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Boozy Baking: Chocolate Whiskey Tart

The only people who love working with spirits as much as bartenders are bakers. From chocolate candy to pastries, liquor is the secret ingredient in a range of delicious treats, adding depth and complexity (and often a boozy kick).

While brandy is tasty in Jane Danger’s Almond Cognac Cookie Sandwiches, we particularly like making confections with sweet bourbon, including the Lee Brothers’ Hot-Spiced Bourbon Balls. There’s something about the combination of whiskey, chocolate and spices that we can’t resist.

So, since September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, we thought we’d find another sinfully decadent dessert calling for the quintessential American alcohol. We got Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, owners of Brooklyn bakery Baked, to share with us a recipe for their Simple Chocolate Whiskey Tart from their new cookbook, Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients, which was released a couple days ago. (And booze is indeed one of those 10 ingredients.) Not only does the pie incorporate bourbon, but so does the accompanying whipped cream. Yes, you read that correctly: whiskey whipped cream.

Though you can use just about any brand of bourbon, Lewis and Poliafito are fans of Knob Creek and Blanton’s. (Only have Scotch or Tennessee whiskey? Don’t worry, they’ll work, too.)

Happy baking!

Simple Chocolate Whiskey Tart with Whiskey Whipped Cream

Contributed by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

  • 8 oz Shortbread cookies
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • .5 tsp Salt
  • 2 oz (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • .75 cup Heavy cream
  • .33 cup Whole milk
  • 5 oz Good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 4 oz Good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Good-quality whiskey
  • Whiskey Whipped Cream*
  • Cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 300° F and position a rack in the center. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a food processor, pulse the cookies into very fine crumbs. (You should have approximately 1.75 cups.) Place the crumbs into a bowl, add the sugar and salt, and stir to combine. Pour the butter over the crumbs and mix with a fork until combined. Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides using your fingers or the bottom of a metal measuring cup. Place the pan in the freezer for about 5 minutes, then place on a baking sheet, and bake until the crust is just dry to the touch but not browned, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the cream and milk. Bring the mixture just to a low simmer (bubbles will start to form around the edge of the pan) but do not scald or boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add both types of chocolate and whisk very gently until the mixture is completely smooth. Continue stirring to release excess heat. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is only slightly warm. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg, egg yolk, flour and whiskey. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until completely blended. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are slightly set but the middle is still slightly jiggly. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Carefully remove the tart from the pan and let cool completely. Serve either at room temperature or directly from the refrigerator with a big dollop of Whiskey Whipped Cream and a dusting of cocoa powder (or a scoop of ice cream).

*Whiskey Whipped Cream
  • 1.25 cups Heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Good-quality whiskey

Pour the cream into a chilled metal bowl and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute or until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the sugar and whiskey on top and continue whisking vigorously until stiff peaks form. Serve immediately.

(Photo courtesy Tina Rupp)

Series & Type: TrendsSpirited Cooking
Appears in 8 Collections

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