i think this was my favorite shavuot dessert. i had pinned the recipe a really long time ago, and kept coming back to it every once in a while, and for some reason i would always decide not to make it. i have no idea why, but i’m so glad i finally got around to it now. i made it for what was supposed to be a 30-person potluck picnic in the park, but because of rain ended up being 30 people crammed into a tiny new york city apartment for lunch. that sounds just as lovely, right?
i’ve always really liked the idea of tiramisu. coffee, cake (well, ladyfingers–but they are essentially cake), mascarpone, and cocoa – what’s not to like?! also, i just learned from wikipedia that the word “tiramisu” means “pick me up,” which makes me like it even more. but to be completely honest, i don’t think i’ve ever really loved the actual dessert. don’t get me wrong–i’ve had some really good versions of it that i have enjoyed–but there is something about classic tiramisu (it’s probably the soggy ladyfingers) that doesn’t send me over the moon. but when i saw the recipe for this tiramisu tart, it sort of sounded like all the best parts of tiramisu, with none of the bad.
i was right. this tart was, to quote many of the people who tasted it, “unbelievable.” it really blew classic tiramisu out of the water. it still has all of the flavors you want in tiramisu – the shortbread crust is light and sweet, much like a ladyfinger. the coffee mascarpone cream on top is like a fluffy cloud of coffee perfection. and in the middle is a rich, creamy layer of chocolate ganache. okay, it’s not really ganache because it is baked with egg in it to lighten it, but it’s pretty close and i’m not sure how else to describe it. it’s a little (okay, maybe a lot) more chocolate flavor than you would get in a classic tiramisu, but i don’t think i have to tell you that that’s a good thing. so all in all, this tart was really amazing. i rarely make the same recipe twice, but i might have to keep this one in regular rotation. it was just that good.
a sweet shortbread cookie crust with a chocolate ganache filling and a coffee mascarpone cream topping.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1¼ teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1½ teaspoons amaretto
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- unsweetened cocoa powder, for sprinkling
- spray an 11-tart pan with cooking spray.
- in a medium bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work in the butter until it is in chunks the size of peas. stir in the egg yolk until the moisture is evenly distributed (the dough will be crumbly).
- press the dough into the prepared tart pan and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºf.
- bake the crust in the oven for about 30 minutes, until it is lightly golden. let the crust cool completely before adding the chocolate filling.
- in a medium saucepan, heat the cream and milk over medium heat until it starts to bubble at the edges. remove the mixture from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.
- add the egg to the chocolate mixture and whisk until it is combined. pour the mixture on top of the cooled crust and bake it (again at 350ºf) until the edges are set and the middle is still a tiny bit jiggly, about 25 minutes.
- let the tart cool completely, then put it in the fridge until it is completely chilled.
- put the water into a small bowl, then sprinkle the gelatin over the top. let it sit for about 5 minutes. meanwhile, dissolve the espresso powder into the amaretto in another small bowl. microwave the gelatin mixture for about 10 seconds, until the gelatin just barely melts.
- in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, mascarpone, and sugar until stiff peaks form. reduce the speed to low, and add the gelatin and espresso mixtures, beating until everything is combined.
- spread the cream over the tart in whatever design you want - i liked the way mine looked when it was just a bit messy. sprinkle a bit of cocoa powder over the top, and refrigerate the tart until you are ready to serve.