Chocolate -- Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Tart

Recipes on this page were developed or tested by CeCe Sullivan and Dawn Clark, Times home economists. The recipes are evaluated by staff members and are printed in a format suitable for clipping.

In the nutritional data, 5 to 7 percent of the fatty acids are undefinable.

The following recipe is from ``Cocolat - Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts'' by Alice Medrich.

BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TART

16 servings; approximate preparation time 1 hour

Chocolate tart pastry:

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup flour

Filling:

10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

1 1/4 cups whipping cream

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1. To prepare the pastry: Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a food processor; process until creamy. Add the cocoa and process until the mixture is a dark, smooth paste. Add the flour and pulse just to incorporate. (The dough will be crumbly. Press to hold it together.) Transfer to a piece of wax paper, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (If left too long soften slightly at room temperature.)

2. Remove the dough from refrigeration. Roll between sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/8 inch thickness and about 11 inches in

diameter. Peel away the top sheet of plastic and pick up the dough with the bottom sheet. Invert into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough carefully into the pan, using the plastic wrap. Remove the plastic and pinch off the dough at the upper rim. Check to see that there is no breakage in the dough and patch if necessary. Refrigerate until completely chilled.

3. Prick the bottom of the shell. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven 12 to 14 minutes, or until it is set around the edges but is still looking wet in the center. Cool completely on a rack.

4. To prepare the filling: Place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a large saucepan; pour over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has completely melted and is very smooth. Pour into the cooked shell, spreading evenly. Refrigerate at least 4 hours; the tart may be made 2 days ahead. Once the tart has set, drape a piece of foil over the top.

5. Loosen the pan from the sides of the tart by inserting a small sharp knife between the two; remove the sides of the pan. Place on a serving platter with pieces of wax paper under the pan. Sift the cocoa powder over the top, using a doily or stencil if desired. Remove the wax paper strips.

6. Keep refrigerated until about 30 minutes before serving. Cut into very thin wedges, wiping the knife between each cut.

Data per serving

Calories 246

Protein 3g

Fat 21g

Carbohydrates 18g

Sodium 67mg

Saturated fat 13g

Monounsaturated fat 7g

Polyunsaturated fat 1g

Cholesterol 38mg