4.12.2010

Lotsa Rest and a Mocha Cinnamon Tart

I was minding my own business, stirring a rather yummy pot of curry when suddenly I realized my prosciutto was on fire. I stared in amazement at my oven, two pillars of fire burning away merrily from the two slices of prosciutto I had been toasting. Thankfully the sink was nearby and teacups of water hastily thrown doused the flames and sent clouds of smoky steam wafting through my apartment.

Happily the rest of my weekend was not so dramatic. :-)

I got to have lunch with Mums and dear friends, and Johanna made us this scrumptious strawberry shortcake.


My boss's adorable Dutch grandmother popped into the office and surprised me with a bouquet of daffodils from her garden, wrapped in paper towel and tucked in a yogurt container. :-)


I did a lot of resting this weekend - how glorious that was!! - reading good books, taking naps. But I also wanted to be outside so I made myself a cozy little nest on a rickety wood and cast iron bench on my patio. I draped it with blankets and a shiny gold pillow and lay back to journal and watch the sun set through the trees. Bliss. :-)



I also cooked. :-) I haven't made dessert in a while and simply had to have something sweet on hand this week. :-) One of my favorite tarts is Mocha with a buttery cinnamon crust. This weekend I decided to try a gluten-free version and it turned out beautifully! Perhaps because the crust is more akin to shortbread than pastry, the gluten-free flour easily replaces more traditional flours.

The recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet, one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. I love this tart crust recipe because there is no tedious cutting in of shortening required, no rolling out or chilling of dough. It literally takes less than five minutes from measuring ingredients to pressing the dough into the pan. The secret is melted butter. It makes a wonderfully crisp tart shell with loads of buttery flavor. The best part is its versatility. Simply add garlic and parsley or onion and rosemary to make a savory crust, or add almond or maple flavoring to make unique bases for sweet fillings.


Tart cooling in my little herb garden. 

How was your weekend? :-)

Mocha Tart with Gluten Free Cinnamon Crust
(Adapted from Bittersweet)

Ingredients for Crust:

8 Tbsp (1 stick) melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour (I used gluten-free)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients for Filling:

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup heavy cream (I used coconut milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions for Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in medium bowl. Add flour and cinnamon and mix until just blended. Don't worry if dough seems too soft. 
  3. Press all of the dough evenly into bottom and sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown.
Directions for Filling:
  1. While crust is baking, place butter, sugar, cocoa powder and cream in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture is blended, smooth and begins to simmer around edges. 
  2. Remove from heat and stir in espresso powder and vanilla. 
  3. Just before crust is ready, whisk egg thoroughly into hot chocolate mixture.
Directions for Tart:
  1. Pour filling into hot crust and return to oven. Turn off heat. 
  2. Leave tart in oven until it quivers like tender Jell-O in the center when the pan is nudged, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on a rack. 
  3. Serve the tart warm or at room temperature.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like a winner--but how much sugar in the tart filling?

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  2. Ohhh, thanks, luv! I just added it in. :-) It's 1/2 cup :-)

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  3. FIRE! Oh my, I would have been hopping around like a crazy person. Glad you had a restful weekend!

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  4. Daffodils in the yogurt container made me smile. Substituting heavy cream with coconut milk...you genious. :)

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  5. Oooh, your tart looks awesome. And I'm so sorry to hear about your fire mishap - belive me I've been there! Very recently, actually. But I'm glad to hear you had no lasting damage. I'm excited to try the tart using coconut milk instead of cream! Yum!

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  6. LOL! I can totally see you freaking out, Trish! I'd be laughing so hard. :-)

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  7. Me too, Amuse. :-) It was such a grandma thing to do. :-) Seriously, the coconut milk is amazing!!! So creamy. :-)

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  8. Thanks, Cozy! :-) Glad to know I'm not the only easily distracted one. :-) The coconut milk makes such a huge difference. The filling is positively silky smooth. :-)

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  9. I love your tart but I must admit to being enchanted by your writing. I've told you before and don't mean to bore, but your blog is really lovely.

    That's the good part.

    Here's the bad. Never throw water on a stove or oven fire. Use salt or flour instead. The sounds you here is me smacking you on the back of the head :-).

    Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  10. This all looks so tempting!!

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  11. Oh Mary, I'm laughing so hard! You're the BEST! :-) I shall take my medicine and hopefully emerge with a lesson learned. "No--Water. Yes--Flour." :-) Thank you too for your very encouraging words. You are NEVER a bore!!!

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  12. Fiery prosciutto does NOT sound like fun. But your mocha tart sure does! I am completely enamored with it!

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  13. At least the fire gave you good material for your story. ;)

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  14. I'm so glad, Joanne! :-) It delights me no end. :-)

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  15. I'm so glad to hear that the rest of your weekend wasn't as dramatic! What a glorious looking tart Krista. And I love that journal too! :D

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  16. Thanks, Lorraine! :-) The journal was a gift from a friend and I just love it. :-)

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  17. oh, that has my mouth watering! yum! (And I'd try to make it except I'm on a veggie/fruit only diet for a while right now)
    So, one of these days, I'll come back to it!
    blessings, Krista!

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  18. Oh thanks, Abby! Good for you! I've been doing something similar for a while and this is my treat to myself. :-)

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  19. What gorgeous pictures, Krista! The shortcake, the flowers, the grass, the tart--oooohh, the tart!! Sounds like you had a nice restful weekend, all in all. Glad to hear it!

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  20. Thank you so much, Jane! :-) It really was lovely, just what I needed. :-)

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  21. Gorgeous photo of the Daffodil!!

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  22. Thank you, Michelle. :-) It made me smile. :-)

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  23. Gosh that looks nice, I haven't made pastry for weeks and weeks, you've inspired me.

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  24. Aw, thanks, Sarah! :-) I'm so glad. :-)

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  25. Holy WOW! I adore that journal, and I'm completely intruiged by the mocha tart. I'm a big baker, but have never experimented with gluten-free flour. This tart is all the encouragement I need!

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  26. Me too, dear J! :-) It delights me every time I see the cover. :-) I've never baked with gluten-free flour either. This was a first and worked out just dandy! :-)

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  27. Sounds like a beautiful weekend. I do love your journal and that tart looks fantastic.
    xxx

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  28. Thank you, DJ! It really was wonderful. Just what this girl needed. :-)

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