Somehow a Valentine’s Day dinner did in fact materialize at our house last Tuesday evening. Dessert happened, too, thanks to Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the beautiful cocoa-powdered topped tart he whipped up on the Martha Steward Show that morning.
In this tart, whipped egg whites lighten a rich base of dark chocolate, melted butter and egg yolks. Almond flour provides nearly all of the structure as well as a wonderful flavor, and confectioners’ sugar sweetens it ever so slightly. It’s simple to whip up, bakes for 17 minutes, and tastes just as lovely as it looks. Light and rich at the same time, it demands a dollop of homemade whipped cream. It’s not Valentine’s Day without some sort of chocolate indulgence, and this tart couldn’t be more perfect for the occasion… something to keep in mind for next year I suppose.
Valentine’s Day 2012.
I used this template for the birds.
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, preferably cultured, plus more for pan
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (66% cacao), chopped
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- Dutch-process cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
homemade whipped cream for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan, tapping out excess.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together egg whites and sugar until medium-stiff peaks form.
- Meanwhile, melt chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat.
- Add 1 yolk to chocolate mixture and beat to combine. Add remaining yolks and mix to combine. Add confectioners’ sugar, almond flour, and all-purpose flour; mix until combined. Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture and mix to loosen chocolate mixture. Gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.
- Transfer to prepared cake pan and evenly spread. Transfer cake pan to oven and bake until puffed and knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack. Carefully re-invert and let cool completely. Dust with cocoa powder, if desired.