Okay, so I know that Halloween is more than a month away. But darnit if those grocery-store magazines with all their fall/Halloween promos didn’t snare me. So now my coffee table has Martha Stewart, Country Living, Southern Living, Pottery Barn and Rachael Ray. All in orange, black and white.
A girl has to be prepared, right? This way, I’ll know which dishes to make and how to make them better by the holiday.
So, on to Martha Stewart. Her Halloween issue is one of my favorites because she always goes crazy. One recipe (among many) interested me: her chocolate-pumpkin tart. It took me around six hours, but I made it. And it is yummy nummy. The hardest part was finding canned pumpkin puree that is NOT pumpkin-pie filling. I finally found some, but it had to be organic, costing $3 a can! I had most of the other ingredients and used my turkey eggs, which worked great.
The most time-consuming part of this recipe was the baking/chilling time. The actual cooking part was easy, it just took a lot of steps. As a result, I’m not going to post the recipe here. It would take almost as much time as cooking the dang thing!
It starts out with a chocolate crust that you make with butter, cinnamon, cloves and cocoa powder (and salt, flour, sugar). You make it, chill it, roll it out, chill it again, then bake. Once that bakes, you sprinkle chopped chocolate over it, which melts nicely.
Chocolate on chocolate
Next, you make a custard with creme fraiche (I used sour cream), eggs, brown sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves). Pour that over the crust and bake until set. Then you have to chill it before you make the spider-web pattern. For the web, I melted more chocolate and piped the pattern free-hand. Instead of adding plastic spiders to decorate like Martha, I piped my own little chocolate spider in the corner. I love the effect! Totally worth the tendinitis I now have in my left hand.
Then you have to chill it again, for about an hour (we watched “Mad Men”). This will make the chocolate design set like a shell. When you cut in, you get the spicy crust, then a layer of chocolate, then the pumpkin custard, then more chocolate on top. It was very chocolatey, like a pumpkin pie dipped in chocolate.
Layers of goodness
I think this tart would be great to bring to a Halloween party because it looks so festive. And it feels good to make something so pretty. Friends, don’t wait until the holidays to make delicious treats – you can always make more later. Enjoy!