This 8" tart can be served at room temperature or chilled for a firmer, fudgy filling.
Green Tea Shortbread Pastry
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp green tea leaves*
2 or 3 drops green food colouring
* Japanese green tea (bancha) is best here, but any green tea leaves can be substituted. The leaves should be the size of dried oregano, not a powder. If the leaves are large, crush them in a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a mug before measuring.
Chocolate Tart Filling
9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
Chocolate curls, whipped cream and cocoa powder to top (if desired)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 300°F.
Step 2: To make the pastry, beat the butter on low speed with an electric mixer, gradually beating in the sugar, then the salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour, tea leaves and food colouring. Add just enough colouring to make a pale green shade.
Step 3: The dough will be in crumbly bits in the bowl. Use your hands to press together the dough into a slab. Place on lightly floured board. Roll out to 1/8" thickness with a lightly floured rolling pin.
Step 4: To line an 8" loose-bottomed tart pan (about 3/4" to 1" deep), use your fingers to roll the sheet of dough into a loose cylinder. Place the cylinder along one edge of the pan and unroll the pastry over the bottom and sides. If the pastry cracks; simply pat the pastry, pressing the cracks together, to evenly cover the bottom and sides of the pan (there will be extra pastry for leaf cookies to serve on the side – see below). Place the pan on a cookie sheet. Bake 5 minutes. Cool while making the pastry leaf cookies and filling.
Step 5: To make leaf cookies, gather the pastry scraps and re-roll to just under 1/4-inch thickness. Use a knife (or cutter) to cut out simple leaf shapes. You’ll have enough pastry to make about 10. Make a centre rib impression in the middle of each leaf by gently pressing in the blunt edge of a knife. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the 300°F oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Step 6: To make the tart filling, heat the whipping cream and chocolate in a heavy pot on medium heat, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the vanilla. Cool slightly.
Step 7: Stir a spoonful of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks to temper them before stirring in the rest of the chocolate mixture. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Scrape into the tart shell. Bake about 25 minutes, until the chocolate is slightly puffed. The centre should feel soft when gently touched, but not sticky. Cool until barely warm, cooled completely or chilled before slicing. Serve topped with chocolate curls or a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder, if desired. Plus pastry leaf cookies on the side.