Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Tart with Mascarpone Chestnut Puree and Marzipan Trimmings

I wanted to try David Lebovitz’s chocolate tart since the beginning of October, but caramelizing the sugar was still very scary for me (see my previous experience). This weekend however, I gathered all my courage and gave it a go.

Chestnut puree and chocolate always amazed me and I have been wondering for a while now how would the famous Mozart-Kugeln taste with chestnut puree instead of truffle. As finally I chose a recipe with seasonal ingredients, there was no turning back.

CHOCOLATE TART (adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe)

As it is a very-very abundant chocolate cake and I am only leading a household of two, I decided to go for a 18 cm (7 inch) cake instead of a regular 23 cm (9 inch). I also left the coffee out as due to some unexplainable reasons I don’t like coffee. Yes, I know. Something is wrong with me. :)))


8 dkg sugar
25 dkg butter
100 g 54% dark chocolate
1 medium size egg
2 dkg pastry flour
1 teaspoon rum or rum extract
A regular French tart recipe for the dough: 200 g all-purpose or pastry flour, 100 g butter, 1-2 tablespoon water.

Step 1: baking the tart dough
I kneaded the ingredients together just like in the case of the French Apple Tart or the Cinnamon Tarte Tatin. I rolled it out and put it in the 7-inch round cake form. Of course, I put a baking sheet and bean inside and preheat the oven to 180 degrees (350 Fahrenheit). After 15 minutes of baking I took it out and put it aside.

Step 2: Caramelizing the sugar
Parallel to baking the tart, I started caramelizing the sugar. I heat up the stove (with 4 out of 9 grades) and I was very-very patient not to stir until almost the whole batch is melted and became amber brown. VoilĂ . First time’s the charm. :)))

Step 3: Adding the other ingredients to the sugar
When the sugar melted, but before it turned to dark brown and took it off the stove. First, I added the butter (room temperature). The caramel started to fizzle and harden, so I put it back (at 2 out of 9 grades). Then I added the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, I added the egg. Now you have to stir the egg into the chocolate-caramel it avoid having scrambled eggs with chocolate-caramel. At last, I added the rum.

Step 4: baking the tart
Pour the chocolate-caramel in the tart and bake it in a preheated oven of 180 degrees (350 Fahrenheit) for about 15 minutes.

Wait a little bit as the caramel has to harden back. Otherwise it will be very hard to slice it nicely.

MASCARPONE CHESTNUT PUREE (adapted from desszert.eu)

As I have never been working with real chestnuts, I searched for some assistance. I found desszert.eu (Hungarian site with photo tutorial) and followed a simple and beginner-friendly chestnut puree recipe. However, I had to deviate from the original recipe as it turned out in the middle of baking that I do not have all ingredients. :)))) And well it is Sunday, everything is closed.

The pastry chef of desszert.eu was right, after a home-made chestnut puree I don’t want the one you can buy in supermarkets. But next time please someone come and peel those bastards.


240 g chestnut
60 dkg mascarpone
20 dkg butter (melted)
0,5 dl sugar syrup
1 teaspoon rum or rum extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1: Baking the chestnuts
Cut in the chestnuts a bit (a cross cut would do). Preheat the oven to 120 degrees (250 Fahrenheit) and bake the chestnuts for about 30-40 minutes as you see it on this picture. You have to be very cautious not to over-bake them. The chestnuts will soften first, but if you keep it too long in the oven, it will harden back. Definitely check after 25 minutes to see the progress.

Step 2, the hardest step: Peeling
I think it is an easy recipe to make, but it seemed like peeling took me ages. Please someone write me how to peel a chestnuts inner skin more efficiently.

Step 3: Cooking the chestnuts
In a mixture of milk, water and vanilla bean you have to cook the chestnuts for about another 30-40 minutes. As I mentioned earlier, I was lack of certain ingredients like milk and vanilla bean, I cooked the chestnuts in water. So I poured water on the chestnuts just enough to cover them and add the vanilla extract.

Step 4: Mixing
As a last step mix the chestnuts, the mascarpone, the melted butter and the sugar syrup in the mixer or food processor.
* * *
So now you have a chocolate tart with mascarpone chestnut puree, all you have to do is to grate some marzipan on it and ready to eat.

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