cranberry-chocolate tart


tart slice

Another perfect example of why being blonde in the kitchen can be a problem…especially when baking.  I am notorious for leaving out a step or an ingredient…something.  Cooking –  not so much.  Don’t know why that is.  I had already started this tart for Thanksgiving when I realized my removable bottom pan was bottomless.  That’s right…it was inconveniently “removed”.  My guess is, it is wherever I sent dessert home last year.  All I know is, it wasn’t in my kitchen.  So with filling made and cookie crust ready to press, I was tartpan-less.  There was no way I was going to negotiate the parking lot at a mall, or Target (which shares space with Wegmans), the day before Thanksgiving, to purchase a new one.  Hell no.  So I borrowed a friend’s pan and all was good in the world again.  Tart came out, and I will continue to not read recipes all the way through.

cranberry – chocolate tart (from Gourmet Magazine)

cranberry topping:

1/2  cup cranberry juice, divided
1  tsp. unflavored gelatin
1  12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
3/4  cup sugar
2  tsp. fresh lemon juice
1  tsp. lemon peel, finely grated
1  tsp. peeled fresh ginger, grated
pinch of salt
4  TB crystallized ginger, finely chopped

cranberriesgelatin

get started on the topping:

Pour 1/4 cup cranberry juice into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over.  Let stand until softened, 15 minutes.  Combine 1/4 cup cranberry juice, cranberries, and next 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until cranberries are tender but still plump, about 5 minutes.  (You want to see round cranberries on the tart – not mush).  Strain into bowl and set the cranberries aside.  Add gelatin mixture to hot juice in bowl.  Stir until gelatin dissolves.  Stir cranberries back into juice.  Chill until cranberry mixture is cold and slightly thickened, at least 8 hours or overnight.

note:  This can be done 2 days ahead.  Cover and chill.  If doing ahead, stir in crystallized ginger into cranberry mixture when you assemble the tart.

cranberry mixture20121120_183227

crust:

1 1/4  cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (made from about 6 1/2 oz cookies, finely ground in a food processor)
1/4  cup sugar
1/8  tsp. salt
5-6  TB unsalted butter, melted

get started on crust:

Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350.  Combine chocolate wafer cookie crumbs, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Add 5 tablespoons melted butter and stir until crumbs feel moist when pressed together with fingertips, adding remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter if mixture is dry.  Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9 inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom.  (I sprayed with non-stick spray just in case).
Bake chocolate crust until beginning to set and get slightly crisp, pressing with spoon if crust puffs during baking, about 14 minutes.  Transfer tart pan to rack and cool crust completely before filling.

wafer cookiescookie crust

mascarpone filling:

1  8 oz. container mascarpone cheese
1/2  cup powdered sugar
1/2  cup chilled whipping cream
1  tsp. vanilla extract
crystallized ginger (either strips or pieces for garnish)

mascarpone filling

get started on filling:

Using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients except ginger in a medium bowl just until thick enough to spread.  Do not overbeat or mixture may curdle.  Spread filling in cooled crust.  Spoon cranberry mixture evenly over mascarpone filling.  Chill at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.  Garnish with crystallized ginger, if desired.  Cut tart into wedges and serve cold.

tart

note:  serves 10-12.

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