Chocolate-Orange Tart

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Happy New Year everyone!  First of all, thank you so much for all of the support everyone has shown me--it has meant so much to me. Each comment, like and share was a little spark of light that I needed in that moment.  2017 was a roller coaster--full of sharp turns, exhilarating highs and unexpected drops that made my stomach flip for sure, but I'm so excited for everything that this new year has in store!  I know that in life--and baking--it doesn't matter what happens, I've gotta keep my head in the game to reach the desired outcome. So, I'm putting my new motto use: Lemons to Lemon Curd! Actually, in this case--orange and chocolate... well, you get the idea!

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I love this tart. I love how elegant and slender it is. And I especially love how easy it is to make.  This is a great recipe for experienced and beginner bakers alike. No matter if you're a novice or not, this tart has a sophisticated, nuanced flavor thanks to the orange zest and orange liqueur. And the silky chocolate filling is just divine and accented by flaky sea salt.  

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When I want to spend more time cozying up to the fireplace than to the oven, I take
a few shortcuts with my baking. The crust is a festive blend of crushed gingersnaps
and butter. Crushed oreos would also work just fine. Get fancy with the toppings. I added flaky sea salt--just a sprinkling on top. Raspberries are also a perfect match with anything chocolate or tart. A little dusting of cocoa powder will never steer you wrong, and this tart is no exception. Or, get real fancy and add some candied orange peel. Whatever you do, just have fun with it!  

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Chocolate-Orange Tart
Serves 10

Crust
1 ½ cups finely crushed gingersnaps
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling
2 cups heavy whipping cream
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I like Cointreau)
zest of one orange

To make crust: Preheat oven to 350F. In a food processor, pulse the cookies until
pulverized and completely fine and broken down. Add the brown sugar and melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are wet and sand-like. Remove from the food processor and press the crumbs evenly into a 14 x 4-inch rectangular tart pan, ideally with a removable bottom. (The crust should be even and not too thick.  It’s ok if you have leftover crumbs.) Bake at 350F for 9 minutes. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Reserve any leftover crumbs.

To make filling: Place ½ cup of the cream in a microwaveable bowl with the 12 ounces of chocolate.  Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. Continue to microwave in 30 second
intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Set aside to cool to room
temperature.  Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, whip the remaining 1 and ½ cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cooled chocolate-cream, orange liqueur and orange zest until just combined. (Make sure the chocolate-cream mixture is room temperature. If the mixture is still warm, it will melt the cream.) Spread the mixture evenly in the tart pan (any leftovers can be spooned into glasses and topped with the leftover gingersnap crumbs). Refrigerate overnight to allow the filling to set. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. When ready to serve, remove from the pan and top with sea salt, orange peel, cocoa powder, or raspberries. 

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