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Making Claudia Fleming's White Chocolate Espresso Tart

  • Candy Sep 29, 2006 06:07 PM
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I made the crust and the base yesterday. The #%$*&#&%$#* crust is in the pan and chilling prior to baking. I will finish the whole thing tomorrow AM. The base has an excellent flavor. I used Green & Block's Organic white chocolate and the chocolate flavor is almost elusive, sort of there it is...or is it?

Now, for any of you novice bakers, do not think of making any of her tarst requiring her chocolate tart crust. See if you can find any other chocolate tart crust recipe, please. This crust is extremely dry and crumbly. You will be frustrated and cursing. You can just barely roll it out with any success and then it will break as you fit it into the pan and you will end up doing lots of patching. You will also really need a tart tamper. I am an experienced home baker and have made many a tart, but this recipe for the shell irritates me to no end. I've got to find another recipe.

Photo and results tomorrow along with yesterday's project, 50 layer Baklava.

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  1. Can't wait to see it. The few things I've made from Fleming's cookbook have been unusual and subtly interesting combinations, as well as pretty. But a bit high-maintenance.

    Sorry to hear it was a pain.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kishari

      That bete noir cake from the cover of bon appetit is the bomb!!!! I have made it four times and it is heaven.

    2. Most of the the the stuff in the book have been pretty much no-brainers but the chocolate tart crust is just a beast. I would not want a beginner or someone with low baking skills to get discouraged, there are so many wonderful recipes in the book. The baked shell looks and smells wonderful. It will get filled tomorrow. I am going to finish it up in the AM. I am really thinking about using a whipped cream stabilizer in the whipped cream that finishes the tart. Other desserts include the honey blueberry cobbler with cornmeal biscuits from the Sept. Food and Wine and La Bete Noire from Sept. Bon Appetite's cover. No I am not doing all of the cooking. Members of my cooking group are making everything else.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        the extra fat from the white chocolate should act as a stabilizer

        1. re: babette feasts

          There is only 3 oz. of white chcoclate,and I am not serving until several hours later

      2. The photos. In the first it shows the finished tart as written. I thought it a bit plain:

        http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y75/...

        I could not leave it alone and had to add some garnish with chocolate shavings and a sprig of mint. I think it is much more attractive

        http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y75/...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          Thanks for the follow-up w/ photos. How did it all taste? So the crust result isn't worth the hassle? Anyone know if the recipe is online somewhere?--I don't have the time to search right now.

          I need to find that book at my library; looks like it has many wonderful recipes and Fleming is such a pro.

          1. re: Carb Lover

            I tasted the filling and it 1s more coffee than white chocolate and the coffee cuts the too sweet dimension of the white chocolate. It will be served tonight and I imagine with the (dratted) chocolate crust it will have more chocolate flavor. If it does not I'll let you all know. A party tonight here for 24. We are also having the Blueberry Cobbler with Honey Cornmeal Biscuits from Food and Wine (Sept) and The Bete Noir that was on the cover of Sept. Bon Appetite and a 50 layer Baklava by yours truly among many other wonderful things. Saving up my appetite for this evening!

        2. Okay final diagnosis maybe. Some people thought is was the best dessert of the night. I will send them the recipe and let them make it in the future. to me it was not stellar enough to warrant making again. Especially not until I find a more workable chocolate tart crust. the flavor was good, white chocolate almost disappeared. Not worhth the work. I did use whipped cream stabilizer since I was whipping the cream and filling the tart this AM. It held up beautifully in the fridge with out weeping or making the crust soggy. Thank you Dr. Oketer Whip-It!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            I made this tart last weekend too. I didn't have a problem with the crust -- but I've heard many people say that they have. My trick? Let the chilled dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, and then roll out between two sheets of wax paper. Worked like a dream without any crumbling or cracking, and the texture after baking was perfect. HOWEVER...I don't think the white chocolate-espresso tart was worth the trouble. The white chocolate flavor got lost -- I know Fleming was going for subtle, but for me this was too subtle. And Candy, from your pictures, it looks like you ran into a problem I ran into. Once the crust is filled, the tart looks...boring. It definitely requires garnish to make it look "special" (I added a thin layer of whipped cream and chocolate-covered espresso beans). People at my party really liked the tart, but I've definitely made better and probably wouldn't bother with this recipe in the future. But for experienced bakers, don't rule out the crust -- with that trick, it worked just fine.

            1. re: dag556

              That was not my first time with that crust and I did let it sit out before rolling. My guests loved it and raved and wanted the recipe, I sent it to all of them. I jusr can't see the point of making it again. I agree the white chocolate was just tooooooo subtle

              1. re: Candy

                The tart sounds (and looks) lovely, Candy. To be honest, I was a bit surprised to hear coffee being combined with a white chocolate crust, because I have tried many recipes using white chocolate, and I am always disappointed - I find white chocolate too mild a flavour to use in baking. Even unadulterated white chocolate sauce ends up tasting like sweet, chocolate-textured cream.

                Might it work with dark chocolate, do you think? The cooking properties are different of course from white chocolate, but a nice dark chocolate might give the coffee a run for its money...

          2. i second the comment on the chocolate tart dough being a pain in the !@#$%^. i've made her chocolate caramel tarts with the same dough and remember being very frustrated in the past ;)

            1 Reply
            1. re: junglekitte

              I hear ya, and I realize my experience was the exception and not the rule. I can relate when it comes to her graham crust (for her blueberry tarts). The frickin thing totally fell apart and frustrated me to the point where I almost threw the tart pan out the window....