*Not really professional in any way whatsoever.
I have some things to say about it, but first, let me say this: I am a Star Trek fan. I am a fan. I love Star Trek. I don’t just enjoy the show, or like the movies. I’m a fan. I have favorite characters, as well as actors. I have favorite episodes from different series, I love the movies, both new and old. I have knowledge of background facts and info that some may not, becuase I like knowing it…because I LOVE Star Trek. Okay?
Now, here’s what I have to say about the movie – SPOILER FREE.
I really loved it. It was exciting, suspenseful, emotional, thrilling, informative, mysterious, and stunning to look at. It was less annoying, visually, than the first film, which had too many light flares and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the first film, too, but JJ Abrams (the director) really cut back on the bright lights and flares. It was a nice change. The characters grew and changed, they matured. There were some truly wonderful moments of nostalgia that were taken directly from the original films, and it what I think were moments of pure brilliance, some of those scenes were turned on their heads. They made you angry at the change, and doubtful that they could pull it off…UNTIL THEY DID and then it was all just right.
Was it perfect? No. There some glaring non-Star Trek-ish moments that I couldn’t quite get past. Kirk would never behave that way, or Starfleet is not about that. What is happening? Some of it they fix. Some of it they gloss over. Some of it shouldn’t have happened…
Also, could we maybe see more strong, intelligent female characters actually interacting?! Just a thought.
But it was an entertaining film, and I had a great time. Really.
So that’s all well and good, but the real point of today’s post is to rant in anger, just a tiny bit.
Before Into Darkness came out, but after the first film was released, I was wandering around a forum that had the new movie’s first trailer in it. While there, I read several negative posts that ranged from whiny to downright hateful, about how Star Trek has become a huge joke and only a shadow of what it was in the past. These things were being said by other fans, so I was pretty surprised and saddened by it.
Has Star Trek changed? Of course it has! The world changes, things change, Star Trek has changed. It must grow and evolve if it’s to maintain anyone’s interest. Nothing can survive if it turns stagnant. Are all of the changes good? Admittedly, no. Change is good, but sometimes, it’s too much…or too little.
Here’s what these people are missing, though: YOU STILL HAVE NEW PIECES OF STAR TREK TO ENJOY!
As a long, long time Firefly fan, I speak from experience when I say that it’s better to have new bits and pieces of your fandom being released for your enjoyment, even with changes that you may or may not approve of, than to have none at all. Within reason, we have to embrace the changes and developments that take place within our favorite fan ‘verses, or we may lose them forever, and then what?
Harry Potter is over, you guys. We’ll always have the books and all of the films, we can always enjoy fanfic, and we’re blessed with a huge community of fans that create everything from clothing to art to music, but the books have ended. Unless Ms. Rowling, in all her wise benevolence, sees fit to bless us with new novels set in the world of Harry Potter… hint, hint.
Firefly only gave us one season and a movie. That’s all we have, unless we create things ourselves.
With each new Star Trek movie, and now, with the promised new Star Wars movies in the future, we are given a huge gift. We get the gift of new entertainment, new obsession, new information, new creativity to add to our fandom.
For that, I say we should be grateful. We should embrace the changes that come along. I think the idea of the alternate reality that was created in the first new Star Trek film was a stroke of genius. We are now entered into a whole new universe of our beloved Enterprise. We have the same wonderful, brave crew, we have our beautiful ship, but we have the opportunity to see them follow a new path. Will it be better or worse? Who knows? But who cares? Why? Because we get to see it!
And that’s all I have to say about that.
As a thank you for letting me rant, I made you a rich and decadent, throw-your-diet-out-the-window salted caramel chocolate truffle tart. So, yeah….thanks!
Alright, now about this tart…
For the crust, your gonna whip everything together in a food processor and then dump it out on your work surface. It’ll look all dry and crumbly, and like it’s not really ever gonna be a dough, but…
Put it in a tart pan. You can either roll the dough out and lay it into the pan, pressing it into the corners. Or, you can simply press the dough into the pan, making sure it’s even and goes up the sides. I pressed. Easy, fast, no fuss.
I also added salted caramel sauce to mine, because that’s how I roll, but you can omit it if you like.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffle Tart
with Chocolate Chip Shortbread Crust
Makes 1 9-inch round tart
**I made my tart with salted caramel sauce, because duh. However, if you’re not a caramel fan, or if you don’t want to bother with it, by all means, omit it. This tart is incredible with just chocolate.
FOR THE CRUST
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate hips (optional)
FOR THE FILLING
12 ounces bitter or semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons, as needed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
OPTIONAL: 1/2 recipe salted caramel sauce, plus more for drizzling
To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Evenly distribute the butter over the flour mixture, then pulse 10 to 12 times, until the mixture is sandy with some larger chunks in it. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture, then pulse 6 to 7 times, until the mixture resembles wet sand. Stir int he chocolate chips.
Turn the misture out onto a clean, dry work surface. It will be very crumbly. Press the mixture together quickly until a dough forms. Shape the dough into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes. You can chill this longer, and even overnight, but be sure to let it thaw at room temperature until it’s soft enough to work with.
Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch round tart pan with cooking spray; set aside.
To roll the dough: place it on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to about a 12-inch circle. Gently transfer the circle to the prepared tart pan, pressing it into the corners, and trimming away any excess.
To press the dough: break off chunks of the chilled dough and gently press it into the pan, until the entire bottom and the sides are covered. Be sure to press it evenly across the bottom, so it will bake evenly.
Line the tart dough with a sheet of aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are turning golden.
Allow to cool completely before filling.
To make the filling: Toss the chocolate and sugar together in a medium bowl; set aside.
In a small saucepan, or in the microwave, heat the heavy cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir gently until all of the cream is incorporated and the chocolate is melted. If there are any unmelted chunks of chocolate, place the mixture in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds and stir until melted.
Stir in the butter until fully incorporated; set aside.
Assemble: If using caramel, pour the sauce into the cooled tart shell and place in the refrigerator until the caramel is just tacky to the touch, about 30 minutes.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel, spreading and smoothing it gently with a small offset spatula. Chill until set, about 3 hours. Garnish as desired, with more caramel sauce, candies, or flake salt.
Recipe by Darla