Note: Anybody interested in baking with whole grains ought to invest in Ken Haedrich's new book, "Home for the Holidays: Festive Baking With Whole Grains. " Consider the following tart. On the face of it, chocolate and buckwheat don't sound compatible. But Haedrich points out that since both are quite assertive, they actually complement one another, and the tart proves his point. It's rich, sophisticated and so delicious that a number of us instantly put it on our list of 12 favorite recipes of the year.
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (9-inch) Buckwheat-Cocoa Tart Shell
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional
Almond extract, optional
Heat whipping cream, milk and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat until very hot. Add chocolate, turn off heat and whisk until smooth, about 15 seconds. Stir in vanilla. Let mixture stand in saucepan 15 minutes. Whisk egg into chocolate mixture just until smooth.
Scrape filling into Buckwheat-Cocoa Tart Shell and bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes, just until surface looks set and edge looks slightly dry. Transfer to rack and cool in pan.
Slice and serve warm or at room temperature with lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with drop of almond extract. Store tart in cool spot, covered with plastic wrap. Makes 8 servings.
Each serving contains about:
612 calories; 134 mg sodium; 119 mg cholesterol; 44 grams fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.34 gram fiber.
Buckwheat-Cocoa Tart Shell
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons ice-cold water
Combine buckwheat flour and unbleached flour with sugar, cocoa powder and salt in large bowl. Stir well. Add butter and cut in thoroughly until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon water, tossing and compacting mixture with fork. Sprinkle on another 1/2 tablespoon water and continue to toss and compact, adding remaining 1/2 tablespoon water, if needed, to allow dough to be gathered into ball. Knead dough in bowl several times to distribute fat. Gather in ball.
Place dough on sheet of plastic wrap and flatten with palm into disk about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate about 30 minutes. (If dough is refrigerated longer, it will be too cold to roll out easily. If dough is too cold, let pastry stand at room temperature about 10 minutes before rolling.)
Place dough on lightly floured sheet of wax paper and roll into 11-inch circle. Leave pastry on paper and invert over 9-inch tart pan. Center pastry, then peel off paper. Gently tuck pastry into crease of pan. Pastry will be slightly fragile and may develop cracks at this point. Remedy by pushing dough back together. Take any overhanging dough and push against side of pan even with top of pan, to push side up. Refrigerate or freeze pastry 30 minutes to firm up.
Line pastry with foil and weights and bake at 400 degrees 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights and bake another 10 to 12 minutes. Shell will be shade or 2 darker when done and will feel crisp, not soft. Cool. Makes 1 (9-inch) tart pan.