This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Kim of Scrumptious Photography: Chocolate Cream Tart. The recipe includes a chocolate pastry cream in a dark chocolate shortbread crust, topped with sweetened whipped cream.
I lost track of time and almost didn't participate this week, but I am so glad that I did! I decided to go with Dorie's "playing around" idea to make a Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie instead. I've never had one before, but the idea of one sounded so good. I love Dorie's sweet tart dough, so I decided to keep with the tart idea instead of making a regular pie crust.
The coconut cream was very simple to make, though I almost ran out of patience waiting for the cream to come to a boil. I believe this step took at least 20 to 30 minutes, though I honestly lost track of time!
I've made Dorie's pastry cream many times before, so I had no issues with that component. I used semisweet chocolate because I'm not a fan of bittersweet chocolate.
I didn't have a 9-inch tart pan, so I used 4.5 or 5-inch tart pans instead. I made one recipe of sweet tart dough, but probably should have made 1.5x the recipe because my tarts were a bit on the thin side.
The Chocolate Coconut Cream Tarts were to die for! The chocolate pastry cream - oh, the pastry cream... it was amazing. Rich and creamy... chocolatey... but not too rich. The coconut cream gave the tart a nice flavor and texture. I'm glad that I went with the sweet tart dough instead of the chocolate shortbread crust because I think it would have been (gasp) too chocolately otherwise. Next time, I will drizzle some caramel sauce over the top and it will taste like a Samoa Girl Scout cookie! :)
Thanks Kim, for choosing this recipe - I loved it. If you would like the recipe for the chocolate cream tart, you can find it here. (I've included the recipe for the Chocolate Coconut Cream Tart below since I used a completely different tart dough recipe and the weekly host usually doesn't post the "playing around" options.) Make sure you visit the TWD Blogroll to see what everyone else thought about this chocolately treat!
Chocolate Coconut Cream Tart
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
For the Coconut Cream
1-1/3 cups heavy cream
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
For the Filling
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted (I used semisweet)
2-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
For the Topping
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp dark rum (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 9-inch Sweet Tart Dough, fully baked and cooled
To make the Coconut Cream:
Put the heavy cream and shredded coconut in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cok and stir until cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and cool to room temperature.
To make the Filling:
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-- this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the melted chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool it quickly--as I always do--put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.
To make the topping:
Whip the heavy cream with the confectioner's sugar, dark rum, and pure vanilla extract.
To assemble the tart:
When you are ready to assemble the tart, whisk the chocolate pastry cream vigorously to loosen it and to bring back its velvety texture. Spread the coconut cream over the bottom of the tart crust, cover it with the chocolate cream, and then top it with the whipped cream. Cover the whipped cream with toasted coconut or with chocolate shavings, or a combination of the two.
* Recipes notes:
- If you've never made pastry cream before, it won't really come to a boil. It will just start to thicken. After it starts to thicken, just continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- I used semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet.
- If you don't have whole milk, learn how to make your own with skim/1%/2% and cream or half & half here.
- For more tips, click here.