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Monday, November 25, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Tart

pecan tart
Chocolate Pecan Tart 

When I plan my meals each week, I almost always start by flipping through my manila folders stuffed with recipes ripped from magazines. Since I’m also usually baking for one thing or another each week, this includes a look through the “desserts” folder. Almost every week I would pause at this Chocolate Pecan Tart, mouth watering at the deep chocolate color splashed on the page of Real Simple, and then opt out of making it for one reason or another.
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pecan tart
Last month I finally bit the bullet and yanked it from the folder, determined to finally give it a try. Of course, it’s always the recipes you wait the longest to try that are the ones you should’ve made immediately! This dessert got more comments and compliments when I brought it to church than anything else I can remember in the recent past. People snuck extra pieces, hounded me for the recipe, and more than anything made me realize what a terrible mistake I’d make in holding out on making it.
chocolate tart
The tart isn’t anything outrageous or complicated: it’s a basic chocolate crust filled with what is essentially a chocolate ganache studded with toasted pecans. Then again, can you ever go wrong with chocolate?! Because this comes together in a snap and can be made ahead of time, it’s likely the missing dessert for your Thanksgiving spread!
chocolate tart

One Year Ago: Mozzarella, Raspberry, and Brown Sugar Panini
Two Years Ago: BBQ Collard Greens with Edamame
Three Years Ago: Leftover Turkey Sandwiches
Four Years Ago: Ryan's Thanksgiving Proposal

Chocolate Pecan Tart
slightly adapted from Real Simple November 2011

-1 cup pecan halves
-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus a pinch for the filling
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 large egg yolks
-1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
-3/4 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing once, until fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool then roughly chop and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
3. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer, for 2-3 minutes, until creamy. Beat in the egg yolks until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until combined and slightly crumbly.
4. Press dough into the bottom and the sides of a 9-inch round tart pan (or a 4 x 14 inch rectangular tart pan). Top with a piece of parchment paper and fill the tart pan (on top of the crust and the parchment paper) with dried beans or pie weights. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes, until the edges of the crust are dry. Remove the parchment and the beans and bake until dry and set, 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chocolate and a pinch of salt. Bring the cream to simmering in a small saucepan and then pour over the chocolate. Allow to stand for one minute. Stir until mixture is smooth before stirring in 3/4 cup of the pecans. Pour the chocolate mixture into the cooled tart shell. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Refrigerate until set, at least one hour.