When last we left our new series, Cooking With the Stars at 54 Below, TheaterMania unleashed counterculture songwriter extraordinaire Joe Iconis into the kitchen at Broadway supper club 54 Below to prepare Bacon Mac and Cheese alongside Chef André J. Marrero.
We're back in the kitchen with Chef André, and joining us for a spritely afternoon of organized chaos in the kitchen are Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor, the stars of the upcoming The Last Five Years in Concert. Is there a better way to celebrate a musical about the destruction of one couple's marriage than by cooking up a chocolate tart?
Chocolate Tart Dough
2 cups cake flour (1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup cornstarch)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
Mix all components together except the eggs, then add eggs one at a time. When the dough comes together, form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling out. Yields four 8-inch tart shells.
World’s Simplest Chocolate Tart Filling
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 pieces of star anise
5 cardamom pods, crushed and with black seeds removed
1 small square of cheese cloth and butcher's twine
8 oz. dark chocolate (66% is ideal)
Place the cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds, and star anise in cheese cloth and make a sachet. Tie with a piece of twine and place this packet into heavy cream. In a sauce pot, pour in cream, then add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Place pot on heat and bring to high simmer (around 190 degrees F). Place chocolate pieces, in quarter-size coins, into a bowl. Once cream comes to a simmer, remove it from heat and let it sit for 3-4 minutes to allow spices to infuse the liquid. Remove packet from cream, then pour cream over the chocolate pieces and leave it undisturbed for 8 minutes. With a rubber spatula, mix all ingredients together. Pour this mixture into the blind baked tart shells. Place tart, uncovered, in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow chocolate to set. Use knife heated with very hot water to slice tart for service. Garnish with fresh cut berries in lemon simple syrup.