Francois' Warm Chocolate Tart-Famous Fridays

Hi Guys! Another Famous Fridays is here! And a very Happy Birthday to two famous people in my family--my sisters!!

Today we focus on the amazing Francois Payard, legendary French pastry chef and patisserie owner and I definitely hit the jackpot here! Guys,--Warm. Chocolate. Tart. Doesn't it sound like a dream come true?!! And at the risk of sounding presumptuous, I think this may be one of the simplest and best desserts I have ever made and anyone who knows me, knows what a bold and daring statement this is! Seriously, I know chocolate tart is not traditional for Thanksgiving, but you are going to want to include this on your dessert table. I know I am!

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Payard was born in Nice and is a third generation pastry chef, not only famous for his gorgeous and intricately designed pastries but also because he adheres to the simple traditions of classic French pastry. In other words, he makes things that not only look good, but taste good too! My daughter, husband and I went to his flagship store on 74th & 3rd Ave for a special birthday brunch over the summer and we swooned over the delicious macarons and pastries. If you have a chance, stop in and treat yourself to a goodie!

This tart is quite simple to make and has the added ease of being able to be prepared in steps. it's a breeze to make the tart dough, which all gets mixed in the food processor and then chilled overnight. 

The next day you roll it out and prebake it in a tart pan (I always use beans to weigh down my dough). It's very easy and forgiving and bakes up light and sweet and almost chewy.


Then you make the filling which is pure chocolate through and through. Use the best you can get your hands on here, since all the flavor comes from the chocolate--


And the most amazing thing is that you barely do anything to the chocolate other than adding a little milk, cream and one egg and the result tastes like you ordered dessert at the most fancy restaurant! Seriously it takes like 10 minutes to put it together and basically you're just heating milk and cream. The filling is warm, creamy and rich, but not overly so and the sweetness of the dough compliments it perfectly. And you can make it the day before, keep it chilled and then reheat it right before serving because it really is divine served warm!

The tart is great on its own but (as almost all things are) elevated to new heights with a scoop of vanilla ice cream cuddling up to it.

Francois' Warm Chocolate Tart

I have so many things to be thankful for and now Francois Payard and this amazing chocolate dessert are two more to add to the list!

Have a great weekend and look for more great Thanksgiving recipes next week!!

Francois' Warm Chocolate Tart-Famous Fridays

Serves 6-8
Prep Time:  Dough needs to be made at least 2 hours and preferably 24 hours beforehand. Filling takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare.  Bake Time:  10-13 minutes


For the Sweet Tart Dough

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

For the Filling

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Lindt bittersweet)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

The Recipe

1.  To make the tart dough:  Sift together the confectioners' sugar, flour and salt into a bowl.

2.  Put the butter in the bowl of the food processor and blend for 15 seconds till smooth. Sprinkle the flour mixture all around over the butter, add the egg and process just until the dough sort of comes together-don't over mix. Remove the dough and on the counter divide it into two. Shape each half into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight. If you're not going to use the second half right away, you can wrap it well and freeze it for up to a month.

3.  Remove the dough from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for about half an hour to soften. Meanwhile, lightly butter a 9 or 10 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.

4.  On a wooden board, or other surface, sprinkle some flour. Then sprinkle the dough lightly with flour as well as your rolling pin and roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle. Make sure that as you are rolling you lift the dough and reflour the surface a bit as it has a tendency to stick. Transfer it to the prepared pan and press it into the sides, removing any dough that hangs over the top of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and chill the pan for about 20 minutes.

5.  Preheat oven to 325ºF and remove dough from fridge. Lightly butter a piece of aluminum foil large enough to line the inside of the pan and place it over the dough, buttered side down, fill it with pie weights, rice or dried beans and bake for about 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and the weights and bake for 8-10 more minutes until tart shell is golden brown all over. Cool completely on a wire rack.

6.  To make the filling:  Preheat oven to 325ºF. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.

7.  Pour the milk and cream into a medium sized pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and allow it to stand for 30 seconds. Then whisk it until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted. Cool for 10 minutes.

8.  Whisk the egg into the chocolate mixture and pour the filling into the tart shell. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until the edges of the filling are set, although the center will still be rather jiggly. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack and serve warm.

9.  If making this a day ahead of serving, reheat in a 250ºF oven till warm.


Note:  Recipe from Simply Sensational Desserts by Francois Payard









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