Friday, November 13, 2009

Pecan and chocolate tart

I just got my new tart pans, with wavy edges, handy removable bottoms, and super-slick nonstick coating.  So I had to make a tart.  I didn't feel like rolling pastry, so I went with a shortbread crust filled with pecans, caramel-y agave goo, and a bit of chocolate.  So good it's like god in my mouth.  Not that I would know.  Anyway, this is scaled for a smallish (9-inch) tart pan, so you'd need to do some math to make it fill an 11-inch pan.  My taste-testers--err, friends--thought it would make good mini tartlets, too.  Next time I make it, I'll try a sprinkle of course sea salt on top to tone the sweetness down a notch.

1 c flour
1/3 c powder sugar
6 T (1/4 c + 2 T) margarine

2 2/3 c pecan halves
1/4 c + 2 T brown sugar
1/4 c + 2 T agave nectar (dark)
1/2 c margarine
1 T soy milk
2 T chocolate liqueur
1/2-2/3 c chocolate chips

The Process:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and toast pecans about 7 minutes, then let them cool completely.
2. Make crust:  smash all the crust ingredients together with a pastry blender or food processor until it forms course crumbs.  Press into tart pan.  Bake @ 350 about 20 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden-brown.
3. Prepare Filling: in a saucepan over med-high heat, bring sugar, agave, margarine, soy milk, and liqueur to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in toasted pecans.
4. When crust is done, sprinkle chocolate chips over it.  Pour in the agave-pecan goo, and return to the oven.  Bake about 25 minutes.

Just so you know:
If you fill the tart too full, the agave goo will bubble over the top when it bakes, and burn on your oven floor, making lots and lots of smoke.  At least the smoke will smell pretty good since it's all sugary and pecan-infused.
I made some chocolate ganache to drizzle over the top of the tart in pretty stripes.  You could also just sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

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