Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chocolate Tart

On previously noted Short Rib night, I needed to come up with something for dessert after a red wine- laced meal. What better than chocolate, right? I had a spare puck of pie dough laying around so I cobbled together a chocolate filling and made this easy dessert. It is a great thing to make out of what you have laying around, I decided.

Inspiration found here.

How to make the chocolate filling:


12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Roll out fresh or store bought pastry dough to 1/8" thickness and line the tart pan, making sure you press it well into the pan. Prick the dough with a fork and fill it up with dried beans and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 17-20 minutes until it looks slightly golden and firm. Let it cool.
  2. For the filling: Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth, then remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined.
  3. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake until the filling 1 inch from edges is set and slightly puffed but center wobbles when pan is gently shaken, 20 to 25 minutes. (The center will continue to set as it cools.)
  4. Dust with icing sugar when cool.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Once in a while, I get the urge to make short ribs. It isn't something I've mastered yet, by any means, but I came across this recipe from Bon Appetit's website. They claimed that it was both delicious and impossible to screw up, and I proved them right. Original recipe link listed below.

I started out with short ribs that I was able to get at the local market, and seared them in a little bacon fat and olive oil. The smell was amazing - I wish I could bottle it.

After removing browned short ribs, I added onions, celery, and carrots to the pot, and scraped all the yummy "bits" off of the bottom of the pot.

After the veggies were brown, I combined with a bottle of Cab and beef stock, and let the mixture reduce. Then I added the contents of the pot and the browned short ribs to a roasting pan and set sail on a 4 hour journey to dinnertown. Voila! Falling off the bone. Still working on my presentation. 

 We paired the ribs with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes, and reduced the remaining cooking liquid to make a gravy that was most delicious. Overall, a great "special" meal to switch things up. 


  • 5poundsbone-in beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2" pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3tablespoonsvegetable oil
  • 3medium onions, chopped
  • 3medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2celery stalks, chopped
  • 3tablespoonsall-purpose flour
  • 1tablespoontomato paste
  • 1750-ml bottle dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 10sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 8sprigs thyme
  • 4sprigs oregano
  • 2sprigs rosemary
  • 2fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 4cupslow-salt beef stock


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Pour off all but 3 Tbsp. drippings from pot.
  • Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine, then add short ribs with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.
  • Cook until short ribs are tender, 2–2 1/2 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce from pot into a measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls over mashed potatoes with sauce spooned over.