Monday, August 30, 2010

Nightcap Tart from "The Boozy Baker"

This first appeared in the Left Hand Valley Courier in my "What’s Cooking?" column

Boozy Baking

No, I’m not talking about drinking while baking – I’m talking about adding booze to your baked goods. And “The Boozy Baker” by Lucy Baker is the perfect guide, with recipes that use everything from beer to vodka.

What I really liked was that most of the recipes offered alternatives for the liquor used in the recipes, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to use something you like, or you can use up some of what you have on hand.

This chocolate tart was particularly tasty. It called for coffee liqueur like Kahlua, but I used a Colorado-made coffee liqueur instead. The suggested alternate was a cream liqueur like Bailey's.

The filling is somewhere between custard and creamy fudge – very rich, so a little goes a long way.  



Nightcap Tart
Adapted from “The Boozy Baker” by Lucy Baker
For the crust:
32 chocolate wafer cookies, slightly crushed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the tart:
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coffee liqueur

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Pulse the cookies in your food processor until you have fine crumbs. Add the butter and salt and continue pulsing until the crumbs are evenly moistened.

Press the cookie crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a nine-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Put the tart pan on a cookie sheet and set aside.

Put the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepot until it just begins to bubble. You don’t want it to come all the way to a boil.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the sugar and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and liqueur together until thoroughly combined, then gradually add the egg mixture to the chocolate, whisking until it is completely combined, and smooth. Pour this filling into the prepared tart pan.

Bake the tart on the sheet pan at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the edges are puffed and the center is barely set.

When the tart is done, move it to a wire rack to cool completely, then store in the refrigerator. This is best served at room temperature, but cuts easier when chilled.

This tart is nice garnished with a bit of whipped cream, but it’s also fine just as it is.
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