Asking to lick the spoon may be uncouth, but that’s just what you’ll want to do if you’re lucky enough to watch Jiyeon Lee, Hamiltons’ new pastry chef, prepare her delectable Chocolate Tart with Almond Crust.
The recipe’s ingredients—sugar, butter, chocolate and almonds—conjure up everything that is sweet and rich-tasting about summer desserts. “It’s a slight twist on classic French pastry,” Lee says. The “twist” in the short dough crust is almond extract, which adds an “even more crumbly, yet very delightful, almond flavor and taste” when paired with chocolate, she says. Hamiltons’ diners can be forgiven if they feel tempted to skip right past the Pan Roasted Jumbo Lump Crabcake or Pistachio-Crusted Rack of Lamb to get to Lee’s delicious creation.
There are two main components to this recipe, which yields one 9" tart. But, Lee says, “you can make any size you want. You can make small, or you can make big—then you can cut it and serve it that way.”—Jennifer Pullinger
Hamilton’s Chocolate Tart with Almond Crust
1/2 cup almonds (skinned and slivered)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter (cubed and chilled)
1 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbs. ice water
Process the first three ingredients in a food processor until fine, then add the flour and butter. Hit pulse until butter chunks are the size of a small pea. Add the almond extract, and then ice water gradually until the dough comes together. Once that is done, take the dough out to a lightly floured surface and give it five gentle kneads. Pat the dough into a disk and wrap it with plastic wrap. Let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour.
Next, spray the 9" tart pan with nonstick spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough to 1/8" thickness and chill it at least half an hour in the refrigerator. Line a 9" tart pan with the dough and blind bake with pie weights (To blind bake, lay parchment paper over the uncooked crust, then place pie weights or dried beans on top of the parchment to prevent swelling). When the edges get lightly golden, remove the pie weights. Return the tart pan to the oven until the crust is golden overall. Allow the crust to cool completely.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbs. light corn syrup
1 cup plus 1 Tbs. heavy cream
6 Tbs. unsalted butter (room temperature)
Chop the chocolate into small pieces, then place in a work bowl and add corn syrup. Bring the cream to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Add cream to the chocolate mixture, let sit for a couple of minutes, and then mix it gently but thoroughly with a whisk until smooth. While the ganache is still warm, add the soft butter and mix until fully incorporated.
To assemble the tart, pour the warm ganache into the cooled tart shell. Let the tart set in the refrigerator until firm. Serve with fresh whipped cream.
For an extra citrusy kick, Lee suggests adding the zest of four oranges to the ganache immediately after adding the butter.