Monday, November 19, 2007

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Can anything with chocolate be bad? Honestly, you have to work pretty hard to make something with chocolate into anything less than delicious. Sure you could make chocolate covered brussel sprouts or even chocolate mousse filled pumpkins (I really don't like pumpkin), but overall, chocolate makes anything better.

Including breakfast. I know. Chocolate for breakfast?! But sometimes I just can't help myself. A coworker brought in bagels and pastries from Au Bon Pain this morning, and what do I choose? The healthy bagel? Nope. Chocolate covered and filled croissant. And this is by no means a first! On my European adventure this past summer, I had chocolate for breakfast 3 times in under 2 weeks! 1st, I had a chocolate covered fluffy pastry (sort of like a croissant) the first morning in Barcelona. 2 days later we had churros and chocolate for breakfast! So rich and delicious (and so bad for me!) If you are ever in Barcelona, stop by this little bakery in Plaza P for churros and chocolate and the best start to a morning you could imagine (such a sugar/fried food rush!). Then, on our first day in Rome, we were exhausted, lost, dirty and pissy. All of that was erased by the glory of a croissant/eclair mix. It was kind of a crossaint filled with cream and dipped in chocolate. It wasn't exactly a croissant, but that is the closest equivalent I know! So good, it made the horrible train ride disapear!

Anyway, point being, chocolate is my friend any time of day. So, it really shouldn't come as a surprise when I say I had a slice or 2 of this Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart for breakfast! LOL! I made this for one of my friend's birthdays. He has wanted to make a giant Reeses cup for ages, so I made this tart to imitate it for him. Chocolate graham cracker base, peanut better filling, chocolate coating. Yum-O.I made a test batch (the one I consumed) and a real tart to give as a gift. Through the test batch I learned to change the following:
1) increase the amount of crust ingredients slightly. I did not have enough crust material to come up the sides the first time, so I changed the crumbs to 1 1/4 cups and increased the other parts slightly as well
2)increase the peanut butter to almost 2/3 cup. I felt that only 1/2 cup was not peanut buttery enough for me, though my room mates were OK with it
3)for the glaze, I increased the chocolate while keeping the butter the same. Really, I want my topping chocolatey, not butter/fatty
4)take the tart out of the pan after chilling the filling layer, before covering in chocolate. If you add chocolate while it is in the pan it will rip the chocolate when you remove itThis made for a DELICIOUS 2nd tart. Birthday boy was so surprised and I think he really enjoyed it. Apparently it was 1/2 gone by the end of the night I gave it to him!

As you will note, this dessert is a TART! My first tart under my blog which is named "TART reform." Took me long enough, right? Well this timing is made even better by the Waiter There is Something in My...Topless Tart blog event. Thanks to Cook Sister for hosting.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Cookie Crust
1-1 1/4 cup finely ground chocolate wafers or chocolate graham crackers (I used chocolate teddy grahams ground in a food processor, because crushing them in a zip top bag did not get me small enough pieces)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 ounces (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, mix cookie crumbs and sugar with a fork until well mixed. Drizzle butter and mix until crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs evenly into a 9 1/2 - inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake crust for about 10 minutes until fragrant. Let crust cool completely before filling.

Peanut Butter Filling
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tsp all purpose flour
1/2 - 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cookie crust, baked & cooled (see recipe above)

3-6 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp light corn syrup

To make the filling:
In a medium saucepan, bring milk and salt to a simmer. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar and flour. Whisking constantly, slowly ladle in half of the hot milk over the egg mixture. Pour mixture back into the remaining milk in the pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook, still whisking constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove pan from heat and whisk in peanut butter and vanilla.

Pour hot filling into cooled crust and spread evenly. Carefully press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling (to prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before glazing.To make the glaze and finish the tart:
Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir corn syrup into the melted mixture until smooth. Remove plastic from chilled tart and remove tart from pan. Carefully pour the hot glaze over the filling and spread evenly to cover the filling. Refrigerate the tart for 30 minutes before serving.


Deborah said...

I agree, chocolate makes everything better!!

Jeanne said...

OMG.... As a confirmed addict of Hershey's peanut butter kisses, this sounds like my undoing :o) Utterly choc-tastic! Thanks for taking part in WTSIM this month :)

deanacakes-kk Sabah,Malaysia said...

yummy yummy..i crave for cakes..

Anonymous said...

Can I use crunchy peanut butter?