The first time I started to have coffee with any regularity is when I visited my friend in Italy because it’s what everyone did, and I just went along with the “when in Rome (or Venice)” attitude. Naturally, my first coffee maker was a mini stove top espresso pot. After realizing that the pot, which I had picked up from a stoop sale, was boiling brown water even without any coffee grounds, I switched over to the French press at Matt’s insistence.
The problem with the French press is that I always end up making too much coffee for 1 person when I’m alone. I usually give the rest to my plants, but one day, I figured my plants had enough caffeine for the week. A normal person would just discard the rest, but why would I (a cheapskate) do that? Good quality fair trade organic snob coffee grounds are not cheap! I also had a big block of dark chocolate that I was afraid might be going stale. So then it was set. I was making a chocolate tart.
A seasoned pâtissière would probably chop the chocolate before melting, but I opted to place the whole block in a microwavable plastic bowl, sink it in a pyrex bowl full of boiling water and see what happens while I make the crust.
By the time the dough went into the fridge to ‘get chilled’, the chocolate was soft enough for me to cut into chunks with a dull knife. Most recipes for coffee+chocolate tart fillings call for instant coffee, or the actual grounds, but I wasn’t gonna do that, obviously. So after reading about a few different tarts, I came up with my weird hybrid recipe, which yielded more filling than I needed. So what was I do with the left over melted chocolate? Make cookies of course!
The tart needed time to get solidified in the fridge over night, so the cookies were an instant treat comparatively.
Here are the formulae.
Shortbread-Like Pie Crust (adapted from Bon Apétit)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 ripe banana
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until light. Beat in mashed banana. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat just until blended. With fingertips, press dough into an 8 inch tart pan. Refrigerate 1 hour, then freeze 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake tartlets until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely.
Chocolate Coffee Tart Filling
1 1/4 cups coffee
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (65% + cacao if marked) in a semi-melted block form, (but it should really be chopped)
1 tbsp egg replacer or corn starch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Bring coffee to a boil, then pour over chopped softened/melted chocolate, stir until smooth. Mix in with rest of the ingredients. Pour filling into cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
About an hour after I placed the whole thing in the fridge to cool, I took it out and laid some sliced almonds along the edge. There’s absolutely nothing healthy about this treat, so I figured, a little bit of nuttiness and protein couldn’t hurt. After coming out of the fridge, it went right in the lunch box with the pumpkin pasta.
As for the cookies…
This is the recipe that I roughly follow for chocolate chip cookies. I think it’s one of the variations of the Jacques Torres recipe. I just mixed everything right in the pot with the left over tart filling mix.
Brush with some marmalade on top, plant in some sliced almonds, and sprinkle with sea salt before putting in the oven.