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Chocolate Truffle Tart with Whipped Vanilla Mascarpone Topping

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Serves twelve to sixteen.

Yields one 91/2-inch tart.

For the filling:
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
For the topping
  • 1/2 lb. mascarpone cheese, at  room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Make the filling:

Melt together the chocolate, milk, and butter in a medium bowl in a microwave or in a double boiler over medium heat (see How to melt chocolate). Add the vanilla and salt. Whisk the mixture until well blended and smooth. Set aside, whisking occasionally, until room temperature and slightly thickened, about 1 hour. (For faster cooling, refrigerate the filling until thickened to a pudding consistency, about 30  minutes, whisking and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula every 5 minutes.)

With a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the crust and spread evenly, taking care not to disturb the edge of the crust. Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate until the filling is set, about 4 hours and up to 8  hours before proceeding with the recipe.

Make the topping:
Tip:
To remove a tart from the pan, set the pan on a wide can and let the outside ring fall away. If it's stubborn, grip the ring with your fingers to coax it off. Slide a long, thin metal spatula between the pan base and the curst and ease the tart onto a flat serving plate.

In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until almost smooth, 30  to 60  seconds. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is thick and holds firm peaks, another 30 to 60  seconds. Don’t overbeat.

With a rubber or metal spatula, spread the topping over the chocolate filling, leaving lots of swirls and peaks. Serve the tart right away or cover loosely and refrigerate, in the pan, for up to 4 hours.

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made this for Christmas Day, but we did not eat it until the next day. When my hubby was almost through with his first slice, he said, "Know how you could make this better?" I shook my head and he said, "Double the filling." Nuff said. It was easy, fast and most importantly, tasty. The Mascarpone cheese was a nice break from the chocolate. Will make it again, with double the filling!

This recipe is excellent, but not quite as written. The topping, as written, comes out rocky rather than smooth and pillowy. I found that it required either more cream, or less mascarpone than indicated and a bit more sugar. Mix the sugar together with the other ingredients, whip the cream separately, and fold together. It comes out beautifully.

This was amazingly easy and very rich. I used 1/2 bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 milk chocolate as I like a bit of a sweeter chocolate. Also on the whipped topping I added a 1/2 Tbs more sugar because I need more cavities. It came out amazing and so easy! I used a bought graham cracker crust, it could have been a regular pie crust both would be fine. My whipped topping came out great not sure why others had a problem. Going to make this again soon because I accidentally bought too much mascarpone ! It was very very rich and quite good. Reminded me of a french silk pie.

This was amazingly easy and very rich. I used 1/2 bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 milk chocolate as I like a bit of a sweeter chocolate. Also on the whipped topping I added a 1/2 Tbs more sugar because I need more cavities. It came out amazing and so easy! I used a bought graham cracker crust, it could have been a regular pie crust both would be fine. My whipped topping came out great not sure why others had a problem. Going to make this again soon because I accidentally bought too much mascarpone ! It was very very rich and quite good. Reminded me of a french silk pie.

This tasted excellent even though I completely failed to create a smooth mascarpone topping; my topping was curdled in appearance. After reading a "cooking gone wrong" website, I believe that the mascarpone was not quite at room temperature. I also think the "fat" that was added, in this case the whipping cream, should have also been at room temperature. My whipping cream came straight from the fridge and was very cold. However, the dessert was still a big hit!

This is a show stopper and it is easy to make. Everytime I've served it, everyone loved it. I can't always get the Nabisco chocolate wafers so sometimes I have to make it with a graham cracker crust and it is still good but with the chocolate wafers it is outstanding. Use the best chocolate you can find. This recipe deserves it.

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