BLACKBERRY TOPPED CHOCOLATE SILK TART

This recipe is from Mary Cech's latest book, the "Wine Lover''s Dessert Book: Double Decadent Pairings of Desserts and Sweet Wine". Written with Jennie Schacht, it will be released in 2005 from Chronicle Books. Currently living in Santa Fe, Mary is familiar to many in the pastry world as a former instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. This is a spectacular and easy dessert. The recipe calls for Collection Etienne's single origin Sur del Lago varietal chocolate. It is also excellent with Collection Etienne dark chocolate blends, the 61% Cacao Semisweet Chocolate or 72% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate. Other fresh fruits-such as raspberries, orange, tangerines, mangos or strawberries-may be substituted. Making the Match: The berries atop this intense chocolate tart act as a bridge, marrying it beautifully with a variety of dessert wines. The essential elements to pair are rich, dark chocolate, velvet texture, and sweet-tart blackberries. Look for a late harvest red wine with berry and chocolate flavors, such as a zinfandel or syrah port. We enjoy this with Rosenblum Cellars' Black Muscat (Alameda, California) with its berry and rose petal flavors. A ruby or vintage port also would pair nicely. If you substitute other berries or fruits in season, be sure to take them into consideration when making a wine match. Time: Approximately 45 minutes to prepare, plus 30 minutes to chill the dough and one hour for the finished tart to set.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients

Short Dough Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Silk Filling:
12 ounces Collection Etienne's Sur del Lago chocolate, finely chopped (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at warm room temperature (it should be quite soft)
2 egg yolks from eggs graded large
1/2 cup sour cream

Garnish:
1 pint (2 cups) ripe blackberries, gently rinsed and laid out on a towel to dry

Directions

Make the crust:
Pulse the butter and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until combined. Add the egg yolk and pulse a few times more. Add the flour and salt and process just until the dough holds together when you press it between your fingers. Knead the dough briefly to bring all the ingredients together, then press it into a flat disk about 6 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set an oven rack near the middle position. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it on a well-floured surface to about 11-1/2 inches in diameter, moving it around frequently to be sure it does not stick and adding flour as needed to the dough and rolling pin. Carefully roll the dough circle up onto the rolling pin and unroll it over an ungreased 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, centering the dough and pressing it firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan. The dough may be crumbly and tend to tear in places, but it is easily patched after fitting it into the pan. Trim the top by rolling a rolling pin over the edges.

Bake until the crust is light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool.

While the pastry is baking, make the filling:
Place the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl.

Bring the cream, sugar, and salt to a full, rolling boil in a medium saucepan. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and let it sit a few seconds to begin melting, then stir gently with a whisk just until the chocolate is smooth. Whisk in the butter, about a tablespoon or two at a time, until each piece is incorporated. Whisk in the egg yolks until smooth. Fold in the sour cream.

Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and set aside at room temperature, uncovered, until it is completely cool and softly set, about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate the completely cooled tart if you will leave it more than 2 hours, but remove it from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving to come to room temperature.