Husband and I are still trying to catch up with our monthly pies, because cake decorating class has me bringing home baked goods every week. I’ve also been experimenting with different frostings, cakes and cupcakes, so we are overrun with desserts. I’d like to get caught up before our wedding anniversary next month, and I want to keep moving forward with the blog, so the other day I went digging through our previously established file folder labeled “pies”. Herein are the recipes clipped from magazines, copied from my mother’s recipe collection, and provided to us for shower and wedding gifts. I read and reread recipes until I came upon this gem. It was a pre-Valentine’s day chocolate article in the the Good Eating section of the Chicago Tribune, dated February 2, 2011. The recipe was adapted from a then-recently published Rozanne Gold cookbook (Radically Simple). I couldn’t locate the published recipe in the Tribune Archives, but it was posted here in August 2014:
Rozanne Gold’s All-Chocolate Velvet Tart (adapted from Radically Simple, 2010)
5 ounces chocolate graham crackers
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate (Valrhona Noir Caraibe, 66%), chopped
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon crème de cassis or 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup crème fraiche
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Combine the graham crackers and 4 tablespoons of the butter in a food processor. Pulverize until finely ground. Pack the crumbs into the pan to form an even bottom crust. Bake 10 minutes. Bring the cream just to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir constantly over low heat until melted. Stir in the cocoa, cassis or orange zest, and 1 tablespoon butter. Pour into the crumb crust; refrigerate 45 minutes or until just firm. Serve with crème fraiche. Serves 10
This is another decadent recipe. I know it’s presented here as a tart, but we make exceptions and adapt as necessary. We pressed the crumb into a 9 inch pie plate (not deep dish) and pre-baked it according to the instructions. While the crust was baking, we heated the cream and melted the chocolate (we just used Nestlé morsels). Husband HATES chocolate and orange together, and I think I’ve already mentioned that he is not a drinker (I would have tried this recipe with Chambord or a good port wine in place of the crème de cassis). We happened to have fresh raspberries in the house from a frosting I had made earlier in the week, as well as some leftover raspberry puree from that frosting. We used about a tablespoon of the puree in the chocolate mixture and put fresh raspberries around the edge of the pie. My original recipe said to chill for at least 90 minutes, though the repost I found said just 45 minutes. We added the raspberries about 45 minutes into the chilling time. I’m sure the ganache was thick enough to support them from the get go, but we didn’t want them sinking into the filling. After 45 minutes the center (bottom) of the pie plate was still warm, but we weren’t planning on having dessert for at least another 2 hours, so back into the refrigerator it went.
Verdict: Do you even have to ask? This pie is rich and silky. We really did manage to cut 10 slices, and believe me, a sliver is more than enough. The tartness of the fresh raspberries is imperative to cut the creaminess of the chocolate. It isn’t overly sweet, and the chocolate intensity is wonderful. This is a show stopping pie for a party or special occasion. I wouldn’t make it often, but I would make it again.