Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In this Galaxy- Milky Way Tart

I haven't posted for over a month now and I apologize-December is the time I do my gift baking, and there was no time to blog. Now that the holidays are over,  I should be more consistent. In the meantime, my neighbor invited me to bake for his first annual office bake-off since he and his wife are constantly sampling what I make, and they know I like to try new things.  It was an opportunity to make another Flour bakery recipe without the justification of an occasion. Only problem is,  I actually never got to taste it. But, my feeling is that anything with caramel and chocolate just has to be good.  This is a tart that reuqires multiple steps involving chilling and cooling so you can't just throw it together at the last minute, but if you want a special dessert...

Milky Way Tart
from Flour by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson

Milk Chocolate Mousse
5 ounces (140 grams) milk chocolate, chopped
2 cups (480 grams) heavy cream
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel Filling
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (80 grams) water
3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pate Sucree -10 inch tart shell
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (140 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk

3-4 inch slab milk chocolate at warm room temperature for  decorating

For Tart Shell: Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until pale and light.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.  Add the flour and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds or until the flour mixes with the butter- sugar mixture (will look like wet sand)/  Add the egg yolk and continue to mix on low speed until the mixture comes together (about 30 seconds).  Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a 10 inch tart ring on top.
Using a rolling pin, bang and flatten the dough into a disk about 1/2 inch thick.  Flour the work surface and sprinkle the dough disk with a little flour.  Roll out the dough into a circle 12 inches in diameter and just under 1/4 inch thick.  Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the ring and patch up with any scraps.  Trim the edge of the dough so it even with the rim of the ring.  Refrigerate the shell for about 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake (directly from refrigerator) for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack and then remove the tart ring.

To make the mousse: Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and instant coffee powder and scald over medium-high heat (bubbles form around the edge of the pan, but the cream is not boiling). Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let sit about 1 minute.  Whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small container, stir in the salt, cover tightly and then refrigerate at least 8 hours until absolutely completely chilled.

To make the caramel filling: Place the sugar in the bottom of a medium saucepan and slowly pour in the water.  Stir gently to moisten the sugar.  Brush down any sugar crystals clinging to the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Place the pan over high heat and leave it undisturbed until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Then continue to boil rapidly with moving the pan until the sugar starts to caramelize.  This will take 3-4 minutes. The sugar syrup will boil furiously, and then, as it thickens, it will boil more languidly and will start to color and darken around the edge of the pan.  When you start to see color, gently swirl it in a circular motion so the sugar caramelizes evenly.  The syrup will start to turn golden brown and then get darker as you swirl the pan.  To see the true color, tilt the pan so you can see the syrup covering the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking til this layer is deep amber brown but check constantly as caramel can go from dark to burnt quickly.  As soon as the caramel is ready, slowly add the cream and reduce the heat to low. It will sputter for a few seconds and then when it settles down, whisk tho mix in the cream. Turn up the heat to medium and whisk together the caramel and cream for 2-3 minutes or until they come together.  Whisk in the butter, salt and vanilla.  Remove from the heat and pour into an airtight, heatproof container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To put together the tart: Place the tart shell on a flat plate.  Spread about three-fourths of the caramel filling evenly in the  bottom of the tart shell.  Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the mousse on medium speed until it holds soft peaks.  Mound the mousse in the shell and spread it evenly over the caramel filling.  Drizzle the remaining caramel in a criss-cross pattern on top of the mousse.  Using the back of a small knife or a vegetable peeler, shave curls from the milk chocolate slab.
Decorate the tart with the curls.  Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.  ((post by Susan))