{you're invited} The Newlywed Cookbook Valentine's Tour, and a Bittersweet Chocolate Tart

{photos by sara remington}

It's Thursday, which means there's still plenty of time to go out and buy loads and loads of bittersweet chocolate before the weekend. That's a very good thing, first, because it's February, the month of Valentine's! And second, it's the start of the official Valentine's launch party for my new book, The Newlywed Cookbook. And where there is a Valentine's party, there will be chocolate. 

Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I dream myself in an airy Soho loft, where I'd invite you all to come for slender slivers of my Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Smoked Sea Salt and a glass of pink champagne. We'd celebrate in high style, we would. But as I write from our snug new york city studio {we are newlyweds, after all}, it's hard to imagine more than two or three of you here at once. Still, our hearts are big and full of the love and joy that always precedes a feast among friends, so, feast we will!

For the next thirteen days, many talented writers, some old friends and many new ones, will be cooking from The Newlywed Cookbook,  sharing their story of food and love along with one of my recipes for you on their blogs! We, whether married two years or twelve years or not-yet-married-at-all, are toasting to the spirit of newlyweds ~ to the the joy and curiosity and abundant love that is at the heart of this book.

The menu, if I do say so myself, is quite delightful, and includes all the major valentines food groups. On it you'll find....
Rise and Shine Muffins ~ Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes with Blackberry Crush ~ Ricotta Silver Dollar Pancakes ~ Multigrain Pancakes with Chocolate Shavings ~ Roasted Beets with Ricotta and Pistachios ~ Two-For-Two Cheese Souffle ~ Halibut with Coriander and Carrots  Grilled Lamb Chops with Melted Polenta Cast Iron Skillet Steak ~ Dowry Dinner Rolls Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding ~ 1000-Layer Chocolate CookiesOlive Oil Cake with Tangerine Marmalade
We invite you to come taste these recipes and hear the stories of these talented writers and friends here...
Dorie Greenspan ~ Diary of a Locavore ~  Aida Mollenkamp ~   Just A Little Organic E.A.T. ~ Mom's Kitchen Handbook ~ Spoonful of Cake ~ Nancie McDermott ~ Farmhouse ~ Lucid Food  ~ Crumbs On My Keyboard ~ Dessert-o-Licious ~ Dallas Food Nerd ~ The June Cleaver Blog ~ Cherryspoon ~ Healthy And Happy Hour
To show our love for our readers and hopefully inspire some loving feasts in your home, each of us will be giving away a copy of The Newlywed Cookbook to one lucky reader. Kindly leave me (and them) a comment and tell us your story of food and love for your chance to win.

Meanwhile, while I regret that I can't cook you my Bittersweet Chocolate Tart myself, I'm so happy to share the recipe with you. I promise that your skill-set in the pastry department is of no matter; this is one simple, sensational valentine's treat you and your love won't regret embarking upon. 

Come, bring your beloveds, bring your friends as we toast to love. May your hearts and tables be filled!

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Smoked Sea Salt
Despite its handsome finish, this tart couldn’t be easier. The crust gets its tenderness from sugar and melted butter, pressed in instead of rolled for ease. It is completely simple, and sinfully elegant. The flavor comes from the chocolate and the cream, so splurge on the highest quality of both you can find.  Your loved ones are worth it.

Serves 12
1/2 cup/115 g unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup/115 g all-purpose/plain flour

1/2 cup/120 ml heavy cream
1/2 cup/120 ml whole milk
2 tbsp sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
7 oz/200 g high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped {1 heaping cup}
1 large egg, beaten
Smoked sea salt {optional}

Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180°C/gas 4.
Make the crust: Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and stir until it feels like damp sand. Press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of an 8-in/20-cm square or 9-in/ 23-cm round tart pan/flan tin with a removable bottom {which makes it much easier to remove the tart in one piece. If you don’t have a tart pan/flan tin, you can make this tart in a springform pan; press the dough evenly across the bottom and only about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 in/3 to 4 cm up the side of the pan}. Use wax/greaseproof paper or buttered fingers to even out and press the dough tightly into the corners. Prick the crust all over with a fork and chill in the fridge until ready to bake, about 30 minutes.

Set the pan on a baking sheet/tray and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Make the filling: While the crust bakes, bring the cream, milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let it sit for about 2 minutes, without stirring. Starting in the middle of the pan, whisk together until the chocolate is evenly melted and the mixture a smooth and a shiny dark brown.

Whisk the beaten egg into the chocolate filling and pour the filling directly into the hot crust. Decrease the oven to 300˚ F/150˚C/gas 2 and return the tart to the oven. Bake until the filling is set, but still a little wiggly in the center, about 12 to 15 minutes (temperatures vary from oven to oven, so the visual clue is more important than time}. Set your timer for 12 minutes. If it looks mostly set at that point, test it by opening the oven door a crack and carefully jiggle the tart pan/flan tin with the edge of your oven mitt. Only the center third should wobble. If it wobbles all the way to the edge, close the door quickly and continue baking about 2 to 3 minutes more.

Remove and cool the tart completely on a rack at room temperature. Just before the tart cools and sets completely, sprinkle a few large flakes of smoked salt on the surface, or leave plain.

Remove the tart from the pan sides and carefully transfer to a platter before serving. Let it cool just until it slices easily. It melts in your mouth when served slightly warm, with a dollop of crème fraiche, if you wish, for extra decadence. Or cool completely, and serve by itself. 

P.S. The deep, smoky flavor of smoked sea salt is a fine complement to the rich chocolate, but this tart is just as elegant with big flakes of white sea salt, or if you’re a chocolate purist, no salt at all. 


Lola said...

Mmm! I wish I could be there to try all the recipes, including your mouthwatering bittersweet chocolate tart.

I look forward to check your recipes on their blogs!

Lola said...

I read your Gnocchi With Haricots Verts recipe on Etsy. How exciting!

Carrie Suzanne said...

Cope, can I still enter to win a copy if this gorgeous book if I'm not a newlywed?

Sarah Copeland said...

Lola, I'm so glad you found me via Etsy's wonderful post about my book and the Gnocchi Recipe. Try it, and I'd love to hear what you think! Please follow along on the tour ~ there's now 13 bloggers and recipes posting this week, hooray!

Carrie, d'accord, you can win even if you're not a newlywed! This book is for anyone and everyone who loves to cook with and for someone they love. Putting your name in the hat! :)

Sarah Copeland said...

Lola and Carrie, guess what, you both win! One copy from me and one from Chronicle! I hope it fills your homes with love, laughter, good memories and a lifetime of luscious feasts to share with someone you love. Much gratitude and valentine's kisses to you both!

My photo
New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.