I don’t even know who I am anymore.
See all the whipped cream going on there? Yeah. So NOT me. It’s no secret that I do NOT like whipped cream. The only way I enjoy it is in beverages (as evidenced by my newest obsession I shared with you guys last week) and even then, I really have to be in the mood for it. I do not like it on my ice cream, or my brownies, or on my pies/tarts/desserts in general.
The reason? It doesn’t taste like anything!!!!!! I feel like it is the most pointless ingredient. I want my food to have flavor, to have PURPOSE, and whipped cream just…doesn’t. I know this is a very unpopular opinion (I’ve been scorned by friends and loved ones for years over my stubborn stance on this issue), but it’s just how I feel.
Hold the freaking whipped cream along with your judgement!
Or, at least, it WAS how I FELT before I made this espresso tart. The copious mounds of fluff on top of this tart actually work really well. See? I have totally lost my sense of self. Who am I?!?!
Granted, my favorite part of this tart was DEFINITELY the vanilla wafer cookie crust and creamy coffee filling, but the whipped cream didn’t hurt things, and that is a huge thing in the world of Molly.
There were multiple levels of self discovery that came along with this tart. Indulge me. Along with my whipped cream tolerance, I also discovered the magic of vanilla wafer crusts.
Why oh WHY haven’t I been making all my cookie crusts with vanilla wafers?! Screw the graham crackers! Screw the chocolate wafers! Vanilla wafers are where it’s AT. I think all my tart crusts will be made with vanilla wafers for the rest of time. It is seriously so yummy.
They get even MORE buttery and even more VANILLA-Y (yes, totes a word. Right along with “totes”) when baked, and they are the perfect crunchy layer to this tart. I loved that the crust stayed crunchy, even after it was encasing all that glorious espresso cream (and, ahem, whipped cream). It was texture heaven.
Speaking of the glorious espresso cream…. GUYS. This stuff is incredible. It’s like….an iced coffee in dessert form. If you are a coffee fan, you HAVE to try this recipe. It’s an easy filling to make and the coffee flavor is VERY present. It’s creamy and sweet and just…delicious.
To top things off, I grated a smidge of dark chocolate over the whipped cream. Not only to make it look pretty but to give a little extra flavor. It was a good decision. It made the whipped cream more palatable. Chocolate does that every time, doesn’t it?
This tart is best enjoyed icy cold from the fridge (just ask Dan, who snuck large bites of this straight from the tart pan in the fridge until it was almost completely gone), and not only does it taste like heaven, but it will give you a little caffeine boost. A little pep in your step, if you will.
So, go on, have your coffee and dessert in one. With lots of….sigh….whipped cream.
(Seriously?! Who am I?!)
2½ cups vanilla wafers
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of fine salt
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup flour
Pinch of fine salt
2 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1½ tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
Chocolate shavings, for optional garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the vanilla wafers, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form.
With the machine running, slowly stream in the melted butter. Pulse a few times until all the crumbs are moistened.
Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart or pie dish.
Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
While the crust is baking, make the filling by combining the sugar, flour, and salt in a small saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and slowly stream in the milk, whisking well to incorporate.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for another couple minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks together in a bowl. Carefully ladle some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk them well to incorporate (this tempers the egg yolks and prevents them from scrambling). Pour the egg mixture into the pot with the milk mixture, whisking well.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and espresso powder. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and allow it to cool to room temperature. Place in the fridge until set, at least 3 hours.
Combine the heavy cream and sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until the cream is thickened and soft peaks form. Gently stir in the vanilla.
If desired, remove the chilled tart from the pan. Top the tart with the whipped cream and garnish with shaved chocolate. Slice and serve.