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St. Patrick's Day Recipe: Irish Coffee Tart

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Irish Coffee Tart | Photo by Maria Zizka
Irish Coffee Tart | Photo by Maria Zizka

Irish Coffee Tart

An Irish coffee is hot, sweetened coffee that is fortified with Irish whiskey and topped with a crown of cold, lightly whipped cream. Here it is in tart form, with chocolate added for good luck.

Makes one (9-inch) tart

1¾ cups ground chocolate wafer cookies
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups half-and-half
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
3½ ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus more for decoration
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) espresso or strong coffee
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon whiskey
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the ground cookies in a bowl and pour in the melted butter. Use a fork to stir until the cookie crumbs are evenly coated in butter. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch tart pan and use the back of a spoon to firmly press the buttered crumbs across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet for easy handling, and bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookie crust cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, warm the half-and-half in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. As soon as it bubbles, remove from the heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, flour, and sugar. While whisking, slowly pour about ½ cup of the warm half-and-half into the egg mixture. Once combined, pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon or rubber spatula, for 3 - 6 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat, and stir in the chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and salt.

When the crust has cooled, pour in the coffee-chocolate filling. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the filling, and chill the tart in the refrigerator until cool, at least 2 hours.

Just before you're ready to serve the tart, whip the cream. Stir in the whiskey and confectioners' sugar, adding a bit more of either ingredient if you like. Gently spread the whipped cream over the chocolate filling. Run a vegetable peeler along the long edge of a chocolate bar to make chocolate curls for the top of the tart. Serve chilled.

(Irish Coffee Tart is best eaten on the day it is made but will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.)

More St. Patrick's Day Recipes:
Apple and Cabbage Slaw with Mustard Seed and Caraway Dressing
Thyme Caraway Cheddar Crackers
Brown Butter Irish Soda Bread
Stout-Glazed Corned Beef
Homemade Mustard

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