I buried myself in the kitchen yesterday avoiding the media scrutiny of my beloved football coach. Unfortunately he deserves all of said scrutiny....and then some. Never in a million years would I have believed Coach Tressel to be a liar and a cheat. But let's face it, that's exactly what he did. He may still go down as one of the best college football coaches of all time, but it will now be with an asterisk. And in the process he threw a great university directly in the path of the NCAA bus. Don't think for a minute, Buckeye fans, that those self-imposed penalties will be the end of this. At the very least, Tressel will get the five game suspension his players received along with the possibility of having to vacate the entire 2010 season..... let alone sanctions for future seasons. And after being a resident of Alabama for the past 9 years and listening to Alabama fans rant and rave about the injustice of it all.....it could be a bumpy few years.
So the football program sucks right now but fortunately there's our #1 rated basketball team and I'm choosing to focus on them, hopefully for the next several weeks! But yesterday, to escape it all I headed to the kitchen to bake. I'd been eying this recipe for the past several weeks but hadn't had the time to devote to all the steps involved.
There are three recipes within a recipe for this one so it's a tad time consuming......but sooooo worth it. It's got a fabulous crunchy crust coupled with a creamy, malt-chocolate filling topped with a surprising light diplomat cream.
I'd never heard of diplomat cream before but in this case it's a basic pastry cream with lightly whipped cream folded in. Yup.....cream in cream!! This is not diet food people, but if your football coach has royally effed up this week, it's the perfect thing to take your mind elsewhere!
Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Malted Tart
adapted from the Malted Crisp Tart recipe from "Baked Explorations"
Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
For the Brown Sugar Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons malted milk powder
For the Malted Diplomat Cream:
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons malted milk powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 ounces heavy cream
For the Tart Assembly:
1 cup crushed malted milk balls
Make the Brown Sugar Crust:
Lightly spray a napkin or paper towel with vegetable oil and use the napkin to apply the oil to the sides and bottom (and nooks and crannies) of the tart pan.
Place the flour, salt, malted milk powder, butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
Scoop the crumb mixture out into the prepared tart pan and use your hands to press the mixture into bottom and up the sides of the tart pan (the crust should not look too thick).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the tart pan in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Remove the tart pan from the freezer, place on a baking sheet, and bake until the tart is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
Make the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
Place the milk chocolate in a medium-size heatproof bowl.
In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the heavy cream and malt powder. Bring the mixture to a simmer (tiny bubbles will form around the edges of the cream; it should not be a rolling boil). Remove from the heat and pour over the milk chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes. Starting in the center of the bowl, and working your way out to the edges, whisk the chocolate ganache in a circle until completely smooth.
To begin assembling the tart:
Gently pour the ganache into the cooled tart shell. Top with crushed malted milk balls saving enough for the top of the tart during final assembly. Gently push into the ganache.
Make the Malted Diplomat Cream:
Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer and keep warm.
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, egg yolk, egg, cornstarch, and malted milk powder together until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute.
Whisk half of the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture, then pour the mixture into the remaining milk in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour until chilled.
Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator and whip until creamy.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form and fold into the pastry cream.
Finish assembling the tart:
Remove the tart from the refrigerator and cover the Milk Chocolate Malt layer with the Malted Diplomat Cream. Garnish with the remaining crushed malted milk balls. Refrigerate the tart to set up, about 30 minutes, and serve immediately. The tart can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.