This is my first dessert post, which seems crazy because I am one of those people that eat dinner just to get to dessert. When I say I have a sweet tooth, that is a serious understatement. But then again I needed to wait for the perfect wine to pair with dessert. And I don’t mean a “dessert” wine, I mean a dark, heavy Cab blend that is usually paired with grilled meats and hearty stews. You won’t believe how perfectly a wine like that pairs with a thick, creamy dark chocolate dessert.
May I present… Double Dark Chocolate/Almond Tart with Hahn Bin 36 Cabernet 2008.
I choose the Bin 36 Cabernet blend as my dessert-perfect wine for several reasons. First, the nose – a lot of berry and cola – how often do you see chocolate and berries paired together? They just work well. And cola – I find that so unique in a heavy red blend and the perfect note to pair with a sugary bite. Second, taste – cocoa and spices – that just says it all. Pair this wine with a spiced chocolate dessert to mimic the tastes in the wine. Third, a small amount of acidity – too much acid will break right through the chocolate as you take a bite and will ruin the experience. That won’t happen here.
Enjoy this wine with dinner but please save some for dessert!
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder (try Hershey’s Extra Dark)
¾ cup all purpose flour
5 strips thick, center cut bacon
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon almond pastry
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
For Crust: Whisk butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and creamy. Add cinnamon, salt and cocoa powder. Slowly add flour, 2 tablespoons at a time until loose, sticky batter forms.
Wrap batter in plastic, form into a disk and let cool in refrigerator for at least 1 hour until firm. Place cooled batter between two sheets of
parchment paper and roll out until ¼ inch thick. Carefully transfer crust to a pie pan with a removable bottom. Press crust firmly into pan. Using a form, poke all around bottom of crust to prevent rising when baking. Place into refrigerator for 15 more minutes.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on baking rack.
Filling: In a small saucepan, warm heavy cream over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and add to a large mixing bowl with chocolate chips. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Mix in cayenne and reserved bacon.
Pour into cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours until chocolate is firm.
Almond Cream: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugar, almond paste and salt. Bring to a simmer and whisk until well combined.
Whisk egg yolks and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl until it starts to thicken. Slowly pour about ¼ of milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper. Slowly pour egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and return to low heat. Keep whisking until mixture becomes a pudding-like consistency.
Cover with plastic and place into refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours, or overnight. When ready to serve, whip cream in a stand mixer with whisk attachment for 5 minutes.