Chocolate Almond Tart

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chocolate almond tart by twocarolines.com

I’m always looking for recipes with chocolate and nuts, and lately I’ve been on a pecan/ walnut binge, so it was fun to make this tart that reminded me of how magical almonds and chocolate are together.  It’s likely there will be more chocolate almond combos coming your way after this smashing success.  The texture of this tart is almost caramel like, it was really interesting and so so easy to make.  The original recipe calls for milk chocolate chips, she says that the dark or semi-sweet option made it too rich for her.  I am not familiar with the sensation of something being “too rich” – I used a combination of semi-sweet and dark chocolate and I thought it was just right!

Crust:
1/3 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 egg beaten

Filling:
1 tablespoon
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
12 ounces chocolate – either one bag of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/2 teaspoon (or up to 1 tsp if you really want some almond punch) almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup almonds chopped
for garnish – another 1/3 cup almonds and whipped cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400.  For the crust: In a medium bowl, cut the butter and flour with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.  Add the beaten egg.  Stir until a dough forms.  Press the dough firmly into a tart pan or 9″ pie tin.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.
  2. Reduce oven to 350.  For the filling – in a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and extracts.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted.  Stir in the almonds.  Pour and spread evenly into the tart crust.  Bake an additional 23-25 mintutes or until the edges are set but the center still has some jiggle.  Cool in the pan on a rack.  Serve in slices, garnished with whipped cream and chopped almonds on top.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Never Faileth by Annette Lyon

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Raspberries and chocolate are totally MFEO, and this dark chocolatey tart is the most simple, elegant, and in all ways delicious way to eat them.  I was inspired when I found beautiful golden raspberries and my local market, I wanted to show them off and this super easy tart was the perfect dessert to compliment them.  I’m sure you could also use strawberries, blueberries or whatever fresh fruit you’re in the mood for.  By the way, I really think the coarse salt makes a difference and it’s easy to find, just a small amount can make a dark chocolate dessert really POP off your palette!

36 chocolate wafer cookies (about 8 ounces or one box of the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus a pinch
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped or chips (you can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips, or whatever chocolate your prefer)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  In a food processor, combine the cookies, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Process until very fine crumbs form.  Add butter and pulse until mixture comes together.  Press crumbs firmly into a 9 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until crust is dry and set, about 20 minutes.  Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine chocolate and a pinch of salt.  In a small saucepan, bring cream to a bare simmer on medium high heat.  Immediately pour cream over chocolate and let stand 1 minute, add vanilla.   Stir gently until chocolate melts and mixture is completely smooth.  pour chocolate into cooled tart shell and refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.  To serve, remove tart from pan and put raspberries or whatever fruit you’re using on top.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Apricot Crostata

Two Carolines Apricot Crostata_.jpg

My mom makes the best apricot jam in the world (recipe coming soon, don’t you fret). I always try to get a jar when I visit or have her bring me one (or two or three). So, the other night when we were having an Italian themed family dinner at my house I knew what I had to do. Last fall, I had one of these homemade beauties in Rome and have wanted to make one ever since. I added almond flour to the original recipe and love the little bit of extra “oomph” that it gives. This crostata is simple, summery and oh so heavenly!

Apricot Crostata

Serves 10 – 12

1 3/4  cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
150g chilled butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
1/4 icy cold water
2 cups good quality apricot jam (I used my mama’s cause I’m lucky like that)

Two Carolines Apricot Crostata.jpgPlace the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor with dough blade and pulse until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and the icy cold water and process until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Scoop out of the bowl, wrap in cling wrap and let it sit for at 40 minutes in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously grease a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable base. Form 1/2 the pastry into a ball and place between 2 sheets of baking paper. Roll out until it is about half a centimeter thick and then line the base and sides with the pastry. The pastry should come about 2 cm up the side of the tin. Spread the jam evenly across the base of the tart. Now roll out the remaining pastry and cut it into strips. Carefully drape the strips over the pastry in a lattice pattern, leaving a nice gap between the strips. The pastry can be a little soft and sticky, so I didn’t  weave the strips because the dough was tearing too easily to do that (I didn’t let it sit for 40 minutes in the fridge—only 20 minutes—which is why I changed that in the instructions).  Trim any extra bits of pastry from the edges and bake in the oven on the top third rack for 35 – 40 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden (mine took a bit longer than that, but my oven is trippin lately). Cool before serving.

-CK 1.0

Recipe slightly adapted from Simple Food