We first tried this recipe while we were posted in Tashkent in early 2007. We pulled the recipe from the February 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine and made it with locally available Russian bittersweet chocolate bars and chocolate cookies from Turkey. This tart has a creamy, almost pudding-like center. Choosing a quality brand of bittersweet chocolate (like Valrhona) results in more well-rounded flavor and the silkiest possible texture.
28 chocolate wafers, finely ground in a food processor (1 1/2 cups)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled completely
1/2 lb fine bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao), chopped
3/4 stick (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling
1.Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap a sheet of foil over bottom of an 8-inch round springform pan to prevent leaks. (I used a standard 9-inch pie pan with perfect results.) Lightly butter the bottom and sides of pan.
2. Stir together ground wafers and butter in a bowl until combined, then pat mixture evenly onto bottom of pan and 1 1/2 inches up side. Bake until crust is slightly puffed, about 10 minutes, then cool completely in pan on a rack, about 15 minutes. Leave oven on.
3. Melt chocolate and butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth, then remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
4. Whisk together eggs, cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined well.
5. Pour filling into cooled crust and rap pan once on counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake until filling 1 inch from edge is set and slightly puffed but center trembles slightly when pan is gently shaken, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as it cools.)
6. Cool tart completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Chill, uncovered, until center is firm, about 4 hours. Remove side of pan and sprinkle with cocoa to serve.
The tart can be chilled up to 3 days. Cover loosely after tart is completely chilled (covering before may cause condensation). The crust, without filling, can be made 1 day ahead and kept covered at room temperature.
Allow 7 hours for preparation