Thursday, November 27, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cream Tart

I was (and still am) quite the avid visitor to The Knot. The Knot is a wedding website that has loads of wedding planning stuff. There are message boards that I am quite addicted to. After you get married, you get "upgraded" to The Nest. The Nest is the same type of site, but for married women. This site has baby stuff, trying, or not trying, to conceive, home stuff, cooking, all types of stuff. Along with message boards.

I decided to test TN waters one day and this picture greets me on their home page.
Looks scrumptious right? Ya, I thought so too.

We normally have a chocolate pie on Thanksgiving, since not all people like pumpkin pie, me included. So, I decided to try this as the alternative to pumpkin pie. It turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. And my aunt, who is an avid chocolate lover, loved it also and I have now been commissioned to make it for Christmas.
It turned out to be very easy to make and didn't take too long. Maybe an hour after all was said and done. I did leave it in the fridge overnight and added the cream topping this morning.

Mixing time: 20 minutes for crust, filling, and topping
Baking: 350 degrees F for about 17 minutes

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute. The mixture may look slightly curdled. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Use your fingers to spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake just until the top begins to turn golden but the center is still soft, about 17 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cookie from the pan, and cool the crust in the pan on a wire rack.

Make the filling. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the cream is hot and the butter melts. The mixture should form tiny bubbles and measure about 175 F on a thermometer; do not let the mixture boil, or it may form a skin on top. (If this does happen, use a spoon to carefully lift off the skin and discard it.) Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate chips, and let them sit in the hot cream mixture for about 30 seconds to soften, then whisk until all the chocolate is melted and the filling is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Let the filling cool and thicken at room temperature for about 30 minutes, so it won't run off the crust.

Leaving a 1-inch plain edge, spread the sauce over the crust. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm the filling. (I left the cookie in the fridge overnight at this point.)

Use a small sharp knife to loosen the sides of the crust from the pan and then remove the sides of the pan. Use a sharp knife to loosen the crust from the bottom of the pan and then a wide metal spatula to slide the tart onto a platter. (I left the cookie on the bottom of the pan and just served it from there. I didn't want to mess it up and it worked just fine on the pan.)

Make the topping. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until firm peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the chocolate filling, mounding it slightly in the center.

Serve, or cover carefully and refrigerate for as long as overnight. Serve cold.

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