Spring has finally arrived. It won't be long now before the sun is shining and the daffodils are in bloom. As is always the case with this time of the year, we need a little boost to cheer us up and help us usher in the new season.
I've made a Dark Chocolate Milk Jam Tart to help celebrate the arrival of spring and it is beyond delicious. What is milk jam, you ask? It's a very old french recipe. I'll let you read about it here.
This is also the time of year where I usually giveaway some amazing chocolate. It's just my way of saying thank you for being such loyal readers and great friends.
This year I have a wee favor to ask in return. I have linked to a very brief 10 question survey I'm asking you to fill out so I can better understand who reads this blog. If you could take a moment to complete it before entering the giveaway, I'd be most appreciative.
As you can see, I'm giving away a bit more than chocolate this year. Here's what's included:
A giant bar of white Toblerone chocolate
A bag of nougat from Provence, France
A gorgeous keepsake tin of French La Mere Poulard chocolate chip cookies
A 2.2 lb (1 kg) box of Cacao Barry Saint Domingue Origine 70% Chocolate Pistoles (pistoles are small chocolate discs that you can melt and chop easily)
How can you not love this giveaway?
Here's how you can enter to win:
- Complete the brief reader survey here. (no worries, I'm not collecting data on you personally, just looking at the aggregate results)
- Leave a comment on this post before midnight on Friday April 5, 2013
- Make sure your comment links directly to a site where you can be contacted. Otherwise include a Twitter or email address in your comment. Only comments that include this information are eligible to win.
- One entry per person.
- The winner will be selected at random and contacted on Saturday April 6, 2013
- before noon (EST).
- Be sure to check your inbox and messages. If no response is received by Monday April 8, 2013 at noon (EST), another winner will be selected.
- This giveaway will ship anywhere in the world.
In the meantime, try this Dark Chocolate Milk Jam Tart. It's out of this world.
Dark Chocolate Milk Jam Tart
Pate Sucre (Tart Crust)
1 3/4 c (250 g) flour
9 tbs (125 g) butter, room temperature, diced
1 c less 2 tbs (100 g) powdered sugar
1/4 tsp (1 g) sea salt
In the standing bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter into the dry ingredients until pea size particles form.
Switch to the hook attachment and knead the egg into the dry mixture. Just as the mixture loosely comes together and begins to look like dough, pour onto plastic wrap and use plastic wrap to shape the sough into a disk. The less you touch the dough with your hands, the less tough it will be. Refrigerate until manageable. Roll out dough on a lightly floured silicone baking sheet. Fit dough inside an 8" spring form pan or tart pan. Trim edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Prick dough all over with fork. Line with foil and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake about 20 minutes until lightly golden. (If sides sink down during baking, carefully press them up with the back of a spoon. ) Cool completely.
4 1/4 c (1 liter) whole milk
1 c plus 2 tsp (220 g sugar)
1 vanilla pod, split open (you can make this without the vanilla pod)
2 tsp (8 g) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (4 g) baking soda
You can make this recipe in advance but be sure you're close by while it cooks. You'll have to check on it every 10- 15 minutes for a few hours. The goal is to cook this low and slow. The result is totally worth it.
Place all ingredients in a large 2 liter pot and stir (expect the milk volume to double as it boils).
Turn heat to med-high and bring the mixture to a gentle boil without stirring. Once you see the milk start to boil and bubble slightly, get ready to turn the heat down. You do not want the milk to over-boil.
Once it’s boiled, turn the heat down to the lowest temperature (that is, until it’s barely simmering). Skim the foam off of the top. Continue to simmer uncovered for around 1.5 – 2.5 hours. Stir and skim every 10-15 minutes. When the mixture starts to look thick and caramel colored, remove from the stove and cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
1 c (150 g) chopped dark chocolate, 70%
2/3 c (150 ml) cream
1/4 tsp (1 g) sea salt
Melt chocolate in heat proof bowl in microwave. [Do not overcook. I usually set the microwave for 1 minute then remove and stir. If it is not melted, I cook and stir in 10 second intervals. Keep in mind that the residual heat from the bowl will also melt the chocolate.]
Whisk in the cream and salt. Set aside.
Completing the Tart
Fill tart shell two-thrids to half way with milk jam. Chill until firm. Pour chocolate filling on top. Optional: sprinkle with roasted chopped nuts. Chill until firm.
Store in refrigerator. Remove 20-30 minutes before serving.
Note: You do not need large slices of this tart. A small slice is very satisfying.