This elegant chocolate-mint tart was the dessert I served at one of our dinner parties recently and it was consumed with joy! Is there anyone that does not love, love, love chocolate? If you decide to make this chocolate-mint tart, be forewarned, it is rich, decadent, delicious and difficult to resist a second serving.
The crust is an easy ‘no-rolling required’ shortbread crust that is pressed into a tart pan with a removable bottom. Tasting this chocolate filling you will think you have died and gone to heaven, it is silky smooth, not too sweet and has just a touch of mint added that enhances the chocolate flavor. Finally, a shiny ganache glaze is poured over the top.
Buy the best chocolate you can afford because this is not the place for chocolate chips. The additives in chocolate chips distort the true flavor of chocolate. I used Callebaut Semi-Sweet Chocolate that I purchased in the bulk section of Central Market but it is also sold in bulk at WinCo Foods. Another, less expensive, good chocolate suggestion would be Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares. The mint flavor should be added drop-by-drop, cautiously, with taste-testing, as a little goes a long way and you really do not want a ‘tooth paste’ flavor here.
Valentine’s Day is coming up and this chocolate-mint tart will be a stunning finish for a romantic dinner for the man I love.
The filling for this tart has been adapted from: Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, December 2013
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 egg yolks, whisked lightly with a fork
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 14 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into thin slices and softened
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
- 2-4 drops mint extract
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Mint leaves for garnish
- In a medium-size bowl, mix with a spatula or wooden spoon, the powdered sugar, vanilla, egg yolks and sea salt. Add the butter and mix to a smooth consistency. Add the flour and cornstarch and stir until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Using a small-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon scoop out 12 balls of dough and shape each one into 2 or 2-1/2-inch ropes and set aside. With the remaining dough (about ⅔) make a flat disc and place in the center-bottom of the tart pan. With the palms of your hands and your fingers, press the dough over the entire tart bottom, smoothing with the flat bottom of a measuring cup or flat-bottomed glass.
- Place the reserved dough-ropes around the inside edge of the pan, overlapping each one slightly and pressing and shaping with your fingers to create the crust edge.
- Prick the bottom and edges of the crust with a fork, place on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Remove the crust from the freezer, spray a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick spray and press the sprayed side of foil very tightly up against the bottom and up the sides of the crust. Add pie weights and transfer to the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake uncovered for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- Reduce the oven temp to 250°F
- Bring cream, espresso powder and salt to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve.
- Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl and pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate, cover with a lid or plate and allow to sit for 5 minutes to soften. When it has softened, stir to a smooth constancy with a spatula or spoon. Add the butter, one or two pieces at a time and continue to stir until the butter is well incorporated.
- Pour the beaten eggs through a fine-mesh strainer into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Add the mint drop by drop, tasting to just barely get a mint flavor.
- Pour the chocolate custard into the prepared shortcrust shell, carefully bump the tart pan on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles, and place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the outer edge of the filling is set and faint cracks appear on the surface, 30-35 minutes. The filling will be very loose and will appear to be un-cooked, that is just fine, it will firm up as it cools. Remove from the oven, leave the tart on the baking sheet to cool at room temperature. When cool, place in the refrigerator, uncovered until chilled and completely set, 3-4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove the tart from the refrigerator and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the cream and corn syrup and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, cover and let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Stir the mixture until it is smooth, then stir in the hot water until the glaze is shiny and pourable.
- Pour the glaze in the center of the tart, quickly and carefully pick up the tart pan and tilt it to allow the glaze to run to the edge. Continue tilting until the surface of the tart is completely covered. Do not use a spatula to spread the glaze as it will not be smooth. Let the tart sit at room temperature until the glaze is set before transferring to the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Before serving, remove the outer rim of the tart pan, slip a thin bladed knife between the crust and metal bottom and slide the tart to a serving plate or cake stand.