Place the springform pan on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-25 minutes (depends on moisture content of cookies, mostly) or until the crust is just dry. Do not allow the crust to brown, but it must dry before you add the filling or you'll have a soggy crust. You can cover the pan with foil if yours takes a long time to dry.
- Remove from oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the milk and the cream until they begin to bubble at the sides of the pan and just start to steam.
- Remove from heat, and stir chopped chocolate into the cream mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, completely combined, and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together egg, egg yolk, flour and vanilla. Whisk vigorously until flour dissolves.
- Pour cooled chocolate into egg mixture, and whisk until completely combined.
- Pour chocolate mixture into the prepared tart crust.
- Again, place the pan on a baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges are slightly wet and the center is slightly jiggly.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, run a thin, offset spatula or a butter knife around the edge of the crust. Carefully release the springform.
- In a large bowl, beat cream on medium-high speed until the cream starts to firm up.
- Add vanilla and confectioners sugar, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon over top of tart, and enjoy!
- Keep refrigerated.
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