Chocolate and Coffee Crème Brûlée Tart
The reason of why we made this dessert was quite a simple one: we had one in a shop and just had to make one in case of sudden cravings. The first time I had it was when a friend bought a slice of a Brazilian Coffee Tart for my birthday and I swear it was the best thing I have had for a long long time. In fact, it was sitting quite plainly beside the Lemon Meringue Tart. But the moment I popped a piece of it into my mouth, I thought I died and went to chocolate-y coffee heaven.
The luscious fudge-like chocolate just melts in your mouth and the creamy bitter coffee melds perfectly with the sweetness of the chocolate. Are you salivating yet? Because I am. Most chocolate desserts tend to overpower with its cocoa but this manages to be subtle and allow an amazingly balancing act alongside the coffee. After which, I told (more like raved to) Ned to give it try. Well, to cut long story short, she went to the same piece of heaven and here we are, trying to create the foods of angels.
Lucky for us, we managed to get hold of the recipe from Eric Kayser’s book of tarts. We’ll be honest here: heaven was not in our grasp yet. The tart base used was a chocolate shortbread pastry instead of the plain shortcrust used in the shop, and this resulted in a far too crumbly texture. The chocolate and coffee layers thankfully came through fine. Although instead of singing a duet together, it was like watching two contestants pitting each other in an episode of The Voice. The flavours were amazingly strong and powerful. Not that it was bad, but after gobbling half the tart, it seemed a little too rich for any more. We figured the tart base could have contributed to the chocolate-ness of the pastry.
Overall, it was still an amazing dessert but improvements could be made. Can I just complain how difficult it was for me to slice the dessert? Well, that’s just me because I was being spoilt. (Ned happened to be busy and I was left with the cutting.) But at least I learnt how to handle such desserts – have patience and more patience. Ned is adamant in making another batch until she achieves that slice of perfection. I’m all for it as long as I don’t have to cut it.
Chocolate and Coffee Crème Brûlée Tart
By Eric Kayser (Eric Kayser’s Sweet and Savoury Tarts)
Makes one 24cm square or 26cm circle
For the chocolate shortbread pastry
(makes 3 tarts, 24cm square or 26cm round)
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g confectioners’ sugar
50g ground hazelnuts
5g ground cinnamon
400g cake flour
10g baking powder
10g cocoa powder
For the coffee crème brûlée
500g whipping cream
20g granulated instant coffee
4 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
For the chocolate ganache
400g whipping cream
350g dark chocolate
For the coffee nougatine
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
10g instant coffee
100g caster sugar
100g chopped almonds
To prepare the chocolate shortbread pastry, cream the butter in a mixing bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar, ground hazelnuts, and cinnamon and mix together. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing constantly. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder and mix until just incorporated. Form a square or a ball (depending on the tin you’re using) with the dough, cover with silicon paper and chill overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line the baking pan with the chocolate shortbread pastry and pre=bake for 15 minutes.
To prepare the coffee creme brulee: heat the cream in a saucepan on medium heat till warm then dissolve the instant coffee in. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow. Pour the coffee cream in a trail to the egg mixture and mix. Pour the mixture into the tart shell and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
To prepare the chocolate ganache, bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan on medium heat. Break the chocolate into small pieces in a bowl and pour the hot cream in 3 parts. Mix the ganache, drawing small circles in the centre, then work your way out of the sides of the bowl in widening circles. Once it fors a homogeneous mixture, add the butter and mix well. Pour the ganache over the cooled creme brulee later and set aside to cool.
To prepare the nougatine, cream the butter with the instant coffee and sugar. When the mixture is thoroughly creamed, incorporate the chopped almonds. Line a baking tray with waxed paper. Spread the mixture over the paper and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until it turns light brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.