If you're on the hunt for a solid chocolate dessert to add to your repertoire, look no further than this decadent tart from the kitchen of Nicole Bermensolo, author of the new book Kyotofu: Uniquely Delicious Japanese Desserts. NYC dwellers may remember the adorable pastry restaurant with the same name that served chic and beautiful Japanese-inspired sweets---and how heartbreaking it was when it closed in 2013 to expand its wholesale business (which you can find online and at retailers like Dean & Deluca). Lucky for us, she snagged a book deal along the way and now we get the chance to recreate her gorgeous creations at home.
So what's the secret ingredient? Fermented soybeans a.k.a miso. We know—while it's a totally acceptable ingredient in the soup at your favorite sushi joint, it's pretty unusual to find a dessert laced with it. However, miso adds a unique buttery depth to each bite that's subtle enough not to overpower the chocolate, the real star of the dish. Of course, the tart will still be a hit even without the miso—just make sure to add in a pinch of salt in its place. And to ensure that this dish lives up to its full potential, quality chocolate is key. Bermensolo likes the Valrhona brand, a culinary-world fave. Serve it topped with some decorative lingonberries or cranberries and wash it all down with a cup of Earl Grey tea.
Read on for the recipe.
½ cup (55g) cake flour¾ cup (94g) bread flour¼ cup (30g) cocoa powder½ cup (58g) plus 1 tbsp confectioners' sugar½ tsp salt½ cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 12 pieces2 large egg yolks¾ tsp vanilla extract1 cup (235 ml) plus 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk1½ tbsp simple syrup7 ounces (198g) dark chocolate chopped (64% cacao)1 large egg2 tsp shiro miso
1. For the tart crust: Place the flours, cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and process until the mixture forms into a ball. Remove the ball from the food processor, flatten it into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350° F / 177°C. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch / .5 cm thickness and/or press it directly into a greased 9-inch / 23 cm tart pan. Cover the crust with parchment paper filled with pie weights and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool to room temperature, lowering the oven temperature to 275° F / 135°C.
3. For the filling: Combine the cream, milk, and simple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, heat the liquid for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it’s just below a simmer.
4. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place them in a medium-sized, heat-resistant bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and the miso. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture.
5. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let sit for one minute. Blend the mixture with an inversion blender until smooth, and then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the filling into the crust.
6. Bake the tart for 25 to 30 minutes, or until filling is fully set and doesn’t jiggle when you shake it. Let cool for at least 2 hours and serve cold or at room temperature.
Reprinted with permission from KYOTOFU 2015 by Nicole Bermensolo, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.