Chocolate Pecan Tart / Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

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Taking the Pecan Tart a step further and what’s the best thing to use? Of course Chocolate.

Below you will find 2 versions one with just Chocolate & Maple Syrup and the second version is with Bourbon. Choose whichever you prefer 🙂

VERSION 1

CHOCOLATE PECAN TART & MAPLE SYRUP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 375g pack shortcrust pastry (might be easier than making your own pastry)
  • a little flour, for dusting
  • 185g dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate if you like it sweet!
  • 50g salted butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200ml maple syrup
  • 200g whole pecan nuts

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Fill the tart with baking paper and baking beans, bake for 25 mins, then remove the baking paper and beans. Continue to cook for 10 mins more until golden.
  3. Remove from the oven and cool.
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  5. Whisk the eggs and maple syrup together, then stir into the chocolate with most of the nuts.
  6. Pour into the tart shell, top with the remaining nuts and bake for 30-40 mins until set.
  7. Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream or double cream.

VERSION 2

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BOURBON-PECAN TART WITH CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 (425g) package refrigerated shortcrust pastry
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 ounce/15g bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or more)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine first 10 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in pecans.
  3. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle; fit into a 20-22cm removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray. Trim excess crust using a sharp knife. Spoon sugar mixture into prepared crust.
  4. Bake at 180° for 45 minutes or until center is set.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or melt over bain-marie. Stir until smooth.
  7. Drizzle chocolate over tart.

Salame di Cioccolato – Italian Chocolate Salami

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 4 tbs orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
  • 7 oz tea biscuits and/or plain butter cookies
  • 3 oz chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbs chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • powdered sugar, for decoration

METHOD:

  1. Break cookies into a large bowl and sprinkle with ½ the Grand Marnier, set aside.
  2. In a bowl, vigorously mix egg yolks with sugar until the mixture turns thick and the sugar is fully incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter over low heat. With the back of a spoon smash the butter as it softens and begins to melt. Remove from heat as soon as the butter starts to liquify. Stir to combine.
  4. Next combine the broken cookies, butter and sugar mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. The chocolate mixture will be sticky a bit messy to handle.
  5. Lay out a long sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap on a hard surface, about 18 inches long. Roll the mixture onto the wax paper and shape into a salami shape length wise to the paper. Mold salami to the desired length and thickness, somewhere between 2-3 inches. Bring salami to one side of paper and roll paper around log gently but firmly, twist ends similar to that of a salami.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, unwrap the salami and lightly roll it in powdered sugar to give it a look of aged salami.
  8. Keep refrigerated.

Note: Salami will be very firm when cutting slices, so its best to take it out of the refrigerator a few minutes before serving. Entire salami can be cut into slices and refrigerated to make it easier to serve later. Or if entertaining, salami can be presented whole and guests can cut their own slices.

Rum & Raisin Dark Chocolate Truffles

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INGREDIENTS:

Makes about 20 truffles

  • 200g of good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) – broken into pieces
  • 1/4 cup raisins – chopped
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp of strong espresso or instant coffee granules (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa powder

Coatings:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Finely chopped nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans or almonds)
  • Shredded coconut
  • Spices like cinnamoncayenne pepper, orange zest, etc

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, soak the raisins in rum for one hour (at room temperature).
  2. In a saucepan, over low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Then add the butter and stir with a plastic spatula until melted.
  3. Next, add the chopped chocolate, and when it begins to melt, turn the fire off and continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted (be careful not to burn the chocolate).
  4. Then mix in the cocoa powder, vanilla paste, and espresso, and stir until smooth. Finally, stir in the raisin rum mixture, and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Once the chocolate ganache has cooled on the counter, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge. Chill for an hour until the ganache is firm.
  6. Lay out a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Prepare coatings in separate bowls. With your palms or a small spoon, form the chocolate into balls, then roll each one in the coating and place them on the baking paper. Transfer the truffles, along with the baking paper, to an airtight container and refrigerate.
  7. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or for a few months in the freezer. Before serving, let the truffles sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Tips on making truffles: 
– It’s important to keep the ganache mixture cool after it is removed from the refrigerator, so it doesn’t melt too much when you are forming the balls and coating them. Try placing the small bowl of ganache on top of a bigger bowl layered with ice. (Also, coat your hands with some cocoa powder to prevent your warm fingers from melting the chocolate)
– If the ganache gets too soft for shaping, just pop the ganache back in the freezer for five minutes. If you are making a bigger batch, divide the ganache into separate containers.

Coconut Rose Chocolate Macaroons

INGREDIENTS:

makes ~50 small macarons or 20-30 large macaroons

for macaroon shells*:

  • 200 gr powdered sugar
  • 120 gr blanched and slivered almonds
  • 20 gr unsweetened dried coconut flakes (not the sugared kind!)
  • 30 gr granulated sugar
  • 100 gr egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tspn cream of tartar
  • 1/8 tspn coconut extract
  • 1/8 tspn rose extract

METHOD:

  1. Prepare two baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper and a pastry bag with a large round piping tip.
  2. Combine the powdered sugar, almonds, and dried coconut flakes in a food processor and grind until a fine powder. Sift thoroughly through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, have ready the granulated sugar.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and the cream of tartar. Using a balloon whisk, quickly stir the mixture until the entire surface is covered with foam. Then, start whisking the egg whites, gradually adding in the granulated sugar once the egg whites are very frothy. Whisk until you reach glossy, almost-stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold the sifted almond and powdered sugar mixture into the egg whites in two to three stages, adding the coconut and rose extracts as you go. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated and the batter slowly re-absorbs peaks. Do not overmix!
  6. Transfer the macaroon mixture to the prepared piping bag and pipe rounds on the lined baking sheets. Tap the baking sheets on the table a few times to release air pockets.
  7. Rest the macaroons for at least 30 minutes (and up to 60), until the outside shells are no longer tacky and sticky to a light touch.
  8. Preheat oven to 145 degrees C, with the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  9. Bake the macaroons in the oven, one sheet at a time, for 24-28 minutes total, rotating the sheet half-way through the baking time to insure even baking.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool.

