Erica Gelbard is the Assistant Director of Publicity for Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. She lives in New Jersey and loves baking, entertaining, and channeling her inner Martha. She is always on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.
When trying to think of a dessert to make for a special brunch, I of course immediately consulted my go-to gal, Ina Garten. I was looking for something delicious yet fuss-free, so I flipped through Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? (Clarkson Potter, 2010) by Ina Garten and decided to make the Chocolate Pudding Cream Tart, which I knew would be a crowd pleaser.
The recipe may appear complicated, but the Barefoot Contessa does not lie—it WAS that easy! I made a graham cracker crust by combining graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter, pressed the mixture into a tart pan and baked for 10 minutes. While that cooled, I got to work on the pudding, which was as simple as combining sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt with hot milk and cooking until nice and thick. Add some bittersweet chocolate, butter, instant coffee (it helps bring out the flavor of the chocolate), and Kahlúa if you are feeling boozy, and you have your pudding. Pour into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate for 6 hours. Once cooled, top with some sweetened whipped cream and there you have it: a gorgeous chocolate pudding tart!
Chocolate Pudding Cream Tart
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten:
For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¹⁄³ cup sugar
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
4 cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar
5 extra-large egg yolks
¹⁄³ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
7 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, broken
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon Kahlúa liqueur
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, such as Nescafé Clásico
Sweetened whipped cream (see note)
Shaved bittersweet chocolate, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the graham crackers, sugar, and butter in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. Lightly press the mixture into an 11-inch metal tart pan with removable sides. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until almost simmering. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the milk into the bowl. (I pour the hot milk into a large measuring cup first to reduce spills.) Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is very thick.
Off the heat, add the chocolate, butter, Kahlúa, and coffee. Beat with a whisk until smooth and pour into the cooled crust. Place plastic wrap directly on the chocolate filling and chill the tart for 6 hours, until cold. Decorate with whipped cream and shaved chocolate and serve cold.
Note: To make sweetened whipped cream, place 1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until it forms firm peaks.