Fresh Mint & Dark Chocolate Tart

For whatever reason, I’ve never been able to truly enjoy a mint-flavored anything. Whether it’s ice cream, cookies, or candy, I have always steered clear of mint chip, thin mints, and peppermint patties, respectively. If it registers as the same flavor of my toothpaste, I’m not into it. However, I will say that the difference between the flavors of fresh mint and bottled peppermint oil or tictacs is too immense not to call them by completely different names. The fact that all mint is considered to be on the same playing field is devastating, my point being that I enjoy desserts made with fresh mint, and do not enjoy desserts made with artificial mint flavoring. In the title, I made it my business to clarify: this is strictly fresh mint and nothing else.

Make sure the pastry of your tart shell is cooked all the way through before filling, or you’ll have a hard time making clean slices. Also be sure to leave some excess dough around the edges, as the puff pastry will shrink as it bakes.

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Make the tart:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy cream (+ more for whipped cream)
  • 10 oz dark chocolate, chopped (or 10 oz chocolate chips/chunks)
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 cup of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Roll out a sheet of thawed puff pastry dough and lay it in a 9 in pie plate, then bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. (The middle will puff up, but once removed from the oven, press it down with a spoon.
  2. To make the mint syrup, crush the chopped mint with the sugar in a small saucepan with a wooden spoon. Add 1/2 cup of water and turn the stove on medium-low. Let the mixture simmer until it’s thickened slightly and is tinted light green. Strain the syrup through a sieve and set aside.
  3. In another saucepan, heat the cream with the corn syrup until bubbles form around the edges. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes, then stir until smooth. Add 4 tablespoons of the mint syrup and stir until combined.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the puff pastry shell, cover and refrigerate for an hour (or until completely cool). Make whipped cream and add 3 tablespoons of mint syrup to the cream before whipping. Spread the whipped cream over the tart and refrigerate until set.

Enjoy! <3, B

Peach Basil Pie

(Almost award winning.) A few weeks ago, I entered my application for this year’s Beverly Hills Piesta pie bake competition. Although I didn’t come out triumphant with the $275 first place prize, I did make a pretty awesome pie. It’s full of summer time flavor.

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Make the pie

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 fresh yellow or white peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup of white sugar (adjust amount depending on the sweetness of the peaches)

  • 1 meyer lemon (I get mine from my neighbor’s tree)

  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, chopped into small ribbons

Make the pie:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.

  2. Zest and juice the lemon, then combine in a bowl with the peaches, basil, and sugar.

  3. Roll out 1 pie crust disk into a 9-inch pie plate. Prick a few holes in the dish, then pour in the filling (if the filling is overly juicy, you might need to strain it before putting it in the crust.)

  4. Cover the pie with the second crust and prick more holes in the top with a fork.

  5. Brush the top with egg wash, then bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pie is golden.

Enjoy! <3, B