Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TWD: Baking with Julia - Chocolate Truffle Tart

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me...  For my birthday, I made the Chocolate Truffle Tart from Baking with Julia.  My Tuesday's with Dorie group schedules recipes for the first and third Tuesday of each month.  If there happens to be a FIFTH Tuesday (like today), we can do a recipe we missed, repeat a recipe, do nothing, whatever we choose.  I only have a couple of recipes left that I missed (baked before I joined the group) so I decided to bake one of those.  And lucky for me, it ended up being Chocolate Truffle Tarts!  Yahoo! 

My birthday was actually in late March, but I planned ahead for this post since I knew I'd have a newborn baby in my home sometime in April and may not be up to baking much.  And really, who can say no to a birthday cake like this?  Not me!

This recipe is delicious!  Yum.  A perfect chocolate-y treat if you love chocolate.  If you don't, you will want to pass this recipe right on by!

You start off by making chocolate dough for the crust...  Yes, even the DOUGH is chocolate!
The recipe for the chocolate dough is on pages 372-373 of Baking with Julia.  It can be made by hand or in the food processor - I chose the food processor method.  First pulse flour, sugar and salt together to combine, and then add a chopped up stick of butter and pulse until the butter pieces are pea-sized.  Add an egg yolk and ice water and pulse until the dough is crumbly, like you see above.

Then you use this fun technique called fraisage - a French term for working the dough under the heal of your hand.  Essentially you smear the dough with your hand until it comes together.  I used parchment underneath but I suppose you could use whatever.  I had no problems with this part, though from reading through some blogs from when the group originally did this recipe, some people had troubles with the dough coming together.  I have no idea as to why it worked for me, other than maybe because I live in Houston where it is naturally more humid than other places?  It wasn't a particularly humid day, but that is the only explanation I can think of...  Anyway, once the dough is all smooshed together, shape it into a square-ish shape.  I made my "square"  (really more of a rectangle) fairly thick, and if I made this recipe again I would do a flat, larger square.  It would be easier for when you roll the dough.  The chocolate dough is refrigerated for at least 30 minutes - I refrigerated mine overnight.

On to the Chocolate Truffle Tart recipe!  The next thing you do is make that big square of dough into a crust!  This recipe was actually for mini-tarts.  It was supposed to make six 4 1/2-inch tartlets.  I do not have any tartlet pans and didn't think my kitchen needed these extra baking pans at this time, so I made one big tart.  I rolled the dough out onto a well-floured (as you can see) pastry mat and then carefully put it into the tart pan.  This was probably the hardest part of the entire tart.  Luckily, this is amazingly forgiving dough, so even though it broke in many places, it patched together easily!  Yeah!  Once in the pan, the tart was supposed to be refrigerated for another 20 minutes.  I cheated here.  I stuck the tart in the freezer while the oven pre-heated.  I have no idea how long it was actually in the freezer, but when I took it out it was nice and firm.  I poked it a zillion times with a fork and then let it bake at 350F for approximately 15 minutes.  The point is to get the crust dry and firm.  Then the crust cools off while the filling is made!

The filling consists of bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, cookies, egg yolks, sugar, and butter.  Can you go wrong with that combination??  Probably not!

First, melt 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate with butter.  I used 70% bittersweet chocolate.  The more bitter, the better for me!

Once melted, allow the bittersweet mixture to cool while you whip the devil out of the egg yolks and sugar.  They are whipped into oblivion, until the egg yolks are light yellow, thick, and creamy.  Then, fold about 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate.  Isn't it pretty??  I think it is also an interesting juxtaposition of the white chocolate, which you can see in the top right corner of the photo.  The egg yolks became so pale, they almost match the color of the white chocolate!

Anyway, pour this chocolate/egg mixture into the rest of the eggs and fold it all together.  Then add chopped up milk and white chocolate.  You are also supposed to add biscotti or amaretti di Saronno cookies here.  I looked for the amaretti cookies at the grocery store but didn't find them.  And though I think that flavor combination would be DIVINE, I didn't feel like (a) going to another store or (b) purchasing a box of biscotti to use only 4.  So, I substituted Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies.  Seriously, I think they are probably one of the very best store-bought cookies out there, and I happened to have a box in my refrigerator!  I decided that approximately 2 1/2 thin mints would equal 1 biscotti, so I added 10 chopped up thin mints to my chocolatey mixture.

Once all of the chocolate, egg, chopped chocolate, and cookie pieces were folded together, I poured it into the chocolate dough crust.

It baked for longer than the recipe suggested, which makes sense being that this one tart is much larger than the 6 individual tarts for which the recipe intended.  I think it baked for around 20 minutes (I unfortunately didn't keep good track of the minutes I kept adding).  I decided the tart was finished baking when the top was dry and the filling was set.

I let the tart cool for 20 minutes, and washed the raspberries and prepared a vanilla whipped cream while we waited....

DELICIOUS.  The tart is definitely very rich, so having the raspberries there to cut the chocolate was perfect.  The clever girl and Mr. Clever Mom devoured their pieces!  I savored mine...  The inside is really a wonderful texture.  The white and milk chocolate pieces were melty and the filling was soft but with the nice crunch of the mint cookie and chocolate dough crust.  Mmmm.  What a perfect birthday treat!  If I were to make this again though, I would probably subsitute semi-sweet chocolate for the milk.  I am not a huge fan of milk or white chocolate for that matter, so I think the semi-sweet would up the bitter quota for me.  I'd also love to try it with the amaretti cookies - I am certain that is amazing!

The Chocolate Truffle Tartlet recipe can be found on pages 382-383 of Baking with Julia.  Or, you can find the recipe on the host blogs.  There were many hosts for this recipe, so take your pick:  Steph, of A Whisk and a Spoon,  Spike of Spike Bakes, Jaime of Good Eats and Sweet Treats, or Jessica of Cookbookhabit.    

Happy baking!


  1. What a beautiful tart! Happy Birthday to you! :)

  2. Happy Birthday to you indeed! That is a beautiful tart! And I love all your pics.

  3. Yes - happy birthday to you! Lovely tart.

  4. Thin Mints! What a great idea! Better make a note in my cookbook. Which is why I love this project - so many creative ideas from other people. Thanks!

  5. Happy birthday! What a lush looking tart, now I am looking for an excuse to make this. :-)

  6. Congratulations on your new baby! He is absolutely adorable - I love the Bolero that you have him in. Too cute. I'm also so impressed that you're managing to keep up with blogging. I'm planning on taking some time off...Thanks for reminding me of this tart. It was an excellent one!


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