By now I am sure you’re aware of my dear friend Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog. If you’ve watched Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network, you’ve seen us make her famous pan-banging cookies together. Sarah even photographed me doing the how-to photos in my latest cookbook, Zoë Bakes Cakes. We go way back.
So it makes me very excited to tell you about Sarah’s brand new cookbook, Baking for the Holidays! This book is so beautiful, but that’s what we’ve all come to expect from Sarah. It’s filled with more than 50 recipes for easy morning pastries, treats to serve at your holiday table, ideas for gifting (Caramel candies! Turtle bars! Peppermint bark!), and so many more recipes that will quickly become family traditions. She’s also a genius story teller and even included a section of music to bake to. You know how much I love dancing in the kitchen!
Plus, so many of you comment about how you love the ribbon in my new cookbook and Sarah’s includes a glittery ribbon to save whatever page you’re on.
I am also excited to share a gorgeous and truly delicious chocolate tart recipe from Sarah’s new cookbook. Sarah came over and we had an absolute blast making her Bittersweet Chocolate Tart together. You can watch how simply it all comes together in the video below!
This chocolate tart is so good I could eat it for breakfast—a perfect pair with Irish coffee! The rich chocolate filling sits on top of a buttery shortbread crust. I piped the whipped cream in fleur de lis and it’s so pretty when you top it with chocolate shavings. It’s impressive but so, so easy to make, which pretty much sums up all the recipes in Baking for the Holidays!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on low speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt and beat again on low speed until creamy and combined, 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
- Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 in [25 cm] tart pan with a removable bottom (see note, page 104).Press and smooth the dough with your hands to an even thickness. Place the pan on a sheet pan and transfer to the freezer until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Remove the pan from the freezer and line the pan with parchment paper, covering the edges to prevent burning. Fill the center with pie weights.
- Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, until the dough is light golden brown and no longer wet. Remove the tart pan from the oven and carefully remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Brush the center of the tart with the egg wash. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 3 to 6 minutes, until deep golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Chocolate Tart Filling
- Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is simmering and just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove the plastic and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the Irish cream, if using, egg, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
Assemble the Chocolate Tart
- Pour the chocolate filling into the prepared tart shell. Bake until the center seems set but still jiggles slightly, like Jell-O, when the pan is shaken, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Move the pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream (instructions below). The tart is best eaten the day it is baked, but can be stored loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Ten minutes before whipping the cream, place the bowl and whisk from a stand mixer in the freezer and let chill.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the chilled whisk, whisk together the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt in the chilled bowl on low speed for 30 to 45 seconds.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 to 45 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until the cream is smooth, thick, and nearly double in volume, 30 to 60 seconds. The whipped cream can be made 2 hours ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.