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chocolate vietnamese coffee tart recipeAnita, of Desserts First, provided us with this rich, velvety smooth, sinful chocolate tart with an exotic hint of Vietnamese coffee. She enjoys desserts as much as we do at Dessert Magazine. Her passion for baking can be seen throughout her site, with great desserts recipes and delightful narration that makes you want to try the recipe.

Makes about (8) 4-inches tarts or (1) 8-inches tart

Cocoa Tart Shell
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (113 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (23 grams) cocoa powder
1/4 cup (23 grams) almond meal
1-1 /3 cups (203 grams) all-purpose flour
1 large egg

1. Place the butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt, cocoa powder, almond meal, and flour into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the egg and process just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill in refrigerator until firm, about 4 hours.

2. When you are ready to bake the tart shells, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Take the dough out the refrigerator (if it is very firm, you might need to let it warm up a little so you can work with it) and roll out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Place your tart pan or tart rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Trim the dough into a circular shape(s) to make it easier to fit into the tart pan(s). Place the dough into the tart pan and press to fit to the sides. Trim off any excess dough from the edges, and place baking sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes to let the dough firm up.

3. Line the tart pan(s) with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake the tart shells for about 15 minutes, remove pie weights and parchment paper, and bake about 5 minutes more until the tart shells are dry to the touch. Let tart shells cool completely on a wire rack. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees F for the ganache.

Chocolate-Coffee Ganache
12 ounces (340 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
1-3/4 cups (392 grams) heavy cream
1/2 cup (113 grams) evaporated milk
1/3 cup (28 grams) Vietnamese or French roast coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (65 grams) sweetened condensed milk

1. Place the chocolate into a large bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, evaporated milk, coffee powder, and salt and bring to a simmer over low heat.

2. Pour the hot mixture through a sieve over the chocolate and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one at the time to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add in the condensed milk and whisk until the mixture is very smooth and shiny.

3. Pour the mixture into the cooled tart shells and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. The tarts are done when the mixture appears set and does not jiggle independently in the middle. Let tarts cool on a rack and unmold to serve.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Chantilly
1/2 cup (114 grams) heavy cream
1 Tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon salt

Whisk the cream in a mixer until soft peaks form. Add in the condensed milk and salt and whisk just until medium peaks form – do not overwhip. Spoon some of the chantilly onto slices of the tart before serving.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008


HEART OF DARKNESS CHEESECAKE RECIPEThis decadent chocolate cheesecake recipe is from the award-winning food blogger, Rachel. She has been sharing her original mouth watering recipes, helpful cooking tips, and illustrated tutorials since 2004. For more information visit Rachel's Blog, Coconut & Lime.

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups of Intensely Dark Chocolate Icebox Cookie crumbs*
6 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the cheesecake:
6 large eggs
2 lbs cream cheese
1 lb sour cream
3 oz 85% dark chocolate, melted and cooled
2 cups granulated white sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

2. For the crust, mix the crumbs and the butter until damp. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.

3. For the cheesecake, in a large bowl, slowly cream together the chocolate, cocoa, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla. Add the eggs and sour cream, mix thoroughly. Pour into prepared pan. Allow to sit 2 minutes, then tap the pan on the counter to encourage any air bubbles to come to the surface and burst.
4. Bake 2 hours or until the surface is mostly set- the middle inch or so might still look not even less set, almost jiggly**. Remove to the counter and run a knife or thin spatula around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm. Refrigerate leftovers.

* Pulse halved cookies in a food processor until they resemble coarse sand.
** Overbaking or poking the center might result in a crack. Resist the urge. Alternately, cover or cut around the crack.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008


This recipe combine two of our favorites Nutella® and Macarons. So when I came across this recipe, I had to ask Helen, of Tartellete, if she could share it with us. Helen used the yolks to make the Creme au Nutella, however you can use the yolks to make pastry cream. Nutella® (pronounced "new-tell-uh"), is a chocolate hazelnut spread, made from cocoa, hazelnuts, and skim milk. You can spread Nutella® on whole wheat, multigrain, or bakery breads, bagels, English Muffins, waffles, toast, or croissants, and enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or as a delicious afternoon snack. We at Desserts Magazine™ all agree that this creamy, chocolaty, nutty spread is delicious all by itself, but we suggest not to "double dip." Macaron is a light, crispy, chewy French meringue cookie, that is moist in the center and filled with either flavored buttercream or ganache.

120 grams egg whites, divided
35 grams granulated sugar
150 grams finely ground almonds
150 grams powdered sugar

Boiling Syrup
150 grams granulated sugar
50 grams water

1. Sift the ground almonds and powdered sugar. In a stand mixer, whip 60 grams of egg whites to soft peaks, add 35 grams of sugar.

2. In the meantime, in a saucepan on high heat bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 230 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. Slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium – high speed until they are completely cooled and you have a shiny meringue (10 to 15 minutes).

3. Mix the remaining 60 grams of egg whites and the sifted almond/sugar and carefully fold into the meringue.

4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the mixture and pipe macarons about 3-inches in diameter on parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes if desired. This is often done to assure those little feet at the bottom but I found that I can skip this step with this recipe and still end up with the same result. Bake at 320 degrees F for 15 minutes. Let cool.

Chocolate Nutella Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Nutella

Heat the heavy cream to boiling point. Remove from heat and stir in the dark chocolate and Nutella. Let stand 2 minutes. Stir until well incorporated. Refrigerate until of spreadable consistency. Fill the macarons shells with a pastry bag.

Creme Au Nutella
200 grams dark chocolate (bittersweet)
1/4 cup Nutella
3 egg yolks
100 grams granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream, divided
50 grams powdered sugar

1. In a heavy saucepan, heat 2 cups of cream to boiling point. Remove from heat and stir the chocolate and Nutella. Let stand for a couple of minute. Stir until fully incorporated (like a ganache).

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale. Slowly stir the chocolate mixture with the yolks and sugar. Return to the saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, about 5 to 8 minutes, much like a pudding. Do not let this boil.

3. Add the Nutella in the bottom of each glass or dish than pour the cream in glasses or dishes and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

4. When ready to serve, whip the remaining cup of cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form and divide among the glasses. Makes 6 servings.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008


kate zuckermanKate Zuckerman is the pastry chef at New York City’s famed Chanterelle restaurant. Chanterelle is an award-winning New York City restaurant that has been critically acclaimed since its founding 25 years ago. She is one of the most acclaimed pastry chefs of her generation, having been named one of the ten best in America by Pastry Art & Design in 2005. Zuckerman began her culinary apprenticeship in Boston under Lydia Shire at Biba and Rick Katz at the Bentonwood Bakery and went on to work as pastry chef at Picholine in New York and Firefly in San Francisco. Zuckerman’s flavor-focused desserts, which are described as a “life-changing experience” by the New York Times, have earned her extravagant praise from every major critic in the New York area and have been featured in major publications.

Zuckerman first cookbook, The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle, debuted in 2006. Kate features a full range of her flavor-focused recipes, The Sweet Life provides a deep understanding of the techniques of the pastry kitchen, while enriching the reader experience with detailed notes on the science of desserts, stories of Zuckerman most beloved ingredients, and tips on how to use the five senses to produce the most delectable desserts.

Posted on Feb 2, 2008


elizabet falknerA native San Franciscan, Elizabeth Falkner graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in 1989. Falkner has earned many accolades. Recognizing the need for a contemporary, quality pastry shop in the Bay Area, Elizabeth Falkner opened the first Citizen Cake in south of Market section of San Francisco in October 1997 before moving to the present location in May 2000. Citizen Cake is a retail bakery featuring contemporary cakes, chocolates, breads, pastries and ice creams all made in house. Citizen Cake is also Elizabeth’s imaginative restaurant and bar, serving brunch, lunch and dinner. In the summer of 2005, Elizabeth Falkner stepped back into the savory side of the restaurant at Citizen Cake. She and her team of cooks have put together menus for lunch, dinner and brunch to reflect the balance and edge that her dessert menus are known for. Orson, her second restaurant, follows her Hayes Valley’s hit, Citizen Cake. As executive chef of Orson, Falkner explores familiar and iconic dishes with personal flair.

Throughout her career, Falkner has been both a leader and a mentor to many other chefs. She has been named the city’s “Best Pastry Chef” by San Francisco magazine and a Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle. Bon Appetit magazine hailed her as one of America’s 10 top pastry chefs in 2003, and named her Pastry Chef of the Year in 2006. In 2005, she was nominated for the pastry chef of the year award by the James Beard Foundation (JBF) and has been a featured guest chef for JBF hosting dinners for the foundation in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In 2007 her first cookbook, Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake, was published by Ten Speed Press. Demolition Desserts lays out the elements of Falkner’s multi-part contemporary desserts to make even the most inventive combinations easily accessible to home chefs.

Cooking Off the Clock: Recipes from My Downtime

*** Update 11/2012: After closing up Orson and Citizen Cake, Falkner moved to New York. Her second cookbook, Cooking Off the Clock: Recipes from My Downtime, was published just last month by Ten Speed Press. The Next Iron Chef finalist will be opening Krescendo, a new Brooklyn pizzeria, later this fall and will be appearing again fighting for redemption on Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef premiering November 2012.

Posted on Feb 2, 2008

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