Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Tart

Because I made the chocolate tart for a dinner party last week, it's already a hazy memory. My overall impressions - it took a long time to make - probably because I also made the biscotti to go in it - and although tasty, didn't have a "wow" factor for me.

However, I found it an interesting recipe; I learned a new technique - fraisage - and I gained more experience working with pastry. The dough seemed to be unworkably dry, and I was frantically considering my options for an alternate dessert for my dinner guests. But after watching an instructional video on YouTube, I managed to get the crumbly mess into a coherent mass.. and added a new technique to my arsenal.

In retrospect, I didn't roll the dough out thinly enough, because the finished crust was a little dry and, well, too obvious.

My sense is that this dessert is all about the filling and mine just didn't come out that way. And of course, as is my wont, I overbaked it. The result - a somewhat tough crust. I didn't think it was a good sign that everyone wanted to put vanilla ice cream on it. (Unfortunately, I also overcooked parts of the dinner, so my reputation, at least with these guests, is seriously compromised!)

So, what about the filling? It was very tasty - fudgy, certainly not like mousse - more like a soft brownie.

But I just couldn't figure out the point of the biscotti. My husband, who doesn't like crunchy bits unless they are on their own, was particularly disturbed by "hard things" in the filling. He's a texture guy. I am sure lots of folks liked the mix of soft and hard; we didn't.

Would I make this again? No. Although certainly my mistakes detracted from the final product, I don't think I'd like a properly rolled and cooked one enough to justify the investment of time. I kept thinking about all the work this particular recipe required and knowing that I could have made something else in half the time and been twice as pleased with the result. I'm glad we made it, however, because it was a good learning opportunity - and for me, that's really what this is about.

I am very excited and somewhat intimidated by the rugelach recipe - so many different steps and ingredients. Although with all those nuts, I suspect I'll have to find another "official" tester who isn't biased against crunchy things :)
Bake on!


  1. Don't be afraid to leave out flavors you don't like or chunks if you don't want chunks in these recipes! Make them your own and you'll be much happier! I might be known for never following a recipe (ahem) and I baked through almost all of the first TWD. You'll learn a lot and love it! And I think your tart actually looks great and just like it's supposed to!

  2. Like Katrina said, this adventure is more about the spirit of the law - not so much the letter.
    And I am sure that having those homemade biscotti around helped to make it all worthwhile!

  3. Good for you for making your own biscotti. :)

  4. I, too, didn't want to add the biscotti...I added malt balls (reluctantly). I preferred the softness of the tart...which I really enjoyed. Your tart came out lovely!

    ~ Carmen