A Sweet Tart with Chocolate and Pomegranete

One of the few masterchef desserts were the three of us agreed the dessert was drool worthy and MUST BE tried at home is the episode were Audra gets her Masterchef Apron.  This was No Grading On A Curve, this was absolute exemplar cooking.  Gary and George awarded her the Apron (top 24) Without tasting the rest of the participants food. Remember? She made a Dark Chocolate and Raspberry tart with cherry port jelly.
Audra's Dark Chocolate Raspberry tart from Masterchef Season 4

She had actually forgotten milk and eggs when she went foraging and ended up inventing this dessert on the fly.  Totally awesome no?  I had bookmarked this recipe and promised my son I would make it.  Someday.

Now most masterchef recipes, forgive me, have two main issues; They are not complete and they tend to go over the top in terms of time/ingredients/techniques.  I found Audra's recipe a tad excessive.  500g of chocolate in one Tart?  500g of butter too?  I agree it is the life in my years and not the years in my life that matter, but I am really not in a hurry to check out.  And the one big drawback in home baking is, portion control is very very hard to do.

So I set out to make the DCR tart, only, I changed the base, the filling, the fruit and I eliminated the jelly altogether ;)  My game plan was chocolate tart shell, a mousse, a pomegranate jelly and pomegranate on top.

For the base, I went back to my touchstone for all things related to baking especially, Smitten Kitchen Debra's Great Unshrinkable Tart Shell.  I don't have a food processor, so I tried to make this with a blender instead. The dough ended up a bit more like roti dough and had a bit less peas texture, I could still see small pieces of butter in the dough.

I mixed two batches of tart dough.  I decided to press the first batch onto the buttered tart tin directly, circumventing the need to refrigerate, roll, place in pan and then cut down to size. 

Whilst the tart pan froze, I deceided to make a chocolate mousse instead of the very rich ganache, partly inspired by Mindy's  Chocolate Mouse Tart.  Again I found the quantity of ingredients to be execessive and decided to go with lesser chocolate, butter and a good cup of fresh cream.  I added a bit of cocoa to both the chocolate ganache and the whipped cream to get a bit more intense chocolate feel. The mousse was awesome.

As usual, I had read through the instructions but failed to follow them, I baked the shell without covering the base.  It puffed up a little and shrank a little.  I set it under the fan for sometime, then poured the mousse in.  The mousse filled up the pan!  There was no room for the pomegranate jelly I had planned!  I decided to use the no-sugar added juice I had procured to make a nice pomegranate syrup.

I set the mousse filled tart in the oven for 10 minutes, Joy-of-baking does not recommend baking mousse, but I am scared of raw eggs.  I then set the decidedly wobbly tart in the fridge for an hour and a half.

I served the tart with pomegranate on top and a light drizzle of syrup.  Everyone, including my finicky 5 year old neighbour, agreed the tart was just awesome.  They were not informed enough to point out the innumerable technical flaws in this tart.  Thank God for small mercies! :)

It was very very rich though.  We have nearly half the tart remaining after 6 of us had a piece of the tart and each of us still feels a bit like a Python that has swallowed a great black bear.
Only criticism is this needs a bit of vanilla ice cream or just some cream on the side to cut the richness of the chocolate.  The fruit is not sufficient to do it.

UPDATE:  It was really out of this world today!  EVen the richness was totally managable.  What is it about chocolate that makes it taste even better with age?

Chocolate Tart Shell

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
125 g unsalted butter (1/4th of a std 500g bar of butter, Amul/Aavin/Nilgiris as the case may be)
1 large egg

Pulse the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt in the blender a few times until the flour has a brownish tinge, this als breaks down the sugar.
flour in blender jar with cocoa and sugar

Pour in the frozen butter cubes
diced butter, a tad lazy dice

Pulse 15 secs, mix with spatula.  Repeat until the mix starts clogging the blades.
blender doing its bit

Add the egg.  Pulse, Mix until the mix comes together

Pour onto a tray and gather into a ball so that any dry pieces get incorporated into the pastry dough.
pastry dough ready for chilling or pressing onto the tart pan

Butter a 24 cm tart pan and press the dough on to the base and sides of the pan, uniform thickness without touching the dough too much and hence melting the butter and losing the texture.

Freeze for a good 30 minutes

Cover the base with a buttered foil  ( I forgot) and bake at 175 deg C for 25 min.

Take out and cool
final shell, a little shrinkage, a little puffiness

Chocolate Mousse

Bowl I
125g dark chocolate
 30 g butter
 1/8 cup cocoa

Bowl II
 2 large eggs
 1/8 cup granulated white sugar

Bowl III
120 ml whipping cream
 1/8 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sugar

 Melt butter in bowl 1 over simmering water. add chopped chocolate, cocoa and mix well until chocolate melts. Let cool
Chocolate for the mousse
Beat Bowl II ingredients over simmering water together until volume is quadrupled and mix forms soft peaks
Bowl II whipped into shape!

Beat Bow III ingredients together until mix forms soft peaks
Bowl III
Pour 1/3 of Bowl II and Bowl III at a time into Bowl I and mix.  Repeat until all of Bowls II and III are mixed into bowl I.  Ta Da!  Mousse ready!

Pomegranate syrup

300 ml Pomegranete juice
2 tbspoon sugar
Add both to a sauce pan and bring to a boil
Now reduce heat to simmer and let it reduce for 25 - 30 minutes until a syrupy consistency is achieved
dont expect spouse to switch off when T20 is on

second batch starting to simmer

boiling juice, now reduce heat

Tart Assembly

Pour the mousse into the shell 
Now, optionally bake the tart for 10 minutes
Put tart in fridge for 2 hours unti well chilled
Garnish with Pomegranate and serve!
moment of truth - tart rim out, standing on its own!

shell close up
This is my contribution to Priya Kumar's Best Tart or Tartlet event

I am also linking this to the Cook Like a Start Blog Hop from Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Anuja of Simple Baking and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.


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