Chocolate Amaretti Nut Marshmallow tart

Decadent chocolate ganache aligns with Dulce de Leche to crown marshmallow blooms. 
The crunch from Amaretti cookies, almonds and pecans join in for contrast.

Decades have gone by where Mom still insists on receiving for Christmas.
The very least I can do is bring a few thoughtful gifts…and dessert is a must.
Last year's Christmas table was set by Mom waiting patiently for my dessert.

Dedicated meals get enjoyed with her playful centerpieces…
while we make sure to keep an eye on the prize…space for sweets, of course ;o)

Several treats are prepared along with a reigning Queen to steal the platform.
Last year, I was feeling more creative than usual and serene bliss took over as I assembled.
Although several ingredients go into making this tart, putting it together was pure joy.

If deciding that cutting corners is of necessity…
don't deprive yourself of this tart montage.

A store-bought pie shell could have also been used without shame.
Both Hazelnut chocolate and caramel spreads could also have replaced the ganache and Dulce.
Amaretti or other cookie favourite snuggled in packages await your picking.
Did I mention crushed up Meringue cookies…wonderful combination.

All this to say…
a half-homemade dessert would still reign in the complements at the sweets table.

Now, if you want to join into the full process…this is how I rolled or not.
The very simple no-roll crust can be made ahead, while…
the addictive chocolate ganache waits its turn.

All else wait for orders of assembly.

Alright now, if there's a time to get fancier with desserts it's during the holidays.
Now, lets have some fun in our kitchens while not forgetting those holiday tunes.

Chocolate Amaretti Nut Marshmallow tart

9-1/2 inch tart 
serves 6-8 pieces

(American / some Metric measures)

Crust (no-roll): or store-bought pie shell
1/2 cup (120g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (75ml) milk
1-1/3 cups (220g) All Purpose flour
1/4 tsp. (1.25ml) sea salt
1 tsp. (5ml) baking powder

. 1 cup Dulce de Leche
. 8 small Amaretti cookies, crushed
. 1/2 cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
. 1 medium orange, finely zested
. Chocolate ganache (* refer to recipe below)

. 60 raw pecan halves (36 to stand + 24 to leave flat)
. 3/4 cup mini marshmallows, tops snipped

* Chocolate ganache recipe:  
5oz (150g) bittersweet 65-70% chocolate (coarsely chopped) with 1/2 cup (120ml) whipping 35% cream and 1 Tbsp. (15ml) unsalted butter:  Warm the cream and pour it over the chocolate placed into a heat proof, medium bowl.  Let it rest 30 seconds before mixing until smooth. Stir in the butter last. Cool for about 1 hour.

. For one non-greased, removable 9-1/2 inch (24cm) bottom tart pan.
. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Position the rack in the center of the oven.

1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and milk on LOW-MEDIUM heat.
3. Close the heat and immediately add all the flour mix.  With a strong spatula, quickly combine it until the dough retracts from the sides and all traces of  the flour disappear (about 15 seconds).  Transfer dough onto a plate to cool for 30 minutes.
4. Afterwards, flatten the dough and gently into the non-greased tart pan. Patiently spread with the palm of the hand until the edges start rising up.  All the while, keep turning the pan as to evenly work the dough with fingers to fill the pan uniformly.  Make sure there are no cracks.

5. Pre-bake ('blind bake') crust: Place the tart onto a baking pan and 'Dock' the dough.  Place a piece of parchment within the tart completely filled with 'pie weights'. 
6. BAKE at 400F for 10 minutes.  Temporarily, take the baking pan out of the oven to carefully remove the paper with its pie weights.  Lower the oven to 350F.  Place the pan back into the oven and BAKE for another 15 minutes (10 min. if store-bought) or until lightly golden brown.  Let it cool before adding the filling and garnish.

ASSEMBLY - Decoration:
7. In the baked tart, spread out the caramel.  Position the first 36 pecan halves standing around the perimeter held by the caramel. 
Add the layers of crushed cookies, nuts and orange zest.  Finish by a thick layer of the cooled (pourable) chocolate ganache.
8. Decorate with the remaining 24 pecan halves laid flat touching the standing ones.  The scissor snipped marshmallows placed as per photo.
Serve as soon as the ganache has hardened enough to slice.  Keeps well at room temperature for 3 days.

How difficult it is to pick the one dessert that I feel will not only be possible for most to do, but also be a show stopper in its own right.  I really hope this is as much a hit for you as mine was for my loved ones.
Happy Holidays.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.