I have a long running attraction to South American writers and poets: Neruda, Bolaño, and Borges are stocked on my bookshelves and bedside table. They words seem to pair experience and passion perfectly. This Valentines Day I am struck by the words of Argentinian Jorges Luis Borges, though I don't believe his poem "After a While, You Learn" was meant to be a love poem I find it unexpectedly fitting for this holiday of love.
After a while you learn the subtle difference,
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security.
We are fed romantic fairytales and nightmares of love lost, but love surprisingly exists somewhere between the two. It finds haven between the cynical and idealistic. It resides in a unforeseen place where you can your bare broken self.
Valentines Day on the other hand isn't surprising - it comes with great anticipation from some and long dread from others. Perhaps the real celebration isn't finding love with another, but instead finding that place where you can love yourself. It certainly takes one to have the other. So this Valentines Day I've made a refreshing and surprising Chocolate + Mint Tart. It looks like a luscious and rich chocolate dessert but surprises you with a refreshing wind of peppermint.
Tart Recipe was adapted from a Paul Grimes recipe.
+ 9 chocolate graham crackers, finely ground
+ 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
+ 1/4 cup of sugar
+ 1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream
+ 8 ounces of 60% chocolate, chopped
+ 2 large eggs
+ 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
+ 1/4 teaspoon of salt
+ 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil for baking
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Stir in together the chocolate graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
- Press into a 9 inch fluted tart pan firmly. Bake for 10 minutes then set out to cool.
- Bring heavy cream to a boil. In a mixing bowl, pour steaming cream over chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth.
- Whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl. Then mix with chocolate, stir until combined.
- Add the peppermint oil to chocolate mixture. Then stir.
- Pour filling mixture into cooled crust. Bake at 350 with a cookie sheet on a lower rack for 22-26 minutes.
- Let cool for an hour. Top with Mint Whipped Cream then serve.
Mint Whipped Cream:
Whisk together 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint baking oil.