Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Pretzel Tart

I need to confess that it has been one of those weeks where all I want to do is eat.  Yes, I am eating me veggies for lunch, but then it gets to be 2 and 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I just want to stuff my face with sweets.  Yes, I think to myself am I actually hungry and no I probably am not.  I then try to eat a peach or banana or whatever fruit I happen to have and drink a cup of water to cure the food craving, but its just not working.  Plus, there was chocolate tart, you know, just lying around.  And it actually came out correct this time!

You see there is a back story to this tart.  I tried making it three years ago, when I wasn't baking nearly as much, and since it is a Food & Wine recipe, I followed the instructions to a "T".  Well let me just say, it didn't work.  The chocolate never set.  It was like the pretzel tart was a swimming pool of chocolate.  But of course we still cut into it and the chocolate kind of just slid everywhere.  Thinking back now, this really would have been the ideal time to go by some vanilla ice cream and just throw the "tart" on top.  

This time though, the chocolate set.  It was creamy and delicious, and pretzel crust complimented it so well.  This definitely is a chocolate covered pretzel in tart form.  Plus it looks totally impressive.  So, if you have a the time this would be a great recipe, that doesn't require a lot of ingredients you don't already have, to take to a dinner party, to your boyfriends parents' house, etc.  Enjoy!

Clockwise from top left:  Getting my frustration out on some pretzels...I tried doing this with my hands, then I tried the food processor, then I just took my rolling pin to them.  Rolling pin totes worked the best!

Pretzel crust coming together...gets chilled first as a ball for 30 minutes.

Then rolled out and placed in the tart pan and chilled again for 30 minutes then baked.  

Time for the chocolate filling.

Once the crust has baked and cooled, a thin layer of semi-sweet chocolate is spread of the crust.

Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Pretzel Tart: (recipe adapted from Food & Wine)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened or slightly melted
1 1/4 cups coarsely crushed thin pretzels (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 pound milk chocolate, chopped
sea salt and crushed pretzels 

1.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter with 3/4 cup of the pretzels and the confectioners' sugar until creamy.  (This can be done with a mixer on low speed.) Then, whisk in the flour and egg. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pretzels, being sure to leave some pretzel pieces intact.  

2.  Flatten the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

3.  Roll out the dough between the sheets of plastic wrap to a 12-inch round. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough over a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.  Press the dough into the corners and patch any tears. Trim the overhanging dough and refrigerate the shell for 30 minutes or until firm.  Then preheat the oven to 350°.

4.  Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for about 30 minutes, until nearly set. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the tart shell is firm; cover the edge with foil if it darkens too much. Let the shell cool completely. 

5.  Brush the melted chocolate over the bottom and up the side and refrigerate for 10 minutes, until set.

6.  In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer for 5 minutes, whisking often, until cream reduces by almost half and has thickened slightly. 

7.  Off the heat, add the milk chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

8.  Pour the filling into the shell and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and crushed pretzels. Cut into wedges and serve.  Enjoy!

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