*Note: the resting and oven temperature and times are adjusted to what works in my kitchen and oven (which, to my knowledge and according to two oven thermometers, is quite accurate). Please note that you may have to adjust according to what works in your kitchen and oven.

for coconut-rose chocolate ganache:

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (see note below)
  • 1 Tbspn butter
  • 1 tspn rose water
  • 2 tspn corn syrup
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

METHOD:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut cream, butter, rose water, and corn syrup. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Once the coconut cream mixture is simmering, remove from heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Let cool completely, and use to fill macaroons.
  4. Once the macaroons are filled, let them “cure” in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Note: for coconut cream, skim the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk. A little bit of milk is okay.

Chocolate Explosion Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

  • 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Chocolate Layer:

  • 6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Layer:

  • 1/2 cup caramel syrup
  • 1 (16 1/2-ounce) package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
  2. For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter, stirring to combine. Press the crust into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes; let cool.
  3. For the chocolate layer: Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total). Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and flour until just combined. Pour into the bottom of the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes; let cool.
  4. For the cheesecake layer: Spread the caramel topping evenly over the cooled chocolate layer. Cut the cookie dough crosswise into 1-inch slices. Place the slices in an even layer over the caramel, pressing gently together to seal the edges.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and flour until just combined. Stir in the sour cream. Pour the mixture over the cookie dough layer and bake until the cake is cracked and browned around the edge, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and gently run a knife around the edges to release the crust from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely.
  6. For the ganache: Using a double boiler, combine the chocolate and cream and melt (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 minute total). Spread over the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

Green Apple Jasmine Sorbet Sandwiches with Chocolate Snaps

INGREDIENTS:
Green Apple Jasmine Sorbet

  • 1 1/4 lbs granny smith apples, cored and chopped (leave peel on!)
  • 1 cup + 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup pearl jasmine tea leaves
  • a pinch of powdered green food coloring (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Combine the apples, 1 cup of water, sugar, salt, and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover loosely, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the apple chunks are very tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the remaining 3/4 cup of water to a simmer and brew the tea leaves. Let steep covered.
  3. Once the apples are tender, remove the pot from heat and add the tea and tea leaves into the pot. Cover tightly and let cool at room temperature.
  4. Once cool, press the contents of the pot through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the apple peels and tea leaves that are left behind.
  5. If a smoother sorbet is desired, puree the strained apple sauce in a food processor with the powdered green food coloring, if using, until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  6. Once chilled, freeze the sorbet base in your ice cream maker of choice. Once churned, you may want to let the sorbet harden further overnight in the freezer.

Note: now’s the time to break out the good quality green tea–the better the green tea you start with, the better this sorbet will taste.

INGREDIENTS:
Chocolate Snaps

  • 1 1/2 cups (210 gr) AP flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbspn (75 gr) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • 1/8 tspn salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz./112 gr) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbspn (125 gr) sugar
  • 1/4 tspn vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer with the paddle attachment for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks to the butter and sugar, one at a time and beating well after each addition.
  4. Mix in the prepared flour in two to three additions. Press together into a dough, wrap with parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut out your desired shapes. Keep the dough cool as you work with it.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating once halfway through the baking.
  8. Once done, remove from oven and let cool briefly before removing the cookies from the baking sheet and placing them on a wire rack to continue cooling. Cookies will continue to harden as they cool.

Chocolate-covered Jam Sandwich Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
makes 20 – 24 cookies

  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • 2 cups (280 g) all purpose flour
  • 12 + 1 Tbspn butter, softened
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (28 gr) powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • jam or marmalade
  • 89 g (3 oz) dark chocolate
  • 89 g (3 oz) heavy cream

METHOD:

  1. Combine the baking powder, salt, and flour in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer bowl, cream 12 Tbspn of butter for 2 – 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and powdered sugar and continue to beat for a few minutes more.
  4. Add the egg and beat well.
  5. Add the flour mixture in three stages, mixing just until combined.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form into a ball. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 180˚ C. Prepare baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpats.
  8. Roll out the cold dough on a lightly floured surface to a ½-inch thickness. Using a 1¾-inch cookie cutter, cut out small rounds. Reroll the leftover dough and continue to cut out cookies. Place cookies on a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes if the dough is no longer cold.
  9. Bake each sheet for 15 minutes, rotating once half-way through the baking time. Cookies are done when the edges begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. To assemble, spread a small amount of jam on a cookie and sandwich with another one.
  11. Finely chop the dark chocolate and place in a bowl.
  12. Combine the heavy cream and remaining 1 Tbspn of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and pour on top of the chocolate. Let sit for a minute, and then whisk until smooth.
  13. Dip the cookies in the chocolate ganache, shaking gently to remove the excess, and let dry on a sheet of parchment paper or silpat for at least 2 hours until the ganache has firmed up and is no longer liquid.