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Archive for January 7th, 2010

My stepson G arrived yesterday for a visit.  His arrival, and the yummy shrimp tacos S was making for his “welcome to Portland” dinner, inspired me to bake the Bittersweet Chocolate Tart on the 101 Cookbooks blog.

The recipe also gave me an excuse to break out one of my collection of tart pans,

experiment with my new camera lens and play with creating some black and white images.

The tart turned out well even though I decided to make it at the last minute and had to rush a few things.

First, my butter was frozen.  Not a good place to start when the recipe called for butter at room temperature.  Ever resourceful, I searched for suggestions for quickly thawing butter and found this site.  I quickly cut the butter into thin strips and by the time I was done it was soft enough to begin making the crust.

My other shortcut did not work as well.  The recipe tells you to chill the prepared dough for at least an hour before rolling it out.  I decided that 30 minutes in the freezer would be enough. Probably not a good idea.  The dough was very soft and required a lot of patching to get it evenly in the pan.

In the end, it baked up satisfactorily, but there was some slumping and unevenness that I think I could have avoided with more time in the refrigerator.

Luckily, none of this mattered in the end.  The bittersweet chocolate filling (I used Scharffen Berger 70% cacao), sprinkled lightly with flakes of sea salt, is so rich and flavorful that the slumped and slightly irregular crust didn’t matter.

So, next time you have at least 2 hours before dinner, give this recipe a try.  Everyone will love you for it!

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