The ultimate of all my many brownie recipes deserves a container as delicious as itself. This crisp chocolate cookie crust also serves to keep the outside of the brownie moist and chewy. Unbelievable!
|walnut or pecan halves|
|unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)|
|fine-quality unsweetened or 99% cacao chocolate, chopped||.|
|white chocolate containing cocoa butter, chopped||.|
|unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder|
|pure vanilla extract||.||.|
|bleached all-purpose flour|
|fine sea salt||.||.|
One 9½ by 1 inch high fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, sprayed with baking spray with flour if not a nonstick pan | An expandable flan ring or 12 inch round cardboard template | One 8 inch round cake pan | A baking sheet lined with nonstick or lightly sprayed aluminum foil
Flatten the dough into a 6 inch disc. Wrap it well and refrigerate it for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to roll or pat into the pan. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months. If chilled for more than 30 minutes, it can take as long as 40 minutes at room temperature to become malleable enough to roll.
Set the dough between lightly floured large sheets of plastic wrap. Roll it evenly into a ⅛ inch thick disc larger than 12 inches in diameter. While rolling the dough, sprinkle it with a little more flour on each side as needed and if the dough softens significantly, slip it onto a baking sheet and refrigerate it until firm (see Note). From time to time, flip the dough with the plastic wrap, and lift off and flatten out the plastic wrap as necessary to make sure it doesn’t wrinkle into the dough.
Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and use the expandable flan ring, or a pizza wheel or small sharp knife with the cardboard template as a guide, to cut a 12 inch disc. If using the pizza wheel or knife, take care not to cut through the bottom plastic wrap. (Excess dough can be frozen for several months.) If the dough softens after cutting the disc, refrigerate it until firm. It will not drape over the pan unless it is flexible, so if it becomes too rigid in the refrigerator, let it sit and soften for a few minutes.
Fold in the excess dough to halfway down the sides of the tart pan. Press it against the sides so that it extends
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze it for a minimum of 1 hour.
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and
Spread the walnuts evenly on a baking sheet and
In a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water (do not let the bottom of the container touch the water), melt the butter, unsweetened chocolate, white chocolate, and cocoa, stirring often. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until the mixture becomes thick and glossy. Add the flour and salt and stir just until the flour is fully moistened. Stir in the walnuts.
Carefully place the chilled dough-lined pan on the baking sheet. Scrape the batter into the pan. It will reach the top of the pan and be just under the top of the crust. Smooth the surface evenly with an offset spatula.
Place the tart, on the baking sheet, in the oven.
Remove the tart, still on the baking sheet, to a wire rack and let it cool until no longer warm to the touch.
Remove the tart pan, still on the baking sheet, to a wire rack and let it cool for a few minutes. Lightly press the sides and the bottom of the tart shell with your fingers to form straight sides and a flat bottom. Cool it completely on a wire rack. The crust will be soft to the touch.
Place the tart pan on top of a canister that is smaller than the bottom at the opening of the tart pan’s outer rim. Wet a dish towel with hot water and wring it out well. Apply it to the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Press down on both sides of the tart ring. The outer rim should slip away easily. If not, apply more heat. Slip a long metal spatula between the crust and the bottom of the pan, loosening it all around if necessary, and slide the tart onto a serving plate.
Refrigerate the tart for a minimum of 1 hour before serving. It is at its most deliciously fudgy when chilled or frozen.
Airtight: room temperature, 3 days; refrigerated, 2 weeks; frozen, 6 months.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.