I’m just going to go ahead and say it now because I’ve been biting my tongue for nearly a month now; I don’t like hot weather. It makes me sweat. And sweating makes me cranky. Ergo, heat makes me cranky. I don’t mean the lovely warmth of a kitchen where bread is baking on a cold winter’s day. I mean humid, sticky, drinkable air, back-of-the-legs-sticking-to-the-lawn-chair hot and an ambient air temperature with which you could coddle an egg.
My attitude is, admittedly, not the best vis-a-vis sultry summer heat, but The Evil Genius goes and makes it worse. He operates on an entirely different energy level when it’s sticky out. Ninety degrees? He does a happy dance and gets up on the roof to do some highly intricate job involving difficult physical manoeuvres and wiring and tar. The fact that we have a metal roof that heats up like a griddle and he has to do the job in bare feet to keep from slipping? No problem! That makes it more fun for him. Ninety five to a hundred degrees? Even better for him! Too hot to stand on the griddle, er, roof so he repairs to the golf course for a double round -walking while carrying his own golf bag, of course- and maybe more. The he comes home, towels off and toddles outside to dig a ditch in the full sun or some other such madness. After nearly fifteen years of marriage I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that he does it just to watch me get mad. Because ooh I get mad watching him galavanting out there in the heat like the mercury is narry a notch above sixty. He gets sweatier and happier and I turn into the mean old troll hag under the bridge. “What’s for dinner? Cold salad with cold dressing and some lunch meat. That’s what!”
Heat saps my energy, my mental function, my patience, my strength -and most unforgivably- my appetite. It is the one thing in the world with the power to make me lose my insatiable hunger. And that. just. isn’t. cool.
There is one evergreen craving that stays with me whatever temperature the thermometer is pushing; sweets. But I don’t want to spend hours or even halves of hours standing over something else that’s radiating heat (OVEN). And so? And so. And so, where was I?*
*I told you it sapped my brain function.
Ah yes, dessert with no blazing inferno of an oven spewing BTUs into my already furnace-like kitchen. Boo, Dante. BOO! You want seven levels of he… (Oh my word, back on track, Rebecca. Don’t scare the nice readers with your heat-rage.) Sweet, cold, creamy chocolate dessert that uses a microwave and and a refrigerator. Just what I need to tame the beast. I present to you “Black Forest Truffle Tart”. And there was much rejoicing.
Here’s what we have going on in this tart. You can start with a pre-made Oreo crust (or the off-brand equivalent) or you can make like me and fashion your own because really -and you know I wouldn’t mess with you when it comes to cooking in the heat- it only takes about two more minutes and no extra heat. (Psssst. It’s cheaper that way, too. Plus you get leftover cookies that you can stick in the freezer and nibble surreptitiously while the kids aren’t looking.) Into it goes a whipped ganache* filling that is topped with sweet black cherry pie filling**.
*Ganache, in case you haven’t become acquainted yet, is a chocolate confection given to us by God in his infinite love for mankind. In its purest form, it is simply chocolate melted with heavy cream then whisked until silky and shiny. It is the base for all chi-chi chocolate truffles that cost a bajillion dollars for six at chocolatiers. Master this and you will live happily ever after. Or at least until you run out of chocolate and heavy cream.
**Now I know I’m putting the cart before the horse with this post, but I prefer to use (surprise) homemade pie filling I’ve canned myself. I am, truly I am, going to share my homemade pie filling recipe this week. But this is an emergency. It’s hot. And I KNOW I can’t be the only mean old crab-a-lanche out there who needs some sweet chocolatey goodness to feel human again. So if you need to -or want to- make this with store-bought pie filling go for it! My pie filling recipe will be up by Thursday.
While this tart is stupendous cold, it is also pretty spectacular at room temperature. Assuming, that is, room temperature is not EQUATORIAL room temperature. If you asked my inner pastry-chef, I’d tell you it’s better at room temperature because the chocolate has a fuller flavor. If you asked my outer whiner who is apt to be laying on the linoleum under the ceiling fan with a spray bottle of cold water, I’d say eat it cold. Either way, you’ll love it.
Oh. A word. It’s pretty rich. Not that I have a problem with that. At all. Just sayin’ keep those slices on the thin side. That way, when you go back in to the refrigerator for your third or fourth slice, you won’t be wracked with guilt. I’m always looking out for you. Even when I’m sweaty and crabby.
For a printer friendly, photo-free version of this recipe minus crabby, click here!
Black Forest Truffle Tart
- 1 Oreo pie crust (or see instructions below for making your own)
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) heavy cream
- 12 ounces chocolate chips
- 2 cups chilled sweet cherry pie filling
Place heavy cream and chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for one minute. Leave in the microwave with the door shut for five minutes afterward. Remove bowl and whisk until smooth and shiny. It will go through a very raggedy looking stage where you will think I’ve steered you wrong. Keep whisking in a circle. I promise it’ll all work out. When it becomes shiny and smooth put the bowl and whisk in the refrigerator. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator every fifteen minutes and give it a good stir with the whisk. After about forty five minutes to an hour, you’ll feel the ganache beginning to thicken up. It should be cool to the touch all the way through.
Scrape the contents into the bowl of your stand mixer. (Alternately, you can use a hand-mixer or whisk the tar out of it by hand, but that’s rather defeating the purpose of not getting sweaty in the kitchen. Dontcha think?) Turn the mixer on high and go just until the ganache starts becoming fluffy and thickened. If you go beyond this stage you will have made what is effectively chocolate butter. Mind you, that’s not necessarily a problem, but it’s not what we’re shooting for here.
Use a rubber spatula to transfer the contents to your pie crust and smooth the top. Spread the pie filling over the top of the ganache and chill the pie until the ganache is set up. This will take about thirty minutes.
Slice into thin wedges and serve, if desired, with whipped cream. Normally I’m an all-whipped-cream-all-the-time gal, but this tart brings out my purist tendencies. My inner pastry chef is begging for a word with you. She says if you want to get the fullest flavor from your tart you will leave the slices on the plates for at least ten minutes prior to serving. I say she’s nuts. Eat it cold!
Homemade Chocolate Cookie Crust
- Half of a package of Oreo type cookies (or Newman’s O’s or Hydrox, whatever flicks your bic.) I like to use the chocolate cream filled ones for a double dose of chocolate.
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
Crush the cookies in a zipper top bag or pulse until finely crushed in a food processor. Mix the melted butter in with a fork and press into a pie plate or removable bottom tart pan. That’s all there is to it!