Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love + decadent dessert for Valentine's Day

If you're looking to impress (or entice, seduce, tempt, woo...insert your word of choice here) your valentine this Sunday, look no further than the ridiculously decadent, indulgent dessert below. Talk about a great way to finish off a meal, this is one dessert that will work its way into anyone's heart -- and I write from experience here. True, it's not the lightest of desserts, but we all need a little indulgence every so often and I can't think of a better day to do it up. The balancing point with this tart however, is that it's so rich it's nearly impossible to down a hefty piece. A small slice will do just fine and you get some bonus points and disease-fighting antioxidants with the dark chocolate and raspberries. Since raspberries aren't in season right now, I'd go with the frozen organic ones to make the coulis. They're cheaper and will be just as good. Here's to a little lovin' and decadence this Valentine's!

Bourbon Chocolate Tart with Fleur de Sel and Raspberry Coulis

Makes 12 servings

Tart Crust

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tart Filling

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I usually use an equal mixture of a hunk of 54% cacao and one that’s 65% or above)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons bourbon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Tart Glaze

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 3/4 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped (I use a chocolate that’s above 65% cacoa)

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

1 tablespoon warm water

1 tablespoon bourbon

¼ teaspoon fleur de sel (flaky French sea salt that’s great for baking and pretty presentation)

Raspberry Coulis

2 cups fresh raspberries, plus more for serving

2 to 3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, blend the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter, egg yolk, and vanilla and pulse until the mixture forms a large moist clump.

3. Press the dough into a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough up the sides, press the bottom of the dough four or five times with the tines or a fork, and bake for 10 minutes, then cool.

4. For the filling: Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted.

5. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, bourbon, and salt in a small bowl and add to the chocolate. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour.

6. For the glaze: Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Add the corn syrup, warm water, and bourbon. Gently pour evenly over the tart. Sprinkle the fleur de sel over the tart and allow to stand for about an hour.

7. For the raspberry coulis: Heat the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the seeds out through a small sieve if desired.

Carefully remove the tart from the outer part of the pan. Serve with 2 to 3 teaspoons of raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries.

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