Hi everybody: Guest blogger Katherine Curry here again.
The other night, I was in Mount Kisco Seafood, looking for some salmon steaks for a simple dinner. I had no dinner party planned, but at the counter, as I paid for my purchases, my eyes were drawn to a windowed pie box that housed an exceptionally glossy and decadent-looking chocolate tart. In an instant, my plans changed.
Here’s the double chocolate tart out of its box.
Guests would need to be invited over this weekend, I decided, so that I could justify spending $22 on this edible object of beauty. After all, I couldn’t consume the whole thing myself, could I?
The tart is from Red Barn Bakery. This wasn’t the first time I’d seen their pies and baked goods in Mt. Kisco Seafood. Owner Joe DiMauro and his team are always finding the best provisions, including Rainbeau Ridge cheeses, local organic salad greens, and amazingly fresh sustainable fish. Joe told me that he’d been looking for some delicious organic baked goods to add to his offerings, and Red Barn Bakery fit the bill.
Once I got my tart home, I decided that I should sample a small sliver. After all, just because it looked delicious didn’t mean it was delicious, right?
Well, it was incredible. The dark chocolate filling was creamy and intensely chocolate-y, the texture somewhere between grown-up chocolate mousse and the chocolate pudding of my childhood dreams. The crust was buttery and crisp, its bottom sturdy enough to stand up to the filling without getting soggy. And the ingredient list was simplicity itself: the filling is made with organic dark chocolate, heavy cream, eggs, vanilla, agave, and salt.
The woman behind Red Barn Bakery is Randell Dodge, who lives in Bedford. She started the business in 2008 because she couldn’t find a local organic bakery. Red Barn’s ingredients are local and organic whenever possible: the flour comes from New York State, the goat cheese in the savory tarts is from Rainbeau Ridge and Beltaine Farms in Connecticut, apples are sourced from Hepworth Farm in upstate New York, and some of the vegetables in her savory tarts come from her own garden. Her chocolate is organic and comes from Grenada.
Red Barn’s products are sold at Mt. Kisco Seafood, 109 Cheese Store in Ridgefield, CT.. and Peter Elliott in New York City. Seasonally, you can find Red Barn at the Stone Barns Farmer’s Market and Ridgefield’s The Hickories. You can also order cookies and muffins online. And ultimately, Ms. Dodge would love to open a little bakery/cafe in the area.
Other Red Barn Bakery products include savory tarts like roasted beet and goat cheese; chocolate pecan pie; almond biscotti and chocolate pecan biscotti; and cookies in flavors like chocolate chunk, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin. A complete list of Red Barn Bakery’s offerings is on the bakery’s website. Below is a picture of the beautiful blueberry galette (photo courtesy of Randell Dodge).
Ms. Dodge trained as a painter at Bennington and later designed handbags (she had her own label that was sold at Barney’s, Bergdorf, and even on QVC). Her strong visual sense explains why her chocolate tart stole my heart before I’d even taken a bite.
Here are her apple pies (photo courtesy of Randell Dodge):
Getting back to that tart. I devoured another small slice after dinner on Friday. But by Saturday morning I’d been hit with a whopper of a head cold, so a dinner party was out. That meant I would be spending the entire weekend with the tart—what to do? My husband inexplicably only likes white chocolate. The tart couldn’t possibly survive being frozen. There was only one thing to do.
Reader, I ate it.