He would say their love story began with a mutual affection for good beer and dessert. She wouldn’t deny him that bit of nostalgia…most days. [Lately her moods changed with the tide, the phases of the moon, the direction of the wind.]
She would say their love story began with a conversation, his kindness evident with every word spilling from his sweet mouth. [ His sense of humor, intelligence, opinions, though less appreciated today, fused her soul to his many years ago.]
And what would they say now? The moon is in the waning Gibbous phase, the tide is low, the winds wild. A tempestuous phase in their many years together. Both will agree something was lost along the way. A persistent trickle, not a gash, slowly absorbing into their everyday. Yet, despite arriving at this volatile juncture they remain in awe of all that followed since their love story began. So tonight, when the house is quiet, the day almost done, they will split a beer, nibble on some chocolate, and each wonder silently: what’s next in our love story?
Chocolate Stout Tart
tart dough recipe adapted from David Lebovitz
chocolate stout filling adapted from Ambrosia Baking
Ingredients for Tart Dough:
1 cup + 5 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
8 tablespoons or 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 large egg
Ingredients for chocolate stout filling:
1- 11 ounce bottle of Guinness, reduced to 1/4 cup
1 + 1/4 cups heavy cream
9 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon of vanilla
a generous pinch of kosher salt
Fresh whipped cream and crushed pretzels for topping
Using a food processor fitted with a blade attachment mix the flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-size. Next add the egg and continue to pulse until the dough comes together and is smooth. Remove dough from food processor and shape it into a disk. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes up to overnight.
Flour a clean surface and roll the dough until it is about a 13 inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough firmly into the tart pan and in the corners of the pan. Trim any excess by running the side of a knife around the top of the tart. Hold onto any scraps for patching. If there are any holes in your tart, use the excess dough to patch them. Prick the dough five times with a fork. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
When ready to bake the tart shell, pre-heat your oven to 400F. Line the frozen tart with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until the tart is golden brown about 25 minutes but check after 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Next make the chocolate stout filling.
Pour Guinness into a small pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce to about 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat and set aside. Grab a second sauce pan and heat the cream until it just begins to simmer. Using a medium bowl, add chopped chocolate, vanilla extract, salt and 3 tablespoons of reduced Guinness. Remove simmering cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate mixture. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely blended and very smooth. Pour the chocolate ganache into the cooled tart shell . Spread evenly using a spatula. Refrigerate for at least two hours or until the ganache has completely set. Just before serving, top the tart with fresh whipped cream and crushed pretzels. The tart is best the day it is made but will last up to two days in air-tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
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