Baking a chocolate tart at home does not have to be intimidating. Almost anyone can create one of these scrumptious desserts by following some of the best tips in terms of ingredients, chocolate quality, and pan selection. Chocolate tart recipes run the gamut from complicated to those that take less than a half an hour to assemble. Bakers can enliven a traditional chocolate tart recipe by mixing and matching any number of fruits, nuts, toppings, and crust types.
All classic chocolate tart recipes require the same essential ingredients. For the filling, use light cream and milk, chocolate, sugar, salt, and an egg or two. The traditional tart crust is made from all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, unsalted butter, and egg and will need to be baked prior to adding the filling. To begin making the crust, start with cold ingredients, cooking implements, and hands. The ingredients should be left in the refrigerator until the cook is ready to use them; a few minutes in the freezer is a quick way to chill the mixing bowl and beaters.
Selecting the highest quality chocolate will yield a more flavorful, chocolaty filling than cheap, bargain-brand chocolate. Quality chocolate will have a high percentage of cocoa and a low sugar content. When broken, better chocolates will cleanly and crisply snap in half. When held, the best chocolate will begin to melt quickly because of the high cocoa butter content.
Large ceramic or metal fluted tart pans or small fluted tartlet pans can be good choices in which to bake the crust. These tart pans may be purchased with removable or solid bottoms. Regular glass baking dishes are perfectly acceptable bakeware choices for a causal-looking chocolate tart. Putting the tart pan on a baking sheet before it goes into the oven will help cooks avoid accidents such as dislodging the pan's removal bottom.
More experienced bakers may want to make their plain chocolate tarts more interesting. Peanut butter, cherries, coffee, pecans, almonds, bananas, raspberries, or mandarin oranges are a few add-ins that work well with chocolate. Drizzling a simple topping over the finished chocolate tart may be a nice change of pace for die-hard classic chocolate tart fans. Some toppings, aside from homemade whipped cream, include peppermint creme, caramel sauce, or cherry-vodka sauce.
The type of crust chosen depends a great deal on the tart filling itself. Crushed chocolate or vanilla wafers, plain cookie dough, short dough, phyllo dough, or puff pastry are a few crust options. Homemade crusts are easy to make, take only a few minutes, and are definitely worth the effort in terms of taste, texture, and overall look of the finished chocolate tart.