I don’t know about you, but my social feeds have been inundated with ghoulish goodies all month long. I swear, each treat is more creative than the last and I’m fairly certain I haven’t seen this much dry ice in, well, ever. Halloween may be different this year but people still seem to be in the spirit. But you won’t find any festive sweets on my feed. It’s not that I’m a Halloween curmudgeon, I’m not. I think it’s great that people, especially adult people, have so much love for this holiday. The creative decor and costumes are simply magic to behold. But I don’t have a head for Halloween decor, costumes, or indeed, desserts. In fact, today’s Triple Chocolate Tart is as close as I get and there isn’t a marshmallow spider web or gummy worm in sight. Please forgive me.
It’s Halloween weekend and we are doing nothing. To be fair, this is not abnormal for us. Most years we make a curry and hand out candy while half-watching a horror movie. But this year it will be even lamer. We won’t even be handing out candy to adorable ghouls and goblins due to the ongoing pandemic. So we’ll just have a curry and a 70s slasher flick to mark the occasion. And I’m so surprised how much this is bumming me out. I always thought of myself as being indifferent to Halloween and all its rituals but apparently, I am not.
I’ll miss watching my neighborhood come alive for an evening. My street isn’t particularly social, so Halloween is one of the few evenings that I actually talk to my neighbors. I will miss watching kids struggle to navigate their adorable and wildly impractical costumes. And most of all I will miss seeing all the dogs faithfully accompanying their humans while dressed as hot dogs or as an octopus or a frog. I will miss the whimsy, so I’m channeling my sorrows into this Triple Chocolate Tart.
Now, this is as Halloween as my desserts get. But if you’re thinking there is nothing particularly Halloween about this Triple Chocolate Tart, you are right. Aside from a jagged nearly jet black Oreo crumb crust, this tart is more a monument to chocolaty goodness than it is to Halloween. I’m not a particularly ghoulish baker but I did add gooseberries because I think they look teeny tiny pumpkins. You’ll award me a few festive points for that, surely.
But the upside of this tart’s lack of Halloween flare is it makes it perfectly acceptable all year round. You could make this for Christmas. Heck! You could make this in the middle of July and cover it with Strawberries. I prefer when desserts I like aren’t tied to any particular time of the year because my cravings never are. I wanted egg nog in the middle of June this year. And you know what did? I made it because I’m a monster.
This tart is comprised of three different chocolate layers. The first is, as I mentioned, a cookie crumb crust with an intentionally unruly edge. You know, to make it look (a little) foreboding. The center is a rich truffle-like filling that is at its best when it’s straight out of the fridge and melts readily on your tongue. And finally, we have an airy chocolate whipped cream that is just the right amount of sweet.
The toppings for this tart are quite obviously up to you. I went with bourbon-soaked cherries and gooseberries because cherries have a blood-red hue and, as I mentioned, gooseberries look like tiny pumpkins. But depending on the season, you could add berries, citrus slices, and/or nuts. You could even go overboard and cover the chocolate whipped cream with yet more chocolate. The world is your oyster..or tart.
There is nothing technically difficult about this recipe. Everything is fairly straight forward and requires little more than stirring, pressing, and pouring. But I would urge you to build the walls of your crust at least 4 cm (roughly an inch and a half) high. A border that high will contain the filling. I would also suggest that you use high quality dark chocolate in the tart’s filling. The filling has very few ingredients and it, unsurprisingly, relies very heavily on the chocolate in terms of flavor. So make sure you buy a dark chocolate you wouldn’t mind eating out of hand.
So that’s everything you need to know about this Triple Chocolate Tart. I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween and finds joy and the occasional scream where they can in spite of the current circumstances.
Triple Chocolate Tart with Cherries and Gooseberries
- 8" spring form pan
Oreo Cookie Crust
- 2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted
Chocolate Truffle Filling
- 225g (8oz) dark chocolate coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup Chambord optional
Chocolate Whipped Cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream cold
- 8-10 bourbon-soaked cherries
- 10-12 gooseberries
For the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the base of an 8" springform pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the cookie crumbs and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the melted butter over top and stir until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Pour the cookie crumb mixture into the center of the springform pan and press it into the pan to form a crust, working from the center out. Make sure the finished crust has sides that are 4 cm or 1 1/2" tall.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly puffed. Take the pan out of the oven and place it on a cooling wrack. Let cool for 15 minutes. Don't turn off the oven.
For the Filling
- While the crust is cooling, make the filling. Place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Melt the chocolate until no lumps remain and the butter is fully integrated. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs lightly. Add the cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- While whisking constantly, slowly stream in the melted chocolate into the cream mixture. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Whisk in the Chambord, if using, and pour the mixture into the cooled crust. Return the tart to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are set but the center is slightly jiggly.
- Transfer the tart to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan at room temperature for an hour, then transfer to the fridge to cool for 3 hours.
For the Whipped Cream
- Sift the cocoa and sugar together in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high until the cream begins to thicken but is still liquid. Turn the mixer off and add half of the sugar/cocoa mixture. Turn the mixer to low and stir until partially integrated before increasing the speed. Once the first addition is well-integrated, repeat with the remaining sugar/cocoa mixture. Continue to whisk on high until stiff peaks form.
- Carefully take the tart out of the springform pan and place it on a cake stand. Pile the whipped cream on top of the tart and decorate the surface with bourbon-soaked cherries and gooseberries. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.