French Silk Tart is not a French dessert. The name comes from its silky texture, reminiscent of French silk. The decadent chocolate, mousse-like filling melts in your mouth. The Chocolate Shortbread Tart Crust adds crunch, more richness, and pairs beautifully with the creamy filling. The crust is a simple recipe that does not require a mixer, food processor, or rolling pin. You simply mix it in a bowl, press it in the pan, and bake. Since the tart requires a few hours to set up in the refrigerator, it is ideal for making ahead of time.
This is a traditional French Silk Tart recipe that uses raw eggs. It was never a problem at D’Amico’s Café, but if this is a concern for you, you can buy pasteurized eggs or easily pasteurize them yourself (see how in the recipe notes). You can use superfine or granulated sugar. Superfine sugar is often used to make mousse because it dissolves better, and your filling is less likely to be grainy. However, if you beat everything according to the recipe, granulated sugar is also acceptable. Serve each piece with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with chocolate shavings or curls. If you plan to serve the tart for guests, the whole tart can be covered in whipped cream and garnished for an elegant presentation.
The recipe for the tart crust is provided at this link Chocolate Shortbread Tart Crust.
French Silk Tart
- 1 (9-inch) Chocolate Shortbread Tart Crust, baked and cooled
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream plus more for serving
- 6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup superfine or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- Whipped Cream and Shaved Chocolate for serving
- To melt the chocolate in the microwave, place the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in 20 second increments, stopping and stirring after every 20 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Set aside and cool to room temperature. This should take about 20 minutes. The chocolate must be cool before adding in Step 5.
- Whip the cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Medium-stiff peaks are just stiff enough to stand up firmly but with a slight curl at the tip. Do not over whip. Refrigerate until needed.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes more.
- Add the vanilla and cooled chocolate and beat to incorporate, about 1 minute.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating a full 5 minutes after adding each egg. When all the eggs have been added, beat on medium speed for 5 minutes more, until mixture is silky and smooth.
- Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate filling until no white streaks remain.
- Transfer filling to baked and cooled crust and smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Finish the tart with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
- Use eggs at room temperature. Be sure there are no cracks in the eggs.
- Wash off any dirt.
- Place eggs in pot, cover eggs by one inch with tap water.
- Bring the water to 140° over medium high heat – Use a thermometer for this.
- Leave the eggs at that temperature for 3 minutes for medium size eggs, 3½ minutes for large eggs. Maintain that temperature either by lowering the heat slightly or adding a little cold water. You don’t want the temperature to go above 142° or the eggs will begin to cook.
- After 3 minutes, quickly remove to an ice bath.