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Yield: One 9-inch tart
For the Shortbread Crust
8 ounces shortbread cookies
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the Chocolate Whiskey Tart Filling
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
5 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
4 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons good-quality whiskey
Make the Shortbread Crust
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and position the rack in the center. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a food processor, pulse the cookies into very fine crumbs. You should have approximately 1 3/4 cups. Place the crumbs into a bowl, add the sugar and salt, and stir until combined.
Pour the butter over the crumbs and use a fork to mix until combined. Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (using your fingers or the bottom of metal measuring cup). Place the pan in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
Place the pan on a baking sheet, and bake the crust until it is just dry to the touch, about 12 minutes (you do not want it to brown). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Make the Chocolate Whiskey Tart Filling
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the cream and milk. Bring the mixture just to a low simmer (bubbles will start to form around the edge of the pan) but do not scald or boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk very gently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is completely smooth. Continue stirring to release excess heat. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is only slightly warm or has cooled to room temperature.
In a small bowl, use a fork to lightly beat the egg, egg yolk, flour, and whiskey. Use the tip of your finger to make sure the chocolate mixture is only slightly warm or has cooled to room temperature (not too hot or the eggs will cook). Add the egg mixture and whisk until completely blended.
Pour the filling into the tart shell, place the baking sheet in the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are slightly set, but the middle is still slightly jiggly. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the tart pan to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Gently push up on the tart bottom to release the tart from the pan and cool completely.
Serve the tart either at room temperature or directly from the fridge with a big dollop of Whiskey Whipped Cream, a dusting of powdered sugar, or a scoop of ice cream.
Whiskey Whipped Cream
In our opinion, Whiskey Whipped Cream is much tastier than regular whipped cream—booze wins out yet again. However, if you want a boozeless but flavorful whipped cream, feel free to replace the whiskey with extracts, powders, or spices. Mint extract, coffee extract, cinnamon, and all manner of florals really enhance a basic whipped cream. However, these variations are all more strongly flavored and more highly concentrated than whiskey, so they can’t be substituted in a one-to-one ratio—you only need 1 to 2 teaspoons, to taste. If you want to use pure vanilla extract in place of the whiskey, however, we suggest using 3 teaspoons as we are pushovers for super rich vanilla flavor in our whipped cream.
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons good-quality whiskey, to taste
Pour the cream into a chilled metal bowl and beat vigorously with a chilled whisk for about 1 minute or until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the sugar and whiskey over the cream and continue whisking vigorously until stiff peaks form. Serve immediately.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.