SMiLes by Meg

Nightcap Tart

So today is the first day of the year where I’ve been able to convince myself it’s nice enough to sit on my balcony to type my blog.  Granted, I’m wearing a fleece and cradling a cup of hot tea, but I am outside!

Anyways, this weekend I had a group of teachers from my high school over for a potluck dinner.  Now, I’m really bad at potlucks.  Not because I don’t know what to make, but because I want to make everything.  It’s very hard for me to pass up the opportunity to cook things for other people, and by the nature of a potluck, I have to relinquish that control.  I settled on making the main course (Jack Daniel’s bacon mac and cheese) and, of course, dessert.

The theme I was going for was “grown-up comfort foods”, so naturally I turned to my Boozy Baker cookbook for an idea.  Everything in this book looks delicious – however, most of it requires more random specialty liquors than I was feeling like purchasing.  Then I found the nightcap tart, where all I would need was Kahlua, and I was sold.

The tart comes out the consistency of a flourless chocolate cake, but better because it also has a buttery chocolate crust.  And you can take my word for it this week that it was delicious – I used my Sunday Lent dispensation (it’s a thing, I promise) on Saturday so that I could try a piece.  One thing my mom taught me about Lent rules was that between Saturday and Sunday, you can choose which day you’re going to pretend is Sunday.

The first step is making the crust.  For the crust, use the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers.  I’m not sure you’re allowed to claim your own product is famous, but Nabisco went for it.

Nightcap Tart - 1This recipe, more than any other I’ve tried recently, has convinced me of the importance of a food processor.  If you have one, use it.  I don’t, so I pulsed the wafers in my blender, which is a pretty heavy-duty little machine.   The problem with using the blender, though, is that the crumbs get all pushed to the sides, and then the blades are spinning without hitting anything, which is counterproductive and involves a lot of stopping and shaking the carafe to get the pieces back in the middle.

Nightcap Tart - 2Nightcap Tart - 3Next, add the melted butter and salt to your (hopefully) food processor, or blender like me, and pulse until the crumbs are moist.

Nightcap Tart - 4Nightcap Tart - 5Nightcap Tart - 6See how you can see the blade in that last photo?  That’s what I’m talking about when I say the blender isn’t quite as good at this job.

Anyways, regardless of your method, you should still be able to press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9 inch circular pan.  Boozy Baker calls for a tart pan with a removable bottom, but once again, my specialty bakeware is lacking, so I just used a pie plate and it came out fine.

Nightcap Tart - 7In a separate large bowl, place the chopped chocolate.  The finer you shop the chocolate, the more quickly making the filling will go, but I didn’t have the patience to make it any smaller than this:

Nightcap Tart - 8Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat until it begins to steam and you see small bubbles around the outside.  Don’t let it boil!

Nightcap Tart - 9Pour the heavy cream into the bowl with the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and is smooth.  If you coarsely chopped the chocolate, this takes a good long while and a possible 10 second stint in the microwave on 50% power.

Nightcap Tart - 10Nightcap Tart - 11Stir in the sugar until well combined.

Nightcap Tart - 12Nightcap Tart - 13In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and Kahlua.

Nightcap Tart - 14Nightcap Tart - 15Add the egg mixture, little by little, into the chocolate mixture, whisking after each addition until smooth.

Nightcap Tart - 16Nightcap Tart - 17Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top.  Put the pie (or tart) pan on a baking sheet before baking for 30 minutes at 350°F.  The edges should puff up and the middle should be just set before you take it out.

Nightcap Tart - 18Transfer the pan to a wire rack for the tart to cool completely.  Store it in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to serve.  Remember to allow it to come to room temperature first before serving – it’s better that way.

Nightcap Tart - 19And if you don’t believe me, look at all of these happy teachers enjoying a piece after a deliciously cheese-filled meal!

Nightcap Tart - 20Enjoy!

Nightcap Tart - 21

Nightcap Tart

 Ingredients:

  • 32 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua

Directions

  1. Pulse cookies in food processor until finely ground.
  2. Add butter and salt and pulse until moist.
  3. Press crumbs into bottom of 9 inch pie or tart pan.
  4. Put chopped chocolate in a large bowl.
  5. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat until steaming and small bubbles form around the outside.
  6. Pour cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  7. Stir in sugar.
  8. Whisk eggs and Kahlua together in a separate bowl.
  9. Add, a little at a time, to the chocolate mixture, and whisk until smooth.
  10. Pour filling over crust and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F until edges puff up and middle is just set.
  11. Cool completely on wire rack before storing in refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

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