Today's bake is the Chocolate and Polenta Tart from Dolce Italiano selected by Marcia from Happy Trails For Us: My Reluctant Blog.
Chocolate and polenta, what an unusual combination. This time I needed to chase down instant polenta. I have standard polenta which has a coarse grain. One option would be to use cornmeal but I decided to check Central Market. They had several different polentas by Moretti. Unfortunately I didn't look up the different options before running to the store. My Italian is not as good as my French so I stood there for a bit mulling over which one might be instant. Fortunately, there is a translation on the package and I decided to go with the lampo which turns out to be the instant.
Next decision was what chocolate to use. There were multiple choices from different countries and even the single plantation chocolate. As luck would have it, there was a chocolate tasting at the store hosted by our local fair trade chocolatier - Theo Chocolates. I discussed what would be a good bittersweet to use to bake and we decided the 75% Cacao which blended chocolates from Ghana, Panama and Ecuador would be good. BTW, if you are looking for a great blog on Chocolate, take a their Theonistas Unite! blog. Hmmm... I just discovered they have tours. I will check them out.
All the ingredients now located, it was not time to start baking. The crust was similar to a shortbread crust except it included a 1/2 cup of polenta. Combine flour, sugar, polenta and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Then add unsalted butter and pulse until it resembles coarse sand. Next combine egg, olive oil and vanilla. Add to the flour/butter mixture and pulse until it comes together in a ball. Refrigerate for 2 hours and then roll into 10" pan.
That's when my problems began. I found the dough to be very sticky and I didn't use enough flour when rolling it. I put down parchment paper to roll it out on and it stuck to the paper and it came apart when I tried to put it in the pan as you can see below. I have better luck when I put soft dough like this into the freezer. It probably would have been good if I had a marble slab for rolling it on. That would have kept it cool. Fortunately, it seems to be somewhat forgiving and I was able to press it into the pan.
Next melt butter and chocolate over hot water. This is the best way to melt chocolate. It stays somewhat cool and doesn't burn. Beat eggs and sugar until triple in volume. Stir in vanilla and then fold into the chocolate mixture. Sift flour and polenta into the mixture and pour into tart shell. Bake for 25 minutes at 350. Or in my oven's case - 360.
The taste was gorgeous. It was a little drier than I expect and I would be better served warm. G, my resident chocoholic said - "Yummmm... this will be gone in no time".