Every Christmas I love to make a show-stopping dessert for our Christmas Day feast. (Last year was a champagne layer cake!) My problem is that it’s always a new recipe…clearly leaving some room for error – some more forgivable than others. For example, this year I planned on making Joy the Baker’s Honey Almond Butter Chocolate Tart …only problem was that I should have checked that jar of almond butter perched on our pantry self, because it was solid – definitely past its prime. Sooooo, peanut butter it is! And the problem when I up and move to DC like the crazy daughter I am is that my mom’s and my kitchens are better together. No tart pan in California now :( sooooo, spring form pan it is!
This Christmas snuck up on me. Tried to shop for presents mid-December, walked away with like ten…for meeee, and one for someone else. Fail. (But I can blame that on the fact that I never shop for myself, right?) Aaaand I only made one batch of Christmas cookies. *GASP!* – Chocolate mint marvels (Lemme know if you want the recipe!)
But Will and I did get to see a beautiful sunset; Dad and Granddaddy made our family’s famous eggnog; we hung ornaments; we decorated the tree; Sabrina and I rang in the 24th together; we excelled in pancake medium in the annual family Christmas Eve pancake decorating contest; Becca and I got pumped up for what was to be a beat down at the Holiday Bowl; and I went for a run along the cliffs!
All-in-all a spectacular California Christmas with my family and friends. I’m one lucky girl :) …and lucky my Christmas dessert turned out rich and creamy despite my lack of preparedness.
Here’s what I did.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart
*For the tart shell
Whisk together in a medium bowl:
-1½ cups all-purpose flour
-½ cup powdered sugar
-1/8 teaspoon salt
Using you fingers or a pastry cutter, quickly rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is worked into pieces between the size of a pea and the size of an oat flake:
-½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
Once the butter is worked in, beat in with a fork:
-1 large egg, beaten
The dough will look shaggy, but fear not! Just empty the dough into your tart pan with a removable bottom (or spring form pan), and press the dough into the pan, working it up the sides and evenly across the bottom. Poke holes in the dough and refrigerate it for an hour. Then press nonstick foil against the dough and bake it at 350 for 18 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-13 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove it from the oven to cool on a wire rack.
*For the filling
Whip in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment:
-1 cup heavy cream
When the consistency of whipped cream is reached, set aside.
Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, cream together:
-5 ounces cream cheese, softened
-½ cup ricotta cheese
-½ cup peanut butter
-1/4 cup honey
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Once that’s all mixed up, fold in a third of the whipped cream. Once incorporated, fold in the rest. Then pour the filling into the tart shell, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
*For the chocolate ganache
Melt together over a double boiler or in 20-30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between heating:
-6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
-1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
-Pinch of salt
After that’s all melted and glossy-looking, pour it in top of the peanut butter filling. Refrigerate the tart for at least two hours. And enjoy!
*French phrase for fun!
Mon dieu, c’est beaucoup d’alcool pour le lait de poules!
Wow, that’s a lot of alcohol for the eggnog!