'Tis the season for sharing, caring, gifts, movie marathons, a whole lot of family time, realizing why you moved away from your family in the first place, alcohol, coffee, and many, many, many sweaters. And throughout it all, a whole lot of food being eaten and new holiday recipes given a whirl! So for the rest of this week, with the help of Venice-based food blogger Joy the Baker, we're posting a quartet of her delicious recipes to try out this holiday season.
Today: Almond Butter Chocolate Tart
Note: This recipe makes one tart and serves 8.
For the Tart Shell:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 large egg, beaten
For the Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup almond butter
½ cup honey
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Ganache:
6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons toasted, sliced almonds for garnish
To Make the Tart Shell:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add cold butter and quickly rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry cutting tool until well incorporated. Some butter pieces will be the size of small peas; others will be the size of oat flakes. Add the beaten egg and use a fork to bring the mixture together. The dough will be moist but not wet.
Place dough into a 9-inch round, removable bottom tart pan (or similar, like a rectangular pan approximately sized 14x 4.5 x1). Use your fingers to press the dough across the bottom of the tart pan and up the sides. Press the dough evenly throughout the tart pan. Use the tines of a fork to pierce the dough several times and place tart in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one side of a piece of foil with butter. Remove the tart shell from the freezer and press the foil into the tart shell, butter side down.
Bake the tart for 18 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow tart shell to cool completely before filling.
To Make the Filling:
In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, almond butter, and honey. Beat until smooth and creamy, ensuring that all of the ingredients are well incorporated, about 5 minutes. Beat in salt and vanilla extract.
Remove bowl from the mixer. Use a spatula to stir in one third of the whipped cream until it is thoroughly incorporated. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold together. Filling will be the texture of a fluffy mousse. Store in the refrigerator until ready and the tart shell is cool enough for filling.
To Make the Ganache:
Place finely chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat heavy cream in the microwave until hot and steaming, about one minute (depending on your microwave). Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds. Slowly stir the chocolate and cream mixture until chocolate is melted and mixture is glossy. Add salt and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
To Assemble the Tart:
Smooth filling into the bottom of the cooled tart shell creating an evenly smooth top. Pour ganache over the top and smooth to the edges. Sprinkle with toasted, sliced almonds and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.