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Bittersweet Chocolate Tart With Almond Crust

I’m a girl who loves chocolate and believes those who say they don’t aren’t telling the truth. If you are the same, this dessert may both improve and ruin your life. This rich, ultra silky chocolate filling, cradled in a crispy nutty pastry thrills me every time I make it. This recipe is one that your guests will talk about for the rest of your life…in a good way. Serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream or even better, a small scoop of raspberry gelato.
Serves 6 to 8, level of difficulty - moderate

2 cups (500ml) toasted almonds
1/3 cup (90ml) sugar
3 cup (750ml) all purpose flour
1 cup (250ml) unsalted butter – room temperature (8oz)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla

Chocolate Filling
3/4 cup (180ml) 35% cream
1/3 cup (90ml) 10% cream
7 oz (200g) good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. In a food processor purée the almonds on pulse until they have the consistency of a graham crumb (watch not to get too excited about blending them or you will make almond paste).

2. Add sugar and flour to your almonds and continue to blend until fine.

3. Add your butter, egg, and vanilla and blend to incorporate all ingredients. Don’t be shy to pull off the lid and scrape the sides and corners with a spatula. If the pastry is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.

4. Divide your dough into 2 equal pieces, wrap them tightly in plastic. You can freeze one now for later and refrigerate the other for 30 minutes before using.

5. Grease and flour a 10” pie plate.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to 1/8 of an inch thickness. Lay it in your prepared pie tin. If there are any holes in the pastry, patch them with other little pieces of dough. Pop this fella in the freezer for 15 minutes to give it a good chill.

7. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Bake your tart shell for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool.

8. Reduce your oven temperature to 275F (135C).

9. Put both creams in a small saucepan and bring them to a simmer over moderate heat. Remove your pan from the heat and immediately add the chocolate stirring constantly until melted and the mixture looks silky and smooth. Cool to room temperature.

10. Whisk in your egg to the cooled chocolate, until well blended.

11. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell.

12. Bake in the center of a preheated oven until the filling is slightly firm but still trembling just in the center, 15-25 minutes. You need to keep an eye on it since everyone’s oven temperatures are different.

13. Remove and place on a rack to cool for 1 hour before cutting into it.

Wine Match – Banyuls

I said it before and I’ll say it again – Banyuls + Chocolate = Heaven. I’m not the biggest chocolate fan (I know, I know – Angie doesn’t believe in that) but this dessert is to die for, and when you put Banyuls with it, there’s an even bigger pay-off. That’s because the rich, sweet, berry-flavored wine is the all-time best partner for dark chocolate – they balance each other and bring out the best in their respective flavors.

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