For many people, there’s no dessert other than chocolate. This one—a dark chocolate ganache layered in a chocolate cookie shell—is unabashedly rich to satisfy anyone in that crowd. Caitlyn Jarvis, the pastry chef for Henrietta Red in Nashville, has also layered in lots of fig flavor to highlight some of the nuance of the star ingredient and add a spot of brightness.
- 11 tablespoons butter½ cup sugar
- 1¹/₃ cups flour
- ²/₃ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ²/₃ plus ¾ teaspoons salt
- 1½ cups fig jam (store-bought, or use the recipe that follows)
- 2 cups dark chocolate pieces (70% cacao)
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Pickled figs (recipe follows)
Heat oven to 350 ̊F. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream 8 table-spoons butter and sugar. Add in all flour, cocoa, baking powder and 2/3 teaspoon salt, and mix until just combined. Spread onto sheet pan lined with parchment and bake for 15–20 minutes. Let cool.
In food processor, grind to crumbs, stop-ping just before it becomes cookie butter. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter and thoroughly combine with crumbs. Press mixture firmly into tart mold. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely, then spread fig jam over crust.
To make ganache filling, place chocolate, vanilla and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt in heatproof bowl. Warm cream over medium heat until simmering. Pour cream over chocolate and allow to melt for 2–3 min-utes, then mix until completely emulsified. Pour into tart shell and chill until set. Top with pickled and fresh figs. Serves 8.
- 2¼ cups dried figs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 lemons, juiced
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in pot with 2 cups water. Simmer until mixture reaches 220˚F. Remove from heat and purée in food processor.
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vermouth
- ⅓ cup red-wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 strips of orange zest
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 cups whole fresh figs, punctured with toothpicks
Heat all ingredients except figs to simmer. Pour liquid over punctured figs. All to cool, then quarter each fig and return to liquid to continue soaking until ready to use.
A good chocolate dessert starts with complex, flavorful chocolate, which can often have fruity, herbal, floral and berry notes. An aromatized wine such as vermouth, amaro, quinquina or chinato is a sweetened, fortified wine that’s also likely to have those characteristics, plus a dose of bitterness to match that in chocolate.
Allie Poindexter, the restaurant’s former wine director, recommends Cappellano NV Barolo Chinato, from Italy’s Piedmont region. Made from a Nebbiolo base, infused with cinchona bark—the same ingredient used in tonic water—and herbs, and enhanced with spirits, this is produced from a family recipe dating back to 1870. Originally made with medicinal intentions, it will cure whatever ails you.