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Chocolate Silk Tart

Serves: Makes 1 9-Inch Pie, serving 8 to 10

Ingredients:

For the tart filling:



    For the tart topping:

    • 1¼ cups (10 ounces) heavy whipping cream
    • 1½ tablespoons (¾ ounce) sugar


    Procedures:

    Make the filling: Bring 2 inches of water to a low boil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk by hand to blend. Place the bowl over the simmering water (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water) and whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Heat until the mixture reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer and the eggs look light in color and texture. To check the temperature, remove the bowl from the heat so the mixture doesn’t overcook while you are waiting for the thermometer to register. If the mixture has not yet reached 160°F, wash the thermometer—so any possible bacteria will not contaminate the eggs during your next check—dry it, and then put the bowl back over the water and continue to whisk. This step can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes—the more often you check the temperature, the longer it takes, so be patient. When the eggs reach 160°F, remove the bowl from the saucepan (keep burner on) and beat on high speed for 3 minutes.

    While the eggs are beating, place the butter, cream, and chocolate in a medium bowl and set the bowl in a saucepan over the simmering water. Let sit for 1 minute, then gently stir with a silicone or rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and wipe the bottom of the bowl dry. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs, lower the speed to medium and beat until there are no streaks of egg visible. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl, making sure that any streaks of egg are blended into the chocolate. Scrape the filling into the prepared pie crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

    Make the topping: In the cleaned mixer bowl, whip the cream and sugar into firm peaks. You may also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to scrape the cream into the center of the pie, then use the offset spatula or back of a spoon to spread it all the way to the edge, making swirls as you go. For a more elegant version, pipe the cream over the filling, using a ½-inch star tip fitted into a pastry bag (but increase the cream to 1¾ cups and the sugar to 2 tablespoons, as piping requires a little more cream). Sprinkle the top with chocolate curls if desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

    To serve, cut slices with a thin, sharp knife, wiping with a moist, hot towel between slices. Serve each slice with chocolate or caramel sauce, if you like.

    Adapted from Cindy Mushet and Sur La Table, The Art & Soul of Baking (Andrews McMeel)

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