Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Walnut Chocolate Espresso Tart

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am so excited, I cannot contain myself. I improvised big time on this recipe, and I am so incredibly proud of the result! 

What we have here is a chilled dessert, with a crunchy crust and a smooth filling, sweetness from the chocolate and bitterness of the espresso....pure magic. 

Oh, and because The Best Mother-in-law Ever got me a piping bag set and I just couldn't wait to try it, I added some banana icing. Just for kicks. 

I have broken down the recipe into three parts: crust, filling and icing. 

Walnut Chocolate Espresso Tart

The crust: 

- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup coarsely ground walnuts
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F. 
Process walnuts in food processor until coarsely ground (see picture below) and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add walnuts, salt and vanilla and stir until well combined. 
Mix in the flour, 1/3 cup at a time, until dough is smooth. 
Press dough into a tart pan with your fingers and bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges start to brown. 
Let cool completely before filling. 

The filling:

- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours and drained
- 1 cup walnuts, soaked for a few hours and drained
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup espresso or brewed coffee
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- pinch of salt

Soak the cashews and walnuts in a bowl of water for at least 2 hours (can be done overnight). 
In a small pot on low heat, melt chocolate chips with cocoa powder, espresso, salt and vanilla extract. 
When melted and smooth, pour chocolate mixture in a food processor and add drained cashews and walnuts, as well as maple syrup. 
Process for a few minutes, until thick and smooth. 
Pour filling into crust, smoothing the top with a spatula. 
Freeze for at least 4 hours, until set. The icing is optional, but can be piped on before freezing. 
Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving, but keep dessert in the freezer otherwise. 

The icing: 

- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 small banana, mashed until smooth
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup icing sugar, divided

Cream the butter with 1/2 cup icing sugar. 
Add mashed banana and lemon juice. Mix until fully combined, the add the rest of the icing sugar. 
Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. 

Have fun with it!
I sure did. 


Oh, and by the way, after sitting in the back of my car for over two weeks while I was deciding on its fate, the good old scale is finally GONE.
I left it at the "free store" of the local recycling depot today. Hopefully it serves a purpose for someone out there other than being an instrument of torture.

Take care of yourselves, everyone!

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