February 15, 2009

of chocolate tarts and countertops

Well, despite my inactivity here online, I have begun to cook a bit again. Why?

OUR COUNTERS ARE FINALLY DONE! Yes, the kitchen is fully functional.

And there was much rejoicing...

Last weekend, as planned, I finally made the recipe for Chocolate Ganache Tart with the pretzel crust that Krysta (aka Evil Chef Mom) posted a few weeks ago. Here's a rather inferior, blurry photo, probably taken with someone's cell phone. Note the new countertop in the background.

We had a great group date (kinky, eh?) at III Forks, followed by Ballet Austin's performance of Hamlet, which was really pretty incredible. I thought it would be fun to come back to the house for dessert, and it was indeed. I think we were up until 2 or 3 am talking, drinking wine and armagnac, and going back for little nibbles of this awesome, rich tart.

(Here they are, awaiting said tart while I serve it.
P.S. The crust required a serrated knife; pretzels made it a bit dense and crunchy.)

Thanks for Krysta's myriad warnings, I didn't have any problems with this tart. It's a bit time consuming, but I just set aside time the Thursday before Valentine's day, made sure I actually set an alarm for each phase of baking, cooling, etc., and paused the ol' DVR when the bell told me it was time for the next step.

To avoid the issues with this sticky and tear-prone crust, I kept it between the plastic wrap until the last moment. To start, I did roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. (At one moment, it slooshed out of the wrap and my rolling pin immediately stuck to any dough it contacted. Seriously: Keep the dough covered at all times.)

I also only refrigerated the dough for about 10 minutesafter rolling it out. I then carefully transferred it, using the plastic wrap to place it and then as a glove of sorts to press the dough into the fluted tart pan. That way, the dough could finish cooling in the refrigerator already prepped in the pan.

Also, if you want to try this recipe and don't have pie weights (I actually don't know what they are yet! Note to self...), you can weigh down the shell while baking with uncooked beans.

Thank you, Krysta! This was the first dish I've cooked in the new kitchen that was more complicated than black bean tacos, and it was really pretty glamorous.


  1. I was just reading about a pretzel crust tart the other, and I definitely want to try it. Looks great!

  2. hurray for chocolate tarts! i'm glad it turned out well! and i'm sorry i didn't get to comment before now.