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Chocolate Pecan Turtle Tart

By Lori Longbotham from Chronicle Books' Luscious Chocolate Desserts

Chocolate Pecan Turtle Tart

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups toasted pecan halves, plus 8 toasted pecan halves for garnish

Serves 10 to 12

This and many other wonderful
recipes may be found in
Luscious Chocolate Desserts
from Chronicle Books

My friend Judith Sutton is a true chocolate lover. She does manythings very well, and one of my favorites of all her efforts is this tart. If you don't have a pastry bag, or don't want to use one, just dollop the whipped cream on the side or on top of each serving.

To make the crust: Whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors-fashion until the butter is the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over the flour mixture, stirring gently with a fork to distribute the moisture evenly. Continue adding water until the dough just begins to come together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers; do not overwork the dough. Press the dough together to form a ball and knead slightly. Shape into a disk and chill, wrapped in wax paper, for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Have a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom

Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to a 12 1/2-inch round. Peel off the top sheet of wax paper. Transfer the dough to the tart pan, wax-paper-side up, and gently press the pastry against the bottom and sides; peel off the paper. Line the shell with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, pressing it snugly into the bottom and against the sides of the shell, and fill with uncooked rice or beans.

Bake the shell for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the rice and bake for 8 minutes longer, or until lightly browned. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

To make the filling: Bring 3/4 cup of the cream lust to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then whisk in the vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour, or until cold.

Meanwhile, bring the sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush if you see sugar crystals forming, for about 15 minutes, until dark golden brown. Reduce the heat to low, carefully pour in 3/4 cup of the cream, and stir until smooth. Stir in the 1 1/4 cups pecans.

Transfer the caramel mixture to the tart shell and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until firm.

Beat the cold chocolate mixture with an electric mixer on low speed for about 1 minute, just until it forms soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Spread the chocolate mixture over the caramel. (The tart can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.)

To serve, whip the remaining 2 cup cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a medium bowl lust until stiff peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Pipe 8 rosettes around the edge of the tart and decorate with the 8 pecan halves. Cut into wedges.

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