Monday, July 19, 2010

It's only money, right?

I think we are pretty much about to declare bankruptcy right now.  Bad things come in three's, don't they?

The good news, as I reported earlier, is that my beloved dog Lucy has stabilized.  I'm grateful for that.  The bad news is that my sweet little Annie had to have knee replacement surgery.  KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY???  FOR A  DOG????  Well, yes.  When she's torn out her ACL and is permanently limping, what choice do you have?  In our case, it meant an orthopedic vet specialist, which is a polite way of saying "big bucks."  Oh, Annie!

Uh, and then there  is Roxy.  She is Annie's mom and Lucy's sister (are we incestuous here or what?)  She had major gum and teeth issues so we had to take her to the periodontal vet specialist.  Another surgery.  Another "big buck" event. 

Then I was in the kitchen and suddenly there was a huge BANG and a BIG noise that sounded like shattered glass.  Honestly, I thought someone had broken out a window and was breaking into the house.  Upon investigation, I discovered the spring on the garage door had imploded and gone AWOL.  WTF????  Suffice it to say, a few more bucks were required to cure the problem (along with my having to spend way too much time in the house the next day, waiting for the garage repair person).

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh.  I need chocolate.

Here is the answer:

CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE TART (adapted from Claudia Fleming)

For the crust:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 extra-large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, such as Droste or Valhrona
1 1/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Using electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and confectioner's sugar until smooth and creamy, scraping down bowl once or twice.  Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Scrape down bowl, then sift in cocoa, flour and salt.  Beat on low speed until just combined.  Remove from mixer, scrape down bowl and finish by hand until ingredients are just incorporated.  Do not overmix.

Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press into a round disk or a square, depending upon what size tart pan you are using.  Wrap well and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to three days.

When ready to use, roll out tart dough on a lightly floured board (or a silicone baking sheet, which is what I did) until dough is about 1/8-inch thick.  Transfer to a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom which has been lightly buttered  (I used an 11 x 8-inch rectangular pan).   Ease dough into pan without stretching and press into pan.  Trim edges. (*See note below). 

Refrigerate or freeze until dough is well-chilled.  Place into oven preheated to 325-degrees and bake for 10 minutes then prick with fork to release any air and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until pastry looks dry and set.  Cool on a rack.

For the filling:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 extra-large eggs, room temperature (**See note below)
1 scant cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

Place butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat.  Cook and stir until just melted, then remove from heat to cool slightly.

In the meantime, in electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs and sugar on high speed for 10 minutes or until mixture is very light and fluffy, scraping down bowl often.  Fold about 1 cup of this into the cooled chocolate then return chocolate mixture to remaining eggs in the mixing bowl.  Using a spatula, gently fold together, taking care not to deflate the eggs.  Sift flour over and fold in until just combined.  Do not overmix.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill until firm for at least one hour or up to 3 days.  (***See note below)

To bake:
Preheat oven to 325-degrees.  Fill pre-baked tart shell with chilled chocolate mixture (I use an ice cream scoop for this) then spread out and smooth top.  Bake until the filling is puffed and slightly cracked on top 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool for slightly (souffle may fall but don't worry), then remove from tart pan and cut into slices.  Serve warm. 

If you like, you can sift a little confectioner's sugar over this or serve with a little freshly whipped cream and even a few raspberries.  I, however, think it's perfectly good on its own.  In fact, that's how I prefer it.  Why interfere with the chocolate?

Serves 8 - 12 (or more or less, depending once again upon how generous you want to be with your slices!)

* If you find the dough won't roll out without cracking, no worries.  Just press it in.  I promise you, no one will know the difference.

** My quick method for bringing eggs to room temp is to place them in a bowl and cover them with hot tap water.  Let them sit for five minutes and they will be ready to go.

*** This recipe may sound complicated, but it can all be done in advance.  The dough can be made and stored in the refrigerator (or even frozen).  You could even get it into the pan and refrigerate or freeze it unbaked for several days or even a week or two.  Also, don't forget the filling will last in the fridge for at least 3 days (and probably a few more).  So once these pieces parts are in place, filling and baking at the last minute is a piece of cake.  Oops, I mean pie.

The end result?  Money!!!  Trust me.

No comments:

Post a Comment