Meditations

After Dinner Coffee Dessert


There’s something amazing about the yin yang nature of Vietnamese coffee – hot coffee and cold condensed milk, dark and light, bitter and sweet. The Chocolate and Vietnamese Coffee Tart with Condensed Milk Ice Cream, adapted from Asian Flavors of Jean Georges is coffee in dessert form.

Condensed Milk Ice Cream
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
I used Longevity Brand condensed milk, it’s darker and richer than the Eagle Brand stuff. I get it from T&T but it’s probably in any Asian grocery store.

Warm the milk and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just scalded. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until just broken, then add a third of the warm milk in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a container and refrigerate until well chilled. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

This is best made the day before to give the ice cream plenty of time to harden in the freezer.

Vietnamese Coffee Sauce
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 Tbsp brewed espresso
1/4 tsp salt

Stir the ingredients together until well incorporated. Chill in the refrigerator until needed.

Tart Dough
Makes enough for two 10″ tarts.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg

Put the butter, flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. With the machine running, add the egg and process just until the mixture comes together. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer to mix the butter with the dry ingredients, then add the egg at the end.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape each into a flat disc. Tightly wrap the portions in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.

Grease a 10″ x 1″ tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. If the pan is non-stick, don’t bother.

Unwrap a portion of dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out, turning occasionally, until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to the pan, and press firmly into the edges and up the sides. Trim the excess edges, and use it to patch up any thin parts or cracks in the dough. Transfer the pan to the freezer for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. (Cover the surface in plastic wrap if freezing it overnight.)

Chocolate Coffee Ganache
12 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 70% Valrhona chocolate discs, un-chopped)
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup Vietnamese coffee grounds or espresso grounds
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pie weights, rice, or beans for blind baking.

The recipe says that the ganache will fill two 10″ tart shells, but I found that I needed the full recipe to fill a single 1″ high tart pan, with a bit of ganache left over. If you have a 0.5″ or 0.75″ high tart pan, then using half of ganache recipe per tart is probably fine. I just didn’t really like the idea of a tart that only looked half full. I made two 3.5″ x 0.75″ mini tarts with some of the other dough portion and the leftover ganache.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Remove the tart pan from the freezer and place the pan on a cookie sheet. Prick the frozen dough all over. Line the pan with a large sheet of parchment paper and fill with the pie weights, rice or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the weights and parchment paper, and bake until the dough is dry to the touch, about 5 more minutes.

Turn the oven down to 275 F and allow the tart shell to cool while you prepare the ganache filling.

Put the chocolate in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the cream, evaporated milk, coffee grounds and salt to a simmer over medium low heat. Allow it to steep for at least 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve over the chocolate and whisk the mixture until smooth and shiny. Whisk in the egg(s) until well incorporated, then whisk in the condensed milk and vanilla.

Pour the ganache into the cooled tart shell.

If you are baking a single 1″ high tart and used the original ganache recipe for just one tart, fill the shell until it is a few mm from the top so that the ganache doesn’t spill over the edge while transferring the tart pan to the oven. The ganache does not puff up over the edge while baking so you can fill the shell right up to the top if you want, just be really careful moving it to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The middle should still jiggle slightly but not be too wet. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

If you are baking a 1/2″ or 3/4″ high tart using half of the ganache recipe in a tart, bake for 10 minutes, rotate the sheet, then bake for 10 minutes more.

If you are baking mini tarts, bake for 10 minutes, rotate, then bake 10 minutes more.

Serve thin wedges of the tart at room temperature, with a scoop of ice cream on one side of the wedge and a spoonful of sauce on the other side.

